Wait until electric vehicles hit 200 miles on a full charge and cost less than $40,000, they said. Well, we waited patiently and have been rewarded with two models that hit the mark in 2017. Consumers can now officially choose between the Tesla Model 3, which Elon Musk officially unveiled July 31, and the Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM’s groundbreaking model already on sale across the U.S.
They both come from U.S. automakers, both top the 200-mile mark, and both cost $37,495 or less before you count incentives. Beyond that, there are many differences worth noting for consumers considering a plug-in car. Here are eight things to keep in mind about the first generation of long-range affordable EVs.
1. Model 3 has 2 versions
You might get dizzy considering the various options of Tesla’s flagship Model S. There are three different battery packs (75, 90, or 100) and the option of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Then you can upgrade your P100D to Ludicrous mode if you like. Because of the smaller wheelbase in a Model 3, you will have fewer choices, but it’s still more than you’ll get in a Bolt EV.
Model 3 comes with either 220 miles ($35,000 base price) or 310 miles ($44,000). In its first production cycles, Tesla will only offer this one with rear-wheel drive. Starting in 2018, all-wheel drive models become available. With Chevy’s Bolt EV, there are different trims but only one range: 238 miles (per EPA).