Can Chevrolet Capitalize On Bolt’s Head Start Over Tesla Model 3?

9 months ago by Eric Loveday 171

Chevrolet Bolts At Capitol Chevrolet In San Jose, California

Awhile back, Automotive News posted on the Chevrolet Bolt in a way that’s rather unique.

A quick snap we took at a recent Chevrolet Bolt drive event

You see, the website collected lots of quotes from various General Motors’ execs and others connected to the Bolt and peppered them into a single story. It makes for an interesting read when you look at it from the viewpoint of the Bolt beating the Tesla Model 3 to the market.

The “fighting” words begin after Automotive News opens with this:

“The question becomes: How patient will those consumers be when the car they have queued up to buy still doesn’t exist even as Chevy starts selling a comparable vehicle at a dealership right down the street?”

Right down the street from Tesla, of course.

Steve Majoros, marketing director for Chevrolet cars and crossovers, responded by stating:

“I think we’ll get some of those people.”

Alan Batey, General Motors’ president of North America, commented:

“We’re here to win. We’re here to compete. We’re not here to come in second.”

Jeff Shutt, general sales manager of Capitol Chevrolet-Cadillac, stated:

“Chevy is doing so much better, but Tesla has really built that brand. Are [people] going to be willing to say, “Yeah, I’m willing to switch to a Chevy’?”

Shutt believes the answer to that question is yes.

Lastly, American Chevrolet general manager, Jim Halvorson, added:

“We’re (General Motors and Tesla) in the same game. May the best man win.”

Well, until the Model 3 arrives, the winner is the Bolt, but in a few short months, the Model 3 may be on top and it might never fall from its lofty spot.

Source: Automotive News

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171 responses to "Can Chevrolet Capitalize On Bolt’s Head Start Over Tesla Model 3?"

  1. Mark C says:

    If it weren’t for dealers who were unresponsive toward selling the Bolt & Volt, their chances would be far better.

    1. ffbj says:

      Many dealers are tepid towards those vehicles as they curtail their profits, due to less service, which is the bread and butter of many large dealers.

      1. mx says:

        No. The right wing has made these cars “liberal”. You’ve got right wing dealers who are just going to lose sales to dealers who believe in Capitalism, with no political labels.

        Just like Exxon is going to go bankrupt from “liberal” solar. They still have ZERO solar assets.

        Also, GM has the worst lease offers for their products too, which hurts sales of the Volt and Bolt. Because one way to acquire these cars is to lease, and then buy at the end of the lease. But, if you offer very sub-optimal leases, you lose those sales.

        1. mx says:

          What is the residual value at the end of the lease? “Amount determined at lease signing”.

          Translation: GM has so high a proportion of crooked dealers that they can’t give you a solid Residual Amount on their web site.

        2. speculawyer says:

          Both things are legit issues. Yeah, there is the silly ‘liberal’ slur. But that will go away. Personal computers were once a ‘liberal’ thing too.

          The longer term issue is dealing with profitability.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Personal computers were never ‘liberal’, but they were considered kids’ toys for a while.

            Problem with ‘liberal’ label for EV is due to climate change. When EV is mentioned, it is almost always with the climate change context. There’s rarely (until recently) argument that EV are just great cars, and several EV kicks butt of any gas car of comparable price, such as SparkEV, the quickest car under $20K.

            1. Tim says:

              Yeah, but the “liberal” association with climate change will also disappear. As it does almost every time when “liberal” things just get mainstreamed. Civil rights. Gay marriage. Transgender rights. Environmentalism. Social Security. Medicare. And EVs.

      2. Spider-Dan says:

        Tesla Service Centers seem to be doing just fine.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          When you are charging and getting $500 annually to replace windshield wipers, replace key fob batteries, rotate the tires (only if needed), and perform a wheel alignment (only if needed), how can Tesla Service Centers not be doing fine?

          https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/support/maintenance-plans?redirect=no

        2. Dav8or says:

          They’re doing fine because if you own a Tesla, you can’t take it anywhere else for repair, including DIY. Welcome to the “factory direct” model. You pay more for the car and once you buy it, you are at their mercy.

          Do you think GM could get away with Tesla’s sales and service policies?

          1. philip d says:

            Yes. Yes they could. If customers didn’t like it then they would simply go to another manufacturer and buy a car from them.

            Manufacturers would simply compete against other manufacturers like, you know, in a competitive capitalist model.

            If one manufacturer was a dick with maintenance then customers would simply stop buying cars from them just like if that same auto manufacturer made cars that broke down all the time. If the Model 3 has too many problems and not enough service centers then people will stop buying them. Its that simple.

            I don’t know why this conversation has to be had over and over. Cars aren’t some unique mystical, magical product that can only be handled by our benevolent shepherds the dealers.

            1. philip d says:

              And pray tell how under the “factory direct” model do you “pay more for the car”?

              1. Dav8or says:

                Think about it. You pay MSRP overtime. Their is no competition. There are no deals to be had. The price is whatever the factory says it is and that’s what you pay.

                Tesla can set the profit margin as high as they want as long as the consumer thinks they are getting value for the money. They’re not cutting out the middle man to sell the car to you for less money, they are cutting out the middle man to keep his money for themselves.

                There’s nothing wrong with this way of selling this way and it works well for Tesla because they have a unique product in the marketplace that people place high value on. However it’s not so good for the consumer, but at this point people buying Teslas don’t really care what they cost, they just want one.

                As the Tesla product becomes more and more common place and competition increases with other compelling product, it will be tougher and tougher for Tesla to maintain the high profit margins they enjoy today. That’s a long way off though, I don’t see any real competitors yet in this specialty market.

                1. Bill H says:

                  Dav8or, you have to be kidding. You know the MSRP is a meaningless number. There is no great variance in car prices among dealers. They like to discuss invoice but even that is not real. Frankly, you have to play wasteful negotiating games where the dealers feign to have managers with special pricing but they already know the price they will go to before you walk in the door. It is up to each consumer to be persistent enough to drive to that price. It is all a game where the dealer always wins (sound familiar?). Then there is the after market people posing as finance specialists. Times are changing. Factory direct is here to stay and I won’t buy from dealers again. Nearly all are corrupt.. just some less so than others.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Wow, the anti-Tesla trolls Sven and Dav8or are in full cry, aren’t they?

            You’d never know from their posts that Tesla has the goal of making their service centers revenue neutral, and at last report were making less than 2% profit. How many legacy auto dealers can say the same?

            Oh, yeah… none of them. Not a one.

            Anti-Tesla trolls like to do an apples-to-oranges comparison of the cost of maintenance on the Model S vs much cheaper cars, such as Chevys and Toyotas. They won’t like it much if we do an apples-to-apples comparison of the maintenance cost of a Model S versus a gasmobile of comparable cost; say, a BMW or an Audi.

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              The point I was making was not actually about the cost; it was that Tesla service techs are not standing around twiddling their thumbs like the old Maytag repairman commercials. Tesla Service Centers are QUITE busy as it is, and have previously had problems with long wait times to schedule appointments.

              The idea that EVs will cause the auto service industry will go the way of video rental stores and slowly starve to death is absurd, and people should stop trying to pretend that it’s true.

          3. Rhaman says:

            Lexus, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, etc. dealerships have been doing the same for decades. Are they profitable? Yes they are. Any tech can do: wheel alignment, replace wiper blades, check brakes, etc. Key fob batteries can be done at home. Yet I am sure a Ferrari owner is not going to the $29.99 oil service shop and may not trust AutoZone for wiper blades.

  2. Anthony says:

    No. GM has said their target production for the Bolt for this year is 30,000. If Tesla is planning on 5,000 cars a week by December, their best case is going to be 2-3x GM’s amount. I personally think they’ll hit 30-50k this year and over 250,000 next year.

    Chevy has an image problem. When people want to buy green cars it’s Tesla or Toyota (deservedly or not – I think the Volt far outpaces the Prius at this point). Outside of CA/NY does GM even air for EVs or plugins? I live in the Denver region for automakers, and I can tell you that every month is truck month at Chevy.

    1. Alan says:

      I doubt we will see much more than 30K of M3’s this year, the first couple of months will dribble out a few k’s and iron out any kinks in manufacturing.

    2. mx says:

      Chevy does have a image problem because of bad dealer offers.

      1. Dav8or says:

        Here in the Bay Area, the dealers are offering $3,000 off MSRP. What’s so bad about that? Oh… wait… you’re probably one of those people whining about the lease offers, right?

