“Pencils Down” For Tesla Model 3, As Chevrolet Bolt Readies For Production


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Tesla Model 3

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.

Forbes states:

“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.

Forbes adds:

“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.

Source: Forbes

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla


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221 Comments on "“Pencils Down” For Tesla Model 3, As Chevrolet Bolt Readies For Production"

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Not sure if it will really happen. Me f.e. paid(rent) the 1.000 Euro not only to get Model 3 but also to support Tesla. For us will be the Chevy Bolt a better Family car with similar price and fun-drive (minus Supercharger). So will probably cancel the reservation and get the Bolt.

The Chevy Bolt is thrown together Quickly to show that GM can do it faster .(Never Better) The Bolt for the same price is a 3rd the car the model 3 will be!,& with NO SUPERCHARGER network ..I think waiting for the model 3 would be the wiser choice., and don’t forget., the Bolt is still a GM product ,which is nothing to be proud of.

Subjective Tesla worshipper nonsense.

Yeah, I’ll say! I have both a 2017 Volt and a Model X. In a number of ways, Tesla proves to be immature car designer. For example, yesterday, I went to wash the X. I see a visible air gap in front passenger door window aft side WHILE CLOSED. I have to put window down and then back up to resolve closure. It is not a fit and finish issue; it is a software issue, as the window rises slightly higher when the door is open (and unimpeded) than it does with the door closed- you can hear that the motor decides to stop upward movement of window based on resistance offered by door seal.

While I really like my X, GM shows it can put a car together better than Tesla at this point- so I agree that above poster has drank the Tesla koolaid and has little actual (at least, recent) GM experience.

GM did quite well with the Volt, which was the last car they sprinted across the finish line.

They didn’t have a partner doing so much of the work for that car.

Yes, GM can be justly proud of its engineering accomplishment with Voltec. The Volt has been proven to be very reliable, despite the complexity of its powertrain and the fact it’s the first PHEV from GM.

Looks to me like choosing LG Electronics to build the entire EV powertrain for the Bolt makes the car’s dependability rather iffy. “Vehicle Components” is by far the newest division of LG Electronics, which is mainly a consumer electronics manufacturer. So, not much if any experience there in building EV powertrains.


GM choosing LG Electronics to build the Bolt powertrain looks very much like GM is signalling it doesn’t want to dedicate much in the way of resources to producing the car in volume, just as Toyota choosing Tesla Motors to build the powertrain for the RAV4 EV signaled that Toyota didn’t want to spend many resources on that “test market” (or California compliance) vehicle.

I expect that if GM decides to ramp up production of the Bolt in future years, then they’ll bring much or most of that powertrain manufacturing in-house, or at least move away from being dependent on a single-source supplier.

Nothing new here. GM uses suppliers for much of their components. Giving the work to LG was probably used as a negotiation tactic to get lower battery pricing. The build is to GM’s design, and GM does rigorous validation testing before green-lighting the product for consumers.

We shall see then.

No BEV technology? Let’s just slap some LG parts in it. It’s designed to our spec, since we know a lot about EVs.

No Autopilot? Let’s just buy a startup for a ridiculous amount and claim we have the technology.

No market for EV? Let’s just invest in a ride-sharing startup and tout that. Since GM didn’t invest in any charging network, let’s see which driver wants to sit idle for hours waiting for a charge.

Really? GM wins the race with this?

These are simply not LG batteries made to GM specs. GM owns the cell chemistry too.

Do you have a citation for that claim?

So far as I know, it was LG Chem’s improvement that let them start selling batteries at a significantly lower per-kWh price than any other battery cell manufacturer. They signaled that a couple of years or so ago; no indication GM was involved in the development of that, so far as I know.

LG would likely have better reliability than anything manufactured in the United States. What is the concern?

You could buy a Tesla an be happy testing for them, coming to service Center every month. I know somebody working in a sc. Perhaps are the Model S buyers more petty than 30k $ buyers but with dozen issues after 12 months he knows every Model S owners very well. My Leaf never get a problem! I saw my dealer 4 times, once buying, 3 times service since 2013.
I bet on Bolt beeing 10 x more reliable.

Tesla will never be able to do as well as SparkEV (is it really by GM?) They said Tesla 3 will be the least expensive car they make, something that’s 10K more. Alas, there won’t be SparkEV in near future.

Once again, Sparky, you refuse to acknowledge that the Spark EV is a compliance car, and thus isn’t priced to make a profit.

