Tesla is considered a premium automaker, which means that its vehicles should be seen as rivals to the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, the upcoming Tesla Model 3 is set to change that with a starting price of only $35,000.
That puts it in the same price category as the Chevrolet Bolt, though Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that the average price paid for the Model 3 would be about $42,000, accounting for additional features buyers can opt for.
And it’s the fact that buyers can have add-ons that gives the Model 3 the upper hand against the Chevy Bolt and yes, even the Nissan Leaf which is set to arrive in its second-gen guise pretty close to the mass roll-out of Tesla’s new compact sedan.
Sure, both the Bolt and Leaf aren’t going to let Tesla push forward on self-driving tech without a fight, but in other respects they’re going to lose out. There is, however, one upgrade Tesla’s affording its buyers that would surely crush GM or Nissan’s dream of catching up to the Model 3.
And no, it’s not the new 100kWh battery that makes the Model S the quickest EV sedan in the world, as Musk recently confirmed that the wheelbase of the Model 3 is unable to accommodate the hefty battery pack. This trump card that we’re talking about is the real-time Supercharger map.
One of the top reasons folks are siding with Tesla in the road to EV dominance is because of the automaker’s vast Supercharger network that’s ceaselessly expanding. That in itself is enough to convince EV shoppers that they would have little to no worries when traveling long distances.
Although the ever-growing network solves the issue of range anxiety, it doesn’t stop other Tesla drivers from behaving like jerks and hogging the charging stations even after they’ve completely filled up their rides. But of course there’s a solution to that now.
This map update (version 8.0) shows drivers the real-time occupancy information of all Supercharger stations and how many stalls are available for use in each station. So if prospective buyers have doubts about how Tesla is going to deal with the potential Supercharger congestion caused by the incoming Model 3 influx, they don’t need to anymore.
Does the Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf have an answer to this? Probably not, and that’s why there’s hardly a chance that they can get at the same level as the Tesla Model 3.