        You’re probably hoping they would offer you something sub $200 a month and no money down, right? You’re likely one of those folks that only want’s to lease and make no commitment to the car. Throw it away in three years for the latest shiny.

        The thing is, GM doesn’t want to lose anymore money on the Bolt, so yeah, they won’t be offering blow out leasing deals that you often find on compliance cars. They will be offering typical leasing deals for popular cars in the same price range. This will be adjusted based on how long the cars sit on the lot. So far they are not blowing off the lot like many had hoped.

        Your super sweet leasing deal very well may soon be a reality. Give the market a chance.

  3. Alan says:

    Maybe it won’t be the M3 they are getting a head start on ?

    1. GM thinks they are competing with Tesla, that is not true! They are trying to bully them out of existence, not compete with them!

      As to if people will choose a Hatchback over a Sedan, while that may be yes, but they are going to want a better hatchback soon, and will then get the Model Y! What will GM have ready to compete with the Model 3 by then? An all Electric Volt? Sure, they Could, but will they?

      1. Alan says:

        I was thinking more along the lines of a different manufacturer altogether !

      2. mx says:

        If GM comes in second to Tesla, then GM will be doing very well.

  4. Brian says:

    Other than hard core greenies, there will be very few people that cross-shop the Model-3 and Bolt.

    How many people cross shop a BMW 3-series and a Toyota Matrix? Probably none. But that is the electric version of the two markets that Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt are after. There is a minimum range to make the vehicle mainstream and a unfortunately a high minimum price due to the new tech, so these are not a coincidence, but that does not mean they are after the same customer.

    Each should produce to the market they target and not worry about a non-existent contest that people seem to want to fabricate.

    Keeping track of sales stats is interesting and possibly a way to boost attention but leave it at that.

    1. R.S says:

      Yea, I guess it is because it just sounds like a good story. Tesla and GM are so diametrically different that it just makes sense to compare those two. Old and new, good and evil, incumbents and intruders, the dark side and the light…

      Sadly their cars are also quite different, so the story doesn’t really work.

    2. John M says:

      +1

      And good thing that soon we’ll have electric options in those two segments.

      1. And also: Electric Facts, Data, and Reviews Galore!

    3. przemo_li says:

      LOL.

      You overdid that hyperbole.

      Tesla looks to be highly influenced by BMW M3 execution… but no way is GM Bolt comparable to that economobox.

      Bolt do sub 7 sec. 60MPH, M3? sub 6 sec.
      That alone will tell You that Bolt may be a notch or two down from M3 but it will be close enough to justify cross-shopping, at least in EU where we do not share You USA disdain for hatchbacks 😉

      1. While ‘Mericans might not like Hatchbacks, might be simply they never met one that worked right for them!

        For the EV crowd, GM thinks they can win with this, so best to them! I await my Model 3, with an interest in the Model Y!

        Maybe, in my current thoughts, I will get a basic Model 3, for more local and shorter hops to 500 miles, and the Model Y in a more decked out variant, for the Long Road Trips, if it is more usable!

        1. przemo_li says:

          I’m from Poland this whole “Hatchback-after-my-death” thing looks really silly to me.

          1. Anonymous says:

            For what it’s worth, this site is hardly a balanced slice of American opinions. The people on here, myself included, treat these cars like their chosen football team and flip out if you dare suggest that their chosen car is not perfect for every person and every need.

          2. Tim says:

            As an American, I have absolutely no problem with a hatchback.

            It’s Ugly that I don’t like.

    4. Brian says:

      With the important exception that Bolt and Model 3 are more similarly priced than BMW 3 series and Toyota Matrix.

      1. Brian says:

        Time will tell on real Model 3 pricing relative to Bolt.

        In mid-2000’s, the Matrix easily went over $30K CDN for the XRS with a couple options, whereas the BMW 320i started at $33,900 CDN so not that different than Bolt/Model 3.

      2. mx says:

        The Bolt vs. the T3 is like the Golf vs. the BMW 3 series.
        They’re two different markets.
        If there’s a 10% crossover that would be huge.

        Clearly the BMW 3 and the T3 are sports cars/ highway road cars.
        And the Bolt – Golf are city / racers.

    5. unlucky says:

      The idea that you’re going to get Model S for $30K continues to be perpetuated. The Model 3 is no 3 series, it has the interior of a Toyota Echo.

      So while there is a huge difference between a hatch and a sedan I the rest of the idea of your comparison doesn’t really make sense.

      1. BenG says:

        Don’t be silly with the comparison of Model 3 to a Toyota Echo.

        Tesla execs have explicitly compared the Model 3 to the BMW 3 series and I fully expect it to be directly comparable and cross-shopped.

        1. unlucky says:

          I’n not being silly with my comparison. Not at all.

          Asking Tesla execs how great their car in is a poor sample. They are paid to think it’s great.

    6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Indeed, and this is a point that can’t be repeated too often, because the media — including InsideEVs — likes to write articles as though there is direct head-to-head competition between Tesla cars and cars from other auto makers.

      The reality is that the primary competitor for both the Bolt and the Model 3 is gasmobiles… and not other BEVs! And this will continue to be true of all EVs so long as gasmobiles comprise the overwhelming majority of the market. EVs will have to corner much, much more than the current 1-2% of the new car market before they primarily compete with each other, rather than gasmobiles.

      Up the rEVolution!

    7. floydboy says:

      BINGO! WE HAVE THE WINNER!
      Spot on assessment! The CORRECT question is, ‘How will Bolt head start and uptake affect GM’s electrification efforts, especially if EV incentives are allowed to disappear.’

      Tesla is ‘balls to the wall’ on electrification regardless. So simply as a matter of course the Model 3 will surpass Bolt numbers rather quickly. Add the many desirable selling points of the car itself and it becomes a no-brainer.

  5. danpatgal says:

    And there are not that many hard core greenies. I consider myself among them and think about these things constantly. When I talk to “normal” people about EVs, their eyes glaze over and they just want the best vehicle for the lowest cost, and economy/green attributes is low on the list of things that they’re looking for in a car.

    The good thing about the Bolt, and Model 3, is that the range is great enough for most people that it’s much less of an issue. People who want to have only one car in their life can do that without much sacrifice. At the moment the price is a little high, but 1-2 years down the road, these 2017 Bolts will be going for $15k or less and just about anyone who wants to drive electric (or needs to because gas prices might be much higher) will be able to.

    1. wavelet says:

      A hardcore greenie (I’m not one) would do his/her best to avoid car usage altogether, and use only bicycles (possibly electric) for day-to-day transport.

  6. Mil says:

    “The question becomes: How patient will those consumers be when the car they have queued up to buy still doesn’t exist even as Chevy starts selling a comparable vehicle at a dealership right down the street?”

    The only thing comparable is the price. Tesla Model 3 is a better car in so many ways. And while some people can by the Bolt now, I wouldn’t exactly call it “available”. It is being produced in extremely limited numbers and not even available in all markets/regions.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      “Tesla Model 3 is a better car in so many ways.”

      Presently, that is patently false. We simply don’t know what how the Model 3 will be equipped, how reliable it will be, and how accessible their service centers will be when things go wrong.

      Your statement may be true once it comes out, but until then we simply don’t know.

      1. ffbj says:

        It’s not like the Bolt and Model 3, can’t be compared at all. We already know the 3 will handily beat the Bolt in 0-60, it looks a lot better, and there are things about the Bolt some people prefer, hatchback. So a few comparisons can be made.

        1. Brian says:

          0-60 times is only one, small, part of the equation. For me, and many others, the Bolt is plenty quick enough. Honestly, where it falls short as a driving machine is the fact that it is FWD and Torque Steer’s “like a puppy on a freshly waxed floor”. Or so I read.

          But the Bolt has some major advantages:
          Upright seating is a huge one for many people.
          Hatchback for better utility.
          Chevy reliability (compare the Volt to the Model S – Tesla still has some teething issues)
          Chevy servicability – Tesla service centers are few and far between, while every other town has a Chevy dealer
          More logical/traditional dash layout. Many customers will be turned off by having a single large flat-panel monitor in the center of the car.

          And to be fair, of course the Model 3 has some benefits:
          Acceleration
          Handling (RWD or AWD, both better than FWD)
          Did I mention available AWD?
          Supercharger network (CCS Network, where are you?)
          Tesla name cachet
          Over-the-air updates

          This is by no means meant to be a complete list. My point is that both of these cars have their pros and cons. To say one “handily” beats the other is highly subjective at best, and patently false at worst.

