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Despite Early Chevy Bolt Love, Steve Wozniak Got A New Tesla Model S

Despite all of the pro-Bolt comments and reporting at the time, it seems that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s enthusiastic test drive of a 2017 Chevy Bolt EV back in September didn’t lead to him purchasing one. Instead, he has gotten a new Tesla Model S.

There’s a bit of a catch to that statement, though, as apparently the new Model S was a gift from his wife. He didn’t purchase it himself.

Wozniak previously purchased a Tesla Model S back in 2013, but was — going by his own words — not completely happy with it, not interested in the tech features, and mostly just interested in its impressive range.

Related to that, the primary reason for going with a Tesla Model S again, rather than a Chevy Bolt EV, is Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network — which makes long-range travel a relatively easy proposition. Lack of extensive, usable fast-charging infrastructure is certainly the biggest weakness of the Bolt EV in my opinion, and Wozniak and I definitely aren’t the only ones to think so.

Here’s one of Woz’s comments (in replies to others’ comments) from the September post about the Bolt:

“Knowing myself, it may replace the Tesla. A lot of complaints about the Tesla that my wife and I have are solved in this car. It’s not just some name where you have to take a side. The user conveniences are well thought out and the functionality is great. I tell everyone that the most valuable, useful car of my life was the Prius that I drove for 10 years. I don’t need top-of-the-line luxury. We have a Tesla but there is no other EV choice that’s good for road trips. The Bolt will need some personal testing by Janet and myself to find out how it is on road trips. Otherwise, it’s what we want. Extra features aren’t the big picture, or we’d have skipped the Tesla for a Mercedes.”

And here’s another:

“My personality is not to have the top of the line. Except for iPhones, ha ha. The Tesla model S is costly but it was the only EV that could suffice for our long road trips. This new BOLT, when it’s out, may do the trick, but it doesn’t have access to chargers as fast as Tesla’s superchargers, so the jury is still out.”

It seems the jury made a decision.

Green Car Reports provides more: “Woz wrote in comments on the new post that he is still considering the Chevy electric car as a daily driver. ‘But I’m concerned about how it would work on our favored road trips. So far, Tesla’s the only game in town for that.’ That likely refers to the Bolt EV’s lower maximum DC fast-charging rate (80 kilowatts against the Tesla’s 135 kW) — combined with the even lower limit of 50 kW at any DC fast-charging stations today that use the Bolt EV’s Combined Charging Standard (CCS) protocol.”

The “news” is interesting because previously Wozniak had commented that Tesla would have a hard time selling him a Model 3, rather than him going with a Chevy Bolt EV. Here was one of his first responses to commenters on the original Bolt post:

“Gary, after seeing the insides and the UI, Tesla will have a difficult time selling me a Model 3. A lot of things wrong with the Tesla model S are done correctly (my opinion) in this car. But it’s still missing a place to put your sunglasses, ha ha.”

Apparently, though, after considering the lack of fast-charging infrastructure available to the Bolt EV, and Tesla’s substantial and rapidly growing Supercharger network, Wozniak couldn’t pull the trigger on the Bolt EV. This is something that I’ve wondered about myself — despite the Chevy Bolt EV being arguably a very usable and nice car, the lack of charging infrastructure is a serious liability, isn’t it? With Tesla’s Supercharger network being unparalleled, both in its extent and speed of charging, why would someone choose the Bolt EV over the Model 3? (Obviously, other than the fact that the Bolt EV is technically available right now in some markets, in limited quantities, and the Model 3 won’t be available until around this time next year.)

For more on that, see: “Importance of Tesla Superchargers, Battery Upgrades, Electric Car Benefits… (My EV Summit Presentation).”

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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