JP Morgan Analyst Says Chevrolet Bolt Is A Real Threat To Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Production Well Underway On Chevrolet Bolt

Production Well Underway On Chevrolet Bolt

Approximately one week ago, General Motors delivered the first Chevrolet Bolts in California.

Bolts are now headed West in volume with new owners buying most of them up prior to arrival. Soon, the Bolt will make its way to some Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states for first deliveries sometime this Winter.

With 100 or so Bolts being produced at Orion Assembly on a daily basis, production is well beyond compliance level and that apparently has some analysts concerned over Tesla’s ability to hit projected profit targets.

As Barron’s explains:

After meeting with General Motors CFO Chuck Stevens, JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman and team write that they are “even more concerned that Tesla (TSLA) will have a difficult time realizing its profit objectives in the increasingly competitive market for electric vehicles.”

First 3 Chevrolet Bolt EV Deliveries

First 3 Chevrolet Bolt EV Deliveries

It seems the concern is that there’s a limited market of electric car buyers out there right now and the Bolt, in being first in the long-range, affordable electric car segment, will inevitably soak up some of those potential Model 3 buyers, especially if Tesla can’t deliver on its Model 3 price promise of $35,000.

JPMorgan analyst Brinkman states:

“Beyond the fact that the Bolt represents solid competition for the upcoming Tesla Model 3, multiple General Motors representatives spoke to an increasing number of automakers chasing a still limited number of electric vehicle customers (perhaps in part because of the low price of fuel) in a bid to comply with government regulations, leading to a challenged pricing environment.”

Pricing (or affordable pricing, at least) is not an area in which Tesla has shown any ability or willingness to operate. Yes, there have been “entry-level” versions of Teslas offered, but then those get pulled from the market and various changes are made over time that often drive up the prices of both the S and X.

Another issue that Tesla faces is that it needs to profit from electric cars, whereas a lot of the legacy automakers could actually take a loss on selling plug-ins. As Brinkman explains:

“We expect it will become increasingly more difficult for Tesla to profitably compete against an improving array of electric vehicles from automakers which are pricing such vehicles with the aim not to turn a profit but rather to sell in sufficient volume to subsidize the rest of their more lucrative portfolios of internal combustion engine vehicles from a regulatory compliance perspective.”

The Bolt clearly is not a compliance car, as it will be sold nationwide in volume starting mid next year, but still the bolded part of Brinkman’s statement is often true in regard to pricing plug-ins below the profit mark.

So, what are your thoughts on the situation? Does the Bolt and its arrival prior to the Model 3 present any real threat to Tesla? Will the Bolt’s price of $37,495 force Tesla to focus on getting the base Model 3 (rather than offering high-line versions first, as was the case with both the S and X) out of the gate right away? Let us know what you think in Comments below.

Source: Barron’s

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla

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263 Comments on "JP Morgan Analyst Says Chevrolet Bolt Is A Real Threat To Tesla Model 3"

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Seems backwards.

Isn’t the non-existent promised thing supposed to be a threat to the currently fielded product?

If Tesla can really build and sell the Model 3 for $35K without losing money on it then yes, it will destroy the Bolt. The big question is whether Tesla can really build & sell the Model 3 for that price and not lose money.

This is why you hear so much about the Alien dreadnought from Elon. Tesla’s big goal with the Model 3 isn’t to built a super great cool EV car . . . their goal is to be the leanest most efficient EV car manufacturer ever. In that way, the Model S/X and the Model 3 are extremely different beasts.

Except they won’t for years and by then the $7,500 rebate will be done so what is the threat?

Has anyone actually seen a final, after “pens down” version of the Model 3 yet? Sounds like vaporware to me using the terminology so many of you guys use about other cars for which we’ve only seen a prototype 🙂 Just kidding actually, I’m sure the Model 3 will come along, it just won’t be in much volume for some time and nowhere near the $35k mark and won’t work for many families. Single people or DINKS sure but not people with kids, their gear, and the family pet(s).

This author is Promoting the Bolt For his own AGENDA …Show Anyone Both cars and ask them to pick one , even if the person is Brainless , Which one will they Pick? Never mind The .$2,495 Savings ..l m a o……The Cars Speak for themselves..

I know right, the Bolt obviously. The Model 3 is far less usable for the average car buyer.

LOL. The econobox based Bold, with a max production of 30,000 vs. the Porsche like 5 passenger sports sedan for the same price.

Did you just get back from Mars?
You must also hate ice cream, peace on earth, and Apple Pie.

No, I actually prefer the Bolt over the Model 3 and so do a lot of people. A Model 3 can’t, as I’ve stated before several times, me and my family, some gear, and the family pet.

What, are you suggesting we put the dog in the trunk? What kind of person are you that hates dogs. I mean seriously…

Also, if I was looking for a car now, in a year or hell probably in 2 years, the Bolt would probably still be the better choice as I’m not going to pay $50k for a Model 3 if you can even get one by then.

Now, assuming they are available at the $35k, assuming the $7,500 rebate is still available AND if I was single or didn’t have kids than I would probably prefer the Model 3.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that? Low IQ or something? I am genuinely curious.

A Bolt isn’t a “great” family car either. Passenger space is fine but storage space is absolutely tiny, likely smaller than the Model 3. Fold down seats don’t help unless you leaving a family member behind. LOL

Most buyers looking for a family haulerwould pick something with far more storage space than a Bolt.

Well clearly a Suburban would be better but that isn’t what we’re talking about here.

“Fold down seats don’t help unless you leaving a family member behind. LOL”

But taller hatch can fit some tall stuff where your trunk based Model 3 can’t. When I need to haul something large from Costco, I don’t bring my kids with me…

*sigh*. I am sure each and every buyer can find a reason to love/hate Bolt/Model 3. At the end of the day, this kind of “in fighting” is just stupid.

ModernMarvelFan said: “I am sure each and every buyer can find a reason to love/hate Bolt/Model 3. At the end of the day, this kind of ‘in fighting’ is just stupid.” Thank you, MMF. As an EV advocate, I find it disheartening to see all this arguing among other EV advocates and fans; arguing over which is the “better” car, the Bolt or the Model ≡. I think both will sell as many as are made, at least for the first couple of years. Just because people who write articles for the Internet want to write as if there is some sort of high-intensity market battle going on between the Bolt and the Model ≡, doesn’t mean we EV fans have to buy into that faux controversy. Let us please remember that the real competitor for both the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model ≡ is the 98-99% of the market which is gasmobiles, and not the 1-2% of the market which is other plug-in EVs! Both the Bolt and the Model ≡ look to be compelling “semi-affordable” BEVs. I’m sure that many people will find reasons to prefer one over the other. We should celebrate having real choices in… Read more »

So right. There are compelling reasons for both cars. By and large, customers prefer the product that works best for them or that they’re comfortable with.

My next EV will be a Bolt because I find it practical for occasionally hauling stuff, dogs, and taking on short camping trips. My wife wants a 2017 Volt or Model 3 to replace her 2013 Volt because she thinks they’re gorgeous cars and have more comfortable interiors. 🙂

If indeed you are genuinely curious ( I doubt that) how about this:
1. >333 places whereyou can charge placed not at some “friendly dealership” but between cities i.e. where you need them

2. ~ 3 times as fast DC charging,

3. safety (tesla broke the testing machine) five stars in all tests not just “that test” (you’d be amazed how many cars don’t have 5 stars in all tests

4. self-driving hardware used at least as collision avoidance, so again safety

5. aluminum , so no/less rust

6. support a company genuinely interested in doing the right thing for the environment/security

To be fair the advantage for you and for me would be the hatch. I never liked sedans, I would prefer a hatchback any day. But the 6 advantages (there are really more than that) overshadow the hatch aspect.


1) So you’re saying there aren’t fast DCFC options out there for the Bolt, or only 333 of them? Seems far fetched. I wouldn’t even opt for the DCFC so I don’t personally care.

2) See above
3) Has the Model 3 been rated yet?
4) I don’t want self driving hardware and IIRC doesn’t the Bolt offer some of these safety features as well?
5) I don’t live in the rust belt
6) The same can be said for GM, it just isn’t their mission statement.

So again still genuinely curious why people don’t get that works for one person doesn’t work for someone else. If anything all your post does is back up what I already suggested.

The Model3 is a steel body.

All, we know is that the Model 3 has a steel uni-body. Chances are the body panels will be a mixture of plastic, aluminium, and steel.

Also the Bolt EV has aluminum doors, fenders, hood and liftgate.

Tesla hasn’t announced charge rates for the Model S. And cars with smaller packs charge slower. There is no reason to think the Model 3 will charge at 120kW on a 60kWh pack. It is a bit more likely that with an optional pack upgrade it will.

We have a lot of problems here with people assuming things about the Model 3 that simply aren’t facts in evidence. A huge reason many people are so excited about the Model 3 is they would like to get a Model S for $30K. Well, you aren’t going to get a Model S for $30K. You’re going to get a lesser car. How much lesser? We won’t know until closer to release.

Although I like the Model 3, in practical terms the Bolt is what will work. I don’t have disposable income to buy a car because it looks cool, I want to be able to put my mtb in the back without having to dismantle it. The Bolt may not be as eyecatching and cool as the 3, but it would be what I would purchase for my needs. Though I’m also hoping GM put out an AWD version asap.

I have 3 kids and am getting the M3. It is almost the same passenger space as a MS, which I have, and is more than enough. If you are in the market for an econobox, then you are in the market for an enconobox. Neither of these are great family cars. We don’t have specs yet, so this is all supposition, but I would bet the M3 has much more passenger volume than the Bolt. On cargo, there is a trunk and the frunk on the M3, so horizontally much more than the Bolt. The Bolt probably has the M3 vertically, but on total cargo volume, it’s probably a toss up. On the dog, the M3 isn’t technically a hatchback, but it effectively is because you can reach into the trunk over the back seats, same as you can in the Bolt. I don’t know how big your dog is, but neither seems ideal to me…

“but I would bet the M3 has much more passenger volume than the Bolt. ”


Did you know that Bolt has more interior passenger volume than the Model S?

So, you think the Model 3 will have more interior passenger volume than the Model S?

I will take your bet. Where do I place my bet?

The Model 3 has a sealed trunk. Elon even showed this during the unveiling, the shelf structure behind the seats is needed due to the size of the rear windows.

Current Bolt EV price at $37,495 includes shipping but not CCS QC port, plus in any world, many will opt for premium Bolt EV plus CCS option, making the Bolt EV a $42,000 car, and since the $7,500 is only a(n Income) tax rebate, not a purchase rebate or discount, so if you don’t have your delivery in the next week, won’t you still have to wait a year or so to get that $7,500 back? (Sorry, In Ontario, Canada, it is a direct vehicle purchase rebate, and I might be wrong about the US Fed rebate!) So, at $42,000.00, you might want to keep an eye out for the Tesla Model Y, which might we be revealed within the year from now! Elon figures it will have a demand volume of over 500,000 to potentialy 1,000,000 units per year, and since that is far above the companies current capacity, leading with the ?Less Popular? Sedan variant – the Model 3 (at a demand rate that itself, seems to exceed 500,000 units per year), is likely the wise thing for Tesla to do. So, if you can’t wait for the Model Y, by all means, get the Bolt EV! However,… Read more »

Not here to argue, but with the current numbers of both Chevy and Tesla sales, they will both be running out of the $7500 tax credit at the same time. So unless you are going to be pulling the trigger on a Bolt this year, it won’t be a factor on these two models in 2018.