          1. mx says:

            Chevy “reliability”? The Volt, for example, has dropped to “much worse than average” in the CU surveys.

            That’s the problem with GM, when the CEO leaves, his pet project loses priority, and they let the quality go to hell.

            The T3 will have:
            A real suspension: fully independent.
            It’s got a longer wheelbase, and wider track, it’s clearly designed to be a sport BMW 3 series competitor.
            It will have the most advanced AI system on the market.

            The Bolt in No Way can compete with that.

        2. Someone out there says:

          When you listen to people on this forum it seems that all people do with their cars is to run down a drag strip day out and day in. 6 seconds or 7 seconds means absolutely *nothing* to any normal car buyer. They are both plenty quick enough.

        3. DonC says:

          Since the Model 3 isn’t even a car at this point — it’s a promise of a car — you can project it to be whatever you like. Want it to go fast? No problem. What it to go far? No problem. Just say it’s true.

          Reality, however, is different. In the real world there are trade-offs between acceleration and range. Tires and gearing that make a car go faster also make it go not as far.

          Talking about an imaginary car can be fun but let’s not pretend you can actually compare it to something real.

          1. Kdawg says:

            It’s also funny that these same people quote the price of the Model 3 being less than the Bolt EV, but then go on about AWD, autonomous driving, and 300 mile range, etc. Like these things wont significantly increase the price of the Model 3.

            1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

              Well, the options will be available and *IF* someone wants to opt in then yeah, nobody thinks the price won’t change.
              the best part is they are options.
              What does the Bolt have?

              LT and Premier……

              Oh yeah, and DCFC.

              1. Kdawg says:

                You can’t use both in an argument for “better”. You can’t say the Model 3 will have all these features, then follow it up with “and it costs less than the Bolt EV”.

                Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

                1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  The point is that the Model 3 will almost certainly have more options, and more high-end options, than the Bolt EV.

                  So from that perspective, Model 3 buyers most certainly will — to rephrase the cliche — eat their cake and still have it too! That is, they’ll have the advantage of more options to choose from.

                  1. Kdawg says:

                    But the options aren’t free. So you can either use the “more options” argument (if true.. still unknown at this point), or the “cost less” argument (if true.. still unknown at this point), but you can’t use both.

          2. Tim says:

            Hey DonC! Hope you’ve been well.

            You forgot your favorite Tesla critique! What about those crappy laptop batteries powering the car? Don’t forget those!

            1. bro1999 says:

              The ones that explode like firecrackers and shoot into the air? Those laptop batteries?

              “Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Jones said rescue efforts were hampered by the exploding battery cells.

              “Some of those smaller cells that had broken apart were firing off almost like projectiles around the rescuers,” Jones told reporters hours after the crash.

              Firefighters are experts at putting out fires in gasoline and even hybrid vehicles, but Jones said they had never before seen anything like the blaze in the Tesla.”

              http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/02/08/tesla-explosion-fire-were-factors-crash-deaths/97641474/

      2. przemo_li says:

        Service centers part is BS.

        GM do not have wast sc’s right now, for the sole reason they do not have wast number of certified dealership selling Bolt’s.

        At the beginning (which is timeline where article is focused on), neither company will hold major advantage.

        Sure Tesla have proven record track of quality service in that regards, while GM had simple too little cars on the street to see…

        What You talk about may be 2nd or 3rd year major advantages.

        1. Kdawg says:

          It’s a bit difficult for me to understand your post, but I will say having nearby service is a major issue for me.

          I will have 3 Chevy dealers by me that can service the Bolt EV. I will have to drive over 3 hours to get to a Telsa service center. I read a lot about Tesla’s having to make a trip to the service center. This concerns me.

          1. przemo_li says:

            “I will have 3 Chevy dealers by me that can service the Bolt EV. I will have to drive over 3 hours to get to a Telsa service center. I read a lot about Tesla’s having to make a trip to the service center. This concerns me.”

            1) How do You know that those dealers will sell Bolt?
            GM have certification process there where technicians from dealers have to learn how to handle new tools and how to fix new class of hardware.

            2) “I read a lot about Tesla’s having to make a trip to the service center. This concerns me.”
            Quick tip for You. Stop worrying about other people worries. Either that service center is close to You or it aint. No point for worrying that Joe D. have far to Tesla service center.
            Where are You from by the way?

            1. Kdawg says:

              1) How do You know that those dealers will sell Bolt?

              Because they are all high-volume dealers that are catagorized as “Bolt Ready”. I even know the manager of one of them and he said you would have to be an idiot not to carry the Motor Trend COTY.

              2) “Quick tip for You. Stop worrying about other people worries.”

              It won’t be “other people’s” worries if I buy a Tesla Model 3, which I am the wait list for. Knowing I can get my car serviced locally/quickly is a big deal to me. And knowing how often Teslas get some service work (either major or minor), I’m not looking forward to 7 hours of driving round trip.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Not to dismiss your legitimate concern, but I have to wonder what your reaction is to the well-known fact that Tesla will pick up your car and drop it off for service; it’s not like you need to drive it to the service center yourself if you don’t want to.

                Also, Elon recently said they would be significantly increasing the amount of mobile service available, so minor issues can be fixed at your location instead of at the Tesla service center.

                Do you think these Tesla advantages are greatly exaggerated or simply aren’t true, or do you for some reason think they don’t apply to you?

                Not trying to start a fight, Kdawg; I’m just trying to figure out where you’re coming from. If you have legitimate concerns about having difficulty getting service from Tesla due to your location, then I’m sure there are many others who have the same concerns.

                http://insideevs.com/tesla-to-expand-service-operations-to-reduce-wait-times/

                1. Kdawg says:

                  Yes, that was all welcome news from Tesla, but again, it was just words. Until I see a service center in my area, or hear from other people in my state having rangers show up to do work, I’m still going to have concern.

                  I try to rationalize sticking w/a Model 3 because the design is supposed to be simpler and I’m hoping more robust. That should help prevent some of the service issues I read about on the Model S/X.

                  1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

                    Tesla is supposed to allow “Right to Repair” or self service.

                    http://insideevs.com/tesla-president-of-sales-and-service-says-program-to-allow-owners-to-perform-own-repairs-is-in-the-works/

                    Not that I think you want to do it because I sure as hell don’t…..lol, but it’s an option.

                    Or you can open your own Tesla service/repair center.

                    1. Kdawg says:

                      Or get a Bolt EV and not worry.

                    2. Tim says:

                      Get a Bolt and don’t worry? I’d worry about my friends seeing me driving one.

                    3. bro1999 says:

                      Typical superficial Tesla fanboi response. I’m surprised you don’t own a Fisker Karma if all you can about is looks. LOL

            2. terminaltrip421 says:

              “GM have certification process there where technicians from dealers have to learn how to handle new tools and how to fix new class of hardware.” mechanics employ a method of ‘diagnose, pull and replace’ in their repairs. with diagnostics largely being done by on-board computers. while the electrical systems are potentially the most difficult things to to diagnose and repair in modern vehicles they’re also common and are 98% of the way to being able to diagnose virtually anything electrically wrong with an EV.

              and if you already work at a dealership which is the grail of automotive repair you most likely already work on electrical systems and probably even hybrids which are themselves 98% similar to electric vehicles in any way that counts.

              TL;DR no mechanic working at a dealership will have any problem learning to work on EVs.

            3. theflew says:

              You can just go to http://www.chevrolet.com/certified-service.html and determine if your local dealer is authorized to sell or service a Bolt. My dealers near Columbus, OH are for both.

          2. pjwood1 says:

            How many trips to SCs do Teslas make which are non-discretionary, as in “car won’t move”? Having two SC’s within 25 minutes drive spoils me, but I think I could live with a couple visits further away if I knew I could set them up when convenient.

      3. “but until then we simply don’t know.”, Which, by itself, doesn’t make the statement ‘False’, but more specifically: ‘Forward Looking’, or ‘Optimisticly Expected’.

  7. suresh says:

    if we can charge bolt 150 miles in 30 min.

    1. Well, I think the Bolt EV, can charge to 90 Miles more range in 30 minutes, but can’t drive that fast, so it basically can charge 2X as fast as it can drive! That might be enough for 30,000 buyers a year!

      Too bad they have to make sure they ask for that when they buy the car, or the friends of NADA will sell them the Premium model, but without the CCS Option!

