Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Focus Electric And Nissan LEAF With Lowest Price Per Mile Of Range

9 months ago by Mark Kane 29

The Chevrolet Bolt EV arrives in December - can the 238 mile EV dent the "top 5" monthly sales debut?

The Chevrolet Bolt EV arrives in December – can the 238 mile EV dent the “top 5” monthly sales debut?

All-electric cars are becoming more and more affordable in terms of price per mile of EPA range, which is really the best proof of progress and market maturation for the segment.

This December brings once of the most crucial moments for this metric, with the arrival of the first of the 2nd generation EVs in the form of the Chevrolet Bolt EV – which at $154 MSRP per mile of EPA range ($126 including $7,500 tax credit) sets a new, and very low bar – thanks to its 60 kWh battery via LG Chem.

However somewhat surprisingly, second best is the new 2017 Ford Focus Electric thanks to its recent battery/range increase to 33.5 kWh/115 miles (up from 23 kWh/76 miles without a price bump), giving it a cost of $196/mile after the federal tax credit.

The Nissan LEAF with a 30 kWh battery, good for 107 miles (and some ~$3,500 cheaper in 2017) is third best at $225.

While we expect more good news with new Nissan LEAF shortly, and a price announcement for the Hyundai IONIQ Electric that will likely place it in the top 4, the unexpected result is how much distance from the leaders the “best value” Tesla Model S has lost in just a few weeks time (the Tesla was often the leader of the rankings in the past).

Ordered by MSRP per EPA range

BEVs price (MSRP + DST) per mile of EPA range comparison – U.S. (Dec 2, 2016) – some models estimated

BEVs price (MSRP + DST) per mile of EPA range comparison – U.S. (Dec 2, 2016) – some models estimated

Ordered by price (MSRP + DST) per EPA range

BEVs price (MSRP + DST) per mile of EPA range comparison – U.S. (Dec 2, 2016) – some models estimated

BEVs price (MSRP + DST) per mile of EPA range comparison – U.S. (Dec 2, 2016) – some models estimated

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29 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Focus Electric And Nissan LEAF With Lowest Price Per Mile Of Range"

  1. OntarioLeaf says:

    Tesla and Nissan may not be ‘leaders’ in this metric, but I for one will think twice before I buy a car from the members of that ‘Automobile alliance’ that started pushing against EPA standards.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Unfortunately it’s not that “simple” and you shouldn’t base your purchasing decisions on those sorts of things.

      By the same reasoning, you should move out of the US if you don’t like Trump.

      Relationship and associations in these kinds of scenarios are never that simplistic and I wouldn’t be so quick to fault GM or another manufacturer for something that an alliance they belong to does.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Exactly. GM and Mitsubishi have two of the top selling EVs in USA and Europe, but most of the other automakers in the AFAM have done very little in the way of electrification. So what position should the AFAM take on EV mandates when most of its members are against them?

        Should GM, Mitsubishi, and BMW pull out of the AFAM entirely over this one issue? As you said, that’s like moving out of the U.S. over Trump.

  2. Tyl Young says:

    Way to go Chevrolet Bolt! Let’s hope this automobile is a huge success. Chevrolet/General Motors must now build out a nation/world wide network of chargers to make traveling around the nation/world in a General Motors/Chevy Bolt effortless.

  3. JyKiaNiro says:

    The bolt is 60kwh usable, while the other cars listed are the total battery size.

    1. Cavaron says:

      Price per mile of range doesn’t include battery size in its formular.

      But imho the Bolt is heavily subsidized by GM. My guess is: they selling it at a loss like Toyota did with the first generation Prius.

      But let’s see what happens in 2017.

    2. unlucky says:

      Given the Tesla Model S 60 and 70 are both actually 75kWh packs I don’t really agree with your assertion that list is by pack size.

      It’s sort of somewhere in between.

    3. AlphaEdge says:

      Is it not price divide by EPA range?

  4. Texas FFE says:

    There’s a Bolt EV in Premier trim at the Fort Worth Auto Show this weekend. The Fort Worth Auto Show is usually not well representated with the latest models and I was really surprised to see a Bolt here. The Chevrolet representative said that there’s a big push to get the Bolt to all the auto shows in preparation for the nation wide role out after the 1st of the year.

    So it looks like Chevrolet is really serious about selling the Bolt. If Chevrolet keeps this kind of push up we may all be surprised by Bolt sales. The FW Auto Show lasts through Sunday if you want to get a look at a Bolt in Premier trim.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Well this made an impression on me. The only EVs I’m really interested in besides the Bolt are the Hyundai Ioniq and the 2017 Ford Focus Electric and neither the Ioniq nor the FFE are represented at the Fort Worth Auto Show. It looks neither Ford nor Hyundai are as interested in selling electric vehicles in Texas as Chevrolet is.

      BTW, the 30 kWh Nissan Leaf has been represented at the FW Auto Show the last two years running.

    2. Texas FFE says:

      I made a comment on a previous article about how I thought the Bolt would make a good work/delivery vehicle with the rear seats pulled out because of the flat floor. I got a good look at the rear seats at the auto show and I don’t think the floor will be flat without the rear seats. There appears to be a bulge under the rear seats that I believe is part of the battery pack.

      I read that the rear seats sat on the battery pack but that really didn’t make sense until now. You could still probably pull the rear seats and use the Bolt as a delivery/work vehicle but you would need to accommodate the battery pack bulge. There is a lot of cargo space behind the front seats and it does look very functional but there is not really a flat floor unless you lay the rear seats down any put down the storage compartment cover.

