Tesla 3 vs Volt

I’m trying to decide between the '18 Volt Premier (+ACC) lease, or the Tesla 3 Midrange with AP. I’ve tried the math a few ways, and it seems that over three years the cost difference might be between $4k and $7 depending on residual, including the fed tax credit and CA rebate (I’m in NorCal/Bay Area).

First, I am not a home owner, so I initially didn’t consider the Tesla due to the question of charging options. However, I do have charging at work (if I get there on time), and a few charger/Supercharger options nearby, as well as the option to charge via a sketchy 120V charger from my apartment door. Am I going to still experience range anxiety? The main concern is my commute is up to 40 miles each way.

However, I am also considering owning the car for as few as 1-2 years, in which I would lose on the Tesla due to $5k in sales tax (is this right?). My primary concerns are 1) safety 2) commute-ability 3) cost and also 4) flexibility (resale/transfer) somewhat. And looks somewhat.

Any thoughts on what the better choice is?

I am going to make it simple and say the Tesla will be more expensive to have over the same 3 years stretch. The car is nearly $15K more, you are going to have pay for at least half of that difference over the 3 years period even if all else are equal. The resale should help narrow the gap, but I don’t think it is reasonable to think your cost will end up being less in the Tesla than the Volt.

With that said, I do have to warn you your cash payment would be way higher than your lease payment from the Volt. You are looking at more than double the amount if you do zero down on the lease vs. buying the 3. If you ever want to get a house, I would be super careful with these giant car payments.

You live in NorCal, chargers are everywhere and 250 miles is reasonable. If you just go into work early and charge once every 3 days, you will have enough to make it for the other two days of work.

Bottom line. If you care about money, the Volt is cheaper. If you care about how a car drives and perform, the Tesla is better. Autopilot is way superior than the ACC for our 15mph commute.

If you are going to keep either one for only 1-2 years, then the Volt is the obvious choice. Keep in mind that you can’t lease a Volt for less than 36 months though, so you will need to transfer it. You will also miss out on a portion of the CRVP rebate.