Elon Musk Talks Incentives, Explains Why Chevy Bolt Is CARB Credit Play

Elon Musk


If you ask Tesla CEO Elon Musk to discuss incentives, tax credits, CARB and ZEV credits, be prepared for a lengthy discussion.

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Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen & Co. LLC found that out when he asked Musk about US cumulative Tesla sales (as it applies to the $7,500 federal credit program, and relates to the Model 3) to Musk during the Q1 conference call:

Here’s the wordy, yet very useful response from Musk:

“…I should perhaps touch again on this whole notion of – it’s almost like over the years there’s been all these sort of irritating articles like Tesla survives because of government subsidies and tax credits. It drives me crazy. Here’s what those fools don’t realize. If Tesla is not alone in the car industry, but all those things would be material if we were the only car company in existence. We are not. There are many car companies. What matters is whether we have a relative advantage in the market. And in fact the incentives give us a relative disadvantage.

Tesla has succeeded in spite of the incentives not because of them. But these incentives have limited lifetime and limited scale. Like, for example, the federal tax credit and then that caps out of the 200,000, the CARB credits, which, because the CARB rules are relatively weak, we can sell – there are some quarters where we can’t even sell CARB credits. And when we can, it’s maybe $0.50 on a dollar or something like that, whereas the other car companies get to fully absorb the value of the CARB credit. So just for example gives GM roughly – from my count, $7,000 to $10,000 advantage over Tesla for their Chevy Bolt.

That’s why you shouldn’t ask like why, well, GM appears to be losing $10,000 a car on the Bolt. No, they’re not. They are making it up on CARB credits. But they get the full retail value of the CARB credit, whereas we get the wholesale value when we’re lucky. But the CARB credits are only effective at a production rate of about 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles a year. So that’s why you’ll see, mark my words, it’s not going to be any higher than that for the Chevy Bolt. That’s on order of 25,000 units a year, or 0.10% of our initial production rate for the Model 3, or (~5%) of what Model 3 will be next year.

So Tesla’s competitive advantage improves as the incentives go away. This continues to be something that is not well understood.”

Musk  then touches on Tesla’s Nevada tax credits for the Gigafactory, noting that Tesla didn’t get a $1.3 billion cheque from Nevada, but rather they are credits that can be applied in the future, saying they need to generate $100 billion worth of output over the next 20 years to get them.  So, while Musk says Tesla appreciates the credits, it works out to a value of a about 1%, and Nevada didn’t provide those, all they would still have at the Gigafactory site was rocks; and that you don’t get a lot of taxes from rocks.

Again, the most interesting bits from Musk’s long-winded answer are in regards to the Chevy Bolt. In particular, this statement:

“But the CARB credits are only effective at a production rate of about 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles a year. So that’s why you’ll see, mark my words, it’s not going to be any higher than that for the Chevy Bolt. That’s on order of 25,000 units a year, or 0.10% of our initial production rate for the Model 3, or 0.05% of what Model 3 will be next year.”

And interestingly that’s precisely the figure we’ve seen tossed around before by supplier sources. Here’s what we reported 2-plus years ago:

“The supplier sources who need significant lead time to prepare for production say they are being told that General Motors expects to sell 25,000-30,000 Bolts per year once production is underway.”


via Seeking Alpha

Category: Tesla

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255 responses to "Elon Musk Talks Incentives, Explains Why Chevy Bolt Is CARB Credit Play"
  1. Someone out there says:

    That completely flies in the face of reality. Why would GM sell the Bolt in Canada, in Europe and in South Korea if they were losing money on the Bolt and only wanted CARB credits? That’s just stupid! It’s sad to see Elon Musk cave in to the bullshit theories. I thought better of him than that.

    He can spin the Nevada incentives anyway he wants, they are still a huge benefit to Tesla.

    1. CHris says:

      To be honest, they don’t really sell the Bolt aka Ampera-e in Europe.
      There are 3500 cars planned for Norway and Germany will get 90 in 2017!
      If you order one in Germany today, you will get it, if you are lucky, by end of 2018. Likely late…

      1. Someone out there says:

        According to an article on PushEVs.com GM is planning 10k vehicles for Europe this year. Admittedly that is low but that is still 10k cars that they will not be getting any CARB credits for or any other advantage other than the profit made on the car. So why would they allocate 10k cars of their limited supply for Europe if they sell it at a loss and not getting any other advantage? That simply doesn’t make any sense.

        1. Pantarei says:

          “Why would GM sell the Bolt in Canada, in Europe and in South Korea if they were losing money on the Bolt and only wanted CARB credits?”
          Green creds,conquest sales, market share, or just to get people into the dealerships with the aim to sell them something else. I won’t be surprised if the sales in those countries will remain throtteld.

          1. Scott Franco says:

            Good, so stupid people lose money while smart people don’t.

            I call that “capitalism”. I love it.

          2. Wallace says:

            Ever wonder why they charge more in those countries? CARB could be it.

            1. terminaltrip421 says:

              it’s selling for considerably less in canada not more.

              1. Mint says:

                In Ontario, Canada, at least, it’s available in very limited quantities. 2017 allotments (a few per dealer) have been sold out for a while.

                The low price is just for PR. I went to dealers with multiple “Bolt: Car of the Year” banners, but no way of buying or even seeing one.

                AFAICS, GM is using most Volts for CARB, and sprinkling a few elsewhere.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “Green creds,conquest sales, market share, or just to get people into the dealerships with the aim to sell them something else.”

            Exactly. Marketing isn’t always driven purely by direct profits. For example, there are retail “loss leaders” designed to pull people into stores, even when the retailer loses money on that one item. The same may well be true of the Bolt EV for Chevy; once they can get the potential customer in the door, then they can divert them to a Volt or whatever model the dealership is pushing that week. In fact, we’ve been seeing reports of exactly that; dealerships advertising the Bolt EV, then when potential customers show up they are told that’s not available, “But let me show you what you could drive away today!”

            And furthermore, InsideEVs staff has estimated only 5000 Bolt EVs will go to Europe this year, not 10,000. So I’d say that 10k number is likely just a guess.

        2. Mark.ca says:

          Why only 10K? GM is not Tesla, they have the capacity to produce cars in volume so why hold back when there is demand? I’m with you guys when you say this is not your usual compliance car because it sells outside CARB but why is GM paying it down then?

          1. BenG says:

            They got burned with the Volt at first, planning for much higher capacity and sales. It makes sense to go slow the first year to iron out bugs and test demand, IMO.

            I’m psyched that Tesla is planning to go balls to the wall with the Model 3, but if they turned up with an expensive recall after cranking out 100,000 in the first 6 months it could be extremely damaging.

          2. terminaltrip421 says:

            the sales do not appear to be anything special so far in the states so they may very well have planned correctly in that regard, maybe even should have shifted greater numbers elsewhere.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “Why only 10K? GM is not Tesla, they have the capacity to produce cars in volume so why hold back when there is demand?”

            I suspect Elon is just repeating anti-GM FUD when he says “GM appears to be losing $10,000 a car on the Bolt”, but this isn’t a binary, either/or situation.

            The question should not be whether or not Chevrolet is now, or soon will, make a per-unit profit on the Bolt EV. The relevant question is this: How much money will GM make or lose on selling each Bolt EV?

            And here’s a reality check: The average new car model (gasmobile) makes no overall profit on its entire first year of production. So if the Bolt EV is, by some kindergarten level of accounting, “losing” $10k on every unit, that’s only because the overly simplified accounting method charges the entire cost of development and tooling up to only the first year’s production. Assuming Chevy continues to make the Bolt EV for 2018 and following years, then it won’t be “losing” $10k per unit. So can we all stop spouting or repeating financial gibberish like that? Please! Even people like me, with only limited understanding of financial matters, should know that’s oversimplification certainly past the point of being highly misleading, and nearly to the point of absolute B.S.

            But back to the question: Why would GM artificially limit production of the Bolt EV if there is more of a market for it in Europe and elsewhere?

            I think there is little if any doubt that GM makes more money on its best-selling gasmobile cars and light trucks than it does on its plug-in EVs such as the Volt and the Bolt EV. If you were GM, and you had (let’s say) $100 million to spare, and were looking where to put that, would you put it into advertising and increased production for a model with at best a razor-thin profit margin, like the Bolt EV? Or would you put that $100 million toward more advertising and more production for your most profitable gasmobile models? That decision is pretty much a no-brainer, innit?

            If the amount of money GM will make (or avoid losing, which is the same thing as far as accounting goes) on a per-unit basis for the Bolt EV is significantly better where they can use the sale of that unit to generate carbon credits, and if the profits are pretty much nonexistent outside of those areas (or even negative by a short-term, kindergarten method of accounting), then of course it makes sense for GM to limit Bolt EV production to little more than what they need to generate as many carbon credits as possible. And of course it makes sense for GM to not make very many of a model for which it makes very little if any overall profit.

            * * * * *

            Regarding the persistent attempts to label the Bolt EV a “compliance car”:

            Tesla would like to sell as many of its cars in California and other CARB States as possible, to generate as many carbon and ZEV credits as possible. Does that make Tesla cars “compliance cars”? How ridiculous.

            And it’s very nearly as ridiculous to say that the Bolt EV is merely a compliance car. Now, if Chevy was only selling the Bolt EV in CARB States, or only selling a small token number outside those States (as it did with the Spark EV), then the label “compliance car” would be appropriate. But GM is selling a significant fraction of the total outside those States, so it’s not appropriate at all. That assertion is, to put it politely, counter-factual. More bluntly, it’s B.S.

            And repeating it is merely annoying to those of us who know the facts.

            1. a-kindred-soul says:

              In Europe the e-Ampera will only sell in 4 countries initially (= all of 2018). These are the countries with the largest incentives, so that the automaker/dealer can ask a higher price-before-incentives. This means, like in the US, the Bolt/e-Ampera seems to be geared towards the incentives.

          4. The question you really need to ask: Is what incentive do GM execs have to sell EVs when most are so heavily invested in Big Oil stocks. One does not cut off his nose to spite his face. Divest GM execs of their oil holdings and perhaps GM will make an honest try at a successful EV. The entire design of the Bolt says EV’s can only be made to fail–
            bad seats, no traction ront wheel drive, poorly designed instruments, cramped cabin.

        3. John Doe says:

          2019 ! ! !
          That is what Opel Norway told me to expect, of I order it This week.

          Så another Company are planning to import The Bolt EV to Norway.
          But it will be more expensive, have no working radio, no European map on the satnav, no Phone features like heating/cooling car, and The charging plug needs to be changed. They expect to import about 200 This year, and will take 12 weeks from you order before you can drive your car

      2. R.S says:

        He is still right though, no matter if it’s 10k or just 3.5k, they sell those relatively cheap, MSRP of $34k before taxes in Germany and they have to pay an additional €1000, since the Government mandates EVs to be subsidized by manufacturers selling them, as stupid as it sounds.

        So essentially they are selling them with no benefits to GM, remember they are selling Opel, so it can’t be 2020 emissions regulations they have to fulfill. And the vehicles, even though imported, are sold for less than in the US.

        1. przemo_li says:

          Bolt will still be sold under Opel.

          Without it Opel would not be attractive/sellavble, as buyer would have to very quickly replace those sales.

          GM had to offer Bolt or other EV, probably with guaranteed quotas too.

      3. Wouter says:

        Not so sure. I just got an email from OPEL that I can order a ampera-e (priced from 40-45K in the Netherlands, depending on config). Suppose they will be delivered this year.

        1. Terawatt says:

          I’d be surprised. When Opel Norway took reservations a year ago they told people to expect delivery sometime in 2018. Just this week they said they now expect the waiting time to be longer for many of those who reserved and that they should not expect delivery until 2019.

          There were only a bit over 4000 reservations. While that’s a lot for Opel in Norway I don’t belive it would be difficult for GM to make many more if it wanted to.

          Regardless of the CARB credits it’s not so easy to say what GM should want for the Ampera-e, now that Opel has been sold to PSA.

          But whatever the reason is, it’s pretty clear that at the very least it’s not important for GM to sell as many as it could buy simply increasing production. And remember, Mary Barra did say GM would not be production constrained on the Bolt back at CES 2016.

    2. Ken says:

      They don’t really sell the Bolt in Canada either. The entire 2017 Bolt allocation is already sold out. People wanting a Bolt have a 6-8 month wait time now. There are no Bolts to test drive. We’ll see what happens when Quebec’s ZEV mandate kicks in next year.

