New Chevy Bolt Approaches Tesla Model S Territory With 290 Miles Range

Sep 15, 2016 05:45 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

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The new Chevy Bolt is almost here, sort of at least, and is already making the right noises thanks to an EPA certification that pegged the range of the EV at 238 miles.

Chevy Bolt Range Way Beyond Expectations

However, while that alone has had a sensational impact in the industry given that the other mass market EV in the making, the Tesla Model 3, has a claimed range of 215 miles, what early testers of the Bolt claim is that the car can actually travel 290 miles on one charge.

The above claim is being made by Charles Fleming of The Los Angeles Times, who recently drove the car from Monterey to Santa Barbara. While the trip itself measured 240.5 miles, a few notches higher than the EPA rating of 238 miles, what is even more surprising is that the car's onboard computer showed it still had juice enough to travel another 50 miles.

That makes for a thoroughly impressive range of 290 miles, which is strikingly close to the claimed range of the top-end Model S, let alone the Model 3. The price disparity is also no less striking considering that the Model S costs more than $110,000.

In comparison, the Bolt is touted to cost less than $37,500 while the Model 3 will start at $35,000. That apart, the Model S P100D comes with a 100 kWh battery while the Bolt does with a much smaller 60 kWh battery.

Another advantage with the Bolt is that it is almost ready to hit streets and a formal launch can be expected towards end-2016 itself. In comparison, the earliest that the Model 3 is expected to be ready for launch is end-2017.

Chevy Bolt the Definitive Tesla Killer?

That is not all as compared to cash-strapped Tesla, General Motors has significantly more resources at its disposal to spare for a more aggressive marketing campaign. While it's true that Tesla has built a solid fan following of its own and might not need a dedicated marketing push, the fact is that the Bolt is shaping up to be a more practical alternative to the Model 3.

Another key differentiator could be onboard technology where the Model 3 seems to have a distinct edge over the Bolt. Plus there is also the Autopilot feature, which Tesla said will be standard on the Model 3. It has already enhanced and the mere idea of the car getting to drive on its own is enough to tickle the fancies of everyday car buyers.

Overall, the difference in approach to actually making a car can also turn out to be crucial. General Motors has over a century of car-making experience and with the Bolt, what they have produced is an excellent car that runs on electric power and is tech-laden to appeal to most car buyers.

Tesla, on the other hand, comes with a fresh new take on car-making and has not approached the segment from a mechanical point of view. Instead, it is more technology oriented. It has defied more conventional car-making or marketing norms and has yet managed to rake in millions.

No wonder it has become a craze with both the young and the not-so-young generation, which could still prove to be handy when it comes up with the more affordable Model 3.

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