Op-Ed: Chevrolet Bolt Makes 200-Mile, $30,000 Electric Car A Reality – Sorry Tesla

2 years ago by Peder Norby 200

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt 5 Door

Chevrolet Bolt 5 Door

A 200-mile electric car for the masses, at around a $35,000 price point, I’m sure you’ve heard the hype around that promise from a company called Tesla.

However,…it’s Chevy that did it, not Tesla.

The world now has a 200-mile EV for $30,000 (after tax incentives). It’s a real car (concept) shown at a major auto show except surprisingly, it has a Chevy badge, not a Tesla badge.

It exists as the Chevrolet Bolt in close to final form and is being demonstrated to the world with the heritage and reputation of GM standing behind the statements and the car.

The Chevy Bolt may or may not make it to market with 200 miles of range, but I suspect GM’s real target here is the deflation of Musk’s Tesla Model hype balloon.  It gets to be serious competition for Tesla from this point forward as the automaker marches towards a high-volume production car.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Tesla stock in the next few days and weeks. A significant portion of the stock valuation is based not on the current lower volume models such as the Model S or Model X, but rather on the promise of a much higher volume 200-mile, $35,000 Tesla Model 3

Heretofore, many investors and EV enthusiast thought that only the genius of Elon Musk and Tesla could produce and bring forward into this world…such a car.

Well, pop that balloon.

Tesla Growth Roadmap

Tesla Growth Roadmap

GM now has an affordable and darn attractive 200-mile EV and the automaker has the motive and means to produce loads of them. The Tesla Model 3 exists so far only as a press release and in the wonderfully captivating oratories of Elon Musk.

BMW gets design kudos here as well, as the Chevy Bolt drives much of its outward appearance from the BMW i3. I would have guessed it to be the BMW i5 if this car had rolled down the isle with badging from BMW. You know what they say about imitation!

A coup d’état has just happened in the automotive world.

Bravo Tesla, Nissan and BMW for getting us to this point in the pure EV world.

Now, it’s a race to the future from this point on for all manufactures, and that race has just been joined in a big way by General Motors.

Let the race to millions of EVs begin.

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200 responses to "Op-Ed: Chevrolet Bolt Makes 200-Mile, $30,000 Electric Car A Reality – Sorry Tesla"

  1. Bret says:

    love the look of the new Bolt and would love to buy one. Big kudos to Chevy of they can pull this off and I’ll bet they can.

    My second though it, I hate all of the Tesla bashing. There will definitely be a Model 3 and plenty of room for both cars to compete. I suspect there will be lot’s of drivers who pay $5-10K more for a Model 3 or long range i3, over the Bolt. There will be plenty more who want to pay less. It’s all good for EV adoption.

    Long range at a reasonable cost is the biggest issue facing EV adoption. Let’s hope Chevy, Tesla, BMW, VW and others can deliver it.

    1. Assaf says:

      +0.9

      (took off 0.1 b/c you forgot to mention Nissan)

      Let’s not fall into Sharks vs. Jets vs. Bolts vs. Teslas vs. Leafs.

      High-volume kick-ass EVs by as many automakers as possible, is a win-win.

      The real enemies are the oil industry, the anti-EV automakers, and the media and politicians that they’ve bought. Let us not forget that.

      1. Lustuccc says:

        Exactly, but I don’t understant the article talking about an actual product.

        If I compare both :
        Tesla 3 : 2017, $35000 200 miles garanteed and high quality if we refer to what tesla has given us.

        Bolt, 2017, $37500, 200 miles range (maybe), and an Aveo or Fit look.

        And where are the GM recharge stations?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Where you went wrong in your comment was assuming Tesla Model 3 will be available by 2017. Their estimates always slide to the right (see Model S, Model X) and Tesla’s will be no exception.

          GM has a concept on display, Tesla has none.

          I agree that we need to push for all EV’s we can from every automaker. Your comment just shows your bias for one automaker and your bias against another. That should end.

          1. kdawg says:

            Also, Tesla prices slip. I’m guessing the Model 3 will be $35K after tax credits.

            1. Brian says:

              Careful there. Didn’t GM’s prices slip too? I believe the Volt arrived on time, but I recall them saying that it would be under $30,000. When it did arrive, it started at $40,000, which is still $32,500 after the tax credit.

              If we are going to be unbiased, let’s be truly unbiased.

              1. Assaf says:

                Ugh, still Jetting vs. Sharking it, guess we can’t kick the habit.

                Go Seahawks !!!! 🙂

                1. Assaf says:

                  Lest I be misunderstood, here’s a spelled-out clarification.

                  Today is a huge day in EV history, because the countdown to a competitive market for long-range affordable BEVs has started for real. Yes, we’re not sure whether it’ll be 2017 or 2020, but it’s somewhere thereabouts.

                  (an aside: everyone here is forgetting the automaker who’s closest to actually launching such a product… but never mind).

                  It’s a win-win. So it’s huge. I wasn’t sure we’ll see that day soon enough, before other things derail that market. Now I’m far more hopeful.

                  1. Lustuccc says:

                    All big carmakers produce tens of concept cars each years… It is not because Tesla do not speak about the Model 3 that they do not have a work in progress and on the contrary to GM or other we can be absolutely sure that they are firmly determined to produce it in large numbers.

                    On the other hand, GM will not get the Bolt on the market if they can get rid of Tesla.

                    And on my third hand 🙂 the timing of the announcement Bolt is also way to soften the poor improvements of the Volt 2.0.

                    1. Mike says:

                      Yes, Tesla has a concept car, you just don’t get to see it.
                      GM and Tesla’s 200 mile cars are both vaporware at this point.

                      On the other hand Tesla has a track record of continuous improvements to what it does bring to market.

                      And so does GM.

                      I think both companies are doing great.

                      I think if peter-norby is looking to SHORT a Stock, he should look at FORD and Chrysler. Neither of them are even relevant in the EV space.

            2. Lustuccc says:

              Model S was announced at $54900 (49900 after incentives) and it came out exactly at that price.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                and then cancells the model before it was EVER produced…

                Geez, so much confidence in that one.

                Ever since launch, the price of Model S has ONLY been going up higher with more features added. Even the S60D version is NOW cancelled as well…

                I won’t be surprised that eventually the S60 version will be cancelled as well due to “low demand”.

                1. LuStuccc says:

                  There were actually orders for the S40 and they got S60 for the same price 🙂

            3. Panda Be says:

              I’d rather have the better car which costs less and is actually much more American made, the Tesla 3.

              http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/detroit-auto-show/news/a24761/musk-tesla-model-3-will-be-cheaper-than-chevy-bolt/

          2. Lustuccc says:

            Model S was 8 moths late only and Model X is delayed because Model S sells like crazy.

            So I hold on 2017.

            1. James says:

              Go Seahawks!!! +1000

              1. James says:

                Peder – what do you seriously have against Tesla?!

                You’re making a fool of yourself and IE.com for running such a foolish Op Ed.

                Right out of the gate, you state “It’sChevy did it, not Tesla”. ( ?! ) What – exactly – did Chevy do other than make a concept car for the 2015 NAIAS and write up some interesting PR copy?

                Show me where GM makes the announcement that this car has the green light for production.

                Then, you just go off and ramble on a premise that is moot. There is no Bolt – it’s a c-o-n-c-p-t c-a-r.

                Timing of this concept car was spurred on by the construction of the Gigafactory in Nevada, and if we’re talking concept to prototype, Tesla surely has a big lead with Model 3. In order for engineers to get their feet wet and start planning this project, management has to give it the A-OK. They haven’t. So far, it’s a lot of talk and a nice small CUV that might not even go over 10mph, and surely is not road-ready.

                1. James says:

                  Peder, I am excited about this concept car – not the name, mind you – BOLT?! Remember GM first called EV-1, the “Impact”! They took a lot of ribbing, and finally saw how silly the name really was.

                  Just remember it is a concept car. GM has stated it intends to make a 200 mile BEV from the next gen Sonic platform, but what that car will look like, and it’s timeline is so up in the air at this point.

                  Tom M. said he thought the Bolt looked like the child of a Honda Fit and an i3. I thought that was a pretty good assessment. The Bolt concept looks great for a CUV. If one is set on a CUV form factor, this is as good as it gets, and it makes i3 look even more like the star of the movie: “Honey I Shrunk The Minivan!”. Definitely GM had i3 in it’s sights as well as the calculated statement directed towards Tesla – the size and format of the vehicle, plus it’s color and wheels suggest as much.

                  Look to this perhaps hollow piece of show material to end up looking somewhat different by production day. It also needs three-across seating in back.

                  Hope they actually go through with it. As everyone seems to be saying, competition is key for the BEV genre to take off.

        2. srsf says:

          Lets not forget the Tesla charge stations ONLY WORK for Teslas.

          A broader reach and a more successful market means working with more than just your own brand. J1772 can work up to 19.2KW (~80 miles of range in 1 hour varying by what the automaker chooses to equip with) and are present or compatible with 100% (ALL) of the shipping EVs.