If GM priced the Spark EV to actually reflect the per-unit cost of manufacture for such a low-volume model, plus some amount of profit, then the price might well be $10k more than it is… or even higher.

Tesla 3 is $35K with probably 50 kWh battery and Bolt at $37.5K with 60 kWh. Assuming pack pricing is $200/kWh, 19 kWh would be $6200 cheaper. So Tesla could make SparkEV from scratch (ie, whole new unique body + 200HP+ motor) for $28K.

Yet you think SparkEV that is pretty much SparkGas + Volt (not much new design) with 2/3 the power of Bolt or even half the power of Tesla 3 is losing money? If so, Tesla 3 will be losing tons of money. You sound like anti-Tesla fudster.

Sorry to state the obvious, but Tesla IS bleeding money. They won’t hit break even this decade.

Only if you consider investing in future growth so the company can grow rapidly to be “bleeding money”.

Tesla would almost certainly be cash flow positive if it decided to quit growing, and almost certainly will be when it does.

The article linked below isn’t “proof” of this, it’s just informed opinion; but it’s certainly written by someone who understands Tesla’s finances much better than I do:


SparkEV said:

“Tesla could make SparkEV from scratch (ie, whole new unique body + 200HP+ motor) for $28K.”

Sparky, do we really need to point out to you the economic realities of economy of scale? And the lack of such economy for a car made in only small numbers, like the Spark EV?

If Tesla could make and sell ~400,000 Spark EVs per year, which is the goal for the Model ≡, then perhaps they could indeed sell them for a base price of $28k and still make the ~15% profit Tesla plans to make on the Model ≡.

But last year in the USA, the Spark EV sold an average of only 219 per month, certainly well within “compliance car” numbers. If we assume sales are double that worldwide (which is probably optimistic), that would be 438 per month. By comparison, for the Model ≡, annual sales of 400k would be an average of 3333 per month.

So GM has a much higher per-unit cost.

The Bolt was not a rushed product at all. Prior to the Bolt, Chevy made the fully electric Spark EV. Where during the Spark design, they already started thinking about the Bolt. That being said, I’m very interested in the model 3 too.

Volt and Spark EV owners beg to differ. Both are well respected by auto journalists as well. The have excellent reliability, are great fun to drive, efficient, and reasonably priced. The Bolt is highly space efficient in a subcompact footprint, which makes it far more practical for urbanites. I think Tesla is doing incredible things, and was incredibly disappointed to learn that they won’t be making a smaller, more practical model anytime soon. Not everyone shares your needs or personal taste, and disparaging them for is sadly crass.

I would not call my Volt highly reliable. Good enough maybe.

Wholeheartedly agree my volt had to be towed no less than 8 times in the past four years and at least 20 visits to Chevy for warranty work and they still can’t fix my “loss of propulsion power ” problem. I give it a 1 for reliability. But I still love owning and driving an electric car. Ie I hardly ever buy gas. Only my trips from Florida to Ohio twice a year.

Oh ps I have a $1000reservation in for a model 3.

In 3 years, my Volt has never been towed or had a “propulsion” problem. I have had one oil change and a few tire rotations. That’s it.

Musk will show what “thrown together quickly” really is. If anyone is rushing, it is Tesla. The pace of the Bolt introduction is very similar to many other models, based on the timing from autoshow concept to production. The timing from decision to build the Volt to production was not compressed. The decision to build after revealing the concept is what was compressed. They basically showed the concept and within a couple weeks announced that it would be produced.

That should have read “Bolt” not “Volt”.

Definitely, the Model 3 will outsell the Bolt during its lifecycle. The Model 3 is the next big thing.

GM also has the Volt which competes in the $30,000 range. They’ve been selling affordable long-range electric cars for several years now while we waited for affordable long-range electric cars (sorry, couldn’t resist).

GM will produce only 50K Bolts a year. Those are their official numbers and there is no chance that they could increase them by any significant number even if there is a lot of demand. You can’t make much more than that without a gigafactory.
The Model 3 will outsell the Bolt at least by a factor of 10 during its lifecycle. And this will happen not because the Bolt is a bad car but because it is a limited number compliance car..

Mis-information and more Tesla worshipper nonsense.

…and this time, I’ll disagree. Based on GM’s lack of exposure in media or on dealer lots for the Volt, it can be reasonably argued that GM indeed treats it as a read headed stepchild compliance car. If GM does no more to let the public know about its new Bolt, than it did with the Volt, above poster has a point. The assessment of mis-information, though, is accurate in that GM said it could make more if the public, apparently ON ITS OWN, discovers it wants more Bolts.

