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Electric Car Comparison (going green): Tesla vs Chevy Bolt EV vs Nissan Leaf vs BMW i3 EV

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It has become commonly accepted that electric cars are the future and they are going to change the world. Fossil fuels are slowly ruining the environment and any big push towards an economy that isn’t so dependent on oil will result in huge gains for the entire globe. The four biggest contenders to dominate the electric car space are the Tesla, Chevy Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 EV. 

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when comparing the different vehicles. First, there is the concept of range, or how far a vehicle can go on a single charge. This is perhaps the most important feature, because a lot of the reluctance people have when buying an electric car comes from the worry of decreased utility. If an electric car can make it through an entire trip, then there is less of a worry that users will run out of charge and have to waste extra time at a charging station.

EV charging station
EV charging station

The next biggest consideration is price. This is always a factor, but because of the relative novelty of electric car technology, there is a wide disparity in the pricing on these cars. Sometimes the price is so high that it is completely infeasible for some families to purchase.

The final consideration is the design and overall functionality of the car. When it comes down to it, this is an automobile first and foremost, so its finishes and functionality should hold up accordingly. Lets have a look at some differences in EV cars available today.

The Tesla Model S is the most well-known of all the electric vehicles because of the way it’s been branded and promoted by Elon Musk. One second in this car and you can see why it is so popular – the car is nearly perfect. With a range between 240 and 275 miles*, and a quality of engineering that is unmatched, this is the best car of the lot. The one issue is the sticker shock that comes with a $68,000 car. If you can afford it, you won’t regret it, but otherwise this can be way too much for some people.

Tesla Electric Vehicle
Tesla Electric Vehicle

The Chevy Bolt is a compact little car that is capable of taking you 238 miles* before running out of charge. The aesthetic of the vehicle may not be a huge draw, but knowing that it only costs $36,000 might be.

Chevy Bolt EV
Chevy Bolt EV; source: media.chevrolet.com

The Nissan Leaf has a nicer look than the Chevy Bolt, and comes with range of 84 miles*. The price is about the same at approximately $30,600, which means that it becomes a tossup between the two for a “cheap” electric car. Although, Chevy has better range which should be something to consider…

Nissan Leaf (Taxi)
Nissan Leaf (Taxi)

The final car to factor in is BMW’s i3 electric vehicle, which has a range of 81 miles*. It costs more than the average car at $42,400, but you are getting all the bells and whistles that come with owning a BMW, and for some that will feel worth it.


In the end, the decision comes down to what your focus is. Do you want a pretty car, or do you want a cheap car. The ranges are about the same for Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 EV and similar when comparing Tesla to Chevy , but in my humble opinion I would consider a used Tesla for around 40k US dollars just because Chevy is only 4K cheaper and you get an awesome looking car…

Disclaimer: None of the prices reflect any government incentives that may be in effect when purchasing a zero emission vehicles for year 2017.


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