          So the Tesla charge network, paid for by the price of $2500 up front per vehicle (so NOT free), is only for it’s own high end customers. Try to charge your Leaf, BMW or ANY other car there and see what you get accomplished.

          A mass market vehicle won’t be able to always reach one of these very few locations and must rely on a faster local network and that means supporting the 100% available standard.

          Encourage the deployment of more faster AC J1772 and we’ll get more infrastructure out there faster and for more vehicles.

          1. See Through says:

            Rav4 EV and Merdedes Benz ED both have charging issues all the time, as they use Tesla battery packs and charging mechanism.

          2. Lou says:

            Really, the problem here is the reverse of your argument. Tesla has a (relatively)huge network of fast charging, GM has none. GM and other OEM’s will likely(or should)start talking to Tesla about buying into their Supercharging network. As soon as I saw the announcement and then looked at the Bolt, my mind wandered and started asking about where I would charge this car if I drove it past the local confines that I usually drive? The 200 mile range is great(and GM does a nice job predicting range on the Volt, so I accept that 200 or more is probably accurate). However, if GM sticks with the CCS standard, there are VERY FEW of them in existence. At least the CHaDeMo group can point to QC’s in the several hundreds. My sense is that GM certainly anticipated this problem and are likely to buy into Tesla’s system as well as install a network of CCS units at its dealerships(al la Nissan).

            Lou

      2. Speculawyer says:

        “Let’s not fall into Sharks vs. Jets vs. Bolts vs. Teslas vs. Leafs.”

        Are you kidding? Definitely, The Sharks! Joe Thorton is back, Melker Karlsson is on fire, Pavs has the wicked one-timer, Burn’s slap-shot is deadly. Sharks!

  2. Allen Helton says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope the “Bolt” makes it into production with the specifications that are being advertised. But this is just a “Concept Car” That means it may only be a shell, sitting on a “VOLT” chassis, or maybe it doesn’t even have a motor or battery attached at this point. Anybody can park a concept car on a runway and claim that it will fly to the moon propelled only by fairy dust. When a functioning production prototype is put on display, I will be more impressed.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      My solution to see if the concept car is a real working car is to go there. And drive the Bolt to Sal Ste Marie Michigan . If the bolt runs out of EV range before it reaches Sal Ste Marie Michigan then it most likely is a dud.

    2. JakeY says:

      Exactly. Major automakers release concepts every year, a vast majority of which never get produced (and the ones produced tend to not be anywhere close to the concept).

      1. Lustuccc says:

        As I see it, if ICE automakers can get rid of tesla before the Model 3, we will never see such carslike this Bolt on the market.
        It is only a commercial war against tesla, they have no intentions of mass produce long range EVs.

        1. kdawg says:

          LOL, its 2007 all over again. Here come the Vaporware comments.

          And @ Allen Helton, they drove the Bolt onto the stage. It wasn’t stationary/parked. Not saying it’s a final product, but it’s more than a clay model.

          1. MTN Ranger says:

            It’s not that hard for GM, they have the excellent Spark EV drivetrain that just needs a larger battery. The main reason for a 2017 launch is due to LG Chem’s batteries will be ready.

        2. BraveLilToaster says:

          Exactly. It’s not 2017 yet, nobody is selling this car yet, and as the Volt vs. Leaf competition has proven, I have every confidence that nobody is going to be able to predict the results until the roulette wheel has stopped spinning.

          GM has long shown that they (like every other big carmaker) can produce concept cars all day long. Most of them never make it to showroom floors though, so who knows if they’ll be able to meet their deadlines, etc, etc. Even if Tesla is late to market, there have been more examples than I’d care to list of companies that showed up second and still won the marathon.

  3. Anon says:

    Elon is getting exactly what he wants– accelerated global transition to BEVs, and someone serious to compete with. 🙂

    Bolt will make the Model III even better.

    1. Scott Franco says:

      And (reading the article elsewhere here), Elon was at the show lecturing the automakers about not moving fast enough on EVs. I wonder if he saw the Bolt before or after his tongue lashing.

    2. Nix says:

      Yes, even if Elon loses to intense and heavy competition, he still wins. Because his goal has always been about getting EV’s out there, not just selling the most Tesla’s.

      And GM’s Bolt wins a tiny victory every time a Tesla P85D goes viral on the net blowing another super car out of the water in a street race. It just helps defeat the mental block that EV’s are slow and a punishment to drive.

      1. John F says:

        Perhaps when GM wants to compete with the all wheel drive P85D, they will introduce a prototype and call it the JOLT.

  4. Competition is good. Tesla has been pushing the OEMs for a while now. They may be getting ready to push back now. However the Bolt is just a concept now, and GM isn’t guaranteeing it will go to production. That said, the GM spokespeople here at NAIAS seem very bullish about this getting the green light for production. 2017/2018 will be VERY interesting times for EVs.

    1. Warren says:

      I can’t imagine they could show this car, and make the statements they have without already being committed to production. If they back down now, they will lose any chance of future EV sales.

      That said, with global deflation fears a real possibility, they and many other OEMs may be bankrupt again before they have a chance to bring it out.

  5. Josephus says:

    My guess is that Musk’s response to the Bolt will be something like:

    Good job Chevy. I hope other manufactures get on the band wagon too. That’s Tesla’s goal. I think people will prefer the model 3’s price and performance more than the Bolt, but I hope Chevy keeps improving their concept. And we will be hitting the market with more availability sooner than the Bolt.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well, Tesla definitely stands to gain more EV parts availability with more car companies making EVs. There are lots of locking mechanisms, controllers, window motors, vacuum pumps, and all sorts of other parts that will become cheaper as the EV market grows.

  6. bennyd says:

    It took the vision and tenacity of Elon and Tesla to get GM to produce a 200mile range electric mass market car. If Elon decides to pursue getting us to Mars instead, then go for it! The deed is done…

    1. Mr. Electric says:

      My take: it just took battery technology from LG Chem and a strong regulatory market in California.

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      I think as of now Elon Musk is the US Space Program without Space X there would be no space program. The reasoning is that Orin the money pit rocket won’t be ready in ten years. While this year Elon is working on landing a rocket onto a floating raft. He has also started building his company’s version of a Moon Rocket as of now.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        ORION – O – RI – ON.

        Scottys turn to be a d**k today 🙂

  7. x says:

    I realy think that Gm should be commended for this effort, Bolt that is
    But:

    “However,…it’s Chevy that did it, not Tesla.”

    That is simply not true. They presented just a concept. Admittedly, tesla didn’t show a concept yet of the M3 but as of now none of them DID IT, as you’ve put it.
    Concept.. in 2 years….
    Already the price we’ve learned is 37.5k not 30k, who knows what other “gotchas” would surface in 2 years. manufacturing capacity being one of the unknowns.

    So not so fast.. none of the 2 copanies DID IT.

    maybe who knows Ford or Nissan will do it first (i.e. have a car available for sale, for the price range advertised and not only on West Coast).
    I think Ford Jr implied that they might have an announcement to make, because Ford Focus EV is a living proof of management incompeteny.. to be outsold by Leaf by 10:1 or so for the same price although Focus is far better looking and more of a “brand” I would say than Nissan it’s a proof of incompetent imbecile management decissions (no fast charge, limited trunk, out of sync price, etc)

  8. IDK says:

    Glad GM had their “Tesla study group” get the Bolt going. It’s only a concept at this point with no firm price tag or delivery date. Remember what the Volt concept car looked like? The more EV choices the better. I think when the Model 3 is shown it will raise the bar.

    1. kdawg says:

      You never get the price till right before they go on sale.

      1. IDK says:

        Exactly!

  9. Bob says:

    “The world now has a 200-mile EV for $30,000 (after tax incentives).”

    Great! Where can I buy one?

    A couple more questions, in the interest of playing Devil’s Advocate:

    – Are people going to line up to buy a $37,500 subcompact? I, for one, would rather wait six months/a year/what have you and buy an actual car-sized BEV that can accommodate four normal-sized people and is built by a manufacturer with some engineering and manufacturing maturity in the segmant.

    – How is GM’s charging station infrastructure vis-à-vis Tesla?

    1. kdawg says:

      How does waiting a year change a car from a compact to not a compact? What company(s) are you referring to that are ‘mature’?

      1. David says:

        I think he’s saying that the Bolt looks like a small car, a subcompact, were the majority of the market is in CUV/SUV/midsize cars. Tesla is planning to build a larger more mainstream car. They have a network of fast chargers where GM has none at all. Tesla has more experience building BEVs than GM.

        1. Bob says:

          Yes, yes, yes and yes – thank you David.

        2. QCO says:

          Are they? Who really knows what the Model 3 looks like or in which segment it fits. It certainly will not be Model S sized.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            No but it certainly won’t be a Zoe copy paste sized vehicle but more in line with a Prius sized one.

    2. Warren says:

      I have no interest in a “car-sized car.” I am interested in saving energy/resources/CO2 for future generations. All you can eat buffets, and super-sizing is so last century!

      1. Bob says:

        Skipping buffets will do nothing to curb someone’s height. A subcompact isn’t a desirable option for most – I certainly don’t see Tesla venturing into this segment.