I think Bolt won’t do as well as Tesla based on Volt sales. By almost all measures, Volt is better than Prius, yet Prius sold far more. One might argue advertising, but I saw more Volt advertising (once or twice) than Prius (none). Anecdotal, but people just were not interested in Volt as much as Prius. I was guilty of that, too, until I got SparkEV.

One reason (pulled out of my arse) is that Volt is Chevy while Prius seems to have a name of its own as efficient car and Toyota as reliable car leader. Same will apply to Tesla 3 vs Bolt in that 3 is by “cool EV company” while Bolt is just a Chevy.

It could change if Tesla name gets tarnished, but so far, that isn’t the case.

Prius beats Volt on a number of fronts: more interior room and seats 5, better mileage over long trips, much better reliability and history of reliability, offered by a company known for reliability, and with millions on the road you can be sure parts and repair will be widely available and relatively affordable.

These are some of the compelling reasons why the Prius outsold the first generation Volt 10:1.

Car buying is not always so logical. If Volt is made by Toyota or a company with positive reputation, it would’ve sold far more, maybe even surpassing Prius.

Why do people buy Prius? It’s not the interior room or seating, but for efficiency. For bit less in long range gas mileage, they could potentially save twice or more for most of the time. Again, car buying public is not so rational / logical.

But comparing Tesla 3 vs Bolt, Tesla 3 happen to outperform Bolt (so they say), so even logical part would go for Tesla 3. There may be some who must have hatch, but I suspect they will be rare with most going for Tesla name than anything rational.

Do you really think that they will sell Bolt at loss worldwide? They should restrict themselves to CARB states if it is loss maker. And if it makes profit, they will produce as many Bolts as somebody is willing to buy. Sure it may take many months to scale up production, but only people drunk from KoolAid expect hundreds of thousands demand in the first year with $2/gal gas prices. Just don’t start that “cannibalize ICE sales” nonsense from tin foil hat people. Nobody in market for Dodge RAM is going to buy Bolt instead anyway. It will cannibalize Leaf or Model 3 sales, and that is what GM should be happy about.

Yeah, they won’t make anywhere near 50k of them perhaps half that, in the first year of production and most will go to the CARB states.

There are no official numbers from GM, just leaks from suppliers. And those are production targets; not production caps. The target is actually around 25,000 per year for the first year.

Battery suppliers can ramp up as needed. Tesla doesn’t have a Gigafactory yet either. They have a building called a Gigafactory.

Actually they don’t even have a building yet. Musk made a miracle and shrunk it to 14% of “Giga” size! You may call it “Megafactory” or “Giglefactory” or whatever.

The Bolt’s battery will be built LG Chem’s factory in Holland, Michigan. It currently has an output of 650 megawatt-hours per year. This is enough for 10k Bolt battery packs. It is expected that LG will increase production to 3000 megawatt-hours per year. This would be enough for 50K battery packs.
Both LG’s production numbers and the 50K GM Bolt production number are not official but they are all over the internet and seem to fit very nicely together.

Most people do not realise how many batteries you need if you intend to manufacture EVs in large numbers. For example, for 100K EVs with 60kWh packs you would need a total of 6gWh of batteries. This would be equal to 16% of the total current production of the entire planet.

There is no chance that GM, LG or anyone else besides Tesla will be able to produce a 60kWh EV in a larger number than 40K-50K a year before 2020. The Model 3 will outsell the Bolt in the first year after Tesla starts the deliveries just because only Tesla will have the capacity for more than 100K EVs annually at least for the next 3-4 years.

@tosho – exactly!

“There is no chance that GM, LG or anyone else besides Tesla will be able to produce a 60kWh EV in a larger number than 40K-50K a year before 2020.”

That just makes no sense whatsoever. If Tesla and Panasonic can build or expand a battery factory, GM and LG are quite capable of doing the same.

Sure, someday. What is the lead time? Tesla and Psonic have actually started. Funny thing about that.

2 Years max. Several of LG Chem current ability is in plants less then 2 years old. If they Max out in 2017 by 2019 They will have the capacity to keep up with model 3 sales.

Two points:

1) If LG can’t scale volume to supply enough batteries for 50K vehicles/yr, how can the Gigafactory (let me remind you that the GF is not producing batteries yet). LG will have the first Gigafactory in the US. http://www.autonews.com/article/20151214/OEM06/312149992/lg-chem-quietly-surges-in-battery-race

2) I’ve read that the batteries will be sourced out the LG Korea plant (can’t find the reference but it does state this on Wikipedia), though I wouldn’t be surprised to see the MI plant (Or even LG China) pick up additional volume if needed.

