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Affordable Alternative to Tesla: Chevy Steps Up to the Plate

When it comes to being environmentally-friendly, many folks these days are making the shift to plug-in hybrids or fully-electric vehicles. The first thing that probably comes to mind is the Tesla. While this innovative model is quite nice to look at, it’s unrealistic for most people simply due to its enormous sticker price. You might be surprised to learn that Chevrolet has a couple of affordable alternatives to Tesla. To find one in your area, all you need to do is run a Google search for “Chevy dealer near me.” But first, you should know what vehicle in the lineup is right for you. Let’s check out Chevy’s two “green” vehicles that are the perfect alternatives to Tesla.

2019 Chevy Volt

The 2019 Chevrolet Volt is the brand’s plug-in hybrid model, though it was not continued to 2020. It functions like three cars combined into one. It uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine mated with twin electric motors and an 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This powertrain generates a surprising 149 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. With a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery, you can drive for up to 420 miles. If you run out of gas, don’t worry! You can still travel for up to 53 miles before needing to refuel.

To replenish the battery, you can use the 120-volt 3.6-kWh charging cable or the faster 7.2-kWh cable. The 3.6-kWh can be hooked up to any 3-prong outlet, and the 7.2-kWh cable is twice as fast. With regular charging habits, you should be able to travel for up to 1,100 miles before needing to stop at a gas station. This rings especially true for urban dwellers who don’t spend much time on the highways.

The Volt features Regen on Demand, which is a regenerative braking system that enables you to slow down without stepping on the brake pedal. It does this when you press the paddle located on the steering wheel. In addition, it also converts kinetic energy into electricity for the battery. This helps to cut down on the amount of charging time you have to endure. To keep track of how much battery power you have left, you can look at either the Driver Information Center positioned behind the steering wheel or the touchscreen interface located in the center console dash.

A red 2019 Chevy Volt is parked in an empty parking lot at dusk.

The 2019 Volt is available in two trims. The first is the LT model, and it rolls of 17-inch wheels, and features LED exterior lighting. Keyless ignition/entry and remote start enable you to get in and go quickly in the mornings, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel adds a touch of elegance to the cabin. This vehicle’s infotainment interface operates on an 8-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Bluetooth for hands-free calling and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for seamless audio integration. A 4G LTE Wifi hotspot has also been added to keep you connected everywhere you go. The top-tier Premier trim rides on 17-inch wheels with a different design and features the faster 7.2-kWh charging cable. The power-adjustable driver’s seat offers two-way lumbar support for comfort during long rides, and all of the seats are heated. It also comes with an automated parking system for assistance when perpendicular and parallel parking.

Several packages are also available. For the LT, you can add the Comfort package, which includes heated seats, heated exterior side mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. You can also add leather upholstery and an eight-speaker Bose stereo system. Both the LT and Premier models can be equipped with the Driver Confidence package. This adds a slew of safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The Premier trim can take things a step further with the Driver Confidence 2 package. This includes lane departure warning, adaptive headlights, and forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking. Other add-ons for the Premier include adaptive cruise control, a wireless charging pad for your mobile device, and a navigation system.

2020 Chevy Bolt EV

Another budget-friendly alternative is the full-electric 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. This unique model uses a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery pack coupled with a single electric motor to produce 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a single-speed transmission, it has a driving range of 259 miles. That’s about 10% more than previous models, which comes out to an average of 21 extra miles.

Charging this EV is easy too. The Target Charge Level mode allows you to select a charging range based on how far you need to go. This can save you a lot of time if you just need a few extra miles. Location-Based Charging is also available for you to charge at home during off-peak electricity hours. This can help save on your electricity bill at the end of the month. For at-home charging, Chevrolet recommends that you use the 240-volt/32-amp charging cable. It delivers approximately 25 miles of range per hour of charge time. To replenish the energy stores quicker, you can use the DC Fast-Charging cable to get 100 miles in just 30 minutes.

You can keep track of your battery power by looking at the Driver Information Center behind the steering wheel. You can customize the screen to Classic, Modern, or Enhanced visual modes. The Energy Detail function can be seen on the touchscreen display. This shows you what operations are using the most battery power. You can also look at your driving habit under Efficiency History and Range Impacts screens.

A red 2020 Chevy Bolt EV, which is a popular option at a Chevy dealer near me, is parked in a driveway.

Similar to the Volt plug-in hybrid model, the 2020 Bolt EV only comes in two trims. The LT is the first one, and it features keyless start technology. Ambient lighting throughout the cabin can help you set a relaxing mood, and the infotainment interface is displayed on a 10.2-inch touchscreen. This system is compatible with Bluetooth for hands-free calling and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for easy audio integration. The rearview camera has also been upgraded this year to High Definition (HD). The other trim is the Premier, and it features heated front and back seats for comfort during the winter months. The elegant leather-wrapped steering wheel is also heated to keep your hands warm. As for style, the door handles have a sleek chrome strip. The rearview mirror has a double feature as it can turn into a video feed for the rearview camera, and a surround-view parking camera system has also been added.

There is also a package that can be added. The LT can get the Comfort and Convenience package, which adds the heated seats and steering wheels. As for safety features, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and emergency braking are optional. The aforementioned DC Fast-Charger is also optional and highly recommended.

Chevy Alternatives to Tesla

With the remainder of the 2019 Chevrolet Volts having an MSRP of $33,520 and the 2020 Bolt EV starting at $36,620, these are great alternatives to Tesla. If you are looking for one of these eco-friendly models, simply go to Google and run a search for “Chevy dealer near me.” This will give you a list of your local dealerships that should have these vehicles in stock.