As a Hatchback loving family, we are on the fence about the Model3 (reservation in hand). I am hoping the Model Y is a Hatchback version on the Model3 chassis. Something ala WRX or Golf wagon esk. I would then swap my reservation for the latter, and by then we would know what options really cost on the $35000 model.


Haha. Well at least we’ve blown away all pretension of unbiased assessment.

If forced to choose between a car that exists and a car that does not exist, I will take the former.

Some people don’t need a car, for those the Model 3 is perfectly suitable.


If your dog doesn’t fit then get a cat

If you don’t live in a compliance state, neither will exist for a while.

I’m pretty sure dealers in CA will be happy to ship a Bolt to a buyer in any state. In fact, here is the blog of a guy from MD who bought a Bolt from a SoCal dealership and is waiting for it to be shipped to him.

“Show Anyone Both cars and ask them to pick one , even if the person is Brainless , Which one will they Pick?”

I picked both. Does that mean I have half a brain?

Why the heck all the talk about $7,500 rebate?? If you get it great! If not SO WHAT? When you bought your Camry, or F-150, or Mustang, or whatever you bought…were you worried about not getting a $7,500 rebate on the car? NO!

Like I said…if you get the $7,500 great, but if you don’t, how is that any different than buying a car now?

Enough about the $7,500…It’s the Model 3 we want….or am I wrong?

It’s a government tax credit with a window that is closing, that is why everyone cares about it. If you buy before it closes, you effectively have a $27,500 car. If after, $35k. This isn’t a manufacturer credit that goes in and out every month.

If $7,500 isn’t really a bother to you can you write me a check for it?

I personally wouldn’t pay $40k for the Bolt or the Model 3 however I would pay $30k. That is the difference and is why it’s important…

It’s not as big of a deal on a $100k MS/MX but when it covers nearly 1/4 of the purchase price of a car it’s a big deal.

You’re right about the $7,500 Tax credit towards the purchase of a Plug-in. I’d like to get my $7,500 tax credit towards the purchase of any clean air, alternative fuel or power generating product. Why limit it to cars only? It pleases me to have a say as to where some of my Federal Income Tax dollars get spent.


You’re thinking U.S. market. By Euro standards the Model 3 is more of a mid range car. Small cars are the norm in Europe and most other places in the world. There is also the enormous value in the supercharger network and faster charging of the Tesla over the Bolt. I would also not jump to conclusions about the price being higher.

There is NO WAY Tesla is making any money on a $35k base Model 3. Simply no way.

That is why no one will even be able to get a $35k Model 3 for at least a year after the first 3’s are delivered….each one they sell will be at a loss, and Tesla is hoping many of those people planning to buy a base 3 “upgrade” to a 3 closer to the $43k average transaction price they are forecasting.

Meh. It is possible. Very hard but possible. They will have to push battery costs down 30+%.

But completely stripped down base model made of steel . . . it is do possible.

I think that the base Bolt and Model 3 will both be pretty rare. I imagine neither company would *prefer* to sell the base model without options.

At the very least, most people will be adding one or two packages to the Bolt… such as the fast charge and heated seats/steering wheel. Although base models might go out for ride sharing / fleet / government use and someone who special orders it. 🙂

As far as I know, the plan for Tesla is still that the higher option trims will be made first. So while a base Bolt is currently available to order for those who want it, For the Model 3, it will be at a minimum several months into production before the base arrives.

For myself, I’m gonna be spending at least 43K on my Bolt so… I wouldn’t be surprised if the average price for both vehicles was over 40K.

Let me fix that for you:

“There is no way GM will ever make money on The Bolt given all the profits that LGchem has built into Thier car…”

If GM wants to profit they have to bring at least the drivetrain build in-house. It is the LGChem Bolt with a GM badge so they can still sell less trucks than Ford.

Tesla buys only the cells from battery suppliers at a much lower $/kWhr and does the rest in house. They have a fighting chance to make a profit vs. GM’s compliance car…

You must be presuming that all of the profit margin in an EV is from the battery, because it is a near-certainty that GM has a MUCH better economy of scale on literally every other part of the car.

The Bolt is a completely new car, ground up. For that reason almost every part is built for this car only and doesn’t have the volume advantage. The Bolt and the Model 3 will drive a great deal of growth in the EV market, and it only takes one little hiccup in the oil industry to drive up the price of gas. Happens overnight.

GM still gets better economy of scale on the glass, steel, carpet, leather, paint, seats, A/C, tires, etc. that make up the car.

The windows that go into Silverados are not the same as the windows that go into Impalas, but GM gets their massive economy of scale just the same. This advantage over Tesla is no less applicable for the Bolt than it is for the Equinox.


But the Unadvertised, Limited Production, CARB-Only, Compliance Thing– tends to not sell well anyways. But they’ll gladly sell you gas-guzzler in the meantime. 😉

This article refers to the Bolt, which is none of the above….

It’s all of these things: Unadvertised, Limited Production, CARB-Only, Compliance Thing

The article proves you wrong, I don’t know why you spout lies. This vehicle will be available nationwide.

When Tesla sells the first Model 3’s in California, are you going to claim it is CARB-only compliance?

*Rolls eyes*

..and talk is cheap. Words like soon, available, across the country. I called my dealer maybe 6 months they will have it they don’t even know.

Call a Tesla store to see when they’ll have a Model 3. They either won’t know either, or will give you the “company line” that will be missed.

The difference is that people here let their emotions dictate how they feel about GM versus Tesla instead of looking objectively at the facts.

The Volt had the same roll out. It is now nationwide and has sold more than any other plug-in in the US. Yet people still claim it is compliance.

It is laughable how truly blind people are to their own biases.

Advertisement already happens in California where cars are available. Radio ads are already blasting in the SF Bay Area. Internet ads are also frequent.

Volumes are ramping up and ever increasing each week. So far, the demand is exceeding ramp rating but we have yet to see evidence of 30K+. Also, ever Tesla fan boi tell me that nobody would buy the Bolt over Model 3 so why would GM have more Bolts sitting on the dealer lot waiting for buyers?

Bolt delivery starts in CA/OR and will slowly expand to the rest of the country by mid summer. It isn’t CARB only.

Of course, critics made the same argument on the 2016 Volt but we all knew how that turned out.

At the moment it’s not even going to all the CARB states, per GM. I suppose you can say whatever you wish but their is no authority behind it, just your own views.

Same with your own reviews…

Weren’t you the one that complained about 2016 Volt being a compliance car too?

We all knew how that one turned out…

That was posed as a question to which some said it was and some said it was not. It was based on personal experience where I went to dealers and found they did not want to sell me a Volt, they tried to convince me to get something else.
Now anecdotal evidence is just that, but I found a lot of people saying the same thing. While I have seen many commercials for Chevy, none for the Volt or the Bolt in my area, a none CARB states. So evidence, at least the appearance, of a compliance vehicle is prevalent.

Your belief the Bolt EV will only be in some CARB states (e.g. a “compliance car”) is as far-fetched as people who expect Tesla to be pumping out Model 3 product in mid 2017.

There are no facts whatsoever to even suggest the Bolt will not be in all states. Yet people choose to look at some data points and infer crazy conclusions from them.

Could you take a moment for clarity, and define what you mean by ‘Pumping out the Model 3’? Since it would seem this article, and maybe you agree, that if GM is going to make 30,000 to 50,000 Bolt EV’s, and that = ‘Pumping Out the Bolt EV’, at that volume, then That = about 2,500 to about 4,250 per month. So with that clarified, and about 600-1,060 per week being equally ‘Pumping Them Out’, I would say that once Tesla is making over 600 to about 1,000 Model 3’s per week, you must then agree that they are then also “Pumping Out the Model 3”! ———————– That, then, even though their own internal Goal is to deliver the current reservation holders of more than 350,000 Model 3’s in the first year of production, or nearly 10X GM’s own base production goals for their first year! So, even if they miss their own production goals, and actually take 2 years to deliver the first, or current, backlog of reservations, they will then still be at some 5 to 6 Times (5-6X) the production of the GM/Chevey Bolt EV! I expect both cars demand or desirability and orders will increase as… Read more »

“Could you take a moment for clarity, and define what you mean by ‘Pumping out the Model 3’?”

Analysts smarter than the casual observer have gone on record stating they don’t expect Tesla to make any Model 3 in 2018. Tesla has a poor track record of ever meeting their deadlines, and when they do, their initial production rates are much lower than GM’s production rates.

That’s what I mean by my quote. Meanwhile, GM is actively making the Bolt EV, yet Tesla zealots still crap on GM and praise Tesla.

I want both to succeed, but the biases sometime are stunning.

The leaf is sold nationwide, and look at those sales and value retention…

Playing devils advocate, here are some great reasons to buy a Bolt:

1. As a GM car, I will likely crash in resale value, dropping about 50% within in 3 years like the Leaf. Meanwhile, Teslas are holding value a little better than Mercedes.

2. Because I now trust the company that crushed the EV1. As Lucy says: “It’s different THIS time, Charlie Brown: Kick the football!”

3. Because Supercharging is just too damn easy; no challenge left. Its a challenge to find a charging station in some areas that is open and hasn’t been vandalized.

4. Because I really love GM dealers and trust they won’t shaft me on repairs.

5. Because Teslas are cool and I would rather drive a slower, funky car unnoticed.

So the above are reasons are why I will recommend Bolts … to people I really don’t like. 😉

ever hear of the osborne effect?

I find him unintelligible and his kids are weird. Crazy train is a pretty good song though.

thanks for that, Chris. I wonder if the model 3 announcement has deferred any potential Model S sales.

Chris asked:

“ever hear of the osborne effect?”

Yes, all too often here on InsideEVs. Unfortunately the term is being used in all too many InsideEVs comments far outside what the term actually refers to, which is only the case of anticipation of a later and more updated version of the same product (such as a certain model of car) suppressing sales of the previous or existing version.

This applies to neither the Bolt or the Model ≡, which are both brand-new models.

Bolt is currently competing with model S and X. Bolt has a 200+ mile range and costs a lot less than either. Bolt can’t compete with something that doesn’t exist.

More particularly, the Bolt EV is competing with the currently available Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, VW eGolf, and I suppose – Ford Focus EV; by offering about double to triple the range, maybe some extra room, and basically – a similar price! (And, versus the i3, normal back doors!)

These stories are actually kind of scary. If GM really is losing thousands on each Bolt but sells them at a loss so they can sell their gas-guzzlers then it really will be hard for Tesla to compete.

Tesla does get some money by selling ZEV credits but since just about every other company now has has a plug-in car of their own the value of those ZEV credits that Tesla sells have been dropping. Tesla will really have to be able to build and sell the Model 3 without losing tons of money to survive.

That Gigafactory really needs to deliver on lower costing batteries.

GM is not selling the Bolt at a loss, that’s FUD. Why would GM sell them in non-CARB states and internationally if they made a loss on them and they only wanted CARB credits? In fact, we recently learned they will sell cheaper in Norway than in the US (pre-incentive)! It would be kind of a stupid strategy if the sold them at a loss wouldn’t it? They are not getting any CARB credits from Norway!

It’s not really a massive loss. Those figures are explaining cross-subsidies from other cars. Tesla already gets those cross-subsidies through selling emissions credits to makers of ICE cars.

So they are on a level playing field in this way. Don’t worry about that part.