Production rates for the Bolt and Model 3 will ramp. Nobody comes out of the gate at 500K vehicles/year production rate. Nobody. There will be time to increase Bolt capacity if initial sales higher than expected.

Which will hit 100K units first, Bolt or Model 3? I think that’s a more interesting question.


Thank you for that excellent summary!

I see a lot of people are in denial of this reality.

tosho said:

“GM will produce only 50K Bolts a year.”

I think it unlikely we’ll see that many in the first year of production. The leak from the auto parts maker was 25k-30k Bolts in the first year. A GM spokesman claimed they could ramp that up to as much as 50k, but note he didn’t say GM actually planned to do so.

And anyway, outsourcing the entire EV powertrain to a single outside source, LG Electronics, is a pretty clear signal that GM doesn’t plan to produce the car in large numbers. If in future years GM brings part or most of the EV powertrain manufacturing in-house, or moves to multiple suppliers, then that will be a signal that they may be planning to significantly increase production.

Having more than one source for a component is usually NOT preferred unless there are regional issues with supply. From a quality standpoint, it is MUCH better to have a single source (especially if there is a quality spill).

GM is in the business of designing and building vehicles, not manufacturing commodity parts. GM still has facilities that make critical parts like engine blocks and heads and does build their own engines, but even much of that is due to legacy. Look at transmissions…most are sourced to outside suppliers using GM/supplier developed designs. Validation and testing is still done by GM.

Tesla may have many steps to complete before full production and delivery happens. However, they have one very important step already completed that Chevy (GM) has overlooked and not completed – fast charging infrastructure. The Model 3, while arriving to market later than the Bolt, will likely pass many abandoned Bolts on the side of the road that simply ran out of power on their way to somewhere far away.

Jeeez, so much Tesla worshipper nonsense being posted here today. This article seams to have really bother the Tesla worshippers. I didn’t see anything in the article that’s was really condescending of Tesla but the Tesla worshippers sure seem threatened.

Threatened??…l m a o… Why ? We are all blowing smoke here. At the end of the day we will buy whatever.ie: I once couldn’t stand Mercedes ,, Guess what I own one now. l o l ..so we all blow smoke , but if we see what we like , we’ll more than likely Bite ..No matter what we may think now .

‘once couldn’t stand Mercedes’…like the way you can’t stand GM? Really? As I responded with previously, you apparently have zero experience in a Volt or you wouldn’t dismiss GM as ‘nothing to be proud of’. The arrogance of your comments apparently escapes you.

There is a lot of that going around.

Some people would be reluctant to buy a Bolt simply because of the ignition scandal with all that implies. Some will only care about here and now and/or money. Some care about principles too, especially when other people were killed because of known negligence.
In this respect GM and Tesla or say Honda are not equal as far as we know, as of now.

Yes it Does escape me! I don’t like what GM did in the Cruze Fires incidents,& all the Lies , Knowingly letting people Burn Up in their Chevy Cruzes., Over a cheap fix that they ignored …Boy that makes one think!!doesn’t it?? Again If they Built A Nice EV That would be safe…??? i would take a Good hard look at it .

…and I’ll add that Texas FFE, you show bias in the other direction. Speaking from experience with my CURRENT 2017 Volt and Model X, you have no idea just how far off you are disagreeing with this sentiment. Fast charging TOTALLY changes your paradigm about how to get electrons into your vehicle. It was GM’s lack of commitment to a fast charging infrastructure that contributed to my severing a 24 year relationship with my GM credit card. Tesla 3 with SC beats a regional Bolt any day, imo

The future is independent charging network for everybody, not proprietary chargers different for each branded walled garden. Look at Japan that started earlier and done right thing while the rest of the world was arguing for many years until now. They have thousands of Chademo chargers everywhere and few superchargers, and few people who bought teslas are messing up with clumsy Chademo adapters while everybody else can just plug in.
The same is starting to happen in Europe now as things settled down more or less with double standard chargers, and governments are comfortable that big money invested into public charging network will not go down the drain in some corporate war for monopoly. The US will follow and you would not need mercy of some wannabe monopolists to charge whatever you want.

Nobody is arguing in favor of a proprietary network – a universal standard is obviously better for everyone once the technology matures.

(and remember, Tesla was involved very early with trade organizations favoring CCS, but when nobody would agree to making a charger that Tesla’s cars need, then Tesla had no choice but to go it alone with a superior product).