      1. SparkEV says:

        You mean like how Tesla won’t really sell Tesla 3 since many, even in US, won’t get it until 2019 or even later?

        1. floydboy says:

          No, not even remotely like that!

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Yeah, that’s your basic apples-to-Rubik’s-Cubes comparison. 🙄

        2. randomhuman says:

          Yea but then Tesla already delivered hundreds of thousands of cars. I would not be surprised if Tesla sells more Model 3 this year than GM will sell Bolts because they don’t want to sell them. Look at Canada or Germany. Here we will only get a few dozen of them in 2017 and in 2018 it will not really be better. Also they only want to lease them this year and not sell them. I heard rumors of just 300 cars in 2018. Tesla really wants to sell the Model 3. I really like the Bolt I have to say. But GM strategy is crap. They just wanted to be first to get the attention but the don’t want to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation/energy. A shame GM could do better.

          1. Terawatt says:

            Newsflash: Tesla has yet to deliver 250k cars; IIRC it’s not even passed 200k yet.

            1. randomhuman says:

              Yea so what? Model 3 is not in production yet… Bolt is in production since December. Huge difference.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Newsflash: Tesla is trying as hard as it can to make and sell as many PEVs (Plug-in EVs) as it possibly can. Contrariwise, GM on the one hand is engaged on the political front to put off, as long as possible, having to make any PEVs at all; and on the other hand is at best making only a very weak effort to make and sell them in large numbers.

              One of these things is not like the other!

              1. Stanton Cruse says:

                Any car company that boasts about its entry into the EV market, yet says nothing of building charging infrastructure, is simply NOT serious about selling EV’s.

                1. Spider-Dan says:

                  GM didn’t build any gas stations, either.

                  Commercial charging infrastructure is a loss leader. Companies that are not selling $90,000 EVs will not be able to justify their costs.

    3. Thoughts says:

      In europe the cars are way more expensive, in NL it will cost starting 42000 (about 44000 $), That is where they make up that price difference.

      1. Alex says:

        Don’t forget to remove Dutch 21% VAT from that price. It is just 33k€ they really get out of 42k€. In the US you have different pricing habits where the sales tax (or how you guys call it?) is added to the retail price. We have the taxes in the price.

        1. Scott Franco says:

          How do you estimate the VAT? Isn’t it charged to each part maker every time they pass a part forward to the next maker in line?

          1. SteveSeattle says:

            The downstream producers get to credit the VAT from the upstream ones so in the end the final product has a 20% VAT no matter how many suppliers in the chain.

          2. Terawatt says:

            ALL of the steps in the value chain add 21% to the value they contributed. Hence VAT, in terms of total taxation, is equivalent to a sales tax. 25% VAT (like we have in Norway, though electric cars are exempted) thus adds 25% to the price just like a 25% sales tax would.

            For an imported product the initial tax is based on the price paid for the product plus freight and insurance. The next step, say a dealership, gets to subtract the VAT it paid when buying from the importer, but must pay VAT on whatever it sells the product for. So the idea is that the difference between price paid and sold reflects the added value, which is taxed.

    4. sveno says:

      I don’t know about elsewhere but in EU car manufacturers must adhere to fleet emission targets or face heavy fines. One way to significantly lower them is to sell cars without tailpipes.


      1. randomhuman says:

        GM does not sell cars anymore in Europe so they’ll have no problem with that law. They sold Opel so…

        1. Terawatt says:

          Have they completely withdrawn? I thought they had a tiny Chevy presence, but that was perhaps through the Opel dealerships…?

          1. randomhuman says:

            Yep correct. But you can still get used chevy’s or import them. I see a few out there.

    5. François Viau says:

      Well, good luck getting a Bolt in Canada. If you place an order now, waiting time is approximately 1 year.

      Once I will see GM really wants to sell the Bolt elsewhere there’s no CARB ZEV credits, I have no choice but to agree with the man.

    6. Miggy says:

      This why GM did not make the Bolt in RHD from.

    7. trololo says:

      GM is selling an ultra limited number of cars in a limited number of European countries: Norway. And I am not sure there has been any delivery in Norway. They clearly stated they will not sell Bolts in the UK, gave no date for France, etc.

      GM is not really selling cars (ICE or EV) in Europe, GM cars was sold by its local brand Opel, which has been sold recently to PSA.

      The 1st purpose of the Bolt is CARB credits, the 2nd, to be first to market and promote the GM brand.

  2. bro1999 says:

    I find it funny how Elon makes Tesla out the victim, as they are only able to sell CARB credits at “wholesale prices” while evil GM and other manufacturers can realize the “full” value.

    (Some) of the evil ICE manufacturers are actually making their own BEVs now, so Tesla no longer has a monopoly on ZEV credits! Poor elon!

    1. fred says:

      Huh? GM doesn’t sell their CARB credits, they use them directly to offset their ICE sales. Tesla has no ICE sales to offset.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Not necessarily true. GM already has plenty of CARB credits from the limited Spark EV run to last quite a bit into the future. They could sell zero Bolts, ZERO… and still have enough credits to last beyond 2020.

        So, they can bank these credits or sell them. I suspect they may sell at least some.

        CARB’s website has a list of credit transactions every year.


        For 2015, GM bought a paltry number of NEV credits, and Tesla sold lots of BEV credits to Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and Honda.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Why would GM buy ZEV credits one year, yet sell them the next… unless they generated a lot more than they need that next year?

          What you’re saying doesn’t seem to have any sense or logic. If GM can bank those credits for future use, then it would be prudent for them to do so. Wannabe dictator El Trumpo isn’t going to be “President for Life”… no matter how much he may want to be!

    2. Taser54 says:

      Comments like this from Elon on are exactly why many view him as a jerk. Here again is another in a long line of comments disparaging groundbreaking EVs or EREVs by others. Elon just called the Bolt a compliance car. Funny how he fails to explain why GM is rolling the Bolt out in non-Carb states and why GM is selling the Bolt internationally if it’s just a CARB credit play.

      1. Anon says:

        Elon is 100% correct regarding the Bolt and GM using it specifically to leverage CARB Credits.

        Have you actually TRIED to buy a Bolt in a non-CARB state?

        They don’t exist here. I still can’t buy one, due to intentional underproduction.

        1. Rick says:

          Exactly, much worse outside the US. Only rolling out to four, yes four other countries this year in very limited numbers. The exact definition of a compliance car. Can’t get your hands on one.

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            “Exactly, much worse outside the US. Only rolling out to four, yes four other countries this year in very limited numbers. The exact definition of a compliance car. Can’t get your hands on one.”

            Not at all is that the definition of a compliance car. If the point is to comply with CARB requirements to continue selling cars in those states, then the remaining 40 or so states and 4 countries would get a grand total of 0 cars.

            The Spark EV started as a compliance car. (And even here in Texas I can get mine serviced at a local dealer.)

            The Bolt EV is absolutely 100% not a compliance car. Just because Electrek and a bunch of random internet commenters keeps calling it one doesn’t mean it is.


            1. Stimpacker says:

              Let history show who is correct when we finally see a report that GM sold more than 30K Bolts.

              1. WadeTyhon says:

                Does “Compliance car” suddenly mean 30,000 units of sales in the US?

                Is that really the only barometer now?

                I guess the Leaf is a compliance car. And the Model X. Also the BMW i3 and Model S. And every single EV ever up to this point.

                1. sveno says:

                  The Bolt EV is a compliance car but it is also more than simply a compliance car so you are both correct.

                  When you have production capacity and you artificially limit it then what purpose does that serve? To conquer the global EV market?

                  From my perspective Bolt EV is also manufactured for marketing(raising GMs value) purposes and EV-tech evaluation purposes.

                2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  WadeTyhon said:

                  “If the point is to comply with CARB requirements to continue selling cars in those states, then the remaining 40 or so states and 4 countries would get a grand total of 0 cars.

                  “The Spark EV started as a compliance car.”

                  Part of the problem here is that we don’t all agree on what the exact definition of what the term “compliance car” means.

                  I think the term should mean “a car designed and built only for conformance to CARB standards”, which means it would be a car that’s not designed or produced to be sold in sufficient numbers to be profitable.

                  That’s a very real difference. If you’re designing a car to make a profit, you’ll try to make the entire car (as well as every individual part in that car) as inexpensively as possible. Contrariwise, if your aim is to make a car in low numbers with no hope of it ever being profitable, then you’ll design the car so that the overall cost for the entire program — including R&D and tooling-up costs — are as low as possible, even if that means a unit cost which is too high to ever be profitable.

                  This is why something designed and built to be a compliance car can’t suddenly become something more. Because if the auto maker suddenly decided it wanted to make and sell the car in larger number, it would have to redesign the entire car from scratch! And if they did, then obviously it wouldn’t be the same car; it would be a different model.

                  By my definition, the Spark EV didn’t suddenly become “not a compliance car” just because GM decided to sell a relative handful of them outside CARB states, probably for marketing reasons rather than reasons of making a profit. The Spark EV was designed and built to be a compliance car. The fact that GM marketing chose to sell a very small number of them outside CARB States, doesn’t change what the car actually is, at least not by my definition. (Obviously my esteemed colleague who posts InsideEVs comments as “SparkEV” disagrees.)

                  And by the same token, if GM plans to eventually make a profit on the Bolt EV — and I’m fairly sure that is their plan, despite Elon’s GM bashing here — then by definition (at least my definition): The Bolt EV was designed and built to not be a compliance car!.


                  1. Jason says:

                    That’s a lot to take in. I’m not American, so my understanding of CARB might be inaccurate, but here goes:
                    If you sell ICE in CA you will incur a fine because of the pollution caused. But you can purchase credits to offset that fine, or produce vehicles that offset the fine.

                    So the manufacturer has to work out what the balance between the fine and building a vehicle to offset is. One reason you see vehicles converted from other vehicles is because the design work has already been done, now there is a smaller amount of cost to swap drive trains.
                    I don’t think any manufacturer willingly makes a vehicle that loses money, it just isn’t good economic practice. I think you will find all compliance vehicle will make money, and the reason I think that is because they are just that bit dearer than their ICE counter part, uncannily about the cost of batteries.

                    The compliance car is only sold in those states it needs to be, but there is actually no reason it can’t be sold in other states.
                    Profit margin is certainly one factor, but I think the real reason compliance cars are not sold everywhere is because the car companies know there is currently not a huge demand for them. As prices drop and features reach (or exceed) parity, you will then see a big shift because consumers will see the value of EV’s, which they really don’t see yet.

                    Bolt isn’t a compliance car because it is not really a conversion of an existing car. Certainly it has similarities to other GM products, but that makes sense to reuse certain bits (blinker stalks, things like that). As to why GM had not moved as many as we would like, or rolled then out to more states, only GM really knows that. I did read you could lease one from any state, I presume that was an accurate report. Maybe LG is having trouble at their end, maybe demand just isn’t as high as expected, and that is certainly the trend for EV’s so far. Model 3 reservation conversions to sales will be very interesting to see.

              2. 300,000 Sales/Deliveries:
                Chevy Bolt EV: 10 Years?
                Tesla Model 3: 2.5 Years?

                Compliance Car, Definition: “OK, IF I MUST, THEN I WILL” Sell EV’s there, so I can sell my 20 Mpg SUV’s & Trucks!

                1. Taser54 says:

                  You’re a compliance car. I mean if we are redefining the term again.

            2. randomhuman says:

              It is a Compliance car. They want to sell most of the European Bolt EV’s (Ampera-e’s) in Norway which is an electric friendly country. Germany gets less than 100 (!!!) cars this year and you can’t even buy them. The only want to lease them (reminds me of EV1). The other two countries will likely get not so much either of the cake. But they get a huge press here how awesome this car is and how good the range is but you can’t even buy it. It’s laughable. They want to sell vaporware. I really like the Bolt, I really like the car but GM’s strategy is a joke. I would probably get even my Model 3 first if would buy it now instead of the Bolt. I heard rumors that 300 cars are planned for Germany in 2018. Unbelievable. To conclude: It is a Compliance car.

        2. BenG says:

          That’s going to change this year though. GM plans a 50 state roll-out with the 2018 Bolt, IINM. Same approach they took with the Gen 2 Volt.

          It kinda makes sense to limit production of an all new model like the Bolt so that you limit the impact of any problems that crop up. Crank up production after you’ve had a chance to correct the initial problems.