> If GM really is losing thousands on each Bolt

I doubt the Bolt EV by itself will justify the R&D investment, but they are not losing money on each car made. $37k is a lot of money just to make a car such as Bolt EV, even if you allow $12k-$14k for battery.

They did same thing with Volt and I refer you to the similar articles such as
* “How Much Does the Chevy Volt Cost to Make? Is It Really $89,000?”

How much money will they get back on Bolt EV? Hard to tell.

GM Volt cost 1.2 billion in R&D (not counting the cost of the 2016 upgrade) and they made 130k of them. So it comes at $~9300 per car just in R&D (extremely simplified model), plus marginal cost per car. They sell it for $35k, used to sell them for $40k. I wouldn’t be surprised if all R&D was a loss, but the car itself doesn’t cost them more to make than they sell it for.

speculawyer said: “These stories are actually kind of scary. If GM really is losing thousands on each Bolt but sells them at a loss so they can sell their gas-guzzlers then it really will be hard for Tesla to compete.” I find it shocking just how often this kindergarten-level of oversimplification is used to promote anti-EV FUD. They said it about the Volt, they have and still are saying it about the Model S, and now of course they’re saying it about the Bolt too. There are two distinctly different types of costs that are being confused here (or in the case of Tesla, actually three!). First: Unit costs. Some cars, such as “California compliance” cars, are made in such low numbers that they can’t possibly be sold at a profit. Cars made in large number benefit from the economy of scale; contrariwise, cars made in small numbers cost far too much to be sold at a price which is both profitable and competitive with other cars of similar build quality. It seems pretty clear that the Bolt isn’t a compliance car; it seems pretty clear that that GM intends to make a (probably thin) profit by selling the car.… Read more »

We keep hearing 2 different memes

1) EV’s are not profitable, and nobody wants to buy them, so companies are selling them at a loss just for compliance.

2) EV’s are so wildly profitable, that not only are they making their normal profit margin, they are making an additional $7,500 in profits on each car and raking in massive gov’t subsidies.

Obviously both can’t be true, yet both are still common memes that are used as attacks against EV’s. Sometimes by the exact same people…

Uh . . . *turns head sideways* . . . I have never heard anyone say #2 except a few nuts (like Dan Frederiksen).

spec — you would have heard argument #2 made in this form:

“We don’t need the $7500 federal subsidy, car makers will just drop their price by $7500 when it ends”

Yep, that’s what actually happens when subsidies are dropped. The manufacturer always prices in the Fed Tax Credit, to take it, except Tesla.

Hmmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but the reason why PEV sales in Georgia recently plunged is because when Georgia phased out the State incentive for selling PEVs, auto makers did not drop prices to compensate, making the overall price of PEVs car significantly higher.

So we know of at least one case where your rule of thumb isn’t true. But one exception doesn’t necessarily disprove a general rule. So, can you point to a real-world case where it has been shown to be true?

Well, I’ve heard 1 or 2 cranks say something like that but I don’t think that is mainstream thinking at all. That is just a fringe conspiracy theory view.

It is so obviously false . . . if it was so easy to make inexpensive profitable EVs then companies would have done so. As the Model 3 shows, there is definitely a market for such cars . . . they are just not easy to pull off.

So why do you think Nissan can sell their cars at ridiculous rebates as we heard about in the group buy the other day? Do you think they make a loss from that sale? Of course they don’t.


You may need to expose yourself to how this is discussed at sites like Breitbart, Fox, etc.

Breitbart (who’s former head is now the President Elect’s top advisor for the next 4 years) calls green energy “Politically Correct” energy as a slur. And they call all gov’t programs for “Politically Correct” tax incentives to consumers as filling the pockets of Clinton/Soros politically connected corporate big wig donors who are just pocketing big profits at the cost of the taxpayers as part of the scam of global warming. Which they say just a made up story just to steal taxpayer money, and not a program for tax payers to keep their own tax dollars as an incentive to buy an EV.

This isn’t just a fringe thing, just like Trump didn’t turn out to be a fringe candidate among 17 R’s seeking the nomination. This is mainstream thinking among vast parts of the population in many red states, and is simply accepted as gospel without need of actual facts to back it up.

If you’ve never been down that rabbit hole, you should consider yourself lucky….

Oh I get it . . . but those are all clueless cranks. I guess I meant among EV board discussion people.

Yes, the Breitbart, World Nut Daily, and Infowars crowd live in a world of their paranoid conspiracy theories. They literally believed the Pope endorsed Trump and that Hillary was running a child sex ring in the basement of a Pizza shop that doesn’t even have a basement. Those people don’t count in mature intelligent discussion. They can stay in their basket.

Dan Fredrickson at least had some intelligent things to say. Kinda like a certain Bill here . . . a person that obviously really knows a lot but has also bought into some loopy conspiracy theories.

yup. Those same people.

Dan and his Grey vs. Blue aliens, or B. with his chemical contrails. Tough choices there…




speculawyer said: “Well, I’ve heard 1 or 2 cranks say something like that but I don’t think that is mainstream thinking at all. That is just a fringe conspiracy theory view. “It is so obviously false . . . if it was so easy to make inexpensive profitable EVs then companies would have done so.” Yeah, I’ve seen more than one (but not many) of the tinfoil hat crowd claim that the “real” price for batteries is only about 10% of what battery makers are selling them for, because they can buy small quantities of batteries far below retail on E-bay or similar places. But when you try to tell them that those are probably factory seconds, or returns that can’t legally be sold retail, they just ignore you and keep making the same absurd claims. Other than those few, I really don’t know who Nix is talking about when he says that some claim auto makers are making more profits off selling PEVs (Plug-in EVs) than they are by selling gasmobiles. Personally, I regard the crank claims for very low “real” battery costs as just an expression of wishful thinking. Those cranks really wish they could buy a PEV… Read more »

Had that $7500 fun AND the CA CVRP rebate happen at Berkeley, CA BMW dealership.

Literally had the dealer say the price was higher “due to demand and the extra rebate”. Had to make angry calls to BMW executives to gte it corrected. BMW corporate responded well but price gouge definitely happens….

A lead Toyota hybrid engineer also said 100 mile EVs are cheaper to produce than a hybrid…
Assuming he means a Prius 100 mile EVs should be less than 25k and an addition 100 miles of batteries probablly cost around 6k…
The cost of components does not add up to GM losing money let alone 9k per car and the cost of designing approx 1 billion is expensive but not that much when spread out over a production run…
1 billion at a 30k per 5 year production run adds 6.6k to cost of car…
At 50k per 5 year the cost is 4k per car…

Given Wall Street analysts are mostly useless and can make a pretty good living being consistently wrong in their area of “expertise”, does their opinion mean anything?

Beyond that, I wonder if they considered talking to model 3 reservation owners. If there are numbers that support a good amount of them are considering the Bolt, their contention would have more legitimacy imo. I only know a handful of model 3 reservation holders, but none have given the Bolt serious consideration.

Side note, I’ll believe the Bolt is not a compliance car when it is readily available across the non-carb states. GM may have plans for this to be the case, but their BEV history indicates that should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Analysts are less Schills, since there is money is to be made on green.

Pacifica Hybrid may do more to MS and used MS prices, than Bolt does to M3.

Space, the final frontier, is finally being offered with high efficiency from a major OEM.

I think this is the big question . . . do the analysts at Wall Street really know the current engineering and costs thus pointing out a danger in the Tesla plan?

Or . . . does Elon and his engineering team have a solid plan for building Li-Ion batteries at a cost 30+% less than current battery prices with their Gigafactory. That is the big question.

I don’t know the answer but I am certainly rooting for Team Tesla.

does their opinion mean anything?

I think it actually doesn’t. I think that all analyses posted publicly to the Internet are either:

(1) A form of advertisement, used to attract potential customers to the analysts’ paid services


(2) Attempts to manipulate stock prices by writing either unrealistically optimistic or untruthfully pessimistic faux “analyses” of the company behind the stock.

(And yes, I quite deliberately chose the non-equal terms “unrealistically” and “untruthfully”. Short-sellers post shockingly high volumes of FUD. “Long” investors may be cheerleaders, and their posts are often biased, but they seldom resort to telling outright lies, as is so often the case from FUDsters, nor do they create smear campaigns.)

Will Chevrolet produce 400,000 Bolts? No.
Will Chevrolet produce an AWD Bolt? No.
Will Chevrolet produce a longer-range Bolt? No.
Will Chevrolet produce a performance Bolt? No.
Is Chevrolet selling the Bolt with advanced driver assistance? No.
Is Chevrolet building an extensive high-capacity charging network? No.

There is a lot of space in the market. Be more concerned about hitting cost targets than potential market size if they hit cost targets.

Will Chevrolet produce a RHD Bolt? No

Why would Chevrolet build a RHD Bolt? I mean it’s not like they’re selling them in those regions now anyways…

That’s his point. It’s a compliance car.

So, now the “definition of the compliance car” has been expanded to include RHD requirement as well?

Geez… Ever increasing bar..

First it was the volume and availability, then it is the DCFC, next is the speed of DCFC and now it is RHD too?


Yup. If you twist the definition so thoroughly to demonize other EV, every EV will qualify as compliance car. For example, Tesla sells compliance credits, so every Tesla qualify as compliance cars by twisting the definition.

Fact is, only cars sold in compliance states and no place else are compliance cars. Only Fiat 500e fit that definition now. Even SparkEV was sold outside of compliance areas, even places where Tesla wasn’t sold until recently.

The way the term is being used on here, I’m starting to think my gas burner is a compliance car.

LOL. If it doesn’t come with RHD, some people might see it as a compliance car that runs on gasoline!


I really don’t understand why any EV advocate or fan would try to redefine the term “compliance car” so that every single plug-in EV now being made is, according to their vastly expanded definition, a “compliance car”.

Just what is the motive here? Whatever it is, it certainly ain’t helping useful discussion here, and it seems to show an anti-EV attitude.

Actually no, his point is completely wrong.

1st off Ampel would be the one building the RHD “Bolt” if anyone were going to be, not Chevy.

2nd, it’s not a compliance car. Chevy needs to sell what 400 of them to be a compliance car? Actually they’re already fully set because of the Volt and the Spark so they don’t even need to sell the Bolt for the next couple of years if what I read is true to be CARB compliant. They are going to sell a ton more than 0 or 400 however and in non-CARB states in 2017 so again it’s not a compliance car.

Just because you or some other guy think it’s a compliance car doesn’t make it a compliance car. The facts do and the facts don’t back up that BS.

Until it’s sold in all 50 states as promised, it’s a compliance car. Talk is cheap and GM is a talker.

“Until it’s sold in all 50 states as promised, it’s a compliance car. Talk is cheap and GM is a talker.”

Until you are proven wrong, you aren’t wrong? Is that kind of stupid logic we are lowering ourselves to?

2016 Volt was accused of being compliance when it was launched in CARB state first and now critics are crawling back to their holes.

2017 Bolt will be sold in CARB states first (where the demands are) and slowly roll out to nation wide markets.

Tesla already PROMISED to roll out in California first with its Model 3, are you saying that early Model 3 are compliance car too? That would be stupid logic.

You are both right. Yes, GM has said they will sell it elsewhere. But given GM’s not so good record on honesty, it is reasonable for him to be skeptical of GM’s claims.

Also, yes, the Model 3 really is a compliance car to some degree! Tesla makes money by selling CARB credits to other automakers thus the Model 3 (and Model S & X) is a compliance car to some degree.