        1. LuStuccc says:

          They will in time with a $10000, 200 miles subcompact in 5 – 7 years

        2. Warren says:

          Overall car size has little to do with height. The Smart Fortwo is much easier to get in and out of than a Tesla S, and has more head room.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        Electric or not a car-sized car is needed for a family going to the supermarket or on vacation as much as a basket shoe must be as foot sized a a regular shoe. People, children, babies, groceries or luggages don’t shrink when you go electric! The same for the front crumple zone lenght. Tesla will probably not compromise on that neighter.

    3. Someone out there says:

      Why would GM make their own infrastructure? I’m sure they are intelligent enough to use a standard that is already out there

  10. Anthony says:

    I’m curious why people are comparing the Bolt with the Model 3. The Model 3 is a luxury car. The Bolt is a Chevrolet (I don’t mean any thing negative by that, but Chevys are not luxury).

    I’m not going to cross-shop the Bolt and Model 3.

    1. x says:

      Well maybe because
      a. comparable range
      b. same price bracket

      I would argue that these are the 2 main things about evs , nowadays.

      Besides as far as I can recall M3 wasn’t deemed as luxury by tesla, BMW 3 series is not luxury I would presume, maybe entry-level luxury.

      1. kdawg says:

        Yes, I thought the Model 3 was to be an entry-level, every-man’s car. Not an exclusive luxury vehicle.

    2. Josh says:

      The real effect of all this attention is more people looking at plug-ins in general as mainstream vehicles. If Tesla was the only company to every produce EVs, the market would remain small.

  11. Aaron says:

    Until the Bolt is produced, it’s just as much vaporware as the Tesla Model 3. No one has “won” this race yet.

    1. kdawg says:

      But the hare is pulling away from the tortoise. Tesla needs to get their 2nd wind. Hopefully this puts the pressure on.

      1. Josh says:

        Who is the hare and who is the tortoise? And what is Nissan?

    2. DonC says:

      If there was a race it’s over. There is a spectrum of concept cars. Some are purely design exercises which will never be produced. Some may or may not go into production. Some are almost production ready. The Bolt is in the latter category.

      GM has announced a production date. GM generally does not miss its production dates.

      The Model 3? Well before you can have a car that fits into any category of a “concept car” you need an actual prototype. Doesn’t seem like Tesla is even at this step. That’s the point of the comparison, actually.

      1. John Hansen says:

        Production ready? Did you see the futuristic white dashboard and the all glass roof? That’s a concept car, not a production ready vehicle. As others have pointed out, there’s no telling what battery is in there either. For all we know there’s a 2kwh battery in there, enough to drive it onto the stage and back. On the other hand, Tesla has been selling the Model S, with better specs, for a few years now, and their task is to basically downsize it and cut costs. That’s also a formidable challenge, but at least there aren’t any unknowns with Teslas plan, whereas GM has never done anything like this before.

        Also, I hope GM all the best and I would be happy to buy one of these in a couple years, assuming that they roll out a usable fast charging infrastructure by then.

  12. ggpa says:

    Why is Bolt a 4 seater? GM got beaten up daily about the Volt. I thought they took that lesson to heart.

    I assume model 3 will seat 5.

    1. Josh says:

      And ironically the Model S got turned into a 4 (+2) seater today too, with the executive seating option.

      1. koz says:

        Unfortunately for who? That’s a luxury option. 5 seats are still standard.

        1. Josh says:

          I didn’t say unfortunately. I said ironically.

          Everyone (including me) has been waiting years for the Volt to move from 4 seat to 5 (optionally). And the day it does, Model S goes from 5 seats to 4 (optionally).

          They are two completely different cars and it is a smart move by both companies. It is just ironic.

    2. David says:

      Agreed. The Bolt is a 4 seater. Too small for mainstream. They should make it a little bigger and make it a 5 seater.
      That said, if they were to actually ship the Bolt, I’d consider it long and hard, but would prefer a Tesla or even Nissan for similar price with similar range if its bigger.

  13. Josh says:

    I think you are jumping the gun on the Bolt vs. Model 3 comparisons.

    Nissan has stated on many occasions that LEAF 2.0 will have more range. I still think they will be to market before the Bolt and Model 3.

    Remember plug-ins are still ~1% of the market. There are a ton of Civic/Accord/Corolla/Camry sales to eat into. Yep, Honda and Toyota are playing this game on the sidelines right now.

  14. Lou Grinzo says:

    I’m glad (but not surprised) to see that people on this site are taking a cautious approach to this news. This is a very promising vehicle, but it is also a concept car, with just enough time between now and the showroom floor for quite a few details to change. (Do I really need to remind people how much the Volt changed from concept to product?)

    I think it’s reasonable to say that we’re about to enter a phase we can call “EV 3.0”, with EV 1.0 being everything pre-Volt and pre-Leaf, EV 2.0 being from then until the release of the Bolt/Leaf 2.0 (and possibly some other vehicles), and 3.0 beginning sometime in 2017.

    And as software developers will tell you, v3.0 is almost always the first really good release, once design mistakes and bugs are fixed, and the technology matures a bit. I think it’s just another way in which EVs are similar to the early days of the PC.

    Anyway. Onward and upward.

  15. Tech01x says:

    Why doesn’t Mr. Norby ask the tough questions to GM before proclaiming that GM did it? They haven’t done anything yet. The Bolt wasn’t shown in prototype form, much less near production form. It’s a concept car. Remember the Volt concept car?

    Tesla has already made 2 different BEVs with 200+ mile EPA range.

    Has anyone bothered to ask how GM came up with their 200 mile range estimate? Is this EPA standard range testing? What is their watts/mile? What is their battery size? What is their battery weight? How do they get their weight down and still hit the price target? Will they expect to produce Bolts at a negative gross margin?

    Be journalists first.

  16. George Parrott says:

    I applaud GM/Chevy for showing this “concept car,” and telling us “it is coming.” OTOH, I really question the writer of this piece implying that this car is “here now” and something GM has “one-upped” Tesla with. Tesla chooses to not show yet their work on an affordable Gen 3 car, but one REAL issue/concern that this piece’s author missed entirely and is noted by some comments here: The lack of actual fast charge port at ALL and the CLEAR PROMISE for the Model 3 Tesla to be able to use the Tesla Supercharger network. Having a “big battery” EV demands truly fast charging access and currently Tesla has the only game in town for EV powered long distance travel/use.

    1. pjwood says:

      So true, George. Good luck with the new car. I probably shouldn’t use pseudonyms so much, between several car sites.

      Looking at and conceptualizing supercharging on internet forums is a whole lot different than seeing them, or using them, near where you live. It drives home what’s real, and what’s vapor.

  17. Mr. Electric says:

    What’s interesting to me is that GM is producing this car without the benefit of a gigafactory. So, what is the purpose of the Tesla gigafactory? Will it leapfrog GM’s battery price/performance? Or has it turned out that the factory is necessary only for scale/capacity, and not for cost? Or will it turn out not to have been necessary at all?

    1. Tech01x says:

      GM’s gets its batteries for the Volt and the upcoming Bolt from Compact Power in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem.

      This facility has a nameplate capacity of about 1 gigawatt-hour, but has never run that high. That’s enough for about 60,000 Volts or 20,000 Bolts. Note the “or” which means unless GM secures battery supply from elsewhere, the Bolt is likely to see production at less than 10,000 units per year. That assumes that the Volt sells well at 30,000 units per year.

    2. arne-nl says:

      “GM is producing this car without the benefit of a gigafactory”

      Uuhm, GM is producing exactly nothing.

      If they want to sell serious numbers of the Bolt, they will need a Gigafactory of some sorts. A bunch of Megafactories might do as well.

  18. JakeY says:

    “It exists as the Chevrolet Bolt in close to final form..”
    I’m not sure where you got this as GM surely doesn’t claim that. They have no promised release date nor any firm specs. If you look at the details, it’s quite clear this is quite for from production ready. For example, the concept shown doesn’t have a DC Charging port that the press release claims it has.

  19. Ivan says:

    Seriously? Is this article even for real?

    First off, I can’t think of anyone who would buy Bolt over Model 3 if they are in the same price range.

    Second, only Tesla will be able to have enough battery production capacity to sell a lot of these cars (250,000+ per year)

    Finally, after driving Bolt for 200 miles how would I charge it on the road? Tesla by then will have a superchargers everywhere.

    And who called Bolt beautiful? Seriously?

  20. pjwood says:

    I’m also glad Bolt looks good enough for some to claim victor, but back on planet earth..

    How much more would Chevy have to put into the hopeful 200-mile utility hatch, to get it to sell instead of a 37.5k Tesla, right next to it?

    The companies have two stocks, and if the consumer story is the same as the investor story, Tesla won’t have to do a lot more than show up.

  21. Marshal G says:

    The Bolt prototype is impressive and quite frankly I didn’t think any established manufacturer would come out with a 200 mile EV until Tesla started really taking volume sales away (not just the high end). As others have stated neither the Bolt nor the Model 3 are available to purchase, but Elon has said they could make one today but it wouldn’t be compelling. Ford has said they COULD make one also. I think all the OEM’s have something up their sleeves, but are waiting on battery costs to fall. I was surprised GM unveiled their entry so early, so now it will be interesting to see if the other players show their cards. Remember Tesla unveiled the D literally right when they started taking orders for it.