          1. What? Thats OK for GM?
            Funny! When Tesla does that, so many say, “They Can’t Make Them On Time!”

            It’s all so funny, all these comparisons! GM will be profitable, making just enough Electrc Cars to keep their heavy (ICE) vehicle lines moving!

            1. Taser54 says:

              Given that musk is counting beta vehicles sold to employees as starting production, he deserves criticism.

            2. Spider-Dan says:

              GM has openly stated their plan for Bolt rollout for years, and they have stuck to it.

              In contrast, Tesla missed their own stated target date for their last new model BY TWO YEARS.

          2. Jason says:

            Isn’t Tesla criticised for short cutting the testing phase, yet here the statement is limiting the initial production to iron out the bugs. You can’t have it both ways, either the traditional manufacturers test the s*** out of their cars so the customer doesn’t have to iron out the bugs, or Tesla is right on the money because that testing is a waste of time.

            When I worked on manufacturing there was an interesting shift from product testing/samples every shift to no product sampling. It was found that testing didn’t find the real problems and manufacturing tolerance was so good anyway, it was cheaper to just replace completely the 2% of defects than pay for the testing. Maybe Tesla is working on that same theory.

        3. ClarksonCote says:

          That is a crazy argument, they are in the process of rolling out the Bolt to all states. Not to mention, people in Canada, South Korea, and Norway already own some. Are those CARB states?

          Have you actually TRIED to buy a Tesla Model 3 in a non-CARB state?

          They don’t exist here. I still can’t buy one, due to intentional underproduction.

          So guess Model 3 is all CARB compliance too. They have far more orders than they can fill, sounds like intentional underproduction to me. And you can bet they won’t be available outside CA initially, so you know, outside of THE CARB state.

          *Rolls eyes*

          1. Actually, SpaceX & Tesla Employees are CARB STATE SUB 2.0! They get theirs first! (Model 3)

            Canada? Awhile before Overseas Buyers! A little bit sooner, I guess!

          2. randomhuman says:

            You can’t get the Model 3 because it is not out yet. Has nothing to do with underproduction but ok. The Chevy Bolt is underproduced that’s for sure.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              So to be clear, do you think everyone in the world are going to get their 400,000 orders in the first month of availability?

              Tesla is also planning a gradual geographical roll out. The only difference is the company.

          3. Jason says:

            Huh? It’s not scheduled release until July 2017. After that date, then make this comment. I guess it is a joke but it just makes you look like an uninformed, sorry.

        4. François Viau says:

          ONE YEAR to get your Bolt in Canada once your order is placed.

          Elon is totally right. For now.

        5. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Have you actually TRIED to buy a Bolt in a non-CARB state? They don’t exist here. I still can’t buy one, due to intentional underproduction.”

          Have you tried to do some basic research before you open your anti-GM pie hole?

          WA and VA are both non-CARB states and there are over 400 of Bolt in those two states ready to sell.

          It is ****** like you who spread false news around to bash other non-Tesla EVs so they won’t sell.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I rather think the Bolt EV’s lackluster sales (currently it seems doubtful they will even achieve 30,000 for the first year) have a lot more to do with GM’s disinterest and lack of advertising, and the way that many or perhaps most Chevy dealers are anti-selling the car, than they have to do with the various anti-GM comments posted to this website.

            I mean, yeah, there are a lot of GM bashing comments posted here. But are those really changing peoples’ minds? Probably a few, but I doubt many.

            Personally, I think the comment someone posted about (paraphrasing here) ~”I let three of my friends/neighbors try out my Bolt EV, and all three immediately said the driver’s seat was so uncomfortable they wouldn’t even consider buying one”~, is a lot more significant than the various “I hate GM because they’re supporting anti-Tesla State legislation” or “I hate GM because they’re dragging their feet about making and selling EVs” comments posted to InsideEVs, all summed up together.

            Then again, maybe that’s just me.

      2. floydboy says:

        Why are you on the wrong bus?! He didn’t disparage the freaking car! He criticizing the weaknesses in the current CARB system!

        1. Null says:

          It’s not just CARB but also CAFE.

          Effect is less on CAFE, due to new categories.

      3. EM says:

        It absolutely is a compliance car. Any suggestion otherwise is completely absurd.

  3. bro1999 says:

    Oh, and Tesla has secretly decided to hard cap Supercharging speeds after a certain number of fast charging sessions are logged. And they never informed customers of this limitation. Nice to be so transparent, Elon.


    1. Tom says:

      Sounds legit.

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ MC Sven Hammer says:

        It sounds 2 Legit 2 Quit Supercharging. Word.

        It’s Hammer time! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Looking at the thread, this was:
      -after >250 fast DC charge sessions
      -the car charges at 90KW

      All these cars taper down to about 90KW, before reaching ~100miles of range in their charge. As thread comments show, and is my experience, the net time this person is complaining about is barely 5 minutes. When cars reach 150-200+ miles, they drop further down to charge rates near 50KW. That is how tapering normally works.

      1. Anon says:

        Most people don’t grasp Physics, so they create scapegoats to blame what they don’t understand.

        The ancient Greeks did this. They were called “Myths”.

      2. BenG says:

        The dude said he had 245 ChaDeMo quick charge sessions + 50-60 SuperCharger sessions.

        He says the slower charging rate imposed by the restriction is costing him 5-10 minutes per Supercharger session. Which is enough to be an irritation if you are on a schedule.

        I would be unhappy if I were him too. There should have been disclosure about this limit up front whenever it was rolled out. And Tesla should not treat a 50 KW ChaDeMo session the same as it treats a 115-120 KW SuperCharger session. I doubt there is any “extra” degradation above normal from charging at 50 KW as that is way under the new limit of 90 KW that the software has imposed on him.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “I doubt there is any ‘extra’ degradation above normal from charging at 50 KW…”

          You think repeatedly charging at DCFC speeds, instead of using slow charging at home, doesn’t degrade li-ion batteries any faster than normal? Then you know very little about li-ion batteries, and you don’t have an informed opinion on the subject.


      3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ comrade sven says:

        You can read the complete diagnostic report from the Tesla Service Center in comment #82 by the OP. Page 3 of the diagnostic report says the following:

        “According Tesla engineers once vehicle has been DC fast charged over a specified amount, the battery management system restricts DC charging to prevent degradation of the battery pack. According Tesla engineers, this vehicle has seen significant DC fast charging and is now has permanently restricted DC charging speeds.”



    3. BenG says:

      This is interesting. Seems like Tesla is screwing up counting relatively low-power DC charging sessions against a lifetime limit of fast-charge sessions.

      I can kinda understand them throttling down super-charging rates from 115 KW to 90 KW after a set number to prevent battery degradation, but if you are regularly charging off a ChaDeMo charger at 50 KW, that shouldn’t be any kind of problem.

    4. jelloslug says:

      We have a 2013 Model S with over 70k miles on it here at work and it get’s supercharged all the time; it has not experienced any degradation in supercharging speed. I have over 20k on my 2016 Model S and I have not seen any supercharger degradation either.

      1. BenG says:

        We don’t know the exact situation, but it seems the limit is a new phenomenon and this guy hit it ahead of everyone else because he’s done ~300 DC fast charge sessions in about a year.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          …and yet you persist in claiming such extreme DCFC use shouldn’t result in premature aging of his battery pack.

          Well, science isn’t for everyone! 🙄

    5. georgeS says:

      hey bro,
      Just started wading thru the 7 pages of “cute comments” on that thread. It’s not that clear cut that Tesla really is doing what you and the OP are implying.

      1. BenG says:

        It looks legit unless the guy has gone to a lot of trouble to forge docs.

        1. georgeS says:

          Yes there’s another thread where a guy is trying to collect some data and it looks like the 90’s do charge more slowly.


          I plotted up a bunch of the 85kwh data and will take it with in my car so I can compare next time I charge.

          Thx for the input Bro!

    6. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Feel the power of Over The Air upgrades! How it is nice to know that your car is not yours after all and its performance and behavior can be changed at whim, or disabled at all at any moment by Big Brother at Pablo Alto. Reminds me of these sub-prime auto loans for dead beat borrowers with remote shut-off device that is activated immediately after missed payment 😉

    7. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ MC Sven Hammer says:

      IIRC, the Tesloop limo service problems with their Tesla battery from frequent use of Superchargers. The dude who used his Tesla as limo between LA and Vegas and used only Supercharging to charge the Tesla to 100% SOC. Tesla replaced the Tesloop’s battery when his estimated range dropped precipitously, and claimed that Tesla’s algorithm couldn’t correctly compute estimated range when Supercharging was used so often as the Tesloop, but that the battery’s condition was fine. Hmmm. . .

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Below is text from the InsideEVs Tesloop battery degradation/replacement article and a link to it.

        “The other interesting problem occurred at the 200,000 miles mark. The range indicator was projecting estimated remaining miles inaccurately, causing the Tesla to power down shortly before it was out of miles. Tesla explained that this is caused by a change in the state of battery chemicals due to the high mileage. The car’s computer wasn’t set up to account for the change, but Tesloop was assured that a simple ‘over-the-air’ software update would be a quick fix. Since the update wasn’t going to be ready for a few months, Tesla replaced the battery, solving the issue and giving us a window into the capacity lost at 200k.”

        “‘We got our 6% range back with the new battery,’ Sonnad said with a laugh reports TechCrunch, ‘But had the firmware been updated, we’d be fine and plugging along.’”


    8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      bro1999 continued his serial anti-Tesla FUD campaign:

      “Tesla has secretly decided to hard cap Supercharging speeds after a certain number of fast charging sessions are logged. And they never informed customers of this limitation. Nice to be so transparent, Elon.”

      Typical anti-Tesla FUD post, desperately trying to spin something positive as if it’s negative.

      Or to put it another way: The Models S and X are designed so that if you fast-charge them too often, the car will slightly reduce the maximum Supercharging rate to prevent premature aging of the battery pack.

      Hey, bro1999: How much have you lost on shorting Tesla stock lately, hmmmm?

      See: “Tesla’s Stock Success Has Cost Short Traders $3.7 Billion This Year”


  4. ffbj says:

    I been saying the same thing all along, though with far fewer words. It’s just business after-all. GM never had any intention of selling more Bolts than they could get CARB credits for. That takes nothing away from the fact that it is a decent car.

    1. Someone out there says:

      Yet they are selling more Bolts than they get CARB credits for, how does that fit with your theory?

      1. Rick says:

        I have yet to see a Bolt/Ampera around here. In Norway some people have to wait until 2019 according to Opel themselves… The reason they sell those cars elsewhere is that there are incentives too. Also good for the brand image and marketing even if it means they sell a couple hundred cars a year at a loss in each market.

        1. Someone out there says:

          They haven’t started yet but they are, otherwise there wouldn’t be an Opel Ampera-e in the first place.
          There are incentives but they are not geared towards the manufacturers but the customer. There is no CARB-like system where every manufacturer needs to sell a certain % of EVs or they get fined. Therefore the CARB motivation simply isn’t there.

        2. SparkEV says:

          If North Koreans are able to post here, they’d complain how Tesla is a CARB compliance car since they can’t get it there.

          1. Sure they can! They all can! Just so long as their name is ‘Kim Jung Un’, and they pay in American Dollars! (Shipping it in from China!)

        3. ClarksonCote says:

          Your reply is quite amusing because you don’t understand a single datapoint versus statistics.

          There are several Canadians that own a Bolt, and I’m certain they are not CARB states. And soon, Bolt will be available nationwide in the US.

          But if you’re going to use only THIS point in time and ignore international sales to justify your bias, might as well apply the same thing to the Model 3.

          It is not available in non-CARB states right now either. That Model 3 must be a compliance car, clearly, by your reasoning. Right?

          1. G2 says:

            Other regions also have their own CARB equivalent incentives. Depending on where you live in Canada it is $5K to $14K

            1. lewl says:

              What does that have to do with GM? The customer gets that money, not the manufacturer.

              CARB credits go to the manufacturer in the US and $7500 credit goes to the consumer.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                …except that, according to various reports, when you lease a Chevy Bolt EV, GM keeps part (half?) of that up-to-$7500 tax credit for itself.

                Generally speaking, when you lease any other plug-in EV, the manufacturer passes along the entire tax credit to the buyer.

