Let's say you want an electric car with over 200 miles of range, but you can't swing the payments on a Tesla Model S or X. You could wait (along with over 300,000 other people) for the Tesla Model 3. Or you can get a Chevy Bolt in a few weeks. "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports" takes an indepth look at GM's new affordable electric car.

While the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid was dubbed "GM's moon shot" by more than a few pundits (including us), the Bolt is actually more radical. Built from the ground-up to be all-electric, it makes the most of its 60-kWh battery pack with an EPA-rated 238 miles of range. That beats a Tesla Model S 60D with the same capacity battery pack by 20 miles.

The Bolt is more appealing than many current electric cars, based on modified gas-powered models and sold primarily to meet complex California emissions regulations. Not only is the Bolt efficient, it's also super-practical, with easy access, big windows, plenty of rear seat space, a deep cargo hold, and a slick touch-screen infotainment center. After typical tax incentives, all this goodness will cost right around $30,000. What the Bolt sorely lacks is the "cool factor" that has drawn buyers to the Tesla brand.

We discuss the electric-car ecosphere on this episode, joined by our own electric car-owning Michelle Naranjo. While electric car drivers have enjoyed perks and incentives to entice gas-free driving, including commuter-lane stickers for Michelle's California-based Chevrolet Spark EV and better parking outside of Tom's Hartford improv theater, we debate whether electric cars have finally become desirable in their own right.

Michelle Naranjo, Tom Mutchler, and Jake Fisher
Michelle Naranjo, Tom Mutchler, and Jake Fisher

As with other "Talking Cars," this episode on popular cars is also available free through the iTunes Store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube.

Share your comments on this show below, and let us know whether you need any advice about choosing a car.

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