    Personally I look forward to every little tidbit of info on InsideEV’s. I think the next couple of years are going to be very exciting.

  22. Dan says:

    This article seems a bit early and generous to Chevy.

    The concept for this car is good, but at there’s a lot of uncertainty over whether Chevy can pull it off. The Bolt is 2+ years away, and if it’s anything like the Volt debut then we can expect range to drop and the price to increase.

    Even if Chevy 100% executes, they’ve got a $37,500 and 200 mile car that competes with the Model III, but the Model III is going to be far more desirable. For a similar price, the Model 3 is a BMW 3 series competitor rather than a Honda Fit competitor. The Model 3 will also have the Supercharger network, and benefit from all that Tesla has learned about making pure BEV’s for the past 6 years or so.

    I’m glad to see both cars coming. It’s hard to imagine the Bolt outselling the Model 3 if they are priced similarly.

    1. kdawg says:

      Until we ever see a Model 3, you can’t say its better. I agree that Tesla has the edge on the SC network. Yes, Tesla has been making cars for 6 years, but GM has been doing it for over 100 years. They also have a lot more resources. Remember, Tesla even admits they are puny compared to the big boys.

      1. John Hansen says:

        To be fair, a useable fast charging infrastructure is less of an “edge” and more of a “deciding factor”. Without a fast charge network, the Bolt will be good for a trip 90 miles away and back, while the Tesla has a virtually unlimited range.

        1. kdawg says:

          Or 175 miles one way w/destination charging

      2. QCO says:

        Agree with kdawg… The Model 3 is completely unknown at this time. It may be just as small and similarly equipped because both companies are constrained by the same economics. Even Tesla’s Gigafactory advantage could be marginalized as LG builds up volume.

    2. DonC says:

      Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha! You have no idea what the Tesla will look like or perform like but you “know” it will be more desirable. Would you agree this is the definition of bias or fanboyism? You’re well beyond even judging the book by the cover. LOL

      No matter. I actually agree with you. I think the Tesla, assuming it appears, will be more desirable. I also think it will be at least twice as expensive.

      1. David says:

        GM fanbois come out.
        Elon has clearly and consistently stated a target price of $35k before tax credit. Quite an exaggeration to call that twice the price of the $37.5k Bolt.

  23. no comment says:

    if the Bolt is produced, i suspect that it will be sold in limited markets like the Spark. in essence, i would expect it to be primarily focused on the California market; which is not a bad idea since that is most of the market for EVs in the US.

    1. kdawg says:

      They did say “nationwide rollout”….

      1. no comment says:

        here is what GM actually said:

        “Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets”

        that is a statement of objective; it is not an actual commitment to sell the Bolt in every state (or even in any state, really).

        1. QCO says:

          Both the Volt and Bolt (if and when it arrives) appear to be bona fide volume production cars. Certainly the Volt is sold everywhere.

          But the Spark was only ever a tax credit manoever. That’s well understood.

          1. no comment says:

            it is *very* unlikely that the Bolt would have been introduced by the CEO of GM if there were no intention to actually sell the thing. as to the roll out, it seems very unlikely that they would roll it out nationwide simultaneously. yes, the Volt is sold nationwide but it was not sold nationwide from the date of introduction: there was a nationwide roll out schedule.

  24. Omar Sultan says:

    This has to be the dumbest thing I have read here in some time:

    “The world now has a 200-mile EV for $30,000” – um, no they don’t, they got to see a concept car that will hopefully arrive in thinnest two years.

    “It’s a real car (concept)” – So its the “military intelligence” and “jumbo shrimp” of the EV world

    “heritage and reputation of GM” – so, you should Google “GM recall”, you would have been better off referring to the killer customer sat for the Volt

    ” high-volume production car” – and where are the batteries coming for this? Current reporting is that the batteries are coming from the LG Chem Holland MI plant, so if 100% of that plant’s output went to the Bolt, it would be a max of 20K battery packs.

    I think GM should be congratulated for the vision, but it might be a wee bit early to declare victory.

    1. ffbj says:

      Pretty much right on to my way of thinking.
      The Bard wrote a play called “Much ado about nothing.” I think that applies to this real concept car. Oh gee willikers GM with all massive resources can make a concept.
      Heritage and reputation. The heritage of declaring bankruptcy and losing billions of the dollars share/bond holders possessed.
      Not to mention their criminal behavior in regards to defective equipment which caused deaths and disfiguring injuries, because they were hiding it.
      I hope the can succeed, and perhaps they will. A very speculative, article of little consequence, but Bill said it better.

  25. Doug says:

    So what GM has done is showed an empty shell concept body. Kudos.

    So how is this different from what Tesla has done? Nothing. Both products do not exist yet, and much engineering work needs to be done to bring them to fruition. Except that Tesla already has 200 mile EV technology in the real world, and GM doesn’t.

    So GM wants to bring out a Kia Sportage equivalent to compete with Tesla’s 3-series equivalent. Sounds like a winner…

  26. Scott Franco says:

    coup d’état means “blow or shock to the state”, that is, it signifies a major change to a goverment. A rapid change or revolution NOT referring to a government is simply a “coup” or “blow”.

    1. Peder says:

      I know, and “Shot across the Bow” and “Tesla Killer” don’t translate literally either.

      Using phrases in other than their direct meaning when writing is a commonly used literary device.
      🙂

      1. ffbj says:

        It’s more like it’s commonly misused literary device.
        This occurrence is more and more regular with the democratization of the internet,
        the quality of the commentary falls.
        For instance saying it is a ‘Bolt from the Blue’ would be accurate and includes a pun, though no one has used that so far to my knowledge. Inadequate, indifferent schooling.
        I guess what I am saying is that since mediocrity is the norm therefore mediocrity is excusable, is not palatable to me, though certainly many believe that to be the case.

  27. Ontario Leaf says:

    The more the merrier. Good effort by GM. If anything this should get all the other automakers to pay attention. If I’d be a conspiracy theorist I’d think that GM did this to deflate TSLA so it cuts their ability to invest and develop 🙂

    One thing GM does not have is the ‘cool factor’ Tesla has. People that do not know that Opel is part of GM do know or heard about Tesla. The brand recognition Tesla built is on par with Apple.
    Given their previous missteps, I will reserve judgment on GM. Tesla, they may or may not make it. The worse that can happen is that some bigger fish buys them.

    GM, well done though so far at this years NAIAS. Where is Toyota, Honda, Chrysler?

  28. realdb2 says:

    The biggest positive I can draw from all this is how fast the BEV world is changing.

    Not too long ago there were only 2 car companies in the world serious about electric cars: Tesla and Nissan.

    Sure many car companies dipped their toe but only 2 were serious.

    Now BMW has jumped on board and it appears GM is ready to jump.

    Like others have said I’m a little bit guarded by the fact this is a “concept” car but I remain cautiously optimistic.

    Exciting times!

  29. Scott Franco says:

    We need a charger spec to properly evaluate this car. If someone gives you a swimming pool of Coke to drink, it makes no difference if they only give you a straw.

  30. evnow says:

    Hmmm … this “op-ed” is really BS.

    The world doesn’t “have” a “real” 200 mile GM EV.

    Assuming GM will deliver as promised in terms of price, timeline and performance is also a stretch.

    Everyone remembers how Volt was going to be “comfortable below $30k”.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Everyone remembers how Volt was going to be “comfortable below $30k”.”

      It is after 2013 model and incentives…

      1. evnow says:

        No. This was before incentives were announced – according to Lutz.

  31. HVACman says:

    I’m not even paying much attention to the specifics of the body shape, color, or interiors. Anyone remember the original Volt concept? Looked like a muscle car, but how similar was the production-intent version to the concept when it was revealed? I remember all the cries of disappointment when the veil was pulled back and we saw that that was left was the slightly-stubby rear-end – the rest of the concept shape went to the new Camaro.

    The Bolt will see substantial changes inside and out once the production engineers start sweating the details. Production-intent reveals, such as we saw today for the Next Gen Volt – that’s when I’ll render an opinion.

    1. kdawg says:

      I also recall the Converj concept which looked almost identical to the production ELR.

      It can go both ways.

      Honestly, I care more about hitting the #’s than the looks. Not saying looks aren’t important too, but just make sure it gets the AER.

  32. taser54 says:

    I love how pro-tesla posters resort to the “it’s only a concept” re: the bolt, when for months they cited the model 3 as a given with no concept and no firm timetable for production.

    1. kdawg says:

      I new this article was going to make several people go “all Tesla” in this place.

    2. pjwood says:

      I could cut on both my favs, but in the spirit of Tesla, GM’s Proto-shapers reaching for a J1772 port was kinda lame.

  33. Ed says:

    It’s not a real car. It’s a concept. And GM would have never tried it if it weren’t for Tesla.

    Does anyone really think they intend this to be successful? Or is the purpose to say we tried it and people wouldn’t buy it? It’s going to be sold at Chevy dealers, after all.

