The Chevy Bolt beat the Tesla Model S 75D by 15 miles in a new range test performed by Consumer Reports. GM’s all-electric crossover made it 250 miles before its battery was completely zapped, while the Tesla died out at 235 miles. It’s a shocking turn of events when you consider that the Model S 75D should have easily charged past the Chevy Bolt according to their EPA range estimates, which are 259 and 238 miles, respectively.
Consumer Reports put the two cars to the test on the same pre-planned course, which mostly consisted of highway driving at 65 miles per hour with the HVAC systems turned off. There was some “mixed driving” off the highway, too, according to the post.
While Tesla sells versions of the Model S with higher-capacity batteries, which can, in turn, travel longer distances, Consumer Reports appears to have matched the Bolt up with the 75D because it’s what the nonprofit organization had available in its fleet. (A previous test of the Tesla Model X 90D returned a similar result, with the electric SUV underperforming its EPA range by 27 miles.)
Still, the 75D is arguably one of the better options to compare with the $37,000 Bolt since it’s only just a notch above the most basic version of the Model S that Tesla sells (that would be the $74,000 Model S 75, which is about $5,000 cheaper than the 75D).
It’s unusual that the Bolt was able to beat its EPA estimate, though, since those figures typically reflect ideal driving conditions that are hard to repeat in real-world settings. And while consumers aren’t likely to drive without using the AC or heat, knowing that the Bolt can beat that estimate could help tamp down the stigma of “range anxiety.” That would be good news for GM, because while sales of the Bolt have increased as the manufacturer ramps up availability, the Bolt has been off to a slow start since it hit the market late last year.
As for Tesla, the new test is probably not going to sit well with the California-based electric car company considering its bumpy relationship with Consumer Reports.