“Yes, GM has said they will sell it elsewhere. But given GM’s not so good record on honesty, it is reasonable for him to be skeptical of GM’s claims.”

Really? Has the “new” GM back away from any of the so called PEV program?

Did GM back out its Volt program? Did GM back out of its Bolt program?

Sometimes, I think people just need to get over the EV1 thing and move on.

I’m not saying the Bolt is a compliance car, but let’s not conveniently leave out the Spark EV, which was a compliance car in the USA.

And yet you believe Elon and Tesla? That guy has lied so many damn times yet you guys still believe him it’s a friggin joke.

I commend the guy for doing a job well done but seriously how about an equal playing field.

Elon says he’ll deliver you a CUV next year for $10k “OMG he’s totally gonna do it, he’s our savior”. GM says they’ll deliver the Bolt in 2016 “not ever gonna happen, they suck”. LMAO

Well that was a really pathetic strawman argument. Read my other posts and you’ll see that I am skeptical of everyone.

speculawyer said: “Also, yes, the Model 3 really is a compliance car to some degree! Tesla makes money by selling CARB credits…” Good grief, Speculawyer! I thought you had more sense than this. That is absolutely not what the term “(California) compliance car” means. If everybody uses the term to mean something different, then the term will become meaningless. Might as well write “blah blah” instead of “compliance car”, because nobody will have any idea what you mean. Is that really what y’all want? * * * * * Quoting from a “Green Car Reports” article: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A few of the battery-electric cars you’ve heard about are “real”–meaning their makers want to sell as many as they can. But quite a few of them aren’t. They’re not meant to lure in consumers, or sell in any kind of volume. They’re only built to meet California regulations for zero-emission vehicles–which is why they’re called “compliance cars.” It’s important for buyers, electric-car fans, and the greater public to know which is which, because the automakers won’t tell you. All about volume “Compliance cars” will be made in much lower volumes: only up to a few thousand, versus the tens and hundreds of… Read more »

Meh. It is all semantics and definitions. I don’t view “compliance car” as binary yes/no thing. It is more of a spectrum. If you define “compliance car” as a car ONLY sold in California for ZEV credits that would be a pretty small number of compliance cars.

But what about the Chevy Spark? Most were just made & sold in California. It was clearly largely built to meet CARB compliance. But it was also sold in small numbers in Maryland, Canada, and South Korea. Is it therefore not a compliance car? But it was not sold nation-wide. It is on a spectrum. Same is true for other EVs that are largely sold in California but are also offered in a few other states (but not ALL states).

OMG you’re a (expletive deleted/staff). You don’t get to come up with definitions on your own to try and bash GM or the Bolt. There is a clear definition of what a compliance car is, and it isn’t the Bolt.The Fiat 500, the Spark, sure but the Bolt no.

If you believe we get to pull definitions up and spout off as if they’re gospel then fine Tesla only makes compliance cars because they don’t offer them in every country.

No, you and “mx” don’t get to dictate to us what the meaning of the term “compliance car” is.

Even Tesla Motors always starts out selling its newest models in California. So according you and your absolutely worthless definition, every EV in production today is a “compliance car”. You should go form a club with Humpty Dumpty, who also thought that he could arbitrarily use any word to mean whatever he liked, even if that didn’t communicate anything to anybody else.

Fortunately, most people here don’t share your hostility towards EVs which are actually being built and sold.

Maybe Stimpy is the editor of Elektrek: dedicated to deriding every EV except Tesla. Makes sense for someone who owns a bunch of Tesla stock and wants to goose its value. Makes no sense at all for someone who actually shares Elon’s explicitly stated goal of prodding all automakers into making mass-market EVs.

Uh . . . yes, Opel is making a RHD version of the Chevy Bolt.

Chevy makes the Ampera-e in Michigan, Opel just re-badges it. And unless something’s changed in the last few weeks, it’s still LHD only. A RHD version would probably be called the Vauxhall Ampera-e.

I didn’t know that, I just assumed they would have a RHD model but that was a bad assumption wasn’t it since the only market for that is the UK in Europe.

The RHD market is bigger than just the UK.
It includes Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Isle of Man, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Malta, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, UK.
GM are missing a good opportunity as the BOLT’s size and style would suit most of the above countries.

However, if GM DID make a suitable part of their 30,000 to 50,000 of the Bolt EV production to suit the Right Hand Drive Markets, proportional to their market size, I am pretty sure the volume remaining in the USA would be so small as to actually make it barely enough to sell outside of California and Oregon, let alone other states in the USA, and BC, Ontario, or Quebec!

Doing so would quite likely push it even more into the potential “Compliance Car” status!

So, with only making some 30,000 to 50,000 a year, even shipping them to standard Left Hand Drive Markets in Europe, already puts them at some risk of not having ‘Enough’ for any markets for ‘EV interested’ buyers only!

I still say that GM could resurrect the EV1, with a retail price of $60,000.00 or even more, and if it had a modern Lithium Battery Pack, suitable for 200+ Miles EPA Rated Range, they could still not make enough at 30,000 units a year!

Will Chevrolet produce 400,000 Bolts? No.

Sure possible.

Will Chevrolet produce an AWD Bolt? No.

Why would they?

Will Chevrolet produce a longer-range Bolt? No.

Why would they?

Will Chevrolet produce a performance Bolt? No.

Of course not. Nor does the Bolt fly to space, increase your sex life, etc.

Is Chevrolet selling the Bolt with advanced driver assistance? No.


Is Chevrolet building an extensive high-capacity charging network? No.


First, let me say that I like the Bolt.

“Is Chevrolet building an extensive high-capacity charging network? No.

Yes? Are you referring to the chargers being installed at Stealerships … of which some will be available to the public? That’s not exactly a nationwide charging network. If there’s some other initiative for a nationwide charging network sponsored by GM, would you please provide links to this information.

In California, a BMW is as common as a Toyota, if not more common in some parts. Being that Tesla is a California company, the idea of the Model 3 as a car for the masses means that it will be competing in the $40K range as opposed to the $20K range. This idea might sail over many analysts that are stuck on the East Coast looking at the “national” picture and sometimes forget there is a West Coast mentality about what the competitor might be.

To put this in perspective, the headline does not represent what the analyst said. The analyst did not say the Bolt EV per se represented a threat to the Model 3. These are different vehicles. One a two box aimed at the RAV4 and one a three box aimed at the BMW 3. What he said was that a proliferation of electric vehicles posed a threat to Tesla’s ability to sell the Model 3 profitability. As for differing stories about profitability, it all comes down to what margin you need to be profitable. The rule of thumb is that companies need a 35% – 40% margin above factory variable cost (FVC). Tesla at the moment has a 28% margin over FVC on the Model S. (Some people think that this means Tesla is profitable; others looking at all costs say Tesla loses thousands on each vehicle). So by traditional standards, in order to be profitable, Tesl would need to increase its margin on the Model S and make a decent margin on the Model 3. (Tesla may have a different cost structure so its profit margin requirements may be higher or lower). The analyst was just pointing out that more… Read more »

Maybe the EV market hasn’t matured and plateaued? More and better EVs (and charging capabilities) could escalate demand among those who haven’t seriously considered EVs yet. Maybe there are enough customers for Bolt and Model 3.

He wasn’t talking about just the Bolt EV and the Model 3. Two products are not going to start a price war. No big deal. He was suggesting that regulatory pressures might result in five or six competitive products, a number which would drive down prices to the point that Tesla may not be able to sell the Model 3 at a sufficiently high price.

No doubt lower priced and longer range BEVs will expand the market. But two times a small number is still a small number.

“The rule of thumb is that companies need a 35% – 40% margin above factory variable cost (FVC). Tesla at the moment has a 28% margin over FVC on the Model S.”

Tesla’s and other automaker gross margins are not comparable, they calculate different things. In addition, Tesla’s gross margin is on retail price as Tesla has no dealers. For other automakers gross margin is on dealer cost, that is some 20% less. Subtract just this 20% from 28% and you will get idea why Tesla losses are increasing as number of cars sold increases, despite 28% gross margin in creative accounting.

Yeah. Tesla has no dealers. But they still have to spend money to sell cars. They have to build service bays, build stores, employ salespeople (even if under a different name), etc.

GM meanwhile sells their EVs through existing channels. Call those channels inefficient if you want but when looked at as simply a per-car margin GM has less overhead than Tesla to sell a car.

DonC said:

“The rule of thumb is that companies need a 35% – 40% margin above factory variable cost (FVC). Tesla at the moment has a 28% margin over FVC on the Model S.”

This is exactly the sort of misleading B.S. we’ve come to expect from serial EV bashers.

A 35% gross profit margin is about average for manufacturing as a whole, but is far higher than the average for automobile manufacturing. In fact, Tesla’s gross profit margin — whether it’s 22% or 25% or 28% — is significantly higher than the average.

“It seems the concern is that there’s a limited market of electric car buyers out there right now and the Bolt, in being first in the long-range, affordable electric car segment, will inevitably soak up some of those potential Model 3 buyers, especially if Tesla can’t deliver on its Model 3 price promise of $35,000.”

Well, there are two big assumptions there:

1. They assumed limited EV buyers. It might be true for the Bolt, but Model 3 is certainly appealing to more than just traditional EV buyers. So, the market might be bigger than what they thinks.

2. They assumed that Tesla won’t be able to achieve the $35K price target. If Tesla can scale up at the current pace, I think it will reach that price target. The $35K might be low profit or break even model. But without any further discount needed, Tesla can easily makes up the profit in the higher option trims which is exactly what Tesla does by “upselling”.

So, if you remove those two assumptions, then whole article basically has no merit.

Anyone can make any points by making certain assumptions.

To isolate the Bolt as a threat to Tesla is a bit shortsighted.
In about two years time the threat will come from Mitsubishi ex- series, BMW i- series, Jaguar i- series, Mercedes EQ- series, VW e- series, Audi e-Tron series, Ford Model-E series, Porsche Mission-E series etc etc etc.

Uh, no.

Has this brilliant analyst ever driven a Volt and then a Tesla? Just because a Honda Fit and a BMW M3 have the same range doesn’t mean a lot of M3 drivers will opt for a Fit. The two aren’t remotely in the same league.

What I think might happen, though, is that a few people lease a Bolt while they wait for the 3, which I might do.

I think you are missing the point. He’s not saying the Bolt is a more elegant or attractive car than the Model 3. He’s saying that the Bolt is subsidized by GM gas guzzlers whereas the Model 3 has to turn a profit on its own merits thus Tesla could go bankrupt trying to sell an expensive-to-produce Model 3 at a relatively low price.

Why would GM sell it in other countries if it loses so much money as someone claims?

There are cheaper ways to “subsidize your gas guzzler” sales…

That’s a very good point. I have no idea if GM is losing money on it or not. I’m just pointing out that that is the argument that JP Morgan is making.

BTW, it is the gas-guzzlers subsidizing the Bolt not the otherway around. (The Bolt just allows GM to sell their other vehicles in California but that isn’t really a ‘subsidy’ . . . it is regulation compliance.)

Well, I was making the point that Bolt can be used to subsidize CAFE and ZEV requirement which allows “gas guzzlers” to be sold.

Yes, subsidies (assumed) comes from profit/loss point of view from gas guzzler to Bolt. But they follow in the other direction in terms of CAFE and ZEV requirement.

Of course, that is assuming that Bolt’s sole purpose is that.