    We need a prize for the first dealer to offer free oil changes with the purchase of a Bolt.

    1. EVadopter says:

      Here’s the thing: Tesla was first to successfully market a compelling EV.

      Period. End of story.

      Everybody (and I do mean EVERYBODY) followed, however unwillingly.

      If this “Bolt” comes to showrooms in 2017, it will be more than 10 YEARS after the first Tesla went on sale.

      And these will only represent GM’s first toddling baby steps towards what it thinks may eventually become a compelling FULLY ELECTRIC vehicle (GM has never made a serious electric – The EV1 an internal head-fake, the Volt primarily an ICE machine, and the Spark is not compelling or available as it is a compliance vehicle)

      TODDLING UNSTEADY BABY STEPS FOR BEGINNERS the GM is.

      The path blazed and ACED by Tesla more than a decade ago.

      Sorry Tesla critics, this is the electric big leagues and you’ve got a lot of catching up to do – so far behind! Toodaloo!

      1. kdawg says:

        “the Volt primarily an ICE machine”
        ——-
        I don’t think you understand how the Volt works.

        Note: Tesla so far has only made toys for rich boys. Until they make a “compelling” vehicle that Joe the Whatever can afford, they are still at square 1.

        1. EVadopter says:

          The biggest selling point of the Volt is that it can go 380 miles without refueling.

          But only 35-40 of those miles are “pure” electric. This means the other 340 miles are achieved only by belching voluminous clouds of noxious poison into the environment.

          I’m sorry, the car is 90% ICE and 10% electric. If there are any qualifying equivocations that must be explained, then that is COMPROMISE, and as such, the Volt is no longer a “compelling” vehicle.

          Well, is the Volt compelling? Let’s look at the evidence.

          Tesla sells at a price-point 3 times greater than that of the Volt.

          Yet the Tesla still matched Volt sales in the U.S. for 2014 AT THREE TIMES THE PRICE!

          People are literally RUNNING from the Volt and towards the Tesla paying 3 TIMES the price of a Volt JUST to avoid owning one!

          1. kdawg says:

            “I’m sorry, the car is 90% ICE and 10% electric.”
            ———-

            Again, I don’t think you understand how the Volt works.

          2. QCO says:

            You are being silly…. They are not even in the same demographic group.

            1. EVadopter says:

              No. No, I am not being silly.

              And you just proved my point…In terms of size, the addressable markets for the Tesla Model S and the Volt ARE DIFFERENT…by MORE than an order of magnitude.

              The demographic group that is financially capable of buying a Volt is 20 times larger than the group who can afford to buy a Tesla.

              So, if the Volt and the Tesla were equally compelling vehicles towards their respective customers, then the Volt should sell 20 times the number of vehicles that Tesla sold.

              But no. The Tesla VIRTUALLY EQUALED Volt sales for 2014 even though Tesla’s customer pool is 20 times smaller.

              Therefore, the Volt is not as compelling towards its own market as the Tesla is towards its own.

              But that is not the point. My point is that the Volt is not a true BEV.

              It is designed to consume gasoline when the battery runs out. Kdawg seems to want to imply that the Volt IS a true BEV (or that is not designed to consume gas), but won’t actually come out and say it.

              All the reputable publications refer to the Volt as a PHEV. That’s because IT IS a PHEV. It’s a HYBRID involving gasoline to power an internal combustion engine which, in turn, powers a generator when the SOC of the battery falls to a certain level. (sorry for that unnecessary explanation, but kdawg seems to require it.)

              My point is that Chevy is the latecomer to the BEV party…the beginner. Tesla started designing serious and COMPELLING BEVs more than a decade ago.

              I’m saying that if the Bolt comes to market, then it will only represent Chevy’s first attempt at a SERIOUS BEV. Tesla passed this point way back in 2008 and the Bolt is not due until 2017.

              The EV1 was a BEV that potentially could have been compelling IF GM were serious. But GM was not serious and the EV1 turned out to be a compliance vehicle that was crushed.

              The Spark EV is a BEV but it is also a compliance vehicle and just has not been crushed yet. Like the EV1, it COULD be compelling, but as a compliance vehicle, it is not serious.

              The Volt is SERIOUS and arguably it is minimally compelling, but it IS NOT a BEV.

              And therein lies the rub: GM HAS NEVER attempted a serious and compelling BEV. NEVER. They are freshman newbs.

              With the Bolt, it remains to be seen whether it is a serious and compelling BEV. I hope it is!

              This is the way to sell a car: The car (and the company) has to be serious. And the car has to be compelling.

              Like the Tesla.

              Otherwise, you go bankrupt.

              Like GM.

              But my point is that even if it is a serious attempt, it has a long long way to become compelling. GM is still way, WAY, behind in this field.

              Tesla is currently refining its 3rd iteration of BEV technology while GM is timidly nibbling on its first iteration of serious and compelling BEV tech.

              In 2017. GM will take its first toddling baby-steps when they release their first gen BEV, while Tesla will be SCREAMING along with itsw third generation backed up by a MEGA-SERIOUS Gigafactory for batteries…I could go on and on…I could “GO TESLA” on you! I wish GM good luck.

              1. kdawg says:

                LOL,

                GM has MoRe EnGiNeErIng IN its LITTLE finger THAN Tesla HAS in ITS entire ORGANIZATION.

                ^ see how annoying that is.

    2. Taser54 says:

      It drove up onto the stage. Pretty real. GM seems to be only waiting for LG to provide the production cells.

  34. Jim_NJ says:

    “It’s a real car (concept) shown at a major auto show except surprisingly, it has a Chevy badge, not a Tesla badge.”

    With all due respect, this is one of the most bizarre sentences I’ve ever read on Insideevs. Is it a real car, or is it a concept? Because if a ‘concept’ is a ‘real car’, please let me know where I can buy a Chevy MPV5 which was shown in the 2010 Beijing Auto Show:

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/beijing-auto-show/news/g5126/photos-chevrolet-volt-mpv5-electric-concept/?slide=4

    1. Peder says:

      Jim_NJ,
      It’s an awkwardly crafted sentence I admit. The intent in as few words as possible was to explain that this is a car exhibited at an international car show with production intent, which is different from a press release or a speech.

      1. Jim_NJ says:

        Peder – Thank you for your response. I’m still a bit confused, because by your logic the MPV5 was, as you say, “exhibited at an international car show with production intent, which is different from a press release or a speech.”

        The MPV5 was shown nearly 5 years ago in such a fashion and the MPV5 is nor more a ‘real’ car than if the MPV5 had only been given a press release or speech. Until a ‘concept’ has been greenlit it is still just a ‘concept’. As far as I can tell from all that I’ve read today, the Bolt has not been greenlit yet, so it’s no more a ‘real car’ than the MPV5 is a ‘real car’.

        It does sound like GM is more likely to actually produce the Bolt, if I read today’s tea leaves correctly. But if gas remains at $2.00/gallon or lower, it will be extremely difficult for the bean counters to approve the Bolt.

  35. GR33N says:

    Great. Another car that’s introduced as a “concept” car.

    Show me a car that’s actually slated for production, provide dates, and pricing (beyond ~$30,000), and we can all believe that a mass produced affordable EV is a reality.

    GM has done nothing revolutionary here, not yet, at least.
    Tesla make promises of concept cars too.
    So does Elio Motors.

  36. Randy says:

    I own two EVs and am a big supporter of the technology. I’ve read the Bolt articles with interest. Can’t help thinking one thing, though, that no one else seems to be talking about.

    Have we all forgotten just a few short years ago when GM took back leased EV1s and just crushed them, even when people wanted to buy them, own them, and keep them?

    The Bolt could turn out to be a great car, but I just can’t get excited about any EV that GM makes…Sorry, GM, you lost me…

    1. kdawg says:

      You know what’s worse than making an EV then crushing it? Not making one at all. Has Toyota lost you too since they crushed their RAV4 EVs?

      1. Anon says:

        Heh. Toyota didn’t crush all of their original Rav4 EVs. The city of Santa Monica still has 6 or so of them running around, on municipal business. And using original batteries!

  37. James says:

    It’s a nice looking competitor to the Honda Fit EV, but it’s still a Chevy. I have a Volt and have driven the Model S, Roadster, i3, and my wife drives the RAV4EV. There is really no comparing the quality of the drive between the Tesla and the Volt, and absolutely no comparison when looking at the UI. The UI in the Volt isn’t much improved from the one in the late 80’s Buick Reatta.

    I applaud Chevy for bringing us a handsome concept and promising 200 miles, but it’s not a competitor to the 3-Series BMW as Musk has said he’s trying to build, and it’s not even a real competitor to the i3, which is a very refined car.

    Ultimately, the Bolt will come to market looking more like a Chevy and less like what we see here, while Tesla will give us a dead sexy barnburner that looks like a concept car.

    1. kdawg says:

      You could stream Pandora on a 7″ color touchscreen in your 1980 Buick Reatta? Did it have a flux capacitor too?

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “The UI in the Volt isn’t much improved from the one in the late 80′s Buick Reatta.”