                Perhaps that can be avoided if you arrange financing for a least thru your own bank rather than GM Financing? I don’t know. Will GM even allow you to lease one of its cars unless it’s thru GM Financing?

                1. Lewl says:

                  Leasing in Canada also gives credit entirely to the consumer.
                  What happens in the US for leasing has nothing to do with Canada and does not explain how GM somehow benefits by selling here with our incentive model.

      2. Aaron says:

        But they’re not. Look at the sales figures on this site.

        1. Someone out there says:

          They have been for sale in Canada since February, GM doesn’t get any CARB credits from Canada.

          1. Been for sale since February, you say? And our 2017 ‘Alottment’ is already sold out!

            2 things:

            A) Why does Canada have an ‘Alottment’ of just 3 months of sales, to last a whole year? Is Canada like North Korea, now!

            B) I thought the Bolt EV was supposed to be the car you could just buy, without waiting for it to be made, or waiting in line! Wasn’t that what Mary Barra said?

            1. lewl says:

              If they didn’t really intend to sell it in Canada for real, they wouldn’t even attempt it at all. Why bother to pay to everything translated to French, go through the paperwork to have the car available in Canada, train all the dealers, etc.
              Only to purposefully sell just 1000 of them and quit?

              That would probably cost more than they actually make off of them.

              In reality they’re likely just limited by high demand everywhere and will eventually open up more as capacity allows.

        2. WadeTyhon says:

          Strange… I guess Texas is a CARB state now? Seeing as how Ill be test driving the car at my dealer next week and placing an order in June.

          Texas is a CARB state. Only explanation. 🙂

          1. bro1999 says:

            Virginia too I guess

    2. mx says:

      It’s a decent car, but it shows GM has not commitment to the car, or to the concept of electric transportation.

      Where is that electric pickup?
      Not on the drawing board.

      1. terminaltrip421 says:

        mary something or other said there are multiple forthcoming projects planned using the bolt’s platform. so are far as we know there’s plenty “on the drawing board.”

        glad to see you don’t use bother bringing anything factual to your proposed arguments.

    3. ffbj says:

      It wasn’t a theory. I was a prediction based what I felt would be the optimum strategy for the Bolt, which they have followed to the letter.

    4. Nix says:

      “GM never had any intention of selling more Bolts than they could get CARB credits for.”

      That is incorrect. And even Elon isn’t going that far.

      Selling additional cars outside of what they get CARB ZEV credits for is obviously part of their strategy. Nothing Elon said should be confused with anything otherwise.

  5. F150 Brian says:

    Need to check the numbers you are (re)posting here guys…

    25,000 / 0.05% = 50 million

    Tesla will likely fall a tad short of that tally next year 😉

    1. Tim F. says:

      It should read either 5% and 10%, or 0.05 and 0.10. Whoever did the transcript made it a double percentage.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        The intention here was definitely 5%, will put that in brackets in the quote to avoid confusion.

  6. Kdawg says:

    GM is actually closer to hitting the 200K mark than Tesla.

    GM = 136,060
    Tesla = 122,676

    And as of right now, they are selling plugins at a faster rate than Tesla.

    1. philip d says:

      It’s almost certain that by the end of 2018 GM and Tesla will be phasing out the tax incentive.

      It’s going to be fascinating to see how they deal with this loss going forward in the face of competition from the other automakers who up until now have been dragging their feet but will then have a $7500 price advantage.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Many believe that the credit will sunset for ALL Manufacturers at that time, so as not to give a competitive advantage to the laggards.

        1. CVVH says:

          There would have to be a change to the law for that.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Many expect as much, especially with the Republican administration, it’s a convenient time to sunset the credits and “claim victory” in culling more tax credits.

            1. Nix says:

              I personally doubt that it will survive through the tax reform bill that is currently being pushed through Congress.

      2. Ziv says:

        Philip, the part I really can’t wait to see is how they both hand the unlimited $7500 credits they can get for their buyers in the 3-6 months after they hit 200k. Tesla is going to go to town and sell a ton of cars.

        I wonder if GM can find the demand to so the same. The Volt mid-cycle refresh will happen next summer so they may be able to make the Volt even more appealing, but I doubt they can sell more than 3,000 a month.

        The Bolt is probably too utilitarian to sell more than that, but here is hoping they can tart it up and find more buyers. Or maybe by then the 75 kW chargers will be common and the 150 kW charger may be showing up, and the Bolt may look better with a better fast charging system in place. Her is hoping!

        Once the credit drops by $3750, I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the Volt and Bolt see price drops/increased seller incentives in an offsetting amount.

        1. BenG says:

          Yeah it will be interesting to see. As you say Tesla is gearing up to firehose the market with Model 3 supply so that they sell the maximum number possible while the tax credit is still in effect, using that boost to achieve true mass volume production. They appear to have priced the car so that it is a good value compared to competition at the full retail price, so the $7500 tax credit makes it a bargain generating high consumer demand.

          GM would have to significantly cut the price of the Bolt to do generate demand if they wanted to do the same. When you have the choice of a Model 3 w/ $5k in options vs a Bolt Premier at the same price, there’s no comparison. The Bolt will need to be minimum $5k cheaper to draw any consideration, and really more like $10k would get the full retail price down in line with other comparable hot hatches, i.e. the Golf GTI at $25,000.

          1. Nix says:

            GM wouldn’t even need to lower the price. All they would have to do is pass the full $7500 fed tax incentive on to people leasing. From what bro has said before, it sounds like they are only passing $2500 of the tax credit on to customers.

            With that said, only passing on $2500 of the incentive might actually be the best LONG TERM strategic answer for GM. Because when the fed. incentive ends (and it definitely will end) then GM will be in a good position to keep the lease price exactly the same. They would just have to be the ones throwing $2500 into each lease, instead of the passing gov’t money to people leasing.

            It might just save their sales numbers in the long term, instead of seeing a huge massive dip.

            1. BenG says:

              Well the poor lease terms are part of the explanation for why we haven’t seen greater demand so far, for sure. But that is just GM exploiting the early adopters.

              I expect that will change and we’ll see more generous lease terms pretty soon. And there will probably be a modest price break for the 2018s, or at least there will be widespread discounting, especially next year once Model 3s are available without a long wait. And then there will be another price break (or two) when the tax credit levels down.

              The Bolt sells now because it’s the only “affordable” 230+ mile range EV, so even though it’s not competitively priced with it’s gasoline powered competition it still has a decent niche market.

    2. BenG says:

      As of right now Tesla has sold ~12,200 plugins in 2017 in the US, while GM has sold ~11,800. So I’d say Tesla is selling them at a faster rate.

      Yes GM sold more in April, but you’ve got to look at the quarterly cycle for Tesla and include multiple months to get an idea of what their true sales rate is. GM may pull briefly ahead with the May sales, but then Telsa will put up huge numbers in June and move way ahead.

    3. Nix says:

      current numbers don’t reflect the existence of the Model 3. Your prediction would only be accurate if the Model 3 weren’t on the way to market in a few months.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Until they actually sell those cars, and they are in people’s driveways, I will stick to the numbers we have.

  7. Jason Swartz says:

    Yeah I think they meant 5% which is 0.05 which gives you 500,000.

  8. WadeTyhon says:

    “So just for example gives GM roughly – from my count, $7,000 to $10,000 advantage over Tesla for their Chevy Bolt.”

    “That’s why you shouldn’t ask like why, well, GM appears to be losing $10,000 a car on the Bolt. No, they’re not. They are making it up on CARB credits. ”

    So, if GM has a $10,000 advantage… will people who still keep spreading the lie that GM loses $9,000 a car now follow that up by saying Tesla also is losing money on every car?

    I am sure some of them will scramble to figure out a convoluted process by which GM loses thousands on the Bolt while Tesla profits thousands on every Model 3. And why GM is awful for utilizing CARB credits for their own gain but Tesla is not awful for outright selling them to companies who arent producing any EVs at all.

    I just do not get why people claiming to be EV advocates do not want all EVs to succeed. Or hold long against publically traded companies. Let Tesla and GM worry about their profits. Let them find a way to make the most money possible on every vehicle so that EVs can go mainstream. 🙂

    They both make great plug ins… so you just worry about buying the car that works best for you. Model S, Bolt, Volt, Model 3, i3, Leaf, Prius Prime… whatever you want!

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      *hold long “grudges” against

      1. Nix says:

        “will people who still keep spreading the lie that GM loses $9,000 a car…”

        I’m not sure who you are talking about here. Because that BS story with no named source from Business Insider was widely flamed by absolutely everybody here.

        The only people I see ever bring it up here are one-time posters or GM supporters.

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          Not talking about any regulars here. It’s why I like this site, lots of people with common sense. 😉

          But on other sites it lives on strong. I only mentioned it here though since Musk brought it up to shoot it down:

          “…that’s why you shouldn’t ask like why, well, GM appears to be losing $10,000 a car on the Bolt. No, they’re not.”

          But Electrek just days ago wrote another article to try to justify the report. And occasionally mainstream reviews like one I recently watched on CNET still mention the “reports of estimated $9,000 losses” all based on that one baseless article.

    2. Mikey says:

      I totally agree. We have a bunch of people who claim to want EVs to succeed, but then they get into petty corporate cheerleading and rip on every other company making EVs. It’s especially ironic since GM is the second most committed to EVs after Tesla. Why not rip on companies like Toyota that are publicly opposed to EVs instead? Nobody knows…

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Don’t forget Honda and Mazda and Subaru!

        1. Wait! What about Suzuki?

          1. Dave86 says:

            LOL! I own a Suzuki subcompact SUV. It will be my last ICE vehicle.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      WadeTyhon said:

      “I am sure some of them will scramble to figure out a convoluted process by which GM… is awful for utilizing CARB credits for their own gain but Tesla is not awful for outright selling them to companies who arent producing any EVs at all.”

      ^^ this.

      While there is much to complain about how GM is engaged in promoting protectionist State laws to block Tesla sales, at the same time I think we should give GM credit where it’s due.

      Both Tesla bashers and Tesla cheerleaders are guilty of mis-characterizing certain business practices, as if Tesla following industry norms somehow make Tesla either worse than, or better than, other auto makers.

      If GM is attempting to maximize the value of selling Bolt EVs, by preferentially selling them in CARB States, that doesn’t make GM evil or bad; it makes GM smart for selling the car where it can get the most value from that sale. Just like every other auto maker, including Tesla!

  9. BMosier says:

    Elon is just tweaked that Chevy beat him to market with a 200+ mile, $40k car.
    And that it’s selling well enough to put GM in #1 position for plug in vehicles in the month of April.

    It might also tweat him that GM is saving more gas than Tesla (more total plug-ins sold, and more efficient). GM’s 3800 lb Bolt is more efficient than the 5000 lb and 5500 lb MS and MX.

    1. Jon says:

      Except tesla is replacing much larger vehicles then the bolt is. A gas car the size of the bolt gets 30-35mpg. While a gas car the size of the model s gets 20-25mpg, the model x replaces 15-20mpg vehicles

      1. BenG says:

        Not necessarily true. I’ve read that a lot of Tesla owners are former Prius owners … people who want the latest and greatest green automobile, not BMW 5 series owners, though I’m sure there’s some fair number of those types too.

  10. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    When CEO goes trash-talking competitors like some internet board commentator, it means he is running out of ideas how to make his own superior product, or money, or is about to be overcome by competition. Or all of this.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Dear Leader was just giving his Cult Members some new talking points to use in the comment sections on internet green-car sites.

      1. floydboy says:

        LOL! Do you two attend the same anti-Tesla support group!

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yes, they both hold advanced degrees in the Tesla-Hater Cult.

          It’s easy to spot the Tesla-Hater Cultists; they’re the ones who try to apply the term “cultist” to everyone posting positive comments about Tesla and its cars. (I guess it’s a very, very big “cult”! 😀 )

      2. Get Real says:

        Its become a troll and shill fest for sven and zzzz as they are back to their carpet-bombing ways on the Tesla threads here.

        They obviously feel personally threatened by Tesla’s success in leading the EV revolution and forcing the laggard OEMs to start efforts to compete of which the Bolt (which I have btw) is an example.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          I would feel personally threatened if you and Poo-Poo had a love child and spawned Tesla fanboi super troll! 😉

          1. Get Real says:

            Can you please leave your sexual fantasies out of the public comments here?