I don’t disagree that Bolt has multiple purposes which one of those “may be” helping GM’s CAFE and ZEV requirement. But I think Bolt serves more than just that purpose for GM.

“Well, I was making the point that Bolt can be used to subsidize CAFE and ZEV requirement which allows “gas guzzlers” to be sold.”

This is an antiquated way of looking at the issue. The ZEV credits are essentially cap and trade, where a manufacturer has to meet certain goals. The important bit is that, in doing this, it can either internally generate the credits or buy them from a third party. Consequently, every sale of a Tesla enables the sale of “gas guzzlers” every bit as much as the Bolt EV or Leaf do. That’s by design.

If Elon Musk, and Tesla, really believe their mission statement, then they would not be seeing their CARB credits at all. By selling them they further the ICE sales, but by holding them they retard the ICE sales. The fact they rely on them for their financial viability is a problem IMO.
Anyone who poses to not buy GM based on this aspect should not buy Tesla for the same reason.

The characterization of “subsidized by gas guzzlers” would of course also apply to Tesla as well. Tesla sells its ZEV credits, right? (In fact its only “profitable” quarter of the last few years came from the sale of ZEV credits.) That is a subsidy. Whether a company sells a car and gets credits or buys the credits, in both gas there is the same subsidy.

But his point is a little more subtle than that. He’s saying that all the electric cars being released in this segment will limit the price Tesla can charge. That’s good in the short term for consumers but may make it impossible for Tesla to be profitable.

That’s what I’m planning to do too: lease a Bolt now, and switch to a Model 3 when they’re readily available–which, if we’re being realistic, is probably about the time the Bolt lease will be up.

That said, I think people are setting themselves up for disappointment assuming that the Model 3 is going to somehow be a 7/8ths scale Model S. Not for half the price, it’s not. I’m expecting something more Honda Civic than BMW 330, and that’s fine.

The Bolt is a Threat….. to the Leaf.

Leaf The Leaf alone! Leaf Lover, Long Time!!!

JP Moron makes me laugh! Tell me another knee slapper! Somebody tell CEO Jamie Dimon to quit clowning around!

The Bolt is a Leaf clone with updated battery technology. It’s not really a Model 3 competitor.

Bolt is currently competing with model S and X. Bolt has a 200+ mile range and costs a lot less than either. Bolt can’t compete with something that doesn’t exist.

“Bolt is currently competing with model S and X.”

I like the Bolt and may purchase one. Respectfully, I disagree with this statement. This is like saying a VW Golf is competing against a BMW 7 series because the Golf has the same range as the BMW 7 series.

The Bolt is in a completely different segment than the Model S or Model X. Realistically, how many people spending $120K for a full sized Rocket on wheels comparison shop a $30K Chevy? I’m sure there’s a corner case here and there, but a large number … doubtful.

The analyst’s assumption about a “limited market” for electric cars is simply wrong. It’s kind of like saying in 2009 that Samsung and LG were gonna kill the market for iPhones. The Bolt will easily sell all they can make for 3 or 4 years. So will the Model 3. These Wall Street analysts are clueless.

Well said, sir.

Plug-in EVs currently have only have 1-2% of the market; gasmobiles have 98-99%. If the Bolt and the Model ≡ are as compelling in their “semi-affordable” price range as they appear to be, then it’s more than silly, it’s downright Ludicrous™ to claim that they will offer strong competition to each other. Their main competition will be gasmobiles, not other PEVs!

I think Tesla will have an advantage on price. They are thinking big and planning for larger economies of scale and most everything will be designed and built in-house. GM, on the other hand, just outsourced most of the Bolt to a 3rd party. So there is no way they can be as profitable.

Also, I think the Model-3 will be a more desirable product than the Bolt. The Bolt is one of those vehicles that isn’t really a true SUV, but not really a great car either. So which market does it appeal to?

“So which market does it appeal to?”

Crowded progressive car sharing cities such as SF/LA/Chicago/Seattle/NYC/Boston…etc

Small footprint outside and relative large volume inside is a great combo for inner city usage such as taxi or car sharing services. And in those case, 238 miles are PERFECT and DCFC isn’t required.

Since higher fixed production costs requires more unit sales to break even, larger economies of scale may, and frequently do, end up being a cost disadvantage.

3rd party, as in supplier, as in the manner in which most car companies obtain the vast majority of their parts. Producing in house often does not = cheaper otherwise the manufacturers would not have sold off most of their parts suppliers. In order to improve their profitability.

But the one area where gasmobile makers have not, and will not, farm out making parts and assemblies, is in their core technology of the gasoline motor. That is one of the primary ways in which gasmobile makers compete and differentiate themselves from their competitors. We should expect PEV makers to do the same; to distinguish themselves in the powertrain of their PEVs. Tesla has very obviously done so, and has garnered a reputation for superior engineering there. (Even if one thinks the reputation has been inflated by hype, one can’t deny Tesla’s effectiveness in generating media buzz about the performance of Tesla cars.) That GM has farmed out the entire EV powertrain to an outside company, LG Electronics/LG Chem, is a pretty strong indication that GM currently considers controlling development costs to be more important than developing their own in-house EV tech. Considering that the earlier Volt sold in significantly fewer numbers than GM expected, perhaps that is understandable. But it doesn’t alter the fact that GM will have to play catch-up as PEVs earn a larger and larger segment of the new car market. While on the one hand I can’t blame GM for being cautious about spending… Read more »

Tesla will sell more Model 3’s in 2017 then Chevy can sell Bolt’s! Also if Chevy thinks the Volts drive train is so good, why not put them in every vehicle that they make?

There will likely be more Bolts sold in 2016 than Model IIIs in 2017.

“Also if Chevy thinks the Volts drive train is so good, why not put them in every vehicle that they make?”

They have been expanding it… slowly.

First, it was the failed ELR, then it is the slow selling Malibu and then it is now the CT6 PHEV.

I guess GM believed it is good but its critics have blasted it from day one and buyers don’t agree with GM.

JP Morgan’s approach, in my view, is flawed as it assumes Tesla Model 3 is competing against only electric cars, whereas, Tesla Model 3 is actually competing against all cars. The Tesla Model 3 will be priced similarly to similarly sized luxury internal combustion engine sedans, and that is their true market. Tesla’s investment in battery technology and manufacturing scale, charging capacity and charging infrastructure, performance, safety and self driving functions will make this car a compelling choice to many people. The bolt, and other battery electric vehicles in production, are not similarly priced as compared to similarly sized internal combustion engine vehicles. OEMs to date have not invested in battery scale production, nor have they invested in charging capacity or infrastructure necessary to compete against their internal combustion engine counterparts. Tesla Model 3 will take buyers away from all vehicles (case in point I was going to buy a Mazda 3, but reserved a Tesla instead), but really BMW, Audi and Mercedes will suffer the most, they make money on their sedans. They have started to make noises about battery plants and charging infrastructure in Europe, we’ll see what happens in 2017. Maybe they will have some good pure… Read more »

How is it possible to compete against similarly priced ICE cars when electric cars cost much more to build? An electric 3-series will cost about $50k, vs. $35k for the gas model. The closest ICE competitor to a Bolt (Kia Soul or VW Golf for example) cost about 50% of Chevy Bolt, which is not profitable BTW.

Tesla says a base M3 will cost 35k. Random internet guy says 50k. Who should I believe?

At scale an EV has a drive train cost advantage and fuel tank cost disadvantage. Telsa focuses on high performance segments, where drive train cost is a larger portion of MSRP, to amplify their advantage and mitigate the disadvantage. And they avoid areas like trucks and SUVs where high fuel consumption would amplify their disadvantage (Model X is NOT a SUV, not really even a CUV).

The Bolt competes in the Honda Fit/Kia Soul segment, where drive train is not a major cost component. And at 30k units/year they don’t achieve economies of scale. That’s why the Bolt costs so much more Fit/Soul/etc.

Although GM will sell a Bolt to any consumer who wants one, the real target is Uber/Lyft and, eventually, autonomous Uber/Lyft. Life cycle cost wins in that market, and Bolt should score well on that metric.

In 2012 Musk predicted Model X will start at $60k, so the fact that Tesla says Model 3 will be $35k is less credible than a random guy who can do the numbers.

What I said was that if you make a BMW 3 series electric with 200 mile range it will cost $50k. We know Model S 60 at $65k has slim margins. Let’s say it costs $60k to build. Now a Model 3 will be cheaper to build, but it cannot be half price. Model S 60 doesn’t have many systems that can be eliminated in Model 3. It is already bare bones. I can see they manage to make Model 3 30% cheaper by switching to lower cost powertrain and materials and better battery tech, but that is still $42k in manufacturing cost which means they have to sell it for $45k.

Oh, that’s nothing. Musk said the Model X would only cost a few thousand more than a Model S just weeks before it finally shipped. This was long after they surely knew what they were going to price it at.

The catch? The car had been spoken of and shown only as a 7 seater (with 6 seats optional) until then. On release it became a 5 seater with a multi-thousand dollar upgrade price to the 7 seats they had previously shown.

They decontented the car as if that were the comparison they intended to make all along.

Every Tesla has come in late and over claimed price so far. It is possible that the Model 3 will be the one to break this trend. But it seems like that has to be considered to be an unlikely outcome.

We’ll know for sure only when it happens I think.

agzand said:

“We know Model S 60 at $65k has slim margins. Let’s say it costs $60k to build. Now a Model 3 will be cheaper to build, but it cannot be half price. Model S 60 doesn’t have many systems that can be eliminated in Model 3. It is already bare bones.”

It honestly amazes me how many times we’ve seen this same very obviously flawed argument. It’s like arguing that since Cadillac sells its CTS-V Sedan at an MSRP of $85,595, it couldn’t possibly sell a XTS Sedan at an MSRP of $45,295, let alone an ATS Sedan at a MSRP of $34,595!

Why is it that you, or anyone, would think Tesla can’t do what every other auto maker of any size does?

An $88k Cadillac is pretty much loaded, it has much more standard equipment vs. a $35k ATS, and some of them are expensive systems. So by eliminating them they can cut costs. Now which part of the Model S 60 can be eliminated? None. Besides a $88k Cadillac has huge gross margins, 40% possibly. Model S 60 is a low margin product, in base form it probably has zero margin.

agzand asked:

“How is it possible to compete against similarly priced ICE cars when electric cars cost much more to build?”

I suggest a better question is this: How many years will it be before it costs less to make an electric car than a similarly equipped ICE car, in the price ranges of the world’s best-selling cars?

Let’s look at a bit of history:

2008: Tesla starts selling the Roadster, a BEV with an average sale price of ~$125-$130,000, but fails to make a net profit.

2012: Tesla starts selling the Model S, a BEV with an average sale price of ~$95-100,000, and makes a better than average (for the car industry) gross profit margin.

2016: Tesla startles everyone — including themselves — with an astounding ~400,000 paid advance reservations for a BEV with an estimated average sale price of $42,000, even before anybody has seen the car in its finished production form.

Are you seeing a trend here, agzand? ‘Cuz I certainly am! 🙂

All excellent points and I agree.

Bolt is a compliance car, unfortunately, and also does play in a different league than the model 3 performance and looks wise. There would be enough demand to absorb all you can make production of both but GM has no interest in making it happen, unlike tesla they have other products that give them more profit because they will need more service and are already being produced at scale.