What people ARE arguing is that the ability to charge a large battery pack (200-mile plus vehicles) as quickly as possible does not exist in the US outside of Tesla’s network.

That is not going to change by the time the Bolt goes on sale this year, nor by the time Model 3 deliveries begin by the end of next year.

Which basically means there is no argument since, as you say, such a competing network of fast charging does not exist. It’s a point in Tesla’s favor.
The elves may jeer and jape and use all their magical arts, to change that point, to no avail.

“Tesla had no choice but to go it alone with a superior product” – I had read it about one zillion times before from Tesla worshipers, but it makes exactly zero (nil) sense. Tesla obviously had choice to use the same Chademo or CCS plug as everybody else, adding their own protocol extension to negotiate higher power. It has been proven last year with 120 kW Chademo/CCS chargers that are deployed in practice. Current 150 kW CCS or Chademo standard doesn’t require anything that breaks backwards compatibility. Tesla itself uses Type 2 plug in Europe. If they chose to go proprietary, it was deliberate choice to break compatibility and create “walled garden”, expecting others will be forced to license and Tesla will have monopoly and control. Now you can see that it failed, no big automaker is stupid enough to lock itself into Tesla jail. No, I don’t think Model 3 will start large scale deliveries next year. It is wild dream. And how much power do you think 60 kWh battery can take? Original Model S 60 reaches 60 kW for short time at the beginning of the charge, and that is all. It really depends on specific battery… Read more »

Chademo is absurd, there is no way my wife would ever get that monstrosity to work reliably. I often cannot either. Doesn’t “chademo” translate into “clumsy” in some extinct language?

The Bolt EV already has access to a pretty good fast charging network that is already growing faster than the supercharger network.

In my area they are adding 214 CCS stations in the next 9 months. In the US with the $4.5 billion in loan guarantees they will be used to expand the charging network even faster. The Bolt EV uses the SAE CCS standard which is backed by 14 auto manufacturers. Below is a picture of the CCS network on the 5th of July.

Ha! Having had an EV beginning in October of 2006, I can attest to the difference a nonexistent charging network makes!

And, while BMW is working to install CCS at 20 kW, and maybe 50 kW, GM is hiding any such efforts they could do, behind their mantra: “We are not in the Infrastructure Business!”

That part alone, may make mire than a few buyers have second thoughts of using a Bolt EV as a replacement for their Model 3 Reservation!

They may still lease a Bolt EV in the meantime, while they await the Tesla, particularly if they still drive a Mitsubishi iMiEV, since the base range is about triple or maybe a bit more, but with the knowledge that it is simply a much more capable city EV, if their area lacks sufficient CCS service! Even at 220 Miles per charge, a 3-4 hour Level 2 charge, midpoint of a similar 300 mile day trip, is going to put a crimp in their enthusiasm for such usage, if the route lacks good CCS service!

GM is concentrating on home & workplace charging.

I am considering such a move, though in my particular case, I don’t travel much, the Bolt might be the ultimate solution.

Honestly, I feel rolling our 50kW or less CCS network is pointless right now. I would rather have GM wait a year or two when the finalized 150kW CCS is out. Then have GM/Ford/BMW/VW/Daimler plaster the highway grid with them.

Texas FFE whined:

“Jeeez, so much Tesla worshipper nonsense being posted here today. This article seams to have really bother the Tesla worshippers.”

Hmmm, no. Your repeated personal attacks on anyone making positive comments about Tesla rather strongly suggests that you feel personally threatened by the Tesla Model ≡.

Why is that? Is your income dependent on Ford making and selling EVs? If not, then why the repeated pejoratives attacking anyone praising Tesla?

Tesla Motors has earned our respect and admiration, with their accomplishments and their vision in advancing the EV revolution. If and when any other auto maker (including Ford) does the same, then we’ll give them respect and admiration too.

It is sort of like going to mass and complaining of all the Catholics around.

Oh jeez. Do us all a favor Poo-Poo and put a sock in.

You first.

I ain’t going all the way to Kansas to stick a sock in Poo-Poo’s mouth, I’m too busy giving Tesla Motors my respect and admiration for their accomplishments and their vision in advancing the EV revolution.

Super Charging is an pay for addon on how much and with what limits it is going to have we don’t know yet. CCS charging has been steadily improving and although the center of the country currently is fairly barren however the announcement of a federal program will likely help that. In under 5 years once the 150k or 350k chargers are in mass use the supercharger network will be unimportant.