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              Only if you leave your tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories out of the public comments here.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I might have a little more sympathy for the amount of money Sven is losing by shorting Tesla stock, if he didn’t resort to infantile and scatological name-calling out of frustration over me using actual facts, actual science, and actual logic to refute his serial anti-Tesla FUD, his B.S, and his “alternative facts”.

            But then again… nah. But, Sven, I do appreciate how all the money you’re losing is helping to fund Tesla’s growth. So thanks for that!
            😀 😀 😀

    2. Mark.ca says:

      So you don’t think Tesla product is superior to the Bolt?! Have you actually bothered to drive both? Come on man, you can do better than this!

  11. David Murray says:

    While, I’m sure CARB credits played a role in GM’s production of the Volt and Bolt EV, I’m not convinced that it depends entirely on those credits to make money. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe they would sell the vehicles outside of CARB states. Take Fiat, it’s clear why they only sell the 500e in CARB states.

    1. Nix says:

      As of the end of August 2016, GM had 119 million dollars worth of ZEV credits (23,740 credits in total).

      If GM did not have those credits, they would likely have to buy a significant number of ZEV credits.

      But the largest seller of ZEV credits (Tesla) only had 3,530 credits as of that date.

      If GM had not built the Volt and Bolt, it is unlikely that even Tesla would have been able to sell them enough credits. There simply wouldn’t have been enough credits in this closed market for everybody if GM hadn’t built the Volt and Bolt.

      If GM needed 4,000 credits, and Tesla only had 3,500 credits to sell, the price gets much, much higher.

      I believe this is the math that Elon is talking about.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I grow ever more convinced that “Nix” must be a large team of people all frantically doing deep research into the auto industry, as well as many other entirely unrelated subjects.

        Because no single person could possibly have this much deep and broad knowledge about so many different subjects! C’mon, Nix… ‘fess up! 😉

  12. Eric W. says:

    If Bolt Sells 1,500 a month in USA (Not there yet) that would be 18,000 a year USA. Historically 70+% of PHEVs are sold in Carb states for whatever reasons. If Bolt sells 10K in Europe, that is a yearly total of 28,000. Could be if USA sales are week sell it where you can. I think Bolt is a perfect Europe and Asian car, not so much for USA. When Bolt is selling 5K a month in USA and 5K a month in Europe, then I will congradulate GM on job well done in sell 120K Bolts year after year. I am doubtful this will happen but hopeful for the EV movement that I will be wrong.

  13. georgeS says:

    So why do the carb credits loose value after 20,000 per year.??

    Is it just because he’s selling too many or is there some hard math in the legislation that is causing it.

    1. BenG says:

      It has to do with the number of gas and diesel cars that the company sells in Cali and other CARB states.

      Tesla sells no gas cars, so they have no need for the ZEV credits they generate. GM sells XXX thousand gas cars and so is required to come up with X number of ZEV credits either by building and selling ZEVs or by buying the credits from someone else, aka Tesla.

      1. georgeS says:

        Thx for the answer BenG. Someday I’d like to fully understand how CARB works.

        Do you agree with Fred’s statement^

        “Huh? GM doesn’t sell their CARB credits, they use them directly to offset their ICE sales. Tesla has no ICE sales to offset.”

        1. georgeS says:

          Just read Jays statement below:

          “and next year is the year that CARB gains teeth, as forced compliance moves from .79% this year (where it has been since 2012) to 2% in 2018, then 4% in 2019, 6% in 2020, etc. ”

          It must be that 20,000 EV’s puts GM at their .79% number.

  14. CVVH says:

    Ironic statements from Musk, considering that he has previously mentioned they are going to ramp up production, and adjust sales of the model 3 to maximize the federal tax credits for US buyers. Why do that, if the incentives aren’t worth it or put them at a disadvantage?

    1. BenG says:

      You are confusing two issues. One is the CARB ZEV credits. Tesla has no use for them and so sells them, if they can. GM has to have ZEV credits sufficient to offset their gas-mobile sales in CARB states, which they can secure either by building and selling ZEVs or by buying credits from someone with excess like Tesla. So, GM has an “incentive” to build EVs that Tesla does not: they must secure those credits one way or another.

      The federal tax credit is a different story, and yes Tesla benefits from it, though so far it has been less of an incentive for Tesla (on a per car % of price basis) than for GM, since $7500 off a $40,000 car is a lot bigger % discount than $7500 off of an $80000 car.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        One could argue Tesla is WORSE for EVs on the whole than traditional manufacturers like GM. GM is actively building EVs with an eye towards greater electrification in the future.

        Tesla, OTOH, sells their credits to other manufacturers who are choosing not to build EVs. They are enabling their laggard behavior, so to speak.

        As someone pointed out above though, if people really want to play corporate cheerleader and be all sorts of biased, their hatred of traditional auto should be pointed more at Ford, Honda, Toyota than at GM.

        1. floydboy says:

          So, you’re saying Tesla’s the reason GM’s selling all those Escalades?!

          1. bro1999 says:

            Nope, but they are the reason that FCA/Honda/Ford/Mercedes etc….have been able to hold off on building their own EVs for as long as they have.

            Whoring out ZEV credits to the ICE-sellers and enabling the ICE-sellers to keep making those gas guzzling trucks and SUVs that bring in the money!

            1. bro1999 says:

              Now that GM is pulling in plenty of their own ZEV credits, Tesla’s ability to make a profit off their own ZEV credits sales will soon be serverely crimped.

              1. floydboy says:

                You realize the whole point of the statement was that ALREADY don’t make a lot on the credits! That for Tesla, the credit regime as it’s currently structured, is a DISADVANTAGE!

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  Define not making a lot on the credits…

                  Last year, their only profitable quarter ($22 million profit) was thanks to $139 million in credits being sold.


            2. floydboy says:

              Whoring?! What companies have PAID for the whores?! I’m willing to bet GM was among them!

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                You’d lose that bet. GM has not purchased any BEV credits.


                1. Nix says:

                  Clarkson — those numbers from your link are for one set amount of time, and are not the total of all sales.

                  For example, between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, GM bought 368.865 credits from Tesla.


                  There may very well be more years where GM bought ZEV credits from Tesla too. I don’t have all the data for all years.

                  1. ClarksonCote says:

                    368 credits in 2012. We have data through 2015 presently.

                    That is such a small amount compared to the 80,000 credits Ford, Honda, Chrysler etc. bought from Tesla in 2015.

                    The point being, GM is not being a laggard in developing EVs, other manufacturers are. GM continues to sell Volt and Bolt across all 50 states and internationally. And they were essentially the first main auto mfg to market with a plug-in too in Dec 2010, along with the Nissan Leaf.

                2. WadeTyhon says:

                  Well, basically none… From that link:

                  “GM NEV 76.60”

                  It looks like from…… Miles Electric Vehicles, at least in this link. And a small amount before that if I remember correctly.

                  Not any since that I know of. For 2015 and 2016 the Spark EV sold several thousand units and they built a surplus.

      2. Terawatt says:

        But there is a huge hole in the logic. If a credit is really worth X to a car maker, it should happily buy Tesla’s credits at any price up to X, and a market price of 0.5X, as Musk says he gets, wouldn’t be possible.

        The truth is the credits aren’t worth so much because overall there’s enough to go round pretty well. If the rules were stricter, as they were set to become prior to the Trump Era, this might have changed, and even pushed today’s price up because some would stockpile them. But now it seems more likely CARB will come under pressure from the federal government to relax the rules, while the federal rules themselves disappear.

    2. floydboy says:

      WTF??! I’m thinking you need to go back to the drawing board on that one!

  15. Texas FFE says:

    I’ve never heard Elon MUsk even acknowledge the existence of the Bolt EV before. Having the Bolt out sell both Tesla models for the month of April and taking significant market share must have really rattled Elon. It sounds like Elon is trying a little damage control spin to keep investors from bailing on Tesla.

    BTW I don’t believe GM is losing money on the Bolt, quite the contrary. The tax credits allow the auto manufacturers to jack the price up and achieve very high profit margins. You watch, when the tax credits disappear the cost of the Bolt will drop to the after credit price just like what happened with hybrid vehicles.

    1. Get Real says:

      Well Texas Tesla-hater, GM has already admitted that they do not make money on their EVs yet and need to bring more of the production in house to do so (as Tesla does)!!!

      Read and weep:

    2. Terawatt says:

      I’m sorry FFE, but anyone crazy enough to get a Ford Focus Electric has already proved his utter lack of judgement and is excluded from the discussion. 🙂

      1. Texas FFE says:

        My dumb little FFE has 50k miles on it and is doing a very good job at saving me lots of money, thank you.

  16. SparkEV says:

    Last I checked, there are plenty of Bolts sitting on dealer lots. Musk would have more credibility if there’s supply shortage, and GM refusing to produce more. That isn’t the case; even if GM produced 400,000 Bolts, 395,000 of then would still be sitting on dealer lots.

    Some here complain that they can’t get it in their state, but the fact is, CA and few CARB states represent over 50% of EV sales. Even if Bolt is sold nationwide, you can expect less than double of current level of sales, if that; people are shifting to SUV far more than in past few years.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      There aren’t any Bolts in Colorado. Colorado should be a huge state for the Bolt because of the $5,000 tax credit but GM doesn’t seem to be able to get the Bolt on dealer lots in Colorado. There definitely appears to be a supply problem right now at least as far as Colorado is concerned.

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Isn’t it supposed to launch there this month?

        It is only the 5th of May. I imagine vehicles are still in transit and most first month Bolts in Colorado will be fulfilling orders taken in March and April.


        1. Texas FFE says:

          If GM was keeping up with demand then we should have seen Bolts on dealer lots already. Regardless, Colorado is a very good litmus test, if sales haven’t improved and there still isn’t any inventory in Colorado by the end of the month then we will know that GM is not serious about selling the Bolt. If Colorado doesn’t go well then I’m afraid we won’t be seeing the Bolt on dealer lots in Texas until September or later.

      2. Ron says:

        Cars.com lists 47 BOLT EV available in Colorado:

        1. Texas FFE says:

          Most of those have been listed as in transit if not longer. But that’s still a lot more than show up on AutoTrader. Maybe we will see some sales in Colorado after all.

    2. Terawatt says:

      Yeah, maybe. But if GM continues to build inventory in US and restrict the rollout geographically despite making cars faster than they sell, it is hard to square with GM wanting very much to sell as many as they can.

      Perhaps if you wanted to sell only quite few and mostly in CARB states, but still have possible deniability you’re just making a compliance car, you would roll it out slowly, make very few vehicles available in non-CARB markets with strong demand, and then say production rates weren’t higher because sales weren’t higher? Seems like a perfectly good way to obfuscate the issue to me. Apart from a few EV nerds people won’t stand much chance to see through it, considering the vast majority of them have no idea what the rules are or why incumbents want to stop or at least delay the transitioning to electric cars.

      1. terminaltrip421 says:

        if you know that supply is ultimately going to be greater than demand why rush to that point creating a larger gap?

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Terawatt said:

        “Perhaps if you wanted to sell only quite few and mostly in CARB states, but still have possible deniability you’re just making a compliance car, you would roll it out slowly…”

        I think you meant “plausible deniability”, not “possible”.

        With all due respect to my fellow Usual Suspects, the frequent post-ers to InsideEVs comment threads, I don’t think GM gives a flying fig about how many people either assert or refute that the Bolt EV is a “compliance car” in posts to Internet forums.

        It’s just a semantic argument. It’s merely an argument over the definition of what the word “compliance” means. If we all agreed, every single one of us, that “Yes, the Bolt EV is just a compliance car,” this wouldn’t cost GM 1¢.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      SparkEV said:

      “Last I checked, there are plenty of Bolts sitting on dealer lots.”

      But are there, really?

      There have been lots of reports posted saying those numbers are not real; that a lot of those cars are not actually on dealer lots, they’re just allotments to be filled later, or at best are units in route to the dealer which haven’t arrived yet.

      Of course it’s best to be skeptical of what we read online (witness all the B.S. in this very comment thread, and more than a bit in what Elon is quoted as saying), but it seems unlikely to me that all those reports are false.

  17. Jay Cole says:

    Just wading in for “fun”, and not to speak to the article/Musk quote specifically (as the question was originally about the $7,500 but Musk flipped it to center on CARB ZEV credits), but I think people should be prepared for Tesla, GM and Nissan to all start talking down the federal $7,500 credit, at least by year’s end – if not sooner…as all 3 will be past/close to the 200k level by this time next year.