  8. William says:

    The consumer is the chooser in this battle! The company that can take EVs to the next level and make the customer experience exceptional, will win the day. Tesla is the anointed leader, but there is quite a bit of future market share up for grabs and, a looming paradigm shift coming to vehicle ownership and operation. The whole automotive retail consumer space will hardly be recognizable by current metrics in the next 10+ years.

    1. Alan says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if all the big players start offering insurance + Maintenance packages at point of sale either when fully autonomous cars are in full swing.

  9. ffbj says:

    A few points: As Mil says by all indications the two vehicles will not be comparable, except in price. The M3 should be better.

    May the best vehicle win. Of course we all want fairness, but GM does not want to compete with Tesla, on a level field, since they keep trying to hamstring their sales model by sponsoring legislation to close or curtail their sales in various states.

    Potential buyers of the M3 may change to M3, but that is fine, they won’t make that many and once the M3 is out people will be able to compare the cars, head to head.

    I think calling an ev a brand is a slight, sure it’s in the car genus but it’s a new species. So it would be more accurate to say Tesla has built the premium ev, and is the father of the modern ev evolution and we are trying to get something out the door to compete.

  10. Ziv says:

    Chevy just isn’t as cool as Tesla. Tesla cachet alone will sell 50,000 III’s a year, if not more. I love my 2013 Volt, but there are so many ways I can tell that GM really didn’t care that much when they designed it and I see the same type of shortcomings in the Bolt.
    3.3 kW max charge rate for the first several years (not even an option for 6.6 kW charging) and nearly non-existent rear seat leg room in the Volt are two irritations that never go away.
    In the Bolt they designed a roomy car but it looks like a dumbed down Honda Fit, which is no prize to strive for. Then they dropped those little uncomfortable seats in it like some sort of afterthought.
    Tesla wants my business, GM is telling me this is what they are serving and if I don’t like it, go elsewhere.

    1. przemo_li says:

      ehh.

      Fit can’t do 60MPH in sub 7 seconds time 😉

      1. Ziv says:

        If GM were to build SS versions of the Volt and the Bolt it would go a LONG way towards making me think they want my money!
        They are both fairly quick already, but better acceleration and handling would be like getting biscuits with my beer. Make it an option package and charge enough to make it profitable for GM. Wouldn’t solve the Volt rear seat legroom issue, but admittedly, that one was going to be hard to remedy.

        1. New Car from GM in 2019: “The Jolt!, Volt joins Bolt, Kicks the All Electric Drive to the Rear, puts the Volt Drive up front, keeps 45 kWh of Battery, and has a 10 Gallon Gas Tank! It can take you 150 miles on Electricity alone, and another 400 miles on Gas! Drive Green! Drive Far! One Car! This new model seats 5 Adults, with comfortable seating for 6′ Tall back Seat Passengers, and 6′ 5″ Tall Front Seat Passenger and Driver!”

          Will we see such a statement from GM? Doubtful! Would people buy such a car at under $40,000? I am sure Many would!

          The Premium model of the current Bolt EV lists for over $51,000 already, in Canada, before shipping, PDI, etc., so such a vehicle, which could be a single car solution, Really Needs to Do it Right!

          What car today could meet those seating specs? Start there, and see where adding a Volteq and a Bolt EV Drivetrain, could deliver 150 All Electric Highway and City Miles (minimum), and still get 40 Mpg on Gas! Then, that 10 Gallon fuel tank could get you 400 miles!

          All in: 550 Miles! Should be great for road trips! And, even if you drove all electric first, in 400 miles, you would likely pass some DC QC’s along the way, giving a shot at adding 90 to the full 150 miles EV range in again, extending you fueling options, providing coverage for “Gas Price Anxiety”!

      2. I bet any High School Shop Class could build a $37,495 Honda Fit that does 0-60 under 7 Seconds!

        Even buying it from a dealer at full MSRP! The would have about $20,000 left for the Speed Mods!

        Start by putting in light and tight, uncomfortable front seats so as to be equal! Maybe $1,000 to $2,000!

        Adding a Full Race Turbo, Intercooler, Alcohol and Nitrous Injection systems, could use up $8,000 to $12,000 of that!

        Add in Sticky Tires, some Aerodynamic Clean up mods, another $3,000 to $5,000!

        Still have $1,000 to $8,000 left, depending on how good they shop around!

        No point in comparison of the $17,000 base fit with the $37,495 Bolt EV for 0-60 times!
        Most people don’t do Quarter Mile races in heats with cars costing 2X what theirs cost!

    2. pjwood1 says:

      “GM really didn’t care that much” -sounds neglectful, when in all likelihood GM knew exactly what they were doing. They had plenty of feedback, on legroom and 6.6kw charging. Some who cross-shopped Model S ended up with the Tesla, on issues as simple as this. Heck, the Tesla will easily have a 30+k resale/trade. Volt? Bolt?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        My guess is that the Bolt equipped with DCFC should have pretty good resale value. After all, I don’t expect the range to fade rapidly, as it has with all too many Leafs. But those Bolts not equipped with DCFC… likely not so much. I think they’ll be perceived as obsolete pretty quickly.

        Of course, that’s just the guess of one two-headed llama; we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    3. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Then they dropped those little uncomfortable seats in it like some sort of afterthought.
      Tesla wants my business, GM is telling me this is what they are serving and if I don’t like it, go elsewhere.”

      So, you are making those assertion based on information on a $33K Volt compared with a $80K Tesla while extending those argument on a $37.5k Bolt against a “$35K” Model 3?

      Hmmm. Isn’t that a tad bit too much “fan fare” in that logic?

      How come we rarely find any complains about the seats in the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax? Don’t they have the same seat?

      1. Ziv says:

        MMF, I don’t think they are the same seats. I sat in an Encore and the seats were fairly decent. Good, not great. Kind of like my Volt front seats.
        When I sat in the Bolt it was just odd. They are narrower, the bolster nearly disappears when you sit down. I can’t imagine they are supportive when you are cornering at any speed.
        BUT, I have only sat in a base Bolt. Maybe the Premiere has better seats, not just leather but better seats as a whole?
        Not sure.

  11. Warren says:

    Raised Catholic, I like broccoli. Driving is a sin against the planet, so the Bolt is my car. I even have to put up with plaid pantsed car dealers. It is perfect. I offer up my suffering to Jesus. I wish I was kidding.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I agree with your first and fifth sentences. In fact they describe me as well. I even like brocolli, haha. But the other ones go a bit off-base, unfortunately.

      1. Warren says:

        I really do love broccoli. I don’t offer up my suffering to anybody…not since I was 13 years old. Cars are absolutely as close to the devil’s work as a secular person will ever see. But the car is as good as we will ever see.

        1. Warren says:

          The Bolt, that is. After this, everything will have to be bigger, faster, more loaded with gadgets.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          “Cars are absolutely as close to the devil’s work as a secular person will ever see.”

          Why? If you’re talking environmental concerns, there’s a whole lot worse out there than cars. The huge plastic epidemic in our waterways and oceans, for starters. The stories on it are appalling and very troubling.

          1. Warren says:

            Another climate change apologist, I see.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Not at all, I just feel perspective is important. If we do everything to curb climate change but ignore the huge plastic problem, we’ve done a disservice to our descendants.

  12. tftf says:

    Linked article says:

    Chevy Bolt vs $TSLA Model3:

    “You can buy a purse at Walmart or you can buy a LV.”

    Difference: LV doesn’t promise same price tag. Or even lower since Model3 base is (still) promised for $35k.

    1. przemo_li says:

      Bolt base is $37,5k

      Your point was … ?

      1. I found TWO of them! (Points):
        “LV.” and “$35k.”

        They are there, hidden in the fog!

      2. tftf says:

        That was my point: Tesla promises a LV bag for the price of a Walmart bag.

        The real Louis Vuitton (LVMH) on the other hand charges a multiple compared to other bag makers.

        Tesla wants a $35k car with all soets of gizmos HUD and what not. Margins?

        This car will either cost close to $50k or Tesla will lose tons on the Model3 (and later Y).

        One of Tesla’s main problems: Overpromise and then underdeliver.

    2. ffbj says:

      There is a point there somewhere, darned if I can figure out what it is.

  13. Walt says:

    Search these terms in google and compare search results:

    Bolt -“Model 3”
    vs
    “Model 3” -Bolt

    1. Scott B. says:

      Haha, I love that. I never thought to do that before, but it really shows a great point. I think the first generation bolt will be left in the dust as the M3 ramps up. GM will eventually need to realize that until they go all in on EV’s, and develop modular components across multiple vehicles, with a “practical” long distance charging solution, they are destined to fail.

