Electric cars are more popular than ever, and buyers have more models to choose from every year. Some of the best electric cars available today are the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. In many ways, however, the 2017 Chevy Bolt is even better. Here's a look at how these cars compare.
According to Chevrolet, the new Bolt can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, and the optional 240-volt charging unit provides more power than a standard 120-volt outlet. It can also give you 90 miles of range in just 30 minutes. A full charge takes nine hours.
Nissan says the maximum range for the 2016 Leaf is 107 miles. That's with an optional, more powerful battery. The standard battery's range is only 84 miles. The specifications for the 2017 model aren't public yet, but Nissan will have to do a lot of work to come close to the Chevy's greater range.
According to Car and Driver, the 2017 BMW i3 can travel 114 miles on a charge. It also has an optional two-cylinder gas engine and a fuel tank that holds 2.4 gallons, so you can make it a hybrid car. The total range with the gas engine is 150 miles, still not close to the all-electric Bolt.
The Bolt has a 10.2-inch diagonal center touchscreen and another 8-inch diagonal screen right behind the steering wheel. That way, your battery level, charge settings, and climate controls are easily available. The Chevy also has 10 air bags, OnStar, and available Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Side Blind Zone Alert. These options use radar and camera technology to warn you about road hazards.
Video: What is OnStar?
The Nissan Leaf has optional keyless entry, push button start, and SiriusXM radio. It also has standard audio controls on the steering wheel, Bluetooth, cruise control, and heated front seats. The Regenerative Braking System captures and recycles energy when you coast or brake, and the power meter always lets you know if you're gaining power or using it.
The BMW i3 has all these features as well. The i3's regenerative braking keeps it from coasting as well as a gas-powered car, and you'll have to get used to pressing the accelerator more often. Like the Bolt, the i3 and the Leaf can connect to your smartphone, but their center displays are much smaller. Both cars have rearview cameras, but not the other safety sensors on the Chevy.
All three cars are crossovers, but the 2017 Bolt has the smoothest, sportiest look. It fits five people comfortably, and it has a sleek black grille. The Nissan Leaf only fits four people, and its small metal grille and triangle-shaped headlights give it a somewhat nerdy look. The BMW i3 looks a bit boxy, and it also carries just four people.