    We have been beating this drum at IEV since the credit first went into existence (designed around the 1st gen Chevy Volt), but the whole US program is likely to (sunset/end/be modified) the moment any US manufacturer gets close to losing the full $7,500 credit(or eclipses 200k)…and that day is rapidly approaching.

    It is hard to imagine a US EV sales environment when Tesla & GM are put on an uneven ground to the likes of Toyota & Honda because they took the initiative to build and sell ~200k+ plug-ins faster. The troublesome aspect, given the current political system, is that the credit program (one would think) is now more likely to just disappear than to be modified to be fair to all the players going forward and keep encouraging EV tech.

    While one would might like to think OEMs have altruistic tendencies for EV tech, their first concern is still going to be for themselves. In this case, Musk is now looking at CARB as a hindrance to his business, but everyone would (I think agree) that CARB is the main reason for the EV revolution in the US (and likely the world).

    If CARB is left to its own devices, they will force ~15%* (I know ZEV credit math, but just let it slide this one time) EV adoption by 2025, if not a higher level, and ultimately they would push it to 50% probably within 15 years.

    While Tesla is admittedly pretty fantastic and we love them, we don’t need them to achieve the goal of rapid EV adoption, we need CARB to accelerate the progress…and next year is the year that CARB gains teeth, as forced compliance moves from .79% this year (where it has been since 2012) to 2% in 2018, then 4% in 2019, 6% in 2020, etc.

    The fear on Tesla’s side of things is that OEMs, now forced by CARB to provide EVs in higher and higher numbers to keep selling ICE vehicles, will produce these EVs at cost (or at a loss) to subsidize their ICE business. And as the required EV adoption rate rises, the GMs, Nissans, Toyotas, VWs of the world, will also be forced to start building “better” EVs, in “higher volume” segments.

    ie) VW needs to operate at a ~25% automotive margin, but also sell 1 out of 7 vehicles as a BEV in 2025…so in response, they are likely to produce the 1 BEV at -10% margin (in the worst 15% segment of their business), then the other 6 at 31% (Which is why we see so many EVs today in ‘crappy’ market segments, like compact/city cars)

    In today’s future scenario in the US, as EVs are “forced” to the market ahead of the demand curve, a price subsidy/reduction is needed (or a fee/penalty to buy gas cars to the consumer – which is unlikely in the US environment of today), as Tesla sell 100% all-electric cars, the selling landscape for them in 2025, provided CARB’s plans are untouched by the current administration, is very rocky. To see this in action already, look at the MY 2018-2019 offerings planned by major OEMs (beginning with the Bolt EV this year) in response to the start of the CARB ramp…its like a magical EV fairy has waved her wand and materialized some pretty swell new EVs.

    These “future” BEVs, with forced significant improvements via CARB to hit numbers, at almost no margins, will more and more enter Tesla’s reality.

    As an example…CARB states make up ~5 million automotive sales in the US, and of that Toyota has almost a 20% share, so 1 million sales. In 2017 Toyota needs 7,900 credits, or sell about 1,975 EVs…a number they can buy from other OEMs – like Tesla (or pay the fine for and then make it up later). In 2018 (with the 2% CARB number), the number jumps to 5,000 sales needed, then 10,000 in 2019 (these numbers are actually higher, as the travel provision goes away, and one can’t hit the number perfect in all ZEV states…but I digress). Not a huge worry, they can afford that/build some compliance – but its the trend.

    In 7 years/by 2025, whoops Toyota now needs ~60,000 per year in just the CARB states, probably works out to be 100k nationally…plus international compliance on top.

    And this number is just going up if CARB is left to its own devices…which means Toyota needs a friggin awesome BEV on the market by 2025 (likely at a loss per unit) to sell 6 figures in the US (while all the other OEMs are under similar pressure). This is not a great environment for Tesla…at least nowhere near as good if say, CARB was given the ‘administrational beat down’ today.

    1. BenG says:

      I bet you are right.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      “While one would might like to think OEMs have altruistic tendencies for EV tech, their first concern is still going to be for themselves. In this case, Musk is now looking at CARB as a hindrance to his business, but everyone would (I think agree) that CARB is the main reason for the EV revolution in the US (and likely the world).”

      Very interesting perspectives, Jay. I don’t care how Tesla or GM or Nissan or any other manufacturer makes their numbers work.

      I just want more Plug-Ins from all of them. Ok, EV Fairy… sprinkle some more magic fairy dust!

      1. Jay Cole says:

        The “EV fairy” is Mary Nichols, Chairperson at CARB…and she is probably the most important/influential person in the world right now when it comes to getting more EVs on the road.

        Comparatively speaking, we would be no where without CARB today, and the roadmap forward would be very unclear if something was to happen to it.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ comrade sven says:

          Somewhere is China there is a Communist Party boss who is shaking his head because he disagrees with you.

          1. Nix says:

            You mean a cheap knock-off Chinese fairy of the CARB fairy? The one who wouldn’t exist except that CARB led the world and did it first?

    3. bro1999 says:

      Minor clarification: the manufacturers can’t just simply go “F it, I’m not making ZEVs! I’ll just pay the $5k fine per credit short!”.

      They would still need to acquire the minimum # of CARB ZEV credits even if they paid the fines. Without making up the ZEV credit shortfall with actual credits, they would not be allowed to sell cars in CA anymore. Just paying the fines is not enough.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Without making up the ZEV credit shortfall with actual credits, they would not be allowed to sell cars in CA anymore.”

        No, gasmobile makers would just lobby the California State legislature, threatening to stop selling cars in California, and the legislature would overrule CARB. This already happened, back in 2000. It can and will certainly happen again if CARB pushes too far too fast again.

        Gasmobile makers don’t actually have to stop selling cars in California to create enough public pressure to slow or halt CARB increasing the ZEV mandates. They just need to have justification for a credible threat of stopping sales.

    4. Doggydogworld says:

      Jay – CARB has had aggressive ZEV mandates and ramp rates since the early ’90s. They always had to dial them down because technology trumps regulation.

      Mary Nichols is no more important than the other CARB bureaucrats who preceded her. She would have no more success than them if not for improvements in battery technology and the emergence of a company that proved BEVs were finally good enough for mainstream customers.

      If not for Tesla, Mary Nichols and CARB would still be dialing the mandates down every year and doing press releases touting fuel cells “coming real soon”.

    5. Terawatt says:

      You’re right in principle. But the issue is not as major as you think, because of the rapidly increasing market size.

      If the EV market keeps growing by 30% a year for the next five years (probably conservative, certainly if Model 3 succeeds), how long will it take Toyota and Honda to use their quota if indeed they took a big chunk of the market? It depends on when they enter, but the latter they do, the bigger the market and the shorter that time becomes.

      Remember that past 200k cars the full credit still applies another two quarters, then half for two more, then a quarter for another two. Say Honda waits until Tesla buyers no longer get any credit, thus securing the full tax advantage of $7500 out car versus Tesla. Well, if Tesla passes 200k un the US at year end, that means Honda is entering in mid-2019. By then, the market is much bigger, so if they carried a big share they’d use up their own 200k much faster than Tesla did.

      I agree that the system is poorly designed. The 200k is the same for all, but how many cars benefit from the time-based extensions obviously depends heavily on market size. Therefore the rules reward the laggards, and that isn’t exactly optimal!

    6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Jay Cole wrote:

      “If CARB is left to its own devices, they will force ~15%… EV adoption by 2025, if not a higher level…”

      Sorry, Jay, I firmly disagree.

      I know I’m going out on a limb here, because you very obviously know a lot more about the auto industry in general, and specifically about the EV auto industry. However, government mandates cannot create technological innovation, nor can they force people to buy very expensive things they don’t actually want.

      Even Norway’s quite draconian fees and taxes on gasmobiles, up to 100% of sticker price in some cases, has not driven sales of plug-in EVs up past 37.5% of the new car market (source 1), and CARB certainly isn’t going to be able to force such draconian measures onto all auto sales in California.

      CARB already reached beyond its grasp with the 1999-2000 ZEV mandate, and had to roll that back. If CARB tries to mandate ~15% ZEV sales as soon as 2025, they’ll likely have to roll that back too.

      Sooner or later, the exponential “S-curve” sales growth factor will kick in for the EV revolution, just as it does for every disruptive tech revolution. When that happens, we won’t need any government mandates at all to promote or accelerate sales of EVs. That will happen when, or after, two things happen: (1) battery prices drop some more, and (2) EV makers figure out how to enable their EVs to fast-charge even faster.

      It won’t happen because of some government incentives or mandates. Economic forces are more powerful than politics.

      source 1:
      “The highest-ever monthly market share for the plug-in electric passenger segment [in Norway] was achieved in January 2017 with 37.5% of new car sales.”


      1. Jay Cole says:

        Everyone is of course free to their 2p around here, so happy to be disagreed with.

        The CARB of yesteryear is not that of today. And yes, it had been broken in the past, but the difference now is that when the minimum ZEV credit legislation was set out for 2012 at .79%, CARB withstood the OEMs/lobbyiests, and that was the basis for what we have seen to date in the EV revolution.

        Now, the next bump (and sliding scale higher) is set for 2% in 2018 (4% in 2019, 6% in 2020 etc), and the OEMs have yet again failed since 2012 to break CARB, so now we are seeing the sudden wave of “capable” EVs starting to arrive.

        With the new administration, in theory, CARB can be taken down (depending on the resolve), however automotive tech, as we know, moves slow, and products are planned ~48 months ahead of the release, locked down within ~24 months.

        No one expected this administration to be in place up until November, and because CARB was not beaten down ~~4 years ago for the 2018 ramp in min standards, all the OEMS have been forced to product plan, and now implement compliance.

        Meaning if CARB was disbanded today (which it really can’t be…it would take likely 1-2 years to get through the system and challenges), yes the impedance to sell would fall, but the products would still see the light of day.

        The other side of this coin, is that we have already come so far, and many other regions/countries have now taken up the fight as well (like Norway in your example), so its not something to go easily back on.

        Further to this administration and its effects on the EPA/CAFE MPG…and yes CARB, even if rolled back setting the OEMs “free”; those same OEMs (conscious of the lead times required) have to believe that this administration and its point of view can survive the ‘next’ election event, and the potential for all this policy to be instantly reversed again…and the current administration has some really bad popularity numbers already.

        Basically, CARB has done most of the heavy lifting already to get us where we are today from the 2012 start, and in holding the line on 2018 regs to get us to all these more capable EVs we see arriving shortly.

        There is a case to be made that we have gone past the tipping point of a reliance on CARB for strong EV adoption…but personally, I’d rather see it hold be able to hold the line a little longer, at least until the federal credit wind-down has been played out.

  18. Savin4aTesla says:

    Wow! The trolls are out in the comments section of this article! Do you work for or invest in big oil? You really like to sh#t on someone who is successful and is trying to make the world a better place! I really don’t see how Elon’s little car company is going to affect your lives!!

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Don’t look in the mirror, and don’t feed yourself!

  19. whereismycoffee says:

    Gross margin is the best indicator, because it removes other factors and shows if the car can be made at a profit. Tesla has been consistently 20% or better here. G.M., we don’t know.

    So let’s put this to rest. Tesla makes 20% or more per unit manufactured.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Tesla gross margin on cars sold needs to cover the the lost profits or the return on capital invested for the Tesla business segments that Elon says will not be run as profit centers (ie Service Centers and Superchargers), and for Company Stores that bypass the dealership business model. Thus, Tesla’s gross margins of the cars that it sells will have to he higher than other car manufacturers, which don’t have these self-imposed burdens.

    2. Terawatt says:

      Gross margin is utterly information-free with regards to whether a product “can be made at a profit” as you put it. It’s literally ONLY true if you assume you make INFINITELY many of the product.

      It’s interesting, but it actually must be viewed in context of other costs, projected volume and projected prices to say ANYTHING AT ALL about whether a product can be made at a profit in any real-world physically-possibly scenario.

      If you don’t think this is true, I suggest you take a look at gross margins versus profits in the pharmaceutical industry! A pill that cost fractions of a cent to manufacture costs hundreds of millions of dollars to tests and develop, with a great risk of never reaching the market at all. Gross margins are tens of thousands of percent, but the companies sometimes profit and sometimes lose money.