  14. Brian says:

    Here’s the definitive way to determine a Bolt win: Chevy ramps production to 500,000 cars per year and sells 50% (or more) to Tesla reservation holders. The 50% number removes brand perception as a factor and gives Chevy full credit for honestly wanting to beat Tesla head to head with Bolt versus Model 3.

    Anything short of that is a Chevy loss.

    Personally, I think such head to head “competitions” are pointless and stupid.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Haha, so your definition of success is for the Bolt to do something no other Plug-in has done, and anything short of that is a loss?

      Yet the same company you’re setting impossible goals for makes the USA’s all-time the best selling plug-in.

      Seems like a lot of existing bias…

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        No, the key is that GM has to say that they will sell that many cars in a year. See, when you don’t get punished for failing to meet your previous promises, the name of the game is just saying more and more outlandish things.

        Looking forward to 400k Model IIIs in 2017 or whatever the last crazy claim by Elon was.

  15. M3 - reserved; Bolt/IONIC - TBD says:

    Aside from EV guts, the M3 and Bolt target different segments.

    Tesla has always targeted the luxury sedan segment — M3 squarely aiming at the BMW 3 series.

    GM with Bolt is targeting a wider, general service population. Yes, it’s interior is very generic and proven durable –perfect for urban/suburban families and Lyft purposes.

    Bolt is tuned for fun AND efficiency. Achieving 238+ miles on 60KwH ‘inferior’ battery is no small feat.

    A Tesla getting 4+ KwH out of its superior batteries is a pipedream, but it’s target population isn’t concerned on that. They want to beat the 3series, not the Mazda 3 hatchback.

    Apples to apples

    1. I propose a simple test:

      Get a December 2017 Built Bolt EV, and a December 2017 Built Tesla Model 3 (they both should be about 30,000th built ones); then get two groups of 5 people, one group gets the Bolt EV, the other gets the Tesla Model 3!

      1st test: they both do a 250 Mile Road Trip, one way, and come back, in one day! Each driver drives 100 miles, then swiches, or drives two 50 miles long segments, and switches between each, so road experiences are more balanced!

      2nd test: they both drive to and from a simulated ‘place of work’, 45 miles from the starting point, during rush hour, each way, for a 5 day week. Different driver each day! 4 others are ‘car pool’ passengers!

      3rd test: each team drives a long road trip of about or at least 1,500 miles, in some form of a loop or triangle, with at least 1 place not less than 500 miles from the start. Each driver drives 300 miles minimum, with at least 100 miles per strech!

      4th test: teams swap cars, and repeat each previous test!

      5th test: the teams meet, and discuss their experiences, likes and dislikes, prefences, ideas, and changes they’d like to see!

      (The whole thing is recorded in each car with both hidden and visible cameras, as is the final meeting and comparisons, comments, complaints, and suggestions!)

      The end result is put together in a TV pilot project:

      “Battle for the Future: Time to Choose!”,

      and aired in 12 parts! 1 part is the introduction of the challenge, 8 parts are of the teams during their driving experiences, 1 part is the final meeting of the two groups, the 11th part is a summary of the first parts, and the presenting of the driving and swapping and meeting, to GM and Tesla Executives along with Production Design and Build Teams!

      12th part is a follow up, a report on the response on GM and of Tesla, as to did they actually take any suggestions, and start to incorporate them!

      It (the last, or 12th part) should go to Air, in December 2018! Each session should Air once a Month, for 12 monthly shows, starting in January 2018!

      If “Battle for the Future: Time to Choose!” Works in a once a month run, it might be good to build on it for a once a week show, starting with more of the 200 mile range EV’s in the mix, that should be ready in 2018, with more teams, for a January to December 2019 season of 52 shows!

      Go with 3-5 cars of each Vehicle, same for # of Teams of 5 (or 4, as a case may be), swap some teams at each step, and some after last step, to mix it up and average out some familiarity bias!

      It could be quite the information gathering show! Network, of course! Now is time to start to find a sponsor and get a solid plan together!!

      1. Brian says:

        Robert,

        This is a great idea, I would love to see what comes out of that. You should go for it.

        P.S. It is possible to end a sentence without an exclamation point. I know you are excited, but reading your posts is literally exhausting.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I second that.

          Robert, you write well, but you would vastly improve your posts by using exclamation points only sparingly, and never to end two sentences, or two paragraphs, in a row. (Well, hardly ever! 🙂 )

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        The funny part is that THERE IS NO FREAKING WAY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET A SUB $40k model 3 by December 2017!

        LOL.

        1. Denis says:

          Exactly.

  16. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “I think we’ll get some of those people.”

    (“Those people” being potential Tesla Model 3 buyers who will get impatient and buy a Bolt EV instead.)

    Well, duh. Of course Chevy will get some of those. How could it possibly be otherwise?

    The problem with this “argument”, if it even deserves to be dignified as such, is that Chevy can’t sell more Bolt EVs than GM manufactures. And GM can’t manufacture more Bolt EVs than can be equipped with batteries from LG Chem. Furthermore, it’s not like GM is LG Chem’s only customer. The Bolt EV will be supplied with only a slice of the “pie” of LG’s battery supply.

    Tesla’s Model 3 will start production and sales later, but unlike the Bolt EV, the M3 won’t be production constrained by battery supply. The entire output of Gigafactory 1 will, potentially, be available to supply as many M3’s as Tesla can build.

    Tesla very clearly plans to ramp up M3 production to meet demand. GM very clearly does not, despite the claims of some who are denying reality very firmly. This truth will become undeniable over the course of the next two years, as Tesla ramps up production significantly, and GM ramps up rather little.

    1. Or, if this were a Math problem:

      Car maker #1 starts making cars 8 months before car maker #2. Car maker #1 has a base plan to make 30,000 cars per year, with a potential ability to build 50,000 cars per year, while car maker #2, stating 8 months later, and starting slower, sets a target for production of 5,000 cars per week by end of year (just 6 months from a slow start), and 10,000 cars per week by the end of year 2).

      Two questions: since car maker #1 has not taken any advance reservations, but car maker #2 has, and says the number is about 400,000 cars, so – question #1 is:

      How many years would it take car maker #1 to fill all the orders or reservations of car maker #2, if everyone wanting and reserving a car from car maker #2, instead, bought their car from car maker #1?

      And, question #2:

      At what point will production of cars from car maker #2 exceed number of cars made from car maker #1?

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        The answer to both is…… MAYBE.

        Actually the 400K is not going to happen. They will be lucky to get 200K from that list.

    2. C says:

      You continuously cite arguments that LG has no extra battery capacity beyond 30,000 based on no evidence, except to state these contracts are done ahead of time.

      It continues to be a silly argument. While I agree LG cannot supply 3,000,000 battery packs, I guarantee GM negotiated some quantity amount that is not simply a fixed number/limit.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        There is plenty of evidence: historical evidence, the evidence of economic reality, and the evidence of the recent production of battery cells actually produced by Panasonic vs. LG Chem.

        Those who try to argue the other side are reduced to ignoring all the available evidence, and merely trying to handwave away arguments solidly based on actual facts. This amounts to little if any more than wishful thinking.

        One piece of my evidence (that is, actual facts) is linked below. Where is yours? Hmmm?

        http://insideevs.com/ev-battery-makers-2016-panasonic-and-byd-combine-to-hold-majority-of-market/

        1. unlucky says:

          There is no fact contained In your link that backs your argument. You complain others are hand waving but you are doing it yourself.

          You feel for some reason that LG couldn’t possibly make 30,001 or more packs. You assert this despite what GM has said. And then you post links that say nothing about this and pronounce case closed. Bizarre.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “You feel for some reason that LG couldn’t possibly make 30,001 or more packs.”

            I have never said or suggested such a thing. I’ve never even asserted that GM can’t make 50,000 Bolt EVs in this first year of production, altho I think it more than a bit unlikely.

            What I have asserted is that GM can’t build 60,000+ in this first year of production — or the second. And that’s an assertion, not a “fact”; those who want to argue with me seem to have difficulty in discerning between the two. It won’t be a fact until it actually happens, or doesn’t. I think it’s a pretty solid assertion, as there are many facts which point that way. And so far at least, those who want to argue with me can’t point to any facts which point in a different direction.

            So if y’all want to refute my assertion, then you need to up your game. Provide some facts contrary to my assertion.

            But returning to the argument: The LG spokesman said “over 30,000”, which I take it means they’re targeting slightly over 30k, and probably less than 35k. Anything more than that seems rather questionable, and definitely will be limited by LG Chem’s production, whatever that is.

