The Chevrolet Volt fits only 4 people instead of 5, and has a lot less luggage space. In addition, the Tesla is faster and has the most superbly tuned chassis by far. In favor of the Volt is the headroom space for the rear passengers, the ability to travel beyond 265 miles and just keep filling gasoline after 340 miles -- as well as the inherent superior ability to generate heat in cold climates.
What is the bottom line on the Tesla Model S? First, if you haven't driven it, you don't know what you are talking about. Having driven almost all other electric cars to the tune of over 15,000 miles, plus so many of the other premium cars in the market, my recommendation is that if you are looking for a car in the $80,000 to $100,000 price range, you should put the Tesla Model S at the top of your list, by a wide margin. It's an eye-opener like the automotive world has never seen in its entire history.
In a few months, much of Tesla's appeal will hit the $50,000 car market, net of tax incentives. This will be even more devastating to other premium car makers, as a lot more people buy $50K cars as opposed to $100K cars.
If on the other hand you want an extended-range electric car and aren't willing to pay as much money, the Chevrolet Volt gives you some pieces of the Tesla Model S experience, plus its own advantages for only $30,000 plus taxes. You can't go wrong with either of these two cars, but if you have the extra money, the Tesla Model S is now the undisputed king of the automotive world.
At the time of submitting this article, the author was long TSLA, NVDA and AAPL.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.