      That storage compartment cover doesn’t look very strong, I doubt it’s rated for more than a hundred pounds. If you are going to haul bricks or fertilizer or anything heavy like that you better remove the storage compartment cover or you will probably crush it.

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This is one of the reason why Bolt got so many awards already.

    I just checked with 5 of my local Chevy dealers, they all said that every one of their “allocated” and “pre-ordered” Bolt are sold. They won’t have any open allocations until January/February at earliest. I live in the SF Bay Area.

    Sounds like it will fly off the dealer lot for the first 6 months for sure.

    1. Fabian says:

      Agreed, I have seen this firsthand while working with some of the largest GM dealers in central Cali trying to get a Bolt. BOLTS are SOLD OUT till next calendar year.

  6. HotPotato says:

    Just read that GM is requiring all Bolt dealers to install an 80 kw DC fast charger. That’s interesting since a) GM said they weren’t going to do any charger build-out and b) IIRC they have been quoting DCFC charge times at 50 kW.

    If the car can charge at 80kW, and if GM has the brains to require dealers to make the chargers customer-accessible (it’s only saying they must be in the service bay), then they would be at less of a disadvantage to Tesla’s network of 125kW superchargers…especially if they included a certain amount of free access, as Tesla reportedly is planning to do for the Model 3.

    1. JP White says:

      @HotPotato

      Yes GM said they would not build out the DC Fast charge network. They still aren’t, their dealers are building the network out for them. It costs GM nothing to build a network if it becomes a requirement for the dealer in order to sell the car.

  7. Rennie Allen says:

    By this metric my Toyota Mirai costs (after credits) $79 / mile of range. And it charges to full capacity in 5 minutes.

    57,500 – 35,500 (tax credits and rebates) + 2,840 (tax on the original 57,500 – tax that would have been on 22,000) = 24,840 / 312 (range in miles) = $79 per mile of range

    1. CrazyRichCoog says:

      I wish Toyota would release the Mirai outside of California. I would totally buy one.

      1. CharlesB says:

        Wish if you want, but where can you refuel it today, outside of California? Only a few places…

    2. SparkEV says:

      Mirai is better compared to Geo Metro; they both perform about the same, must go to filling station, seats 4 (though some Metro seats 5). Since you can’t buy new Metro, you can use $600 used one that need $200 worth of repairs for comparison.

      $800/400 = $2/mile

      What’s wrong with this figure? Same thing that’s wrong with comparing Mirai that you must spent tens of minutes to drive/fill up to plug-ins that take 10 seconds to plug in.

    3. Roy_H says:

      Holy crap, I didn’t realize that there could be $35,500 (tax credits and rebates) on FCVs and some people complain about the $7500 tax credit for BEVs! This really highlights the strength of the fossil fuel lobbyists.

  8. Texas FFE says:

    All the state and federal tax credits and rebates are wrecking havoc on the resale value of electric vehicles. In addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit, Colorado has a $6,000 tax credit, California has a $2,500 rebate and even Texas has a $3,500 rebate for low income households. Because of all these incentives the value of EVs drops by at least $10,000 before you even put the first mile on your new car regardless of what state you live in.

    This creates a real problem for people that want a new EV but are not eligible for some of the incentives. Do you pay the higher price when you know people are spending a lot less for the exact same car or are you going to put off buying until you can get the car used for a lot, lot less? This is a problem that is unique to electric vehicles and I’m sure is really hurting new EV sales in states that don’t have extra EV incentives.

    All this changing technology is also really hurt EV resale value. My FFE is almost the same car as it was when it was new four years ago but it’s only worth about 15% of what it sold for new. Until EV resale values stabilize and start to act more like ICE vehicles many people are going to be too afraid to put money into an EV just to watch it disappear.

    1. Larry says:

      Good analysis. Living in a state with no incentives (and extra charge for licensing an EV) I see very very few other EV’s on the road around here.

    2. Spider-Dan says:

      At this point in the life cycle of EV tech, you’re better off either a) buying an EV and driving it until the wheels fall off or b) leasing.

      No matter how you slice it, with the combination of rebates/credits and rapidly-advancing tech, EVs are a HEAVILY depreciating asset.

    3. unlucky says:

      Beyond the incentives the cars are improving so rapidly that used models can’t compare to new ones well.

      You say your FFV is the same vehicle it was when you got it. That’s much of the problem. Prices have come down. And features (charge rates, DC, range, etc.) have gone up. Someone who is buying a 4 year old EV is going to require a big discount to make up for what they are giving up.

      This will continue for a while as EVs rapidly improve.

      Look at your car, it was $40,000 4 years ago. In a few weeks you will be able to get a Bolt for less than that. And the Bolt will have 3x the range, DC fast charging (optional, but still for less than the price of your car).

  9. unlucky says:

    It’s not really fair to compare vehicles that aren’t out yet!

    You can’t get a Bolt yet. As much as I like to think of it as real the only fair test is to only compare vehicles that actually can be bought.

    You don’t have the Ioniq on the list because you can’t get it yet (in the US). You shouldn’t have the Bolt either.

    And I’m a big Bolt fan.

  10. fpk says:

    What about the Ioniq EV?

  11. Chris says:

    This is old. It has the old price for the Model S 60 and 60D cars. Remember they increased the price by $2000 on those cars on November 22nd for new orders. There are no inventory cars to speak of.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It isn’t old, the pricing was updated literally 2 days ago. What it is was that we missed updating one model on the chart. Will make the change now for future graphs.

  12. Jim Stack says:

    The LEAF is a higher cost when you factor in the battery capacity loss that no other vehicle has. In HOT areas that really ups the cost. Not quite as bad in cooler areas but still far worse than any others.