            The idea that LG Chem has “hidden” production capacity, which for some strange reason they’re not using — despite apparently being able to sell EV battery cells at a significantly cheaper per-kWh price than other battery makers — is as silly as claims from anti-Tesla FUDsters who darkly suggest that Tesla is putting vast quantities of unsold “inventory” cars in hidden underground parking lots!

            1. unlucky says:

              You just said it above by responding and disputing over 30,000. And now you say 35,000. You have no backing for that figure either.

              LG’s production isn’t hidden. They have explanded plants. And you often can exceed you original plans by a bit simply by using production time another customer isn’t using or adding shifts you didn’t plan to employ due to costs.

              The annoying part of all this isn’t that you have a guess like rest of us, it’s that you try to shout others down using specious claims of factual links.

              We’re all guessing.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          That link you just cited has no evidence of a 30k battery limit from LG for the Bolt.

          Myself and others have cited several links from people at Chevrolet that go on record stating the opposite of your claims on many previous stories here.

          In all those instances, we have asked you to provide evidence to the contrary, and you have not done so.

          1. Nix says:

            LG, like any company, can ramp up production above what is contracted. But in the automotive world that typically comes at a price premium.

            Negotiations would go something like this:

            GM: We need another 10K battery packs and drivetrains and associated parts* to build 40K Bolts this year.

            LG: We can do that. But our contract price was based on 30K cars each year for 2 years, and we started building this year’s parts more than 6 months ago. We are already half way into MY2017 production. Building more will mean running extra shifts. That costs money, you will have to pay extra.

            GM: Well, how about if we get enough parts for 20,000 more cars? Will we get a volume discount?

            LG: For 20,000 more parts, we will have to build out completely new assembly lines in a completely different factory in a different country. All that overhead for only 20,000 more car’s worth of parts, that cost is more per part, we can’t give a volume discount. 20K more parts will cost even more per car than just 10K more parts.

            GM: Well, can you do it before our competitor comes online with production in around 6 months from now so we can capitalize on selling cars before they do?

            LG: That will be a big extra charge, that’s a huge rush. Are you sure you want to increase production now, before you find out what demand will be after your competitor’s cars hit the market? What about what may happen with the Federal tax incentive, will that impact sales? There are no refunds on these parts orders, and there is a cancellation penalty in the contract.

            GM: Let me call you back after we run some numbers….

            ———————

            Yea, LG and GM can build as many as they want. The question is just at what price premium, and how much risk GM wants to put into building more cars that they are currently heavily lobbying the gov’t so they WON’T have to build those exact same cars.

            _______________________________________

            * LG provides the following Bolt components that are unique to the Bolt that they can’t sell to other companies. All of which would need to be ramped up in volume, separately at each facility that makes each component:

            Electric Drive Motor
            Power Inverter Module
            On Board Charger
            Electric Climate Control System Compressor
            Battery Cells and Pack
            High Power Distribution Module
            Battery Heater
            Accessory Power Module
            Power Line Communication Module
            Instrument Cluster
            Infotainment System

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Everything about your negotiation conversation presupposes their initial contract says 30k batteries. We don’t know that, but we have several GM people on record as saying they have the ability to make up to 50k Volts in the first year, including battery packs.

              So why go all hypothetical on a contract negotiation discussion? GM has stated they can build up to 50k. It’s silly to claim they can only build 30k based on false assumptions from their sales projections.

              GM got burned when they made higher sales projections for the Volt. They will not over-estimate again. That is entirely separate from what they did or did not negotiate in battery contracts.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                “Everything about your negotiation conversation presupposes their initial contract says 30k batteries. We don’t know that…”

                True, but what we do know is that companies don’t build out significant excess production capacity and then leave it idle on the mere hope that one of their customers will decide to increase their order.

                As Nix quite rightly points out (and as I’ve pointed out in the past), any substantial increase in the number of batteries that LG delivers to GM is going to significantly increase the cost of those batteries. Unless you think GM plans to start losing money on a per-unit cost basis on every Bolt EV, then GM isn’t going to do that.

                “…but we have several GM people on record as saying they have the ability to make up to 50k Volts in the first year, including battery packs.”

                No, you have exactly one GM spokesman making an off-the-cuff remark in response to a question, citing a figure which may have been just a guess; and a bunch of writers repeating that remark all over the Internet as if it’s Gospel.

                And your assertion that GM has specifically said it can get that many battery packs… well, that’s flat wrong. No GM spokesman has made any such public statement, period.

                If you think I’m wrong, then cite your source.

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  “If you think I’m wrong, then cite your source.”

                  You’ve cited no sources for your claim, just speculation. I’ve cited mine. You’re rational on many debates here but your stance here is beyond silly. It is equivalent to someone covering their ears and screaming “La la la” because they just don’t want to back down from their opinion.

          2. Bill Howland says:

            Just today, by accident almost, purchased and drove home a metalic red BOLT ev. Third dealer I went to – got the $5000 deposit back from the first dealership since they wanted to change the deal so I demanded and got my $5000 back.

            Got $600 off the MSRP, AND strictly by coincidence the only other option this car has is heated seats and steering wheel. They also had another car for sale with 0 options but I figured I’d splurge for the fancy paint and heat. The car has no other options – the dealership says that sans bonuses which they expect, they will have sold the car at a slight loss, but thats ok for them due to certain intangibles they acrue (along with presumably stair-step bonuses).

            There must be something to that, and the limited profitability of the BOLT ev as far as the dealer is concerned, since Fuccilo (on “HUGE ISLAND” – what we previously called Grand Island – the world’s largest island surrounded by fresh water) is certainly a huge enough dealer chain but here in Buffalo they are not selling the BOLT – either profitability is too low and/or requirements are too onerous.

            A chinese company is selling 20 kw wall mounts and 10 kw ‘test’ handheld CCS/Chademo/GB/T fast chargers for the chinese market – so I assume these dime-store 10 kw things (they put out 6 kw on 1ph) will be adequate for the service bay test requirement – I don’t know what else is required to sell bolts – but in the Buffalo area its only a minority of the larger dealerships doing so.

            Interestingly, the cloth seats, which I thought I was going to hate, actually got more comfortable after the 40 minute drive home from the dealership earlier. So they now seem just fine.

            I’ll say one thing for the BOLT – it is a marvel of Space Efficiency. So huge inside for so little exterior footprint, with a huge battery besides. Even though initially I was a naysayer, I agree with many that GM simply hit this one out of the park. They should sell plenty.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Very cool Bill! I knew you were looking into getting one. Awesome you found one so quickly.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            ClarksonCote said:

            “That link you just cited has no evidence of a 30k battery limit from LG for the Bolt.”

            Do try to keep up.

            (1) I cited that as one of several pieces of evidence supporting my assertions, certainly not all of the evidence. Another link is below.

            (2) I’ve never asserted a limit of 30,000 Bolt EVs for the first year’s production. I have asserted a limit of less than 60,000, and I’ve suggested that the GM spokesman’s off-the-cuff figure of 50,000 may have been only a guess, or may have referred to GM’s production capacity rather than LG Chem’s capacity. I’ve argued that GM probably will produce a lot closer to 30,000 Bolt EVs, than 50,000, but that is in no way an assertion based on fact. At best that’s a prediction on my part.

            The LG spokesman’s statement that they are prepared to make “more than 30,000” battery packs for the Bolt EV, for the first year’s production, can be found here:

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1106706_lg-chem-gm-to-sell-more-than-30000-chevy-bolt-evs-next-year

            ClarksonCote continued:

            “Myself and others have cited several links from people at Chevrolet that go on record stating the opposite of your claims on many previous stories here.”

            That’s factually incorrect. Every claim along that line can be traced back to a single off-the-cuff comment from a GM spokesman who responded to a question about GM possibly ramping up beyond the estimated first year’s production of “more than 30,000” Bolts. It wasn’t a volunteered statement, it was a response to a question. Quite possibly it was just a guess.

            That 50,000 figure has never been confirmed any any more formal manner by any GM spokesman, it’s just been repeated in different articles so often that people have come to accept it as Gospel, rather than merely a guess.

            And that’s another assertion on my part — not a provable fact. So it’s up to you to refute that assertion… if you can! But until you do, I think my assertion stands on pretty solid footing.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              When you say “assertions on your part” you’re really only claiming “assumptions on your part” and the burden is not on me to disprove them.

              You should go back and read the other links cited, they are from more than just one source.