It’s sad, because the Volt was actually making GM look like they got it. But now with the Bolt they made it clear they only really want to sell it as a compliance car, and their advertisements are designed to drag down EV sales rather than push them up. What pushed me over was when they published an up to 40% battery degradation to not be covered by warranty.

Ya, I know what you mean. Their 60% warranty is so much worse than the others that don’t offer up a specific percentage (like Tesla mind you) and a whopping 10% more than the other major nameplates.

I don’t know what ads you’re seeing but the ones I have seen don’t show a dreary family getting in to a car going off in an overly cramped car to toil away breaking rocks for a living…

And no it’s not a compliance car. Sheesh.

Hey, everyone’s got an opinion though 🙂

“What pushed me over was when they published an up to 40% battery degradation to not be covered by warranty.


Beside VW, Hyundai and Nissan, which other EV makers offer CAPACITY warranty at all?

Now, do you have any data that GM’s design would lose that much capacity?

Pretty much my view, though I would qualify that by saying it’s a super compliance car, in that it’s just better than the usual compliance vehicle. So thank you California, without whom we probably never would have seen the Bolt.

“What pushed me over was when they published an up to 40% battery degradation to not be covered by warranty.”

You are drunk from Kool Aid. Tesla offers exactly 0% (zero, nil) degradation warranty. Nissan was forced to offer something in “bars” as defined by Nissan himself by class action lawsuit only.

With the Volt, GM created arguably the best car that had ever been made by an American automaker. They expected sales to match.

They were sorely disappointed.

There are many people who do a lot of talking about how they want EVs, but when it comes down to actually signing the paperwork, suddenly develop uncompromising standards. Well, I WOULD have bought a Bolt, but I can’t drive from El Paso to Nashville in one… even though I never have and would actually take a plane if I had to make that trip.

Uhm, you can ship the car if it’s that important to you dude 🙂

Personally I wouldn’t buy an EV that isn’t available for sale in my state. While I wouldn’t think anything would go wrong should it I want to make sure it can adequately get serviced. I would be afraid of them saying they don’t service them or have the technical expertise, or it just taking weeks for a part to arrive.

I wonder what GM would charge if they were making PowerWalls? Tesla builds a 14kWh battery with inverter and other hardware for 5500$ and I certainly expect there is a decent profit margin figured in. They should be able to build a 60kWh battery for 15-18000$.

I assume GM doesn’t pay much more than that. That leaves 20000 for the rest of the car. A Sonic isn’t a very expensive car, so how is the Bolt not profitable at 37500$?

It is highly unlikely that the Bolt is not profitable…
If GM lost money on them why would they sell them in Europe and eventualy in the non CARB states where there is no mandate…
The 9k loss is most likely a plant story fulling policital or personal anti EV agendas…

I’m on my second Volt (leasing company wouldn’t sell me the first or I’d still have it). I commute less than 10 miles a day and have determined my electric “fuel” costs me 2 cents per mile. Gas would have to be 50 cents a gallon and I’d have to drive some very high MPG car to beat that. Can any ICE vehicle beat that?

The Bolt is NOT a compliance car…
You spend the least amount of money possible engineering a compliance car like the Spark, e500, or FFE not a billion dollars on a stand alone model…
The last time I checked Europe was not listed nor eligible as a compliance car CARB state but the Bolt will be selling there…
Tesla orginally rolled out there roadster and model S in CA and it is not a compliance car…
GM will sell the Bolt nationwide as per there schedule and it is in autonomus testing right NOW so it will have autonomous driving and safety features when GM has them ready for production as not all companies are willing to roll out features that are not fully baked…

Tesla fan bois please deal with the fact that the EV market is going to get very crowded in the next 5 years and the Bolt is simply the first real long range EV from a legacy automaker…
They will be coming from every maker and they will be sold nation and worldwide so please end the mindless EV bashing of non Tesla products…

Your post is just GM party-line which is really not of much consequence.

Like wow man that is almost a meaningful statement but is it any more or less meaningful than the Tesla party line people??
And FWIW I love Tesla but not there fan bois…

That’s correct it’s not more meaningful than the Tesla party line, as they are both non-specific and general.

Your post is classic GM bashing as you have always done.

So, should we ignore it as always too?

Seriously, there is no need to bash the Bolt just because you love your Tesla.

But if piss match on the internet is what you live for daily, then have it your way…

I like the Bolt and may even get one, for my specific needs it is well suited. As far as bashing GM, that’s true, but they continue to do things, that warrant it.

GM already had a “compliance car” in the Spark EV (that was also a test bed for Volt 2.0/Bolt parts….so not a 100% compliance car).

Why would GM need to spend hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars developing the Bolt (and heavily involve a supplier, LG) when it already had the “Compliance car” Spark EV? They could have just kept selling Spark EVs in compliance volumes and satisfy ZEV mandates for the foreseeable future.

The “Bolt is a compliance car” argument makes zero sense.

Your post is just anti-GM party-line which is worthy of no consequence.

It’s people like you that seriously make people like me not want to buy a Tesla. While I don’t root for them to fail when people like you spout this crap over and over it’s admittedly very hard not to.

What ABSOLUTE NONSENSE! Your posts indicate you are likely NOT a fan of Tesla anyway! That being said, this entire exercise is rather ridiculous! Regardless of GM’s intended purpose for the Bolt, I hope they sell as many as they can make! I hope both models do, to supplant as many ICE vehicles as they can! Eyes on the prize people!

Like I said I’m a fan of what they have done but all the Tesla fanboys make it damn hard for me to make them want to succeed. The world would be better off in a certain respect with fewer zealots.

Second, Elon lies to the public over and over and I do not like that whatsoever. The zealots give him a pass meanwhile they don’t give other nameplates anywhere near the same leniency.

My post isn’t nonsense, it’s actually why a lot of people like me have issues with Tesla. Well that and the stupid forced one pedal driving, quality issues, and the other things but if people like them or don’t have a problem with them the more power to them.

If the zealots weren’t zealots and if Elon didn’t lie so much to the public average people like myself wouldn’t have such a beef with them.

Go figure, reasonable logic… Makes sense, well at least if you’re not a zealot.

In this instance, perception is nine tenths of the law! If you actually believe that Musk is an intentionally deceptive person and that a few Tesla fans represent the entirety of opinions of all Tesla fans, then it’s very likely YOUR PERCEPTIONS may be the issue.

Negative opinions of something is easier, if that negativity fulfills a predisposed bias.

Yogurt said: “Tesla fan bois please deal with the fact that the EV market is going to get very crowded in the next 5 years and the Bolt is simply the first real long range EV from a legacy automaker…” Speaking as a Tesla fanboy, or “fanboi” if you prefer: I welcome the debut of the Bolt, which is the first compelling BEV to market in the “semi-affordable” price category. Any true EV advocate will welcome diversity of choices. So sorry that I don’t fit your stereotype. Well, actually… I’m not sorry at all. And the idea that the Bolt will primarily compete with Tesla cars, or vice versa, is downright silly. Gasmobiles currently have 98-99% of the market, and that is what the Bolt and Tesla cars — including the Model ≡ — will mainly be competing with. Quoting from “Tesla needs the one thing only rival carmakers can give it”: Nor does Tesla have the capacity to satisfy the ultimate EV demand that Musk envisions. There are currently about a billion cars in the world and roughly 80 million new ones are built each year. If Tesla hits its 2020 production goal, it will build 500,000 vehicles: 0.625%… Read more »
There are a lot of variables at play here. First of all, right now the only “affordable” 200+ mile BEV is the Bolt EV. So if affordable and available is the determining factor for success, then the Bolt EV wins by default. However, I believe that for the most part, the two cars are meant for different owners. Initially, there will be M3 owners cannibalized by the Bolt EV. Give it 18 months and things will sort themselves out. Yes, other OEM’s will be available with similar range, but I fail to see how Nissan/VW/Hyundai/BMW are going to be able to price their offerings below the current price range of the Bolt EV(which is technically higher than the M3’s suggested cost). Everyone recognizes that the M3 is destined to be optioned at much more than the $35K price, but IIRC the Bolt EV has a current MFSRP of over $42,000—so it is Chevy that has to work on reducing their costs. As much as I like the Bolt EV, $42,000 before rebate is out of my league. OK, it will probably(hopefully)come down in price, but right now is all I can go on and it is not cheap. “Affordable” to… Read more »

A fully loaded Bolt is only $43k and change. Options on Bolt cost a couple hundred dollars each. Bolt won’t be a $50k car, but a M3 will.

Given the Model 3 will surely offer a $7500 self-driving package I’m sure it can reach $50K. Although it will do so with a higher feature set than a Bolt.

Some day the Bolt may have self-driving. I wonder if GM will charge $7500 for that package too. There’s not a lot of reason not to do so if you can get that much. And Tesla can. So maybe GM can.

A JP Morgan analyst promoting a GM product. What a joke…Criminals who the taxpayers of this country have bailed out so they can continue to screw them over and destroy the environment. Big banks, oil, auto industry…They’re all in bed with each other and would love nothing more than to see Tesla fail.

Why would JP Morgan and GS would underwrite all Tesla pumping and dumping rounds so far then? Something really wacky needs to be going with your brains if you think they would want their client to fail when they get hefty commission for assigning astronomical price target to its shares and selling as much as they can.

Bolt is actually competing with Model S not Model 3! You people get it all wrong. Buyers have been dreaming for a low cost EV that can travel more than 200 miles. Model S was the only game in town until now. And it’s called Bolt.

Bolt alone obviously won’t kill Tesla. But all the crowd of other automakers unleashing their own 200+ mile battery cars to the market may. Battery cars are a bit away from price parity with ICE without subsidies, so market size isn’t so big to accommodate every automaker comfortably.

Well, I certainly HOPE we see lots more 200+ mile range EVs from automakers. But so far there is nothing but the bolt and some promises for cars coming in 2018 or later. And many of those will be high-priced niche vehicles like the Porsche Mission E which are irrelevant to the mass market.

Big picture dude…The comissions JP is making off Tesla are minut comparitively.

Sigh. At this point, nothing is a threat to anything in the EV market. All of the new entries will expand the market due to each fulfilling a different need and niche. As I mention all the time, hundreds of ICE models seem to compete with each other without one causing all the others to cease existence.

Point taken.

Bolt is an ugly turd, no threat.

“The Bolt clearly is not a compliance car,”
Eric, you accidentally added the word ‘not’ in this sentence. This will give some people false hope that the Bolt will be widely available. It clearly WILL be a compliance car.

The Bolt is already shipping hundreds of cars to CA and OR. Many dealers have 20-30 units in transit. It will be widely available over the coming months. All major metro areas within 6 months or so and my guess is the 2017 model will be 50 state (come summer it wouldn’t make sense to roll out a 2016 model 2 months before releasing the 2017 model). My bet is they add some competitive features for the Model 3 at that time (could add Super Cruise, autopilot equivalent, but not sure if they will or want to hoard that for Cadillac).

“This will give some people false hope that the Bolt will be widely available”

Fake News of the day!

Sorry. I definitely should have added “IMO’ to that. We have to add in the “trump-effect”,and the integrity of GM’s past. I also do not see GM training the nationwide service centers on a car that GM says will be made at 30-50,000 units, but should need near zero maintenance.

I truly hope I’m proven wrong though. I’ve followed the Spark EV singe 2013 but couldn’t gamble on the lack of service available.

Ps. Modern Marvels is my favorite show of all times!

Spark EV wasn’t available nationwide. GM said so.