      I didn’t know the UI was configurable in the Buick nor it was touch sensitive.

      In fact, I don’t think it even had 36 preset stations..

      Do you really own a Volt or just claims to own one?

      Just curious, what year Volt do you own? Tell me if you can set your default defog setting and how you do it if it is possible…

  38. evnow says:

    It may actually be better to title this article “Sorry Volt 2:, instead of Sorry Tesla.

    Bolt seems to have sucked the oxygen out of Volt 2. GM may be seriously osborned Volt 2.

    1. kdawg says:

      Two different products

  39. Jeff says:

    I get that it’s an op-ed piece, but wow, so much hatred for Tesla from the author, it reads like a high school journalist talking trash about their across town rival.

    1. Peder says:

      No hatred, only comparison 🙂

    2. QCO says:

      Less hatred in the article than in some of the comments….

  40. william edwards says:

    Nice to see the concept, but given that production schedules are several years out someone needs to make a decision real soon now.

    “Barra said the Bolt could be sold in all 50 states and globally should GM move ahead with production.”

    Source: http://www.autonews.com/article/20150112/OEM05/150119941/chevy-bolt-ev-production-expected-in-2017

    1. no comment says:

      “could be sold…” means gradual roll out. in cold weather areas, you will only get about 25 miles (level 1 EVSE) or 50 miles (level 2 EVSE) in an overnight charge (because you use up electricity more rapidly during colder months).

      so if you drive 60 miles/day, then at the end of the week, you could arrive home with a nearly depleted battery, assuming that you start the week with a fully charged battery and recharge with a level 2 EVSE every night. that basically means that you are going to have to limit use of the car over the weekend to recharge for the next week. we’re basically talking about a commuter car usage scenario; it remains to be seen how that would work out in actual practice since most homes have 120V outlets, in which case you would be limited to driving 40 miles/day.

      these ranges can always be extended with proper planning, but that would be to ask the typical driver to change his approach to driving. that is something that an EV enthusiast would be glad to do, but maybe not the typical driver. that is why i tend to be skeptical about BEVs as being more than niche vehicles for the foreseeable future.

      in warmer areas, you aren’t so constrained, so it is much safer to roll out a BEV in a market like California first.

      1. kdawg says:

        We don’t know the charging specs, but besides the DCFC, I would imagine a 200 mile BEV to be able to charge at 6.6kW on 240V.

        1. no comment says:

          this gets into the issue of the kind of EVSE you need for various driving scenarios. if you want to recharge a Tesla Model S in 5 hours at home, you need 240v/80a service. there aren’t a whole lot of houses that are wired for that kind of service.

          so you see what the problem is…with a BEV, you have to carefully consider your usage scenarios in advance and you have to make sure that you have a fallback plan (i.e. a second car). that’s why BEVs are primarily for EV enthusiasts, because those are the people who are willing to modify their habits to accommodate their cars. PHEVs are the most convenient cars for the general public at present.

          1. Lindsay Patten says:

            I don’t follow your numbers. It takes less than 8 hours at 6.6kW to charge a 50kWh battery, which is much more than enough for a 60 mile commute even in the dead of winter! That’s 27 Amps which is no big deal.

            1. no comment says:

              adding a 30A circuit to most homes would probably be a bigger deal than you think it is. but if you are willing to incur the expense, there is a lot that you can do to reduce charging time. that’s the kind of thing that an EV enthusiast would be willing to do but it is not so clear of the extent to which that is true for the general public.

              on the other hand, BEVs are a lot less constrained in warmer climates. that is why you would more likely see the Bolt rolled out in limited markets first to see how the usage patterns go (although i would expect GM is learning a lot from the Spark).

              this talk about the Bolt being vaporware is total nonsense. what will keep GM from introducing this car is if they conclude that there isn’t a business case for the car. if they can make the business case, you will see this car in the near future.

          2. kdawg says:

            How I’d use a 200 mile BEV is the same way I currently use my Volt. 85% of the time I’m driving 40 miles or less per day. But every once in awhile, I make a 120 mile round trip. And even rarer I make a 300 mile round trip, in which case I would need on the fly DC fast charging or destination charging.

          3. koz says:

            With 60 mile Leafs you do. With 200 mile BEVs, hardly anybody does for daily driving.

  41. wavelet says:

    “A 200-mile electric car for the masses, at around a $35,000 price point, I’m sure you’ve heard the hype around that promise from a company called Tesla.

    However,…it’s Chevy that did it, not Tesla.

    The world now has a 200-mile EV for $30,000 (after tax incentives). It’s a real car (concept) shown at a major auto show except surprisingly, it has a Chevy badge, not a Tesla badge.

    It exists as the Chevrolet Bolt in close to final form and is being demonstrated to the world with the heritage and reputation of GM standing behind the statements and the car.”

    The real hype is this article.
    A concept car is BY DEFINTION not a real car. WTF do you get “final form” from, since aside from the 200mi range number (and even then, while everyone assumes this is the expected EPA rating, GM didn’t say so), there are actually no published specs for the Bolt; nothing on battery, drivetrain, performance, Cd values, weight. Not even dimensions. And of course, the car is not “being demonstrated to the world” anywhere yet.

    None of this is a criticism of GM — concept cars aren’t expected to have all that worked out 2-3 years in advance — or detracts from the significance of this news.

    The article is complete drivel, and while the site can deny responsibility since it’s an “op ed” piece, it’s a lame editorial policy which allows blatant falsehoods to be published. InsideEVs is doing a disservice to the EV community by publishing it.

    1. DonC says:

      Calm down. Breathe.

      You obviously don’t understand how car show work. Not all concepts are the same. Some are pure design exercises which will never go into production. Some are designs used to gauge reaction. Some are put out there to see if there is enough interest further investigation. And some are more or less production ready.

      He’s basically telling you this is one of those production ready concepts, a conclusion which seems unassailable. First really big hint? Well, GM would not put its CEO out front and center to announce the car if it wasn’t going into production. Actually that’s more or less all you need to know. Once she says in public it’s happening it’s happening.

      FWIW this is not altogether surprising. GM has been running focus groups with what we now know as the Bolt, and that doesn’t happen unless you’re planning to go into production. Moreover, LG Chem has announced that it has a contract to produce cells for a 200 mile BEV which will be sold by a North American manufacturer 2017. Not to beat a dead horse, but you don’t enter into supplier contracts unless you intend to go into production. Finally, LG Chem has also said the manufacturer could price the car at $35K based on the cost of the cells and other components.

      So no, the article isn’t “drivel” nor is it “hype”. It’s just reporting what is most likely to happen.

      1. JakeY says:

        “this is one of those production ready concepts”
        There goes that claim again. The concept didn’t even bother to put the correct connector in (the one on it doesn’t support DC charging). They could have at least borrowed from from a Spark EV. And notice GM didn’t announce any production time frame for this car.

        “Well, GM would not put its CEO out front and center to announce the car if it wasn’t going into production.”
        Mercedes just put their CEO out front and center to announce a car that they have no intention of producing anytime soon, so not sure how trotting out a CEO proves anything:
        http://insideevs.com/mercedes-benz-presents-f-015-fuel-cell-concept-124-miles-battery-range/

        And the funny thing is Mercedes actually released more specs about that car than GM did for the Bolt!

        1. DonC says:

          Matters not to me that you want to delude yourself into believing that this car won’t show up in 2017. No idea why you’re so intent on self deception but, hey, if it floats your boat, go for it.

          1. JakeY says:

            So I gave precise counterpoints to all your points and your response is I’m “delusional”? The fact of the matter is GM never said they will produce this car in 2017 (please link to a quote from GM if I’m wrong) and even a cursory examination of the concept shows it’s quite far from production ready (GM never claimed it was close to production ready either). The 2017 time frame is speculation by others. Personally I expected them to announce that time frame here, but they didn’t.

      2. wavelet says:

        I absolutely agree, GM made a significant announcement of intent here, but in no way, shape or form is it a _product_ announcement
        .

        I don’t think _you_ understand the term “concept car”. Sure, some make it to production — but there’s no knowing in advance which. I
        That’s always years ahead, and there’s no knowing what will change until then. The only fact you bring in support is GM’s CEO making the announcement herself.

        Sure, that means GM definitely _wants_ to have a 200mi EV (which in itself is fantastic), and I’m sure they’re investing serious money, but that’s still not a done product (and, I need t o emphasize again, that’s no reflection on GM).

        How do _you_ know this is close to production? If you’ve any hard data on the Bolt, or have taken a spin in prototype, please say so.

        And re
        “LG Chem has announced that it has a contract to produce cells
        for a 200 mile BEV which will be sold by a North American manufacturer 2017.”
        , I presume you’re basing it on
        http://insideevs.com/lg-chem-supply-200-mile-battery-2016/ or similar reports (dating from June 2014).
        First, it says 2016, not 2017.
        Second, as far as I can tell, all these reports are based on this original Reuters report:
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/18/lg-chem-batteries-idUSL4N0PT25U20140718
        which says nothing about an actual contract. Sure, LG Chem is the most likely supplier for a long-range GM EV, but again, there are no public hard facts in evidence.