              Although now you’re backing off the “not more than 30k” line you used to state. I certainly don’t expect them to be able to make 100k of the battery packs in the first year either.

        3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          I believe that LG Chem has a mostly idle battery factory in China, which could easily crank out any and all batteries for the Bolt if demand surpasses 30,000 cars annually.

          Both LG Chem and Samsung recently built new battery factories in China. Soon after they were completed, China denied them “battery certifications” that would allow the would allow Chinese automakers to claim a 40% subsidy for EVs that used batteries made in LG Chem and Samsung’s new Chinese battery factories. This was blatant protectionism of Chinese batter manufacturers. Without the “battery certification” and resulting 40% subsidy, no Chinese EV automaker will ever buy batteries from these Korean-owned factories.

          It appears that to make up for the lost business, LG Chem and Samsung are trying to export the batteries made in these factories to other markets outside China (China wins again). Samsung’s factory is reportedly operating its Chinese battery factory at only 20% to 30% of its capacity.

          It stands to reason that LG Chem’s factory in China is likewise underutilized, and has the capacity to easily fill any battery orders for the Bolt if demand exceeds 30,000 cars annually.

          Samsung factory operating at 20% to 30% of capacity:
          http://itersnews.com/?p=104707

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            LG Chem battery factory opens:
            http://insideevs.com/lg-chem-opens-new-battery-factory-in-china/

            China denies battery certification for LG Chem and Samsung:
            http://insideevs.com/china-denies-battery-certifications-lg-chem-samsung-sdi/

            1. unlucky says:

              That article points out that the Chinese government has not certified those cells for use in EVs (esp. buses) for the Chinese market.

              It wouldn’t affect their ability to export cells from that plant for use in Bolts, assuming the plant can be configured to make such cells.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                I think you and sven are in agreement. And I’m in agreement with the premise that GM will have plenty of batteries as well.

                Idle factories available to make more batteries is also nice if true, but still, is separate from what GM did or did not negotiate.

                As another datapoint, LG is expanding their Holland MI facility as well.

                I suspect GM was smart enough to negotiate options right from the beginning, and I trust they can make up to 50k with those contracts given they’ve said it repeatedly. They are more “in the know” than the people on here that opine otherwise.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            sven said:

            “I believe that LG Chem has a mostly idle battery factory in China, which could easily crank out any and all batteries for the Bolt if demand surpasses 30,000 cars annually.”

            Your assertion there has at least three unstated premises; let’s look at them:

            (1) This assumes that all of LG’s factories can produce cells using the new, lower-cost chemistry (and/or internal construction). That may or may not be true. It may be that switching to the new, lower-cost batteries will involve some expense; possibly substantial, possibly not.

            (2) Switching an idle factory over to the new chemistry and/or internal construction will almost certainly take some time. How much, I certainly couldn’t say — and my guess is that neither can you. If it’s going to take a year or more for the now-idle factory to start outputting the new cells in high volume, that certainly won’t help GM’s first year production of the Bolt EV.

            (3) This assumes that LG’s ability to export batteries from China won’t be sabotaged by an unfavorable currency exchange rate and/or onerous regulatory limitations and/or export duties and fees imposed by China. Jay Cole mentioned, in one of his quite interesting posts on the subject some months ago, that the low price LG Chem was giving GM for its new battery cells appeared to be at least partly due to an economic advantage from making those cells in S. Korea as opposed to making them in the USA.

            Assuming that same economic advantage exists between China and the U.S. may or may not be a good assumption. Certainly manufacturing costs in China are lower, probably lower than in S. Korea; but LG Chem is based in S. Korea, so it may well get an economic advantage from local sourcing.

        4. terminaltrip421 says:

          based on this article http://www.visualcapitalist.com/china-leading-charge-lithium-ion-megafactories/

          LG plans -by 2020- on more than doubling korean capacity, tripling michigan capacity, quadrupling china capacity and building out-anew in poland. assuming that this expansion is already underway and that the added capacity is not already earmarked I’m thinking they should have no problem keeping up with an increase in GM production within reason.

          at least I think that’s the way a reasonable arguments backed by facts works.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Hey, don’t go cluttering this argument with “facts” 😉 😉

            Kidding aside, that’s a great article. Thanks for sharing. I do wish that the US would increase battery production even more. But still, we’re only second to China through 2020 apparently, thanks in large part to the Gigafactory. I guess that’s not so bad.

            1. bro1999 says:

              With “alternative facts”, you don’t need to cite sources! Just make up whatever the hell you want and present it as truth!

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “assuming that this expansion is already underway and that the added capacity is not already earmarked I’m thinking they should have no problem keeping up with an increase in GM production within reason.”

            LG Chem has a growing list of customers for its new, lower-cost li-ion cells… for obvious reasons! It seems rather unlikely that LG would earmark all its new production capacity for GM, or any other single customer. In fact, it seems extremely unlikely to me that they’d reserve most of it for a just-in-case scenario where one of LG’s customers may, or may not, decide it wants to increase the order beyond what was contracted for.

            Scenarios where LG Chem builds substantial production capacity, but then leaves it idle just in case one or another of its customers needs it, rather than immediately putting the factory into production and selling to those on its waiting list… well, let’s just say I don’t find such scenarios either plausible or logically defensible. Nobody runs a business that way.

    3. unlucky says:

      Tesla’s construction is also constrained by supply. By battery supply, by every component. You keep maintaining this idea that Tesla can ramp freely because they make things in house. This is not true, it never has been true.

      The real matter of import will be how much supply each can get. How much are they planning for. How much can they stretch to and how much demand will they see.

      While it is apparent Tesla expects more demand and makes plans to meet it it’s unclear what the actual situation will be. It’s possible Tesla will have supply/productsion problems. GM also could have the same issues. It’s also possible that GM will completely meet demand because they have accurately gauged demand for the Bolt.

      Heck, it’s also possible that Tesla or GM or BOTH will announce another semi affordable EV before the end of the year. We just don’t know nearly enough to say Tesla will outsell GM or not. And we certainly have no information that GM is constraining supply or will do so.

      Also, the idea that GM will suffer because LG has other customers is just bunk. There is no reason LG cannot scale up production for GM without affecting sales to their other customers or vice versa. Both companies have goals and the means to meet them within reason. We’ll only know the outcome once it happens.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Once again, Unlucky, you’re simply engaging in wishful thinking. Or to put it more bluntly, you’re denying reality.

        It is not physically possible for LG Chem to crank up production as fast as Tesla is building up production at Gigafactory 1, because building factories and fine-tuning them for large scale production takes time. It takes about two years, on average, and that can’t be sped up much. LG is not ramping up production even remotely as fast as Tesla is, with Gigafactory 1. It’s not like LG can hide construction of large factories somewhere. If LG was building out new factories to rival the capacity of Gigafactory 1 over the next couple of years, then we’d already know about it.

        Those are the facts. Denying them is, as I said, nothing but wishful thinking. It doesn’t change reality, much as you may wish it does.

        1. unlucky says:

          Where did I say LG was able to expand to the level of Tesla? As pointed out this math works the way it is because GM has a head start.

          You just put unlimited headroom on Tesla and artificial caps on GM. Both have real caps. The only big difference is how much each planned for at the start. Obviously this comes into play.

  17. Someone out there says:

    Actually I would say there is no competition because the two combined are unable to satisfy demand. They will both sell all they can produce this year.

  18. Brian says:

    “Can Chevrolet Capitalize On Bolt’s Head Start Over Tesla Model 3?”

    Only if they ramp production to 500,000 units per year.

    Or they can keep building 30 to 50,000 units per year to get enough tax credits in CARB states so they don’t have to pay Tesla for them.

  19. Tom W. says:

    All I can say after driving our Bolt for the past two months … it’s a fun car, well-made and well thought out. If someone is still waiting for the M3 at least take the Bolt for a test drive. We really enjoy this car and I think lots of others will too.

    1. Tom W., thanks for your positive comment! I just don’t fit it well.

  20. MDEV says:

    Chevy is not competition with brands with Tesla, for a lot of people brands matter, look i3 still selling a unappealing underperformed and more expensive car compare to Bolt and people still buying. Just imagine the Model 3 which beat both on the market. No competition.

  21. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I’ll take a “Model à trois” with only 180AER with SC at $35K over the Bolt.

