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Bolt EV beats EPA range, 75-kWh Tesla in Consumer Reports test

The Bolt EV was the only electric car that CR tested that was able to exceed its EPA-estimated electric range.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Consumer Reports took some time off from testing coat racks to put three electric vehicles through their paces, and the results were great for Chevrolet's Bolt EV. As for Tesla... eh, not so much.

The Bolt EV achieved 250 miles on a single charge, the longest range of any EV the outlet has tested to date. Considering the EPA rated the Bolt EV at 238 miles, that's good news for Chevrolet's first long-range EV. Chevrolet did not immediately return a request for comment.

This runs counter to CR's other EV tests, which resulted in real-world range figures lower than the EPA's estimates. CR specifically calls out the Tesla Model S 75D and the Tesla Model X 75D. The Model S reached 235 miles (EPA estimate: 259 miles), while the Model X achieved just 230 (EPA estimate: 257 miles). Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment.

It should be noted that, if CR were to test Tesla's vehicles equipped with the largest (100-kWh) battery, they would likely become the longest-range vehicles tested. The EPA estimates the 100-kWh Model S 100D at 335 miles and the Model X 100D at 295 miles. CR has not tested either 100-kWh Tesla model yet. There's a good chance the long-range version of the Tesla Model 3 will also beat the Bolt EV, given its 310-mile estimated range.

Consumer Reports tests all its electric vehicles in the same way. The cars run with neither air conditioning nor heat, which must be real fun in the summer months. There is "some" mixed driving, but the lion's share of it is done on the highway at 65 mph. CR noted that one could probably get even more range if the average testing speeds were lowered.

After reaching 250 miles on a single charge, CR moved the Bolt EV to the No. 2 spot on its list of recommended electric vehicles. Its top recommended EV remains the Tesla Model S. In Roadshow's Chevy Bolt EV review, we praised its driving dynamics, but pointed out its middling infotainment tech, which does not include a way to search for charging stations from the screen.

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