        If the Bolt design was mostly finalized — including powertrain & battery — there would have been no reason for GM not to have said so, and not use the word “concept”. They would have given some actual details as well (and started limited production before 2017.)

  42. DonC says:

    I find all this emphasis on the Tesla supercharger network to be confusing. I counted the Tesla superchargers in CA and came up with 21 (I didn’t count the private chargers because the ones I looked at said for guests only and you have to check at the front desk). On the other hand, NRG is contractually obligated to complete 100 chargers in CA by the end of 2016, and it has said that all of these chargers will have at least one DC SAE connector.

    So if the Bolt comes out in 2017, won’t it be able to use the NRG public network, which will be a larger DC charging network than Tesla will have?

    1. kdawg says:

      I think its the charging time, and the location/price/availability of the chargers.

      Tesla owns their chargers and they are for their cars only. I would have pretty high confidence that if I pulled into a Tesla SC station, I could get a charge (other than those super congested ones in CA). But chargers by 3rd parties, I have low confidence in. This is based on my experience with L2 chargers. Many times they aren’t working, or ICEd, or in use.
      The SAE chargers would need to be in the right locations too, not at dealers or shopping malls, but places where you can charge while going down the expressway (yes I would plan to go long distances in my 200 mile BEV). And back to charging time. Teslas charge at 135kWh now. I haven’t heard of any CCS chargers doing this yet.

    2. GSP says:

      When you arrive at an NRG DC charger, you will see one charging stall that might (or might not) work, and might (or might not) be occupied.

      At a Tesla Supercharger location you will see at least two charging stalls, and typically 6 or more. You can be sure that you can charge and continue your journey.

      Tesla is also very good about keeping the SuperChargers in working order. We have an Eaton ChadeMo DC charger nearby that has been down for months with no promise that it ever will be fixed. There are very few other DC chargers here, except for the good Supercharger coverage.

      GSP

    3. John Hansen says:

      There are three big problems with that assumption. The first is that the rest of the country doesn’t have much of the way in quick chargers. The second is that most of the chargers that do exist are in useless locations, clumped together in the middle of cities where you don’t need them. The third is that most quick chargers, besides Tesla, have a single stall per location.

      The bottom line is that I can drive almost anywhere I want today with a Tesla on their supercharger network, but I would not be able to drive outside of my city if I owned a Bolt today.

      I really hope the Bolt is as good when it comes out as it looks today, but GM will have to get some chargers in the ground to make it competitive with the Model 3. Something tells me that they will, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

    4. JakeY says:

      The superchargers may only have 21 sites, but each site has multiple stalls, 93 total in California as for 7 months ago:
      http://insideevs.com/break-charging-points-98-tesla-superchargers-us/

      And the critical thing is that Tesla puts them in the most commonly traveled long distance routes. While NRG is using a “cluster” design spread out in major cities (similar to hydrogen station design). That’s perfect for making short range EVs more practical, but useless for long range EVs because there are none on the long distance routes.

      Critically for myself, it’s the route between SF to LA. There needs to be chargers spaced out correctly either on I-5 and so far there are no plans for such chargers. You can go to Plugshare and filter out the superchargers and level 2 chargers and see the large swath of nothingness on I-5.

  43. Draighven says:

    I’m going to throw in my two cents here though I doubt anyone will listen. I work for a tier 1 supplier for Subaru and Toyota so I know a bit about how the behind the scenes work when it comes to cars. We get tooling and production lines 1 year in advance of “launch.” Launch happens two to three months before the car goes on sale, this time is for the first cars to be built, and then held on the lot until enough have been made to fill the dealer’s lots and maintain inventory. The production lines we receive from Subaru and Toyota are pre-built and re-assembled at our factory. Which means the parts they make have to be finished well in advance of arrival to us for these machines to be built and tested. Given all of this if the Bolt is to go on sale for 2018 model year, GM has around a year and a half, maybe less, to finalize the car. This may very well be a concept in name only, and possibly, will be used as the first or only prototype, there may be some styling tweaks outside and I’d bet the interior will be modified so that it matches the rest of the chevy line up a bit better, but given GM’s own time frame this car needs to be pinned down and production ready very soon.

    1. DonC says:

      Yes, the time frames aren’t like they are for consumer electronics. I think GM does a test production line which is used to produce the test cars, which appear about one year before production. At that point the design is set except for changes which need to be made after road testing.

      When you start working backwards there isn’t a ton of time.

    2. Josh says:

      Thanks for adding this (to the way too long discussion here). The timeframe examples are great to understand.

      GM seems to have held to their calendar times on other projects they have committed to. It really sounds like this is a vehicle they should plan to build in volume. But I feel like they already bait and switched a bit with the Spark EV. 2018 is when CARB kicks in really strong, so GM has real incentive to move big numbers in CA by that time.

      I hope they will follow through on making this a front row vehicle on every dealer lot. Please don’t FFE us with “nationwide availability” (only if you read about the car online and pull teeth at your dealer to order one sight unseen and undriven).

  44. Bob Hodgen says:

    You do realize that the Bolt is a concept car? It’s a long way from production. It may or may not beat the Tesla Model 3 into market. It’s premature to declare victory over Tesla.
    I don’t think the Bolt will directly compete with the Tesla Model 3. The Bolt’s emphasis seems to be on it’s low price. I expect the Model 3 to be a sport sedan with an emphasis on performance–like the Model S.
    Elon Musk’s stated goal is the electrification of transportation. I’m sure he welcomes the Bolt to the marketplace.

  45. Alonso Perez says:

    Wait, what?

    It’s a concept. A statement of intent.

    The World does not have a $30K 200 mile EV. It will when somebody manufactures one. A concept car is just a promise, slightly more valuable than words, but only slightly.

    In my book, the World doesn’t even have the Model X.

    The first manufacturer to reach 200 miles on a $30K EV remains unknown yet. We will know who it is the day we can buy one and drive it home. That day is not yet here and won’t be for a while yet.

    1. leaf owner says:

      My bet is Nissan in 2016

  46. Speculawyer says:

    This article is kinda sad. I love GM’s work but this car isn’t any more real than the Model 3. They are both planned cars and I’m excited for both. Both are subject to delays though.

  47. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Stop getting so worked up…

    This is a concept car, the first step toward prototype and production…

  48. Get Real says:

    Well Peder, aside from your sensationalist op ed title, I like the fact that Tesla is forcing the laggard OEMS into competing in EVs.

    My question to you is will you get rid of your BMW I3 to get this Chevy?

    1. Peder says:

      We will have to see how it plays out in 2017 or 18 and what is offered by whom 🙂 I hope we have a lot of choices to choose from.

      We had a Honda Fit EV (similar range to the i3) for 2.5 years and loved it’s practicality, but the driving dynamics and luxury were not on par with the ActiveE or the BMW i3 so both my wife and I went for the i3.

  49. Josephus says:

    Can I buy the actual demo’d concept? 😉

    What would we have seen if Musk had just said the words, “300 mile $30,000 EV”? When all you have to do is speak and people with no affiliation run to do your bidding, that’s power. LOL.

  50. John in AA says:

    1. I like the Bolt announcement because competition, yay.
    2. That said, it’s a concept, it’s not a car. No amount of dancing around will make it otherwise until I can buy one. I look forward to it.
    2.a. In all fifty states, mind you.
    3. As many have noted, the Bolt name is, um, really? I give you this effort: “Only a nut would buy a Bolt!” Others left as an exercise for the reader.
    3.a. Just kidding, you understand.

    1. That made me truly laugh out loud. There sure are a bunch of nuts here, myself included.

  51. Jouni Valkonen says:

    This is just nuts. Tesla Model 3 aims to compete with Audi A4 Quattro that has list price 35 000 dollars. That is why Tesla set a price target for 35 000 dollars for Model 3. Where this Chevy Bolt aims to compete with Volkswagen Golf that has list price 21 000 dollars. Therefore Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 do not compete anyway with each other. Bolt is still 100 % subsidy depended and it cannot compete in global car markets where subsidies are not as direct as in United States. Where as Tesla Model 3 aims for global markets.

    Besides, the most popular battery and drivetrain version of Tesla Model 3 will be around 300 miles and AWD. We can expect that Tesla will do something outright nuts such as they are installing Tesla Model S P85D drivetrain to performance version of Model 3.

  52. SteveHPA says:

    “GM now has an affordable and darn attractive 200-mile EV and the automaker has the motive and means to produce loads of them.”

    Actually they have the means to produce 20K of them per year (and that would mean shutting down Volt production).

    Meanwhile Tesla is actively building the Gigafactory, today. The only purpose of that factory is battery supply for the Model 3. Tesla may not have revealed the Model 3, but they’ve put their money where their mouth is. Nice to see the Bolt from GM, but there’s no question whose already done more to deliver a mass market long range EV.

    1. leaf owner says:

      ++++++++

  53. Snowdall says:

    “It exists as the Chevrolet Bolt in close to final form and is being demonstrated to the world with the heritage and reputation of GM standing behind the statements and the car.”