Volt was available nationwide but not all Chevy dealers. GM said so.

Bolt is available nationwide but not all dealers, GM said so.

The decision as to whether a dealer will choose to be a “Participating Dealer” in the Volt and Bolt programs is entirely 100% the choice of each dealer.

GM doesn’t pick and choose which specific dealerships will get the Bolt and Volt. The individual dealerships apply to be a “Participating Dealership”.

Just like dealerships may choose to participate in GM’s “Low Cab Forward” program, or GM’s “Business Elite” program, or “Chevrolet Performance” program. Each program has training, floorspace, advertising, and service tool requirements that the dealership must buy into of their own will.

That decision has nothing to do with GM’s production intentions.


So, the blame isn’t entirely on GM for having less access of the cars across the country.

DangerHV said:

“The Bolt… clearly WILL be a compliance car.”

DangerEV, you accidentally omitted the word ‘not’ in this sentence. Let me fix that for you:

The Bolt clearly WILL NOT be a compliance car.

In fact, it will be one of the best-selling PEVs next year.

I highly doubt it will win away to many M3 deposit holders. The Bolt is one goofy as* car by comparison. However I do believe LEAF 2 [IDS] will effect Bolt sales, and I believe that time is super limited for them to have any real lead. By the time GM can make enough of them the fanfare will be not so much anyway. There are many players, GM better get cracking.

This depends on a lot of factors. It depends on what GM does with the Bolt. Will they make an upscale version? It depends on how the Model 3 is really priced. Tesla has traditionally used their order list to offer lowball prices that will not be delivered soon if ever. Even when the factory isn’t behind on production if you order a low end config you will find it coming later and meanwhile Tesla offers upsells to you to get quicker delivery. They did it with the Roadster. They did it with the Model S 40 (never shipped until after it was already cancelled). They do it with the 5 seat Model X. They will do it with the Model 3 and with the number of reservations it’ll be a heavy hammer. You could have a year wait or more if you don’t upgrade. It depends on how DCFC buildouts happen. Heck, it depends on whether hotels start to put in J1772 destination chargers instead of just Tesla chargers. It depends on if the Model 3 is late. For that matter it depends on when the Bolt actually starts to ship to regular customers (it has been VIP-only deliveries… Read more »
My guess is that the average selling price for the Model 3 will be closer to $50K then $35K. If there is a 35K model at all it will be fairly stripped. Tesla will offer versions with bigger batteries, just as they do with their current models, and the advanced software features will all be optional. Once you add in a big battery and autopilot you are looking at $50K or more. Tesla has a cachet that Chevy doesn’t have so they will be able to charge the higher price. An Audi A4 is a $50K car so that’s a viable price point for the Model 3. The danger for Tesla is that if they really do sell 100s of thousands of Model 3s and they have reliability problems then the costs could sink them. Even small glitches, which are inevitable on a new car, could do severe reputational damage if they aren’t able to handle them. Unlike Chevy, which has dealers everywhere, Tesla has no dealer network. With a very expensive car like the Model S they can afford to offer a concierge service to pick them up and drop them off, but a $35K car, or even a… Read more »

Elon said that Tesla estimates the average selling price of a Model ≡ will be $42,000. However, it would not at all surprise me if for the first year of sales, it’s a lot closer to $50,000, because of course Tesla is giving production priority to the more expensive trim levels, and with ~400,000 paid reservations, demand will be much higher than supply for at least the first year or two.

brjosen — Please don’t tell me that you think the majority of Ford F-Series trucks sell for the base MSRP of $26,540.

Of course typical cars sell for more than the base MSRP. This is true of every car from every car maker, regardless of whether it is gas or electric. That is how the industry works. Tesla is not somehow magically immune from all of that, just because they use electric motors instead of ICE.

This is equally true for the Bolt also. The median Bolt sale price will be above the Bolt base MSRP too.

What’s your point you are trying to make? That you’ve just discovered what “Base MSRP” means?

Starting near the top, 52 weeks w/5 work days each, less 5 for holidays and @ 100 Bolts per day makes 25,500 per year. Next, Tesla has near 400,000 people who put up $1k each to hold a place in line for a Model 3. So, if GM fills their Bolt sales only with defecting Model 3 wannabee’s, it shouldn’t take but 15.69 YEARS to do it. Then, take to heart that calling the Tesla 3 expensive at $35,000 while the Bolt @ $37,495 isn’t called expensive is laughable. I’ve read a few Bolt reviews. Nobody gushed over the nice materials inside a Bolt, but thought they looked kind of low-rent {my words, paraphrasing} for a $40,000 car. You say, “The Bolt clearly is not a compliance car” while they shoot for 25 – 30 thousand annual production and claim they are making little to no money doing it. Then, you basically say Tesla can’t be making money with the 3 while shooting for 500,000 annual production is another area where we should expect better from a JP Morgan analyst who pretends to not have an agenda against Tesla. Since the Tesla Roadster was first shown, Tesla has been scorned… Read more »

“What do you think?”

I agree with your basic analysis. JP morgan bases this on the idea that the EV market is fixed, and EV vendors must market to existing users.

The basis is wrong, so the analysis is wrong. Its ludicrous in any case, because given the current EV user base, the EV would not survive as a product in any case. There are just not enough of us (yet).

To help with the debate about wether the Bolt is a compliance car, I will say that it depends on the market.

In Norway, the Ampera-E (Bolt) is priced 12% above the BMW i3 (94Ah). Chevrolet has no incentive to subsidize the Bolt there so we can assume that it is closer to it real production cost.

In the US, the i3(94Ah) price is $43,600, so the same 12% gap would bring the equivalent cost of the Bolt to about $48,800.
I can’t imagine that this $11,000 difference of pricing between the US and Norway is only justified by brand image or trim variation or shipping cost.

In the US, Chevrolet can choose to offer the Bolt at a price that take the sale of the ZEV credits into account. In Europe, it HAS to make some money on the car.

IT’s not your fault, but it’s just not a useful debate.

The people who say it is simply don’t believe GM will roll the car out outside of incentivized areas (CARB, Norway, Quebec) and the people who say it isn’t believe GM will.

There won’t be an answer to this until GM does roll it out or when it’s clear they won’t (like missing the mid-2017 date). I can say those who think GM is lying are kidding themselves but that’s just going on supposition too.

I’m not Norwegian but with Norway being part of the EFTA I would assume it would cost more to import a Chevy Bolt manufactured in the US (which isn’t part of the EU) than it would an i3 which is built in Germany (which is part of the EU).

Admittedly not sure of all their duties and custom rules but those a lot of times are a big deciding factor.

I also don’t doubt that they’re factoring the ZEV credit value in to the purchase price as well.

Until someone comes out and states truly that their variable costs are per Bolt however I don’t know that we’ll actually know.

I didn’t have time to read all posts, but I think this is a new aspect of conversation. I formerly bought cars and kept them for 8 years before trading in. I believe car technology is changing so fast now that I am no longer buying, only leasing. I don’t look at purchase price. I look at lease price. Manufacturer leases do not seem completely dependent on suggested purchase price. I acquired a BMW I3 with a more competitive (only a little more expensive) lease than a Leaf. My Leaf will probably only be worth half its lease residual value when the 200 mile range cars are common so I will gladly turn it in. Nissan incentives to keep the car would have to go through the roof (far beyond what they are now) to spend money on a car that will be obsolete when 200 mile range is common. Practically nobody will want a 100 mile Leaf anymore. The same might come true for a Bolt or M3 with current features. I think comparisons of M3 and Bolt are comparisons of a fast moving target where each of these and others will be leap frogging each other. Maybe there… Read more »

But Tesla is more likely to update the model 3 with new battery’s and software than the others are. And that means they will retrofit
the chassis you buy from them with the new stuff and I want a self driving car.

Beside the Porsche like specs already mentioned

Tell me more about how well Autopilot works in the Roadster and early Model S.

A car which GM plans to make in quantities of only a bit more than 30,000 per year, at least in the first year of production, is a “threat” to the market for a car which is intended to be ramped up swiftly to ~400,000 per year? How does that even make sense? Also, how does it make sense to claim that production of a car which depends on an outside supplier — LG Chem — which doesn’t appear to be ramping up production as fast as it’s adding new customers, can possibly be “a real threat” to a car with batteries supplied by Tesla’s Gigafactory? How can it be that a so-called “analyst” failed to realize that it is physically impossible, at least over the next two years or so, for GM to ramp up production of the Bolt to be equal to, or even in the same ballpark as, Tesla’s intended production. Furthermore, this “analyst” also failed to see the other signs that GM has little if any intent to ramp up production rapidly. For example, GM’s decision not to build any right-hand drive Bolts. Also, the “analyst” missed something else that should be obvious to any industry… Read more »
playing devils advocate here; “A car which GM plans to make in quantities of only a bit more than 30,000 per year, at least in the first year of production, is a “threat” to the market for a car which is intended to be ramped up swiftly to ~400,000 per year?” if wishes were horses we’d all take a ride. wanting to increase production as much as possible is not the same as managing to. and you’re comparing their potentially doing so around the time of production which is a year behind GM which could feasibly scale their own production in that period of time. How does that even make sense? “Also, how does it make sense to claim that production of a car which depends on an outside supplier — LG Chem — which doesn’t appear to be ramping up production as fast as it’s adding new customers, can possibly be “a real threat” to a car with batteries supplied by Tesla’s Gigafactory?” is the Tesla gigafactory producing any batteries at the moment? how many when compared to that of LG’s capabilities? additionally given GM’s resources if they really wanted they could either invest in their own battery manufacturing… Read more »
terminaltrip421 said: “playing devils advocate here…” It would have been much more pleasant writing my response if you had stuck to that. Too bad you didn’t. “wanting to increase production as much as possible is not the same as managing to. and you’re comparing their [Tesla] potentially doing so around the time of production which is a year behind GM which could feasibly scale their own production in that period of time. How does that even make sense?” I don’t think it’s appropriate to merely say Tesla is “potentially” going to ramp up production on the Model ≡ rapidly. You can visibly see how fast construction is going on at the Gigafactory, at least on the outside. Tesla workers at the Fremont plant have reported that much or most of the new machines needed for the M≡ production line(s) have already been delivered, and are occupying much space inside the factory. Contracts are in place for delivery of parts for the M≡. At some point, it’s no longer appropriate to say this something Tesla could “potentially” do. Faraday Future could potentially start paying their bills, build that factory they’ve been talking about, and actually mass produce cars… potentially. But not… Read more »

What is magic about an inside supplier? And Tesla doesn’t make their own cells anyway. Why do you think it is easier for Panasonic to ramp up than LG Chem to ramp up?

And how do you know LG Chem isn’t ramping up?

You’re definitely kidding yourself about Tesla and GM vis-a-vis logistics.

The real question is as you say: does GM want to ramp up that much? Are they willing to commit to making that many cars. There’s not a lot of reason to think they are.

I however wouldn’t be surprised if GM were to make Ampera-e’s in Korea or Europe for the European market. Maybe we’ll even see a RHD version although that would be significantly more surprising.

