Why I traded my Chevy Bolt EV for a Tesla: one reader’s story

Used 2015 Tesla Model S P85D on day of purchase [photo: Jay Lucas]

Used 2015 Tesla Mannequin S P85D on day of buy [photo: Jay Lucas]

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As a nation, the U.S. takes a lot of street journeys, as a result of many of the nation has no viable mass transit between metropolis pairs.

If electrical vehicles are ever to enter the mass market in North America, they need to be usable on these street journeys. Final 12 months, our  reader Jay Lucas of Alexandria, Virginia, wrote an account of his street journey in a brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electrical automotive.

Now he is adopted up with a proof of why he now drives a used Tesla Mannequin S. What follows are his phrases, evenly edited by Inexperienced Car Reviews for readability and elegance.

DON’T MISS: Electrical-car street journey: classes realized in Chevy Bolt EV over 1,300 miles

I sat in a restaurant close to the Supercharger beside my shiny new used 2015 crimson Tesla Mannequin S, P85D, watching the electrons movement into the battery on the Tesla app and pondering how I got here to be right here. 

Final 12 months I purchased a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, additionally crimson, and I cherished it. I feel it’s Chevy’s supreme creation, and it carried me with spirit and verve throughout Northern Virginia. 

However now I’ve a Tesla, and my son has the Bolt. I’ve given up some issues, however boy, have I gained others.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, June 2017 road trip from VA to KY and back [Jay Lucas]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electrical automotive, June 2017 street journey from VA to KY and again [Jay Lucas]

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Final summer time, my buddy Stewart accompanied me on a 600-mile trek within the 2017 Bolt EV. I’ve simply accomplished that very same journey within the Tesla with my spouse. 

The 2 vehicles supplied very completely different experiences: within the Bolt EV, we felt like pioneers, whereas within the Tesla, the extent of fear and unknowns was far decrease. That’s why I switched to Tesla—for a greater long-distance journey expertise.

Total, Tesla has delivered. Listed below are a baker’s dozen methods by which the 2 vehicles differed on street journeys. Most favor the Tesla expertise, however not all.

READ THIS: Driving a Chevy Bolt EV electrical automotive midway throughout the U.S.: what it takes

(1) Discovering your route is way simpler with the Tesla.

Within the Bolt EV, I might spend about an hour with the PlugShare app and Apple Maps discovering a path to my vacation spot that included clusters of CCS DC fast-charging websites—and ensuring the space between chargers didn’t exceed my automotive’s vary. 

Tesla’s in-car navigation system, and its web site equal, does the entire job for me. I merely enter the vacation spot, and it presents a proposed route (after a brief wait), together with the charging occasions at every Supercharger, and the expected state of cost as I arrive at my vacation spot.

Charging 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2015 Tesla Model S P85D at home in garage [photo: Jay Lucas]

Charging 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2015 Tesla Mannequin S P85D at dwelling in storage [photo: Jay Lucas]

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(2) Charging at a Supercharger is way quicker than the CCS quick chargers for the Bolt EV. In a single day in my storage, charging pace would not matter.

However on the freeway, when I’m anxious to maintain going, the half-hour to 45 minutes at a Supercharger is far more satisfying than the standard hour or 90 minutes required at any 50-kilowatt (non-Tesla) fast-charging website.

Lots of these industrial websites cease after 30 minutes of charging, requiring a restart of the charging course of, which I’ve at all times discovered infuriating.

Some programs have now lessened this constraint, however the Tesla app on my cellphone simply tells me when the automotive has adequate cost to get me to the subsequent charging cease with a margin of security—and off I am going.

CHECK OUT: Chevy Bolt EV: 800-mile journey in 238-mile electrical automotive reveals challenges stay

(3) The on-road charging course of is computerized and hassle-free for a Tesla. Whereas some industrial charging networks are higher than others, most require some kind of interactive card, bank card, or cellphone app for use.

With the Tesla Supercharger, I simply seize the charger wire and produce it near the Mannequin S, the port springs open, and in goes the plug.

My used Mannequin S got here with a lifetime of free Supercharging; however even when it did not, I might obtain all expenses in a while, mechanically logged to my account for month-to-month billing.

Tesla electric cars at Supercharger fast-charging site, TK [photo: Jay Lucas]

Tesla electrical vehicles at Supercharger fast-charging website, TK [photo: Jay Lucas]

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(4) Touring at pace is simpler in a Tesla: much less vary nervousness.  Within the Bolt EV, 70 mph appeared to be a vibrant crimson line. Above that pace, my vitality use per mile skyrocketed and vary dropped noticeably.

The Tesla appears to slide by the air extra gracefully, and whereas I do not use a heavy foot, I may be freer with the accelerator.

(5) Superchargers are sited higher, with a larger collection of close by eating places and different services close by. They’re additionally nearer to the freeway.

Whereas some CCS charging stations have been well-located, and increasingly more are showing in freeway relaxation stops and journey plazas, that is nonetheless the exception quite than the rule—no less than alongside my route.

The Superchargers I used appeared to be nearer to the freeway, so my journey was much less disrupted by the charging.


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