      The same analogy illustrates the point well. A super effective, safe pill with no side effects that transforms a patient’s prognosis from “die slowly over ten years in ever greater pain each day” to “live a completely normal life” and that can be manufactured at a gross margin of 50,000% may not be profitable at all. If it costs a billion to bring to market and the disease/condition is very rare, you won’t make back your fixed costs in time.

      In the case of Tesla, we simply don’t know to what extent the cost of everything but the inputs to manufacturing scale with volume. They are probably not proportional (material costs are, or nearly since higher volume usually means somewhat better unit prices).

      So while it makes sense to use the gross margin to argue that Tesla likely can have better profitability at higher volumes than they do today, it is nonsense to look only at this figure and think it somehow proves Tesla will become super profitable. And by the way, by technology company standards a 25% profit margin, not gross margin, wouldn’t make anyone bat an eyelid. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook are used to around 40%!

  20. georgeS says:

    Thx for the answer BenG. Someday I’d like to fully understand how CARB works.

    Do you agree with Fred’s statement^

    “Huh? GM doesn’t sell their CARB credits, they use them directly to offset their ICE sales. Tesla has no ICE sales to offset.”

    1. BenG says:

      I guess Fred’s statement is correct. Though someone said above that GM has all the CARB credits they need for years to come already from the sale of the Spark EV in prior years.

      But yeah, I’ve not heard of GM selling credits, I guess they are stockpiling them for future use if necessary.

      1. Nix says:

        GM has been buying credits in the past. I don’t have any data newer than August 2016, but they’ve bought credits from Miles, Toyota, and Tesla in the past:



  21. Four Electrics says:

    Elon has nothing but contempt for the intelligence of anyone but himself. That’s why he thinks these ridiculous lines of reasoning are worth attempting to trick others with.

  22. agzand says:

    Musk takes people for fools. Now that their 200k incentive is running out, he wants to get rid of the whole thing. Because once Tesla is out of 200k incentives, competition like VW and Jaguar will start selling their new models with full credit and make Tesla miserable. Once GM start selling 50k Bolt/Opels the other half of his argument will go to dust.

    1. floydboy says:

      That’s NOT what he’s talking about! SHEESH!
      His complaint(which seems to have gotten lost to many in this thread) is that many people are saying that the only reason Tesla survives, is because of government subsidies. He’s saying that not only is that NOT true, but that Tesla actually gets less subsidies than many other manufacturers.

      1. agzand says:

        Well, I can’t blame him. There are a lot of fools around. He gets paid a full $7000 on each Tesla sold. Taxpayers subsidize $100k Teslas for Silicon Valley millionaires. How is that not helping Tesla or puts them in disadvantage? You guys are really hypnotized by this guy. It doesn’t matter if other get paid more or less. For GM, $10k times 25k cars in nothing. It is a fraction of their profit. For Tesla, $10k times 70k cars means 10% additional revenue and cutting losses by two thirds. How is that helping GM more than Tesla?

  23. Scott Franco says:

    I’d be more interested in why Tesla only gets a fraction for the CARB credits. He is saying that GM can apply the credits to their other cars and Tesla can’t?

    1. Nix says:

      He is comparing the cost of not having ZEV credits for GM ($5000 per missing credit) to how much Tesla sells ZEV credits for in the open market. (apparently around $2500 per ZEV credit when there is a buyer)

      What he leaves out is how much GM would have to pay per ZEV credit to buy them on the open market if GM did not sell the Bolt. That number would be somewhere between the $2500 number and the $5000 number. That is because if GM were a net buyer of ZEV credits instead of a builder of ZEV credits, that would change the ZEV market. There would be fewer ZEV credits available, and more buyers.

      Supply down, demand up, the price would go up.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        Ok, I see, thanks for that.

      2. Terawatt says:

        Yeah, and this is where he is least believable.

        In what market where prices are set by mutual agreement does the market price end up being only half the value? If one credit is “worth” $5000 to GM in the sense that it would cost them that much not to have it, but they can earn the credit themselves at a cost of $2000, would it be accurate to claim the true value of the credit, to GM, is $5000?

        Obviously not. It’s a matter of alternative cost. And then it’s complicated by other considerations like image concerns and readiness if EVs become commercially important. These considerations would tend to lower the value of buying credits relative to earning them at the same cost. Hence, if GM is willing to buy at $2500 per credit we can reasonably assume that GM thinks it costs then more than that to earn that same credit.

        All the alternative cost judgements are complicated because while you can know the alternatives (e.g. customer buys a Chevy ICE instead Vs customer buys the new LEAF instead, to mention two of a hundred alternatives) you cannot know with great accuracy what the outcomes will be if you do A, B, or C. And you don’t know what the competitors will do, what the government will do, or how the public moods and fashions will change. You have only educated guesses for each of these variables.

        I think therefore the manufacturers don’t try to do this kind of super-detailed analysis to optimize for some hypothetical set of conditions that are virtually guaranteed never to materialise (even the best won’t be right when guessing the future values of hundreds of uncertain variables). Instead they try to come up with a strategy based on more certain assumptions.

        To stick with GM, I belive their assumptions include at least these considerations:

        – EVs are unlikely to be a commercially important part of the overall market before 2020
        – it is currently, and probably also next year, more profitable to sell ICE than EV
        – EVs are likely to, or at least may plausibly, become commercially important by 2025-2030
        – customers looking for green card tend to be an attractive segment of higher-educated, higher-earning people compared to the average car buyer

        The first two assumptions alone pretty much less you right into the Bolt. Make an EV as well as you can, but make it in fairly small volume and use it to learn about the technology, the user experience, and the customers, so you’re better prepared if or when the day comes where it matters. Even if you only go for the weaker “plausible” rather than “likely”, the Bolt is a relatively affordable insurance against being catastrophically behind if EVs go mainstream.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          WRT that first part, the value is not realized in the market when using the credit against your own ICE sales represents its full value and you can’t otherwise sell the credit for similar value on the street. The street being its own market.

          The discussion reminds me of “tax equity” bringing gains to wind farms, so they can monetize the tax-credits that would be useless to a business that was losing money.

  24. unlucky says:

    This is completely ridiculous. If the market value of the CARB credits is low for Tesla it’s low for GM too.

    His argument is that GM needs CARB credits while Tesla doesn’t. So GM by using their own CARB credits gets the “full retail value” while Tesla has to sell theirs and thus gets only a massively discounted value.

    But this is ridiculous. GM makes a “build or buy” decision on these credits. If they are only worth a tiny bit on the credit market then GM could acquire them on that market for very little. Building credits in-house thus has to be cost-competitive with that and GM has to cost-account them at market value.

    In short, if credits are so damn cheap then GM could buy them cheaply, so claiming they are somehow gaming the system and getting “full retail value” by building cars instead is utter nonsense.

    It is also ridiculous that Musk claims GM is losing money on the Bolt. Really? If GM, a company with massive economies of scale and a good history of cost control is losing money on a $37K EV, then what’s the story for Tesla and their upcoming $30K EV? How does Musk convince himself another company must be building a car as a charity operation when he is planning on making a business of making a similar car for 20% less?

    And the Nevada stuff is just spin. It’s certainly correct, they didn’t get big stacks of cash on day 1 from Nevada. But they are still getting enormous amounts of money supplied by Nevada for their plant. They are benefiting from government largesse, why try to deny it? The Reno area government signed up to give them an amount larger than their entire operating budget for a year! It’s a lot of money. It might pay off, but it’s a lot of money.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      “This is completely ridiculous. If the market value of the CARB credits is low for Tesla it’s low for GM too.”

      Correct, this is basic economics and market efficiencies. Similar types of trades and considerations for Carbon cap-and-trade systems.

      Some companies will find it more cost effective to update their emissions to be in compliance, others will be able to be cleaner than needed, and sell credits to others who it would cost too much to upgrade their emissions.

      Whether you love or hate any individual business, economically speaking, these kinds of schemas are found to be the most efficient method to obtain a goal like this. It is far cheaper – for an industry, and by extension, for consumers – to use this kind of credit system (be it carbon emissions or ZEV credits) to achieve a goal rather than to just mandate everyone make some percentage of progress.

    2. Nix says:

      That actually isn’t possible, because the ZEV program operates as a closed market.

      If GM were to stop building the Bolt, and buy ZEV credits instead, that would change the market. The supply of ZEV credits would go down, and the demand for ZEV credits would go up.

      Since GM’s downside exposure is $5000 dollars/credit if they do not have enough credits, they would have to pay a higher price if they did not build cars that got ZEV credits.

      So GM at any level of scale, GM would definitely have to pay more in the open market for credits than what Tesla currently earns from selling them. So you cannot simply say that if GM didn’t build the Bolt, that their ZEV credit cost would be the same as the price that Tesla currently sells them for. That is because of market forces. When supply goes down and demand goes up, prices rise. Especially in a closed market like the ZEV credit market.

      The actual savings for GM would be that new market price, higher than what Tesla is currently selling for, capped at $5,000/credit.

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        It’s true GM’s buy/build decisions affect ZEV credit prices. The same is true of Tesla. If Musk really wanted higher credit prices, he could sell fewer of his constrained production in CARB states.

        What’s absurd is Musk’s claim that GM gets full value from it’s credits while Tesla gets 50 cents on the dollar. Besides being technically incorrect, it basically amounts to a complaint that GM is ruining his market by making too many EVs. But other carmakers making EVs is exactly what he says he WANTS.

        Even more absurd is Musk’s claim that they’d have a more of an advantage without CARB. He’s always been clear that his competition is not with other EVs, but with lux/sports gascars (e.g. Mercedes S class, BMW 7 series). And ZEV and other credits UNQUESTIONABLY give him an advantage in those markets.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          “. . . with lux/sports gascars (e.g. Mercedes S class, BMW 7 series). And ZEV and other credits UNQUESTIONABLY give him an advantage in those markets.”

          Absolutely correct. You hit the nail on the head.

      2. unlucky says:

        Yes, for certain the non-existence of the credits GM is creating would affect the market. But regardless with GM generating those credits they still are not worth more to GM than to Tesla. GM is only getting “replacement value” in terms of value for these credits.

        Yes, if GM didn’t make the Bolt it might have to buy credits, possibly from Tesla (capped of course at $5,000). And Tesla would not have to since they don’t consume any credits. But to then go on from that and complain that GM IS making credits is simply (as Get Real puts it?) to complain that other companies are making EVs. I mean, this is the entire point of the program, to encourage companies to make EVs (and ZEVs in general)! He’s basically complaining it’s working?

        Thanks to GM and CARB there is a (relatively) affordable EV in the marketplace before Tesla’s is ready. And Musk thinks this is cause to complain? How disappointing that he feels this way.

        1. Get Real says:

          Serial anti-Tesla troll wrote:

          “But to then go on from that and complain that GM IS making credits is simply (as Get Real puts it?) to complain that other companies are making EVs.”

          I never claimed anything of the sort so you can either prove I wrote that or your lack of proof shows us all what a sloppy troll you are and as thus, none of your serial anti-Tesla FUD is to be believed.

    3. Terawatt says:

      I’ve been making the same point. Market price doesn’t reflect the value to a particular buyer. And it certainly makes no sense to say the true value to GM is the alternative cost of not having the credit versus buying it from Tesla, since they can also earn it themselves.

      However, the cost of buying credits in the market include some relevant indirect ones. By earning the credit -making EVs – you will learn something that you won’t learn by buying it, and that has a value. So in terms of direct costs I don’t think it’s true that earning the credit must be cost-competitive with buying it.

      It seems to me reasonable to assume that EVs may become a commercially important part of the market by, say, 2025. And also to assume it’s currently more profitable to sell ICE than EV.

      Making a relatively low volume of the best EV you can engineer then seems a very logical way to reduce the risk of being catastrophically behind if EVs go quickly mainstream while reducing profits as little as possible.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      unlucky said:

      “…the Nevada stuff is just spin. It’s certainly correct, they [Tesla] didn’t get big stacks of cash on day 1 from Nevada. But they are still getting enormous amounts of money supplied by Nevada for their plant. They are benefiting from government largesse, why try to deny it?”

      Why try to deny it? Ummmm… because it’s largely not true, that’s why!

      Tesla is getting very little if any direct money from the State of Nevada. They are getting a lot of tax deferments, some benefits such as the State building a road connecting to the highway — which it would have done anyway, with the economic development in the area — and I think the State will spend some money on infrastructure such as power lines into the area, and perhaps water and/or sewer lines.