    This the same GM that stood behind the EV1?? Just say’n.

    I think this all looks promising (I drive a Volt after all), but until I see one on the lot at my local Chevy dealership I won’t consider it a done deal.

  54. lzl says:

    LMAO “sorry Tesla”? Yeah like the Model 3 will be outdone by an oversize Spark EV.

  55. Tim says:

    Concept or not, while the 200 mile BEV attributes are enticing it will/would be a niche car. It’s an ugly, small thing. Europe might accept it.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      The problem is that there is not lucrative enough EV subsidies in Europe so this car has no chance to compete e.g. With VW Golf that is 16 000 dollars cheaper.

  56. Regarding …
    “However,…it’s Chevy that did it, not Tesla.”

    FYI: the first Bolt EV hasn’t been sold yet … and 2017 is still two years away.

    Currently Chevy sells 20-30,000 Volts year. How many EVs will Chevy sell in 2017 and 2018? How meny EVs will BMW, Nissan, Tesla, …, and VW sell?

  57. Anders says:

    Yes we would love the Bolt over here.
    But everything is about infrastructure. And here we only see Teska SC.
    So we will wait for the model 3.

  58. NZDavid says:

    Peder, I read your articles with interest, but this title is just wrong. Sorry but the Bolt is just a concept. I remember the the Volt concept well, the production intent Volt was in no way that car!

    Having said that, I think a 200 mile Bev from GM would really validate the Tesla M3. I also think both cars would feed off each other. Some buyers will prefer the style & look of the Bolt, and others the M3. This gives the consumer a choice and is a good thing IMHO.

    Finally I suspect that a 150 mile Leaf will appear prior to either the Bolt or M3 arriving.

    Kind regards to all.

    1. Peder says:

      Thank you NZDavid,

      It’s my opinion and you and I can disagree 🙂 I appreciate you reading my post.

  59. Sieg says:

    For what its worth; the German newspaper te Welt reports Mary Barra stating the price for the Bolt as $25000, if correct that would push sales immensly

    1. arne-nl says:

      Maybe they meant 25000 euros?

  60. Robert says:

    Until it’s on sale to the public, it ain’t here!

  61. Kalle says:

    I wold think that this headline is more apropiate:

    Op-Ed: Chevrolet Bolt Makes 200-Mile, $30,000 Electric Car A Reality – Congratz Tesla

    1. John in AA says:

      Yes, exactly.

  62. leaf owner says:

    Nissan will surprise everyone when they do it first (200 mile EV @ $30K)

  63. EuroEVDriver says:

    I have been driving a new Nissam Leaf (2013) model since August 2013 (18months). Struggling regularly with range – especially in sub-zero temperatures I am eagerly awaiting nextgen ($30.000) 200mile (300km) EV’s. Everyone is buzzing about Tesla 3 and GM Bolt/Volt/Smolt.
    I believe Nissan with it’s head start and large scale production will beat them both and continue to be the most sold EV-vehicle on the planet.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nissan delivers next gen by 1q 2016, while GM and Tesla doesn’t deliver before Jan 2017 – at earliest….

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      By the end of 2015 Tesla probably sells more Model S and X cars than Nissan sells LEAF cars globally. Today it is just impossible to sell 100 % subsidy depended hatchbacks in any larger volumes, because subsidies are phased out faster than Nissan can ramp up the production of LEAF.

      Therefore today electric cars are only viable in premium car category where Tesla S 3 X line up is aiming, because wealthy people do not care about money and subsidies, but they just want the best driving experience. Tesla’s goal is to give the best quality that money can buy. Well optioned Tesla Model 3 will be even more compelling car than Tesla Model S.

      In short, Tesla Model 3 will be the best car that has ever driven on this planet. Can you make the same statement on Nissan Leaf that is filled with compromizes?

      1. Sublime says:

        We haven’t seen a production ready Model X and you’re declaring a car that hasn’t even left paper yet as the greatest car ever?

        1. Jouni Valkonen says:

          Elon Musk has in several occassions said thet Model 3 will be a compelling car that does not have compromizes, although it will have more options than in Model S to make its base model more affordable. Also Elon has put Model 3 into same line as with BMW 3-series. And of course their price target is too in the same range as BMW 3-series. BMW 328i xDrive costs about 40 000 dollars.

          Therefore we know quite much about Model 3 and the development project of Model 3 is already quite far. Design should be finalized by now and first prototypes under planning.

          Model X was delayed on purpose, because Model S demand was higher than expected so Tesla could not even meet the demand of S. Therefore it did not make sense to roll out Model X.

          Similarly Model 3 will not be taken into production until the demand growth of S and X is stabilized. But I believe that Musk is correct that the demand for S and X stabilizes in latter half of 2016. Therefore also Model 3 roll out is planned for late 2016.

          Tesla expects to have doubled the production capacity of cars by the end of 2015 from today’s production capacity.

  64. Sublime says:

    I want to know what kind of performance they are shooting for. This car will have a pack 3x the size of the Volt and the Volt pack is capable of 150hp. Basically, they have the battery pack to compete with Corvettes and Camaros from 0-60. Will they couple it with capable motors/inverters to do it?
    With a name like “Bolt”, I expect it to be pretty quick.

  65. Lou says:

    Hard for me to believe that Mary Barra would come out and so publicly announce the Bolt, unless it is truly headed for production. Also, even harder for me to believe that Tesla’s M3 will compete with the Bolt. I see Tesla as a luxury maker, and the M3 their entry into the semi-luxury market. Hardest of all is to imagine Nissan sitting back and not coming out with their own 150+ mile BEV. They have a head start, might only require using a larger battery, not a whole lot of engineering changes, and drop that big boy into their LEAF.

    Lou

    1. Sublime says:

      1) I believe GM timetables. They’ve done this a time or two.
      2) I do not trust Tesla timetables. While the Model X did require an updated drivetrain, it’s essentially a body on frame design. The amount of time the X has slipped makes me think we won’t see an Model 3 until 2018 at the earliest
      3) I think you’re right about Nissan. They’ve been readying LEAF 2.0 for a while, now they’ve licensed LG tech to be build in their battery plant. I expect them to handily beat GM to market, but their sights might be lower on range.

      1. Stan says:

        Tesla has had every reason to delay the Model X. They did not need it. When they announced it, it was potentially necessary to maintain demand. However, they have been able to sell every Model S they could produce. Selling the Model X while being production constrained would have likely resulted in higher costs and thereby lower returns. They may well have real problems with the Model X, but the smart business move would have been to delay it regardless. Be real careful about reading too much into the Model X delays.

        On the flipside, Tesla has every reason to deliver the Model 3 on time. Their business depends on it. The Model 3 will also be their 4th model to market. Sure things can happen and the firm remains a small startup, but it seems fairly well run. It is hard to see why they’d have the same teething problems forever. The past probably isn’t a good indicator here.

  66. Austin Anthony says:

    The price will be closer to $40,000 because the rebates will run out for GM cars by the time it is released. The rebate is only good for the first 200,000 cars from each manufacturer. The Tesla Model 3 will beat this car in every possible category; acceleration, handling, cargo space, safety, styling, user-interface, cool-factor, supercharging, warranty, etc…

  67. GoBlue88 says:

    Quote: “BMW gets design kudos here as well, as the Chevy Bolt drives much of its outward appearance from the BMW i3. I would have guessed it to be the BMW i5 if this car had rolled down the isle with badging from BMW. You know what they say about imitation!”

    That statement makes me believe that this must be a satire piece. There’s no way anybody would seriously mistake the looks of the Bolt concept for a BMW.

    1. GoBlue88 says:

      I mean, seriously: is that a smiley face and a mustache on the front of the Bolt concept? The author thought that resembled a BMW? Yikes.

  68. pjkPA says:

    Bolt looks good… haven’t seen specs yet..
    If it’s built like my 2013 Volt it will be another leap in electric appeal. My Volt has done better than I could have imagined. Over 16,000 hard city all electric miles with no problems and performance that still makes my commute like driving my first car. The instant torque with no shifting still amazes me.

  69. David says:

    Kudos to GM for trying harder in the BEV segment. Raspberries to the author of this article thinking this outdoes Tesla. I mena “The world now has a 200-mile EV for under $30,000 (after tax incentives”.

    No it doesn’t and it won’t for a couple of years. Remember the differences between what was promised for the Volt and what was delivered? A smaller, weaker, more expensive, more gas-dependant, shorter-electric-range car than was promised (to say nothing of the radical change in looks). Given Tesla’s track record of coming in late, but with a better product than was promised – and given my previous relationship with GM products (refusing to do warranty work for starters) I have a LOT more faith in Tesla than I do in GM.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Bolt is a step in the right direction. But it looks more like competition for the Fit whereas the Model 3 is supposed to be competition for the BMW 3-series and Audi A4.

    Since, with incentives, the base price of the Model 3 will be lower ($35K-$7.5K) than the Bolt ($37.5K-$7.5K) and will include free Supercharger access – which would YOU go for? Oh – and with all the hybrids and Volts, how much of the 250,000 allotment per manufacturer for those tax credits has already been taken – will it still be there for the Bolt?