Tesla Model 3
If it were a race, General Motors will easily win...
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Model 3 entered the "pencils down" stage in the past week or so (Musk confirmed this last night at the Gigafactory press event), meaning that the design is now finished; but now development, engineering, on-road testing, pre-production builds, supplier contracts (and on and on and...) must still be completed before production of the Model 3 begins.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Bolt is set to go into production this October, and small armies of the car have been spotted already the US over the past few months. To the best of our knowledge, most all of the steps required prior to production have been completed in regards to the Bolt. In fact, final validations tests started more than one month ago.
"As General Motors readies the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt for avaibility, it’s “pencils down” for the Tesla Model 3 design."
"Those two official public positions illustrate just how far apart the two highest-profile, long-range all-electric vehicles are in market readiness."
To be fair, General Motors is a massive corporation and has the required resources to easily outpace Tesla in terms of development of new vehicles, so we had always assumed GM would beat tesla to marker with an affordable, 200-mile EV, but GM really fast tracked the Bolt to make sure it was out well ahead of both the 3 and the next generation LEAF in 2017.
"While I’m one of the lucky few that has actually taken a test ride in a Model 3 (and was very impressed), I also know it won’t be available in any kind of volume until the first half of 2018 (and that’s probably being optimistic). The Chevy Bolt EV, on the other hand, is a 2017 car (more on that below). That’s a crucial difference when the world (and almost every major global automaker save Toyota) is laser-focused on EVs."
Yes, the Bolt will have the early jump on the Model 3, but we still firmly believe that when the 3 arrives, it'll absolutely dominate the affordable, long-range electric car segment, so while Chevrolet may have a leg up for a year or so, Tesla will still come out on top.