      So far as I know, the only way Tesla is actually making money from what the State is offering, is from transferable tax deferments which Tesla can sell to other companies. And those are contingent on Tesla meeting certain milestones in creating jobs, so it’s not like all or even most of that was up-front enticement.

      “The Reno area government signed up to give them an amount larger than their entire operating budget for a year!”

      First I’ve seen of that claim. Do you have a credible citation for it?

      1. unlucky says:

        Source: it’s true. Do the math yourself. All it takes is a little google. That’s how I did it. You can start from reno.gov I think.

        The factory got $1.3B in tax breaks. And the city of Reno only has $335M revenues in 2015 (I used the 2014 or 2015 figures at time as they were the most recent, I forget). Where I got the number of what percentage of the tax breaks came from the city/county and what came from the state I don’t recall.

        I believe I even posted it on here at the time explaining how to pay off for the city there would have to be about 5x as much taxable revenue created outside the Tesla plant (but due to it) as the plant itself is projected to create. And of course that revenue would have be created without the city giving additional tax breaks to bring them into existence for that math to work. The state predicts the plant will create about 2x as many jobs outside the plant as in it.

        Note that the breaks are spread over 15 years, IIRC. So do the math over 15 years, because after 15 years they’ll surely ask for more breaks or just move on to another places that does give them breaks.

        1. Get Real says:

          Unlike you Lucky, I can actually do research and ALL the tax breaks going To Tesla are from the State of Nevada, not the City of Reno!!!


          So once again your lame-ass attempts to spin this against Tesla fall completely short as usual and I can’t imagine you are going to go out and rave against ALL the tax breaks being given out ALL over the country to attract businesses because your only reason for being here is to post against Tesla.

          1. sven says:

            Wrong! From your link, the 10-year 100% property tax abatement worth $332M would come from the City of Reno and not the state of Nevada.

  25. Nix says:

    This whole EV thing would work better without the backfighting. There was no reason for Elon to specifically talk about GM while correctly describing how CARB ZEV credits are working. Meanwhile, it would be nice if GM weren’t actively backing legislation to block Tesla sales in a number of states, and talking smack about the Model 3.

  26. Get Real says:

    Lots of serial Tesla haters posting here.

    The CARB credits are meant to incentivize all manufacturers to start and then accelerate EV programs.

    Tesla’s stated mission is to push for sustainable transportation.

    On the whole, both are pushing for the same goal but what is frustrating is that certainly up to this point the CARB regulations can be somewhat gamed by the laggard OEMs and certainly their huge subsidies per unit for the fool cell pipe dream are a big diversion away from practical ZEV transportation.

    I have a feeling that going forward if CARB sticks to their timetable or even ratchets it up that you will see a lot of the really laggard OEMs complaining to the Trumpster that this is costing them jobs, blah, blah blah.

    At that point its possible that the fossil–fool controlled Republican Party will make a strong play to neuter CARB so who knows really what will happen.

    In any case, the long game for true sustainable transportation hinges on battery costs and there Tesla is clearly in the lead to dominate and destroy the ICE business and at that point the mission is accomplished and does CARB really matter.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      The CARB credits are designed to achieve mandated goals for EVs in the most economically efficient method possible. The market will arrive at the most efficient method. Companies who can build EVs in a cost effective manner will do so. Those that can’t will buy credits from someone else.

      It is a great system to achieve goals without forcing undue expenses. It is just like carbon emissions cap and trade and this kind of system is well understood by economists.

      1. Terawatt says:

        And, also just like cap and trade, it’s proved utterly dysfunctional.

        The 200k cars is one thing. That at least is the same for early adopters and latecomers. But the time-based phasing out obviously means that the bigger the market is at the time you cross the 200k limit, the more vehicles (for any given market share) will be eligible for the credit. This systematically favours the laggards in any emerging market, and if that isn’t a bad property to design into an incentive system I don’t know what could qualify.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Cite a proof for being dysfunctional please.

          Economically it is he most efficient method to achieve stated goals. We can talk political, social, etc.or talk about whether or not the goals are dysfunctional, but the method being used here is most efficient economically. e.g. The market finds the cheapest way to attain the stated goals as dictated by required credits.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Lots of serial Tesla haters posting here.”

      Lot of serial GM haters posting here, Get Real, Trollfreakingidiot, Anon, ffbj…

      Probably all the same freaking hater…

      1. Get Real says:

        LMFAO as I sit in my early 2012 Volt and staring at my wife’s very early 2017 Bolt while I type this reply.

        So how exactly does that make me a hater MMF?

        1. Get Real says:

          I see now that the silence by MMF is deafening here and I just wanted to also reply to his assertion that I am supposedly posting against GM under multiple usernames—BS!

          If you are really concerned about that phenomena then you should check out the constant spate of new usernames popping up on these Tesla threads and spouting the same old garbage against Tesla as the 6-7 existing anti-Tesla trolls that were already doing this.

  27. cab says:

    I think Elon is right that the Bolt will sell 25-30k, but it isn’t because it is a compliance vehcile…sadly, with 4K+ Bolts sitting on California dealer lots the issue looks to be (as I think it always is with EVs) – DEMAND.

    It’s just not there yet for EVs and especially EVs that cost so much more than their ICE counterparts in every other feature except the drivetrain.

    I had a Volt for 3 years and now drive a Model S…most of my friends and family still have virtually zero interest in EVs and the discussion rarely gets past the initial purchase prices – heck, they even have no interest at the bargain basement prices of used EVS.

    Frankly, even though most folks on here have only a modicum of respect for the Prius Prime, you have to admire Toyota for sticking with the Prius and continuing to be the only auto maker to really push that “new fangled” hybrid platform year after year…they are now reaping those rewards with their plug-in.

    1. Terawatt says:

      You’re making a good point, but it does veg the question of why GM then doesn’t change the rollout plan and shift cars to markets where there is very strong demand?

      South Korea sold out the full allocation for the year in MINUTES. How many cars might there be demand for in that country alone?

      Canada dealers get far fewer cars this year than they can sell and customers wanting to buy it now are told maybe in 2018.

      Norway is not getting enough cars to fulfill the reservations taken in spring 2016 by the end of 2018. Opel Norway had told these customers to expect delivery sometime in 2018, but this week said that it now looks like many of them won’t get their cars until 2019.

      Lots of other European markets have unknown demand, but I think probably much stronger than in America. The best-selling cars in Europe are compact, and Europeans are accustomed to car size bearing little relation to price or status (we have many old, narrow roads, and tighter parking spaces than Americans).

      Of course changing these plans could require some time, but deciding to change them could be done very quickly. The fact that Opel Norway made the announcements it did this week indicates that Opel hasn’t made any such decision, and to my mind it shows they are likely satisfied to increase inventory in the US and justify low production rates with lack of demand rather than keen to sell (and make!) as many as possible.

      Opel having been sold to PSA makes it harder to judge GMs intentions as we know nothing about the terms of that deal. GM may, unless they made very juicy profits indeed on the Ampera-e, prefer to give Opel only the minimum number of cars they are contractually obliged to. It is after all now a competitor, even if not a very direct one.

      1. BenG says:

        The CARB ZEV credits probably have something to do with why GM decided to load up on inventory in California and other CARB states rather than sending it to Norway or wherever.

        Now that inventory levels are decently high there, we’ll see dealers offering better deals on leases, more discounting for cash sales, etc … Those cars will sell and GM is probably counting on the CARB credits.

  28. Pete says:

    Musk’s numbers are wrong!

    25000 Bolts represents 10% of planned 2017 Model 3 production, not 0.10% as stated.

    The error continues saying 25000 Bolts is 0.05% of post 2018 Model 3 production when it should actually be 5%.

    But it’s only wrong by a factor of 100 or so…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Math class is tough!” — Mattel’s “Teen Talk Barbie”, 1992

  29. Victor says:

    The fact that the Chevy Bolt is a compliance car is nothing new to me. I knew this all along.

  30. Rick Rowling says:

    Interestingly, Musk refused to provide the number that the analyst asked for, though he estimated that most preorders would get the full credit:

    “I don’t know, I guess it’s probably most people putting down a deposit would be able to get the full tax credit.”

    “No. Here’s the problem, if we do that, then people run off and make all sorts of conclusions based on that that are not predictive of the future, because you can’t test drive Model 3. If you come into our stores and you want to buy a Model 3, you could buy a Model S or Model X instead. We antisell the Model 3. But our net reservations continue to climb week after week. No advertising, antiselling, nothing to test drive, still grows every week.”

    I can’t really agree with his reasoning here, since people will just this number from other sources (like this website).

  31. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Well, this is certainly going to encourage those who have been saying “The GM Bolt EV is nothing but a compliance car!”

    On the other hand… gotta admit, if what Elon says there is true, then perhaps there is more truth to that accusation than I realized.

    At any rate, I do find it interesting that GM may have yet another reason than the ones I had previously identified, for limiting Bolt EV production to no more than 30k per year.

    Now, some of the rest of what Elon says, is just his “hype” or “spin” to put it politely… or his B.S., to be more blunt. For example: The fact that Tesla can “only” sell carbon credits for what Elon claims is “50¢ on the dollar” to other auto makers, doesn’t mean carbon credits actually “benefit” other auto makers; it merely benefits Tesla somewhat less than what Tesla would like.

  32. Bob Nan says:

    In the first 4 months, some 4,000 + Bolts were sold. But when Model-3 comes to the market, the Bolt sales will also move to all states and accelerate to match 1:1 with Model-3. I guess at least 20,000 Bolts will be sold in USA in this year with another 10,000 in rest of the World.

  33. fanman2020 says:

    I am a Musk supporter, but also a realist. In the case of the Bolt, I the current circumstantial evidence is that it is a compliance car. So much of the design is very good, but the fundamental concept is flawed.

    Tesla figured out early that a clean electric car would have to 1) overcome daily commuting range anxiety, 2) charge rapidly and 3) allow reasonably convenience city-to-city driving. So, they created a low-drag, high-efficiency five-passenger car built around a large battery pack. That took care of 1. Next, they built in a cooling capability that allow rapid battery cell charging and created the Supercharger to address 2. Finally, they built out a network of Superchargers specifically to go from city to city to address 3. While not as convenient as dashing into one of thousands of gas stations built over the last 100+ years, it is pretty good.

    I am a car nut and a green nut. I have a Model S. Even if I drive 240 miles in a day here is Southern California, I simply plug in at night and have a full charge next morning from my 240 VAC charger. I have also taken some long trips, and although it is not perfect, the ability to combine charging with eating or sleeping reduces any inconvenience. It DOES require some planning, and it DOES limit where you can go, although less so every week as the Supercharger network expands.

    The Chevy Bolt is a good commuter concept, but falls short because GM leadership is not yet fully committed to clean cars. The Bolt meets need 1 quite well, but cannot easily make city-to-city journeys more charge quickly enough, even if there were chargers. I think that will change as the demand for clean vehicles grow. It will happen!

    1. Ben says:

      “I am a car nut and a green nut.”

      No you are not a green nut. A green nut would use the bicycle and public transportation system. Somebody who owns a Tesla is never a green nut, he just wants people to believe that. Sort of self satisfaction and self marketing.
      Right now for the current mix of energy sources used in the US to produce power, a standard EV saves just about 20-30% emissions. BUT the Tesla Model S is about 30-40% less efficient than other EVs on the market, heavy and small inside but big from the outside. That is why your Model S is just on par with an ICE of the same cabin volume. Model S drivers are not green nuts, im sorry to tell you that.

      1. Roger Colbeck says:

        I think the savings are greater. Please see

        Also no need to attack a Tesla owner (and no I’m not one. I own an i3 REX and am very happy with it)
        Personally I don’t like Teslas, as I don’t like sedans that look like they should be chauffeured, but that’s just me. They’ve still done a great thing in terms of pushing the adoption and awareness of EVs and incorporating neat technology.

  34. nmikmik says:

    I love when we all try to guess what’s inside everyone elses head be it GM or Musk. The future will prove who is a better guesser and who is not, but for now it’s all patience.
    As far as Bolt being a compliance vehicle, maybe it is maybe it isn’t maybe both. What prevented GM to keep pumping the Sparks for credits and to never bother with another EV? Lot’s of times big and small corporations make decisions that don’t turn out the way they planned or hoped for, just look at ELR.