I don’t see why GM wouldn’t ramp up. The car is a conquest car for them. Selling more Bolts doesn’t hurt any of their other sales except maybe the Volt. And EVs are a growth market. GM didn’t spend the money to become a frontrunner in the market just to lay back and cede it to others. If they wanted to be 2nd fiddle (3rd fiddle?) they could just have done as little as Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes, etc. have done.

unlucky said: “What is magic about an inside supplier? And Tesla doesn’t make their own cells anyway.” The “magic” is control of battery production. Tesla is spending billions of dollars on the Gigafactory so they can control their own battery supply. You can split hairs by pointing out that Panasonic is in control of the side of the factory that produces the cells, but let’s not pretend that Tesla isn’t in control of the supply, both in terms of raw materials going in the front end and in terms of finished battery packs going out the other end. Tesla, not Panasonic, will control the rate of production at the Gigafactory. “And how do you know LG Chem isn’t ramping up?” Answered in my post above; the link to the source is repeated below if you missed that. “You’re definitely kidding yourself about Tesla and GM vis-a-vis logistics.” You’re definitely kidding yourself if you think that GM can ramp up production of the Bolt to (for example) over 100,000 within two years; let alone Tesla’s planned 400,000. Now, I expect Tesla will take longer to hit that mark, but then I also expect GM will show little interest in significantly ramping… Read more »
What is magic about telling someone on your payroll to increase production versus telling someone you pay money externally to to increase production? You give no reason why GM can’t make 100,000 Bolts. And there is no reason. Tesla doesn’t know anything about production no one else knows. I didn’t directly contradict myself. I said I see no reason why GM would commit to making 400,000 cars. I however reject your idea that GM won’t ramp up if they see signs of higher demand. You suggest they wouldn’t because it would hurt their other sales. This is bunk. There are really 3 possibilities here: 1. GM doesn’t want to sell a lot of Bolts. I reject this. You seem to support this. 2. GM does want to sell a lot of Bolts and so will try to meet demand they see. I support this. 3. GM wants to bet the farm on Bolts and make 400,000 like Tesla wants to make Model 3s. We both reject this. I’m sorry, what? GM hasn’t spent the money to become a frontrunner? They certainly are a frontrunner with Volt sales and now the Bolt. Compare to any other full-line maker other than Nissan.… Read more »

Also, I forgot to mention your link about outlook is completely backward-facing. It doesn’t say who can or can’t ramp up or when they will or won’t do it.

Looking at that all you can tell is no one could produce 400,000 EVs a year in 2015, perhaps even if they used every battery supplier in existence.

the thing that bothers me about the Model 3 (feel free and skip this if you’ve already read it) is the extra features. in the same way as a non-sport fan I don’t want 30% of my cable bill to be for something I don’t watch, I don’t want features I don’t want in my car to be baked into the price i.e. autopilot. or autopilot hardware. or lane assist et al. not only do I not want to pay for those features but as far as I’m concerned their mere existence I find troubling. I’m an extremely attentive driver, always watching the road, looking as far ahead as possible, not tailgating etc. and I live in California where posted speed limits are not speeds traveled and I have to look out for drivers either not as reasonable or not as attentive. throw into that mix vehicles that will undoubtedly be traveling at posted speeds and reliant on algorithms to make decisions and I fear for my driving record and or ability to get to where I’m going in a timely and non-stressful manner. I’ve wanted electrification since the Tesla Roadster made it was clear it was feasible and I… Read more »

I wish the Bolt, Chevy & GM every success with it.

As far as it being a threat:
I have checked out The Bolt’s web site… Have yet to see anything to make me consider cancelling my Model 3 reservation!

GM makes good V8s and trucks, and that’s about it.

Telsa’s got some of the best batteries and technology out there.

Anyone with common sense, and a real interest in the future of zero emissions vehicles will wait the extra year+ and get the Tesla.

LOL. Stacking a bunch of cylindrical cells together is hardly the best technology out there.

Ironically enough (relative to your assertion anyway), GM’s batteries and thermal management systems have resulted in the least battery degradation out of any manufacturer, including Tesla.

If you think it’s merely stacking some cells together, then you don’t have a clue!

It’s clearly more than that, but buying off the shelf cylindrical cells is the most “brute force” approach with the least amount of ingenuity. The surface structure for cooling is far from optimal, for starters.

ClarksoneCote said:

“GM’s batteries and thermal management systems have resulted in the least battery degradation out of any manufacturer, including Tesla.”

Fallacy: Assuming facts not in evidence.

GM has hidden the degradation rate of the Volt battery pack, by limiting the usable capacity significantly below actual capacity, in a way that Tesla doesn’t. Tesla lets its drivers use more of the battery’s full capacity than GM does.

We do know the degradation rate of Tesla’s battery pack, because Tesla doesn’t hide it. That rate has turned out to be far slower than generally predicted. Clearly Tesla has superior EV tech, and that’s just one indication of it.

Someday we’ll find out what the degradation rate of Volt battery packs are, when the “safety margin” GM included in the car runs out. With only 16 or 18 kWh in the Volt packs, we can be fairly sure that degradation will be faster than that of Tesla’s 60-100 kWh packs. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean GM’s tech is inferior… it just means smaller packs degrade faster.

“GM has hidden the degradation rate of the Volt battery pack, by limiting the usable capacity significantly below actual capacity, in a way that Tesla doesn’t. Tesla lets its drivers use more of the battery’s full capacity than GM does.”

Please cite your source for this claim. It has never been confirmed.

What they HAVE done, is use a smaller amount of the battery and avoid the non-linear regions of the Lithium Ion battery cells more than any other manufacturer. That conservative approach greatly reduces any degradation. I’ve done a lot of work with Lithium Ion batteries in my career, and avoiding those non-linear regions greatly increases longevity. That’s Lithium Ion 101.

I am interested in seeing what happens with Volt battery degradation. Bill Howland is spot on when he says GM was able to oversize the battery and thus reduce the wear. It not only reduces the stress by having a higher power (not energy) pack compared to your draws (which remain the same) but it also means GM can keep the pack in the “happy zone” and reduce wear.

It’s possible as you say that the battery is wearing inside and the capacity limit hides it until it gets worse. It’s also possible that the pack is truly lasting longer just as Toyota using a reduced range on their (NiMH) Prius packs did for those packs.

How any of this will apply to LG’s new packs is not clear either. The new chemistry/electrodes might wear quicker or might wear more slowly. We don’t really know.

It’s a bit of a crapshoot, as any new EV technology that rolls out is. I know GM does take their time testing packs before they roll out so there is some reason to be hopeful.

the “best” part about Tesla battery cell choices is that they skipped trying to find the ultimate best cell chemistry and instead chose the battery that had the most history and was the most readily available to get to the market the fastest.

They definitely didn’t go for any number of more exotic batteries based on the best technology available back in 2005 when they made their initial battery pack design choices for the Roadster. That way they didn’t have to sink all their startup cash into battery development. And they didn’t have to wait for LG to build an automotive specific batter half a decade later, like what GM used for the Volt.

No, the brilliance of their choices weren’t that they used the “best” battery, it was that Tesla best leveraged what batteries were readily available for a startup car company that couldn’t spend years developing a new battery.

If there is any threat that is being worried about, it is those folks selling BMW 3 series and Audi 4’s and 5’s that are worried about the M3 threat.

They saw what the S did to seriously impact the large luxury market, and they are looking at 400K in reservations and are worrying that those sales are going to be at THEIR expense, not at the expense of other EV sales.

400K reservations represent the largest single slice into the ICE car market we’ve seen yet. This number represents a massive conquest of ICE car drivers into EV ownership. That’s the real story about Tesla competing with other cars.

This in fighting is rediculous!

All EV models need to be selling at full capacity if you would like to one day see the sales tip in favor of EVs. At that point, we can argue over best vs worse. Right now, if both Tesla and GM (Bolt) are not selling all they can make, that is not a good sign for the future. That means there is not much room for other makes and models.

I hope GM can sell lots of Bolt and make enough CARB credits so they can sell more of their SUVs and trucks and eat Ford and Chrysler’s lunch.

I hope Tesla will sell a bunch of M3’s and eat MB, BMW, Audi’s lunch.

I just don’t see the M3 and Bolt eating each others lunch. It’s more likely that they target different parts of the affordable car market (hatchback econobox vs lux sedan), and help expand EV charging infrastructure and lower battery manufacturing cost, and make all EVs more competitive against gas cars.

I’m not saying this J.P. Morgan analyst is mistaken, but does he have information the rest of us do not have?

The M3 is being kept so ‘hush-hush’ that I have no idea as to whether Musk will keep his production promises or not. But then, based on what is known in general, the analyst cannot know either way without privileged information.

I find it hard to take seriously the “analysis” of someone who apparently does not recognize the very real hard limits to how far GM can ramp up production of the Bolt. One who ignores the fact that Tesla is building a Gigafactory to ensure a far larger supply of batteries than GM can possibly get at the quoted price from LG Chem of $145/kWh.

If GM wants to significantly and quickly ramp up production of the Bolt, then they will be forced to either significantly raise the price of the Bolt, or sell it below cost.

This so-called “analyst” missed all of that, so why would anyone take what he says seriously?

Are you suggesting that he is a criminal, and used non-public inside information that the client services division of JP Morgan may have gained through their business transactions with Tesla?

Are you suggesting that JP Morgan violates SEC rules requiring a “Chinese Wall” be maintained between services and sales/financial advisors?

Are you suggesting that if they really were violating all those SEC rules, that they would hand out that valuable illegal inside information for free on the internet to everybody, instead of just their paying clients who spend huge amounts of money to get stock investment guidance?

How about we put this meme to bed about non-public inside information illegally being used to hand out free investment advice? At the very least so insideev’s doesn’t become notorious for hosting slander against companies that implies they are violating SEC regulations.

No, I am not suggesting he is a criminal, although what with the LEGAL High-frequency trading, amoungst other things going on (I’m not mentioning the ILLEGAL drug-money laundering going on by the money-center banks that constantly pay fines as a business expense), that there are clearly not many saints on wall street. The analyst’s statements are rather the converse of the BIG EXPERTS here, who initially said GM doesn’t want to make many volts. GM just announced the shutdown of their ENTIRE 3RD SHIFT at the Hamtramck Plant, due, amoungst other reasons, to the lack of demand for the VOLT. I’m sure the 1500 workers to be laid off would rather be working, but many here will refuse to actually PURCHASE even a used Volt, after saying GM doesn’t want to make them. Those who think the BOLT can’t be profitable are just being silly: The US version comparably equiped to the Canadian or European versions is $4750 more. That is a hell of a markup, and I don’t begrudge GM for charging such a relatively higher price for an excellent vehicle. I plan to purchase one myself, albeit a bit more ‘stripped’, and likely not quite as much profit… Read more »

The Bolt is just a local car and can’t go much farther than 100 miles from your house or you’ll be stuck for hours charging somewhere. You can’t take it across the country like a Tesla with its Supercharging network! GM will only sell it in ZEV states or else they are loosing money and they are not making a right handed version.. Its just a compliance car.


Uaaaaaaa BMW3 is dead. DEAD I SAY!!

Cause corolla sell so well…..

Idiotic? Sure. Bolt and M3 are not competing in the same market.
M3 average selling price will be above most expensive Bolt trim.

So no Bolt can not harm M3 sales much.

“Chevrolet Bolt Is A Real Threat To Tesla Model 3”. Not for anyone who lives outside of the US, it isn’t!

As I’ve said before, if it isn’t on the lots and available for sale in Pennsylvania, it’s vaporware.

Right here right now !!!!! Thats all i have to say about the bolt … any questions lol the rest is all mostly speculation !!!! And when the modele 3 comes too life will see… but until then i will have my 60kwh bolt !!!