    Remember, buying a Bolt helps GM finance the fight against EPA/CARB and the Tesla Sales model.
    http://insideevs.com/ceos-of-gm-ford-and-fca-call-again-to-review-emission-regulations/

  22. Chris O says:

    “comparable vehicle”? How is a $40K supercharger supported car that looks like an $40K car comparable to a $40K car that doesn’t have quickcharge capabilities even worth the name and looks like a $15K econobox?

    Anybody actually paying the sort of money GM currently charges for Bolt will find out how expensive it was not to wait a bit longer once they try to trade in on a market where serious quick charging has become the norm and new cars like Bolt sell for $25K.

    Just lease…

    1. unlucky says:

      There is no way to look at that interior and say that car looks like a $40K car. If you think it does you have never bought a $40K car before.

      1. BenG says:

        Can you give me a link so I can look at the Model 3 interior? The production intent interior hasn’t been shown yet? Oh …

  23. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I recall reading on a GM Volt page where some were saying the LEAF beat the Volt out to market.

    Then the GM fanbois came out in force stating “The first to market does not mean it will win or be successful.”

    That must not apply here for them…….lol

    1. bro1999 says:

      The Volt beat the Leaf to the US market.
      #justsaynotoalternativefacts

      1. bro1999 says:

        Whoops, that first Volt “sold” may have actually been auctioned. Damn it!

  24. David Murray says:

    It’ll be interesting seeing the sales figures for February and the next few months.

    1. Kdawg says:

      Except June. Nobody cares about June.

  25. cab says:

    Agree with others on the “cool kid” front for the Model 3. It happened the night of the Model 3 reveal when thousands tuned in AND put their money where their enthusiasm was. At that moment, Tesla officially became the Apple of car companies, Starbucks of coffee shops, etc. in the minds of the American public.

    The fact that both cars have similar specs is mostly irrelevant now. I remember talking to my son years ago about getting a Windows laptop vs. a Macbook before he went off to college. I pointed out all the advantages of the Windows-based laptop, etc. only to be hit with “Yeah, but you don’t want to be the only kid in class w/o a mac”. Was it a “rational” argument? Nope. Is car-buying a rational process? Um, every car manufacturer and dealer in the world knows it is highly emotional (i.e. terms like new car fever come to mind).

    Tesla, with the Model 3 reservations, moved from manufacturer of “car” to manufacturer of “cool”…tough to compete (at least at launch) with that. Tesla’s arch nemesis in all this won’t be GM – it will be (potentially) themselves and their own ability to deliver and service a high quality product. The “regular” folks buying the model 3 won’t be EV evangelists and give Tesla a “pass” for any shoddy quality issues or service delays.

    1. theflew says:

      The only problem with your analogy is over 90% of the PC in the world are Windows and PC’s still continue to outsell Macs by a huge margin. And on the phone front Android greatly outsells iOS. So yes Tesla could become the Apple in the automotive industry, but still have 10% of the market.

  26. speculawyer says:

    Do they even want to capitalize on their lead?

    The question is how much money are they making/losing on each one? Is there a roadmap to profitability with such cars?

    Yeah, we EV fans love the Bolt but GM is a corporation and in the end they need to be profitable or else things will never really grow.

    1. Nix says:

      That has to be one of the silliest and shallow analysis of Tesla that I’ve ever seen. So many errors it isn’t even worth fully dissecting. So I’ll stick to the top 2.

      1) The Model 3 will likely be mid-size, not small.

      2) He completely ignores that the 3 is the basis of the future Y CUV that he talks about. So the success of the 3 and the Y are tied together, and even if Tesla ends up selling more Y’s than 3’s, the platform will be a success regardless of what that mix ends up being.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “That has to be one of the silliest and shallow analysis of Tesla that I’ve ever seen. So many errors it isn’t even worth fully dissecting.”

        Indeed. Any business-oriented website should be embarrassed at posting an article with such an abysmal excuse for a business analysis. I guess the writer never heard of the advantage of volume sales!

        Yeah, Tesla projects only making a 15% profit on the Model 3, as opposed to the ~25% profit on the Model S. But 400,000 x 15% is a heck of a lot more than 50,000 x 25%!

        Duh.

  27. Mich-Fin says:

    The beauty of Tesla’s master plan is that when people think of Tesla they don’t think green car. They think high performance, leading edge technology and luxury. They built a brand that’s desirable.

    That’s why if you put equal cars (not saying they are) Bolt and Model 3 next to each other and they both have around the same price the Tesla will win 9 out of 10 times.

    1. speculawyer says:

      Yes, that is true. The whole “work your way down” the value chain business model has been working great.

      But to some degree, the Model 3 is a bit of a disappointment since it is still not cheap enough for many. It is a semi-affordable car. I hope they can eventually build something a little cheaper. I don’t expect economy ICE car cheap but something a bit cheaper than the Model 3.

      But that may come with mass manufacturing and continued refinement of EV parts.

  28. Bret says:

    I don’t think the Bolt’s lead to market will have a big effect on Model 3 buyers. The July start of production is right around the corner and Tesla reservation holders have proven to be extremely loyal and patient. Maybe some people without a reservation will buy a Bolt, but Tesla should convert a high percentage of the 380K reservations.

    I wish Chevy luck and hope they sell a lot of Bolts. They have wildly exceeded my expectations for range and performance, plus the car looks great. This is a car that should sell well, as long as Chevy produces it in volume and promotes it properly. Even dealers will have to tow the line, because I think the consumer demand will be there.

  29. M3 - reserved; Bolt/IONIC - TBD says:

    Tesla HAS to bet the farm on the M3. It’s whole premise has been building to this very point.

    GM OTOH, put adequate and good resources to design, build and scale (orion plant has proven capacity) production at a reasonable rate. If GM maxes out 80k that’s a win for them and they can further expand and negotiate with LG Chem to expand too

  30. So many people say that the Bolt and M3 should not be compared because they are two very different cars aimed at two different buyers. However, comparisons continue to be made. What seems a bit silly is comparing two cars when one hasn’t even been released yet. There are so many unknowns and risks with the M3 arrival and there are various unknowns about GMs real intentions with BEVs that a serious comparison between the two cars should wait until about a year from now when there should be a serious number of both cars on the road.

  31. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This kind of “infighting” for small “table scraps” is just simple stupid. It is absolutely idiotic for EV supporters to fight each other for a small EV market share.

    I hope both sell the snot of out of it. I hope both GM and Tesla can sell every copy they can make.

    This kind of “trading punches” between EV supporters are just dumb while the rolling coal people are laughing out at both groups with their newly gutted EPA regulations under Trump!

    1. M3 Reserved - Bolt/IONIQ TBD says:

      To which all should say — AMEN.

      Getting the M3 probably still after standing in line for 8 hours to replace our aging G37.

      Still looking for a suitable CR-V replacement. The Bolt just doesn’t have quite the cargo space we’re wanting for the dog. IONIQ is intriguing.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well said, MMF, and thanks!

      Where is the market for the Bolt EV and the Model 3 going to come from? The overwhelming majority of the market for both cars is the 98-99% of the new car market that is gasmobiles, not the 1-2% of the market that is other plug-in EVs!

      We EV advocates should be able to appreciate, and advocate for, both cars. Not praise one and denigrate the other. In fact, we should be able to advocate for all PEVs (Plug-in EVs) with an electric range high enough to make them practical, not just these two.

      “…So, of course, I yelled out, ‘Die, heretic scum, die!!’ and pushed him off the bridge.”

      http://wilsonsalmanac.blogspot.com/2009/05/one-of-my-favourite-baptist-jokes.html

  32. Nix says:

    I’m certain that GM will get a fair number of sales from people who hold Tesla reservations, or are considering buying a Tesla but don’t have reservations.

    Leasing a Bolt while waiting for a Model 3 or Model Y is a great idea.

    Cars are transitory. They come, they go. They aren’t a lifetime commitment. Lease a Bolt, get a Tesla later. Why not?

  33. Loboc says:

    Everybody is ignoring the Tesla track record of pricing and delivery. There is no way, unless it is a Musk play, that anybody will get a $35k M3. Ever.

    Musk is on record that he expects the M3 transaction price to be in the $42k range.

    If Tesla delivers more than a token (ala X) number of M3s in 2017, most people in the money business are skeptical. It is projected by some pretty smart people that Tesla will need somewhere between $2b and $5b to launch M3.

    1. bro1999 says:

      No one is getting a $35k (36.2k after tacking on the mando $1,200 Tesla delivery fee) in 2017…possibly even 2018.

      The first wave of Model 3’s sold will be the fully loaded variety that will exceed $50k….and perhaps even $60k.