Don't get me wrong. I WANT the other EV's to succeed. I hope that Porsche gives Tesla a run for its' money in Nuremburg, because that will create a new level of excitement and buzz about going electric. I WANT the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt fill in the gap that exists between minimally compliant and amazingly Tesla.
Easier said, than done.
My beloved Fabio (2014 Model S with almost 180K) was hit and incapacitated near the Supercharger in Birmingham a few weeks ago. After 2 days in a $55/day rental ICE and $80 of fossil fuel- I decided to find a rental EV. After 10 days and $800 drained out of my account, I learned that Fabio will probably be gone for several months. Instead of giving all this money away, it seemed wiser to just buy a backup vehicle. The goal was to find the cheapest vehicle that could meet my basic driving needs.
First stop: Nissan- When I told the salesman that I was interested in the Leaf, he pointed to where the 'new vehicle' lot was, and then turned right back into the building. ZERO interest in making a sale, and none found on the lot
Second stop: Hyundai- Salesman very nice, and even found someone that was familiar with the electric Ioniq... She was able to confirm that they are not sold in the state of Florida, and their were none for sale within a 500 mile radius.
Third stop: Chevrolet- Short story- they had one available, and they were willing to sell it at a price I was willing to pay. Let the buyers regret kick in...
Considering that the Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt are listed in the same price range, it is difficult to accept some of the stupidity in the choices Chevy made, like:
1) They chose CCS/SAE: the least available and most inconvenient of the 'fast charging' options available (Tesla Supercharger, CHaDeMo, and CCS/SAE).
2) For home charging, it comes only with a 110, super slow charging cord and there is no adapters for use on a 30 or 50 amp outlet. So, the choices are super slow, expensive, or limited availability.
3) It doesn't have a built in Nav system. You have to have a smart phone plugged, and if you want to find the next available CCS during a roadtrip, you have the choice of looking at your phone to browse Plugshare, or pay a monthly OnStar navigation subscription for them to help you find it. But wait- there's more... On Start can't tell what kind of charging location it is, whether it is free, whether it is open. They also can't tell you too far in advance. I called to let them know I was heading to Asheville, and would like to stop at the first available CCS/SAE enroute. Mission impossible. We were on the phone a full hour, before she was able to come up with an answer. This is just not compatible with spontaneous roadtripping
4)The AC is a major energy sucking system. In order to even get close to the theoretic 240 miles of range, I would have to get an average of 4 miles/KwH. Tis can be accomplished by having the AC off and driving at moderate speeds. Once the AC is turned on (even at a conservative 75 degrees), I am lucky if I can get 2 miles/KwH range.
5. I've tested the 'lane assist' function. It is supposed to ping me back into my lane if I go over the line, but even with the best marked roads- I've only been able to get it to respond twice, in over twenty intentional sways over the line. Maybe it only works at certain speeds, or only if there is also a car on the other side of the line. I don't know, but I definitely don't feel any safer with it turned on.
Despite all this whining, I still see this vehicle as a viable option for the average driver. The range is more than enough to compfortably handle a days worth of driving. Even with the AC turned on, most people would be able to go about their day without range anxiety. It is far better than driving an ICE, but no where near the Tesla experience.