I am curious to know how many people have cancelled their 3 reservation as of now. I’m guessing quite a few. Some because they don’t like the design of the car – for example the trunk instead of hatch or the lacking instrument panel – and some because they’ve reconsidered and want the money for something else.

On the model 3 tracker page. There are 4,100 some reservations and 3 cancellations. I know this is self reported info, but if you extrapolate out, that would be around 300 cancellations. With a 1% sample size this wouldn’t hold up to proper statistics but it give you an idea. I wish more people that reserved would fill this out to get a better idea on options and locations.

I seem to recall a report that at one time, Model S reservation cancellations ran at about 25%. Of course, that doesn’t really matter so long as new reservations keep coming in faster than the cancellations.

Anyway, I would guess that the long-term cancellation rate for the Model ≡ will be much higher than 1% or even 3%. And again, what difference does it make so long as demand for the Model ≡ is significantly higher than what they are producing?

A small, but not insignificant, part of that cancellation rate was the purge of bogus/questionable reservations that Tesla performed shortly after that shady article came out about loopholes in the reservation process.

I’m sure some have cancelled due to the Model X issues, even though there is a huge difference between the vehicles.

Some others may have cancelled because, for whatever reason, their current car(s) is no longer viable prematurely (major repair, totaled in a wreck), so they need another one now.

Remember, over 100,000 of us reserved the car before it was unveiled (115k or so). Information about the car since then could have turned quite a few away, whether it’s the trunk, the huge rear glass (which is not going to change), or the dashboard design/instrumentation (which is also likely not to change).

I’m sure there will be many more cancellations when the new Leaf comes out.

I hope the next gen LEAF will be great but I feel that the window of opportunity is closing for Nissan. They need to release it very soon with good specs or else they will just be a “me too” car with average sales.

Right. So Tesla can come with their 200-mile affordable car in 2018, no problem. But the “window is closing” for Nissan.

Any arguments to justify this nonsense?

It’s a matter of marketing. Everybody is talking about the model 3 and the Bolt, no one seems to care about the next gen LEAF. If Nissan release their 200 miler significantly later than the Bolt and the model 3 and possibly offers from BMW and VW, people will go “yeah yeah, put it over there I’ll look at it later”. The original LEAF was a talking point and a market leader, the next one looks to be a “meh”.

They could release it tomorrow, we have no idea, do we?

Yea but we have a pretty good idea it wont be before the 2017 module year. More likely not until the 2018 module year.

Ha – that’s funny! Yeah, the 30kWh Leaf is going to steal Model 3 sales…uh, huh…

The Gen II Leaf will have a 60KWh battery and should hit the market in a similar time frame to the Model 3.


Not if the new Leaf looks like the old Leaf. I am leasing a 2015 Leaf and I still think its an ugly frog of a car. It is however a decent low end car functionally. However, I will keep both of my Model 3 reservations.

I currently own a Model X and also have a Model 3 reservation. I am keeping the reservation, but not purchasing until I can experience one first hand- and see if my bike fits inside (with front wheel removed). Yes, that rear access could indeed be a deal breaker for me…but I wouldn’t go for the Bolt. My wife considers it WAYYY too ugly and has threatened me if I ever try to show her another picture.

I’m a guy who tends to choose cars on the basis of practicality, not style. But yes, WOW! is the Bolt a fugly car. It really gives me a new appreciation for the styling of the Prius. 😉

Even if I was in the market for buying a new car, I think I would hesitate before buying a Bolt. But then, I’d also be unlikely to buy a Model ≡, with its lack of rear hatch and restricted trunk opening. I’d rather hold out for a Model Y.

All just my opinion of course, and de gustibus non est disputandum.

We lease a Honda FIT EV and side by side the Bolt and Fit are almost exactly alike. While you may think it is ugly an awful lot of folks are buying the Fit and I certainly think it is better looking than the Leaf which we also lease.

Pushmi-Pullyu said:
“I’m a guy who tends to choose cars on the basis of practicality, not style.”

I guess that speaks volumes about why you don’t own an EV and instead drive an ICE Chrysler Town and Country minivan. You must come on InsideEVs to compensate (some would say overcompensate) for your ICE Owner Guilt Syndrome by giving us the holy than thou EVangelist act, while insulting and trolling actual EV owners. 🙁


The bolt may still win the global race, and sell more than the model 3, When ordinary people buys a Tesla, they may not be so entrall by all the problems model S owners are reacy to endure, the problem count is going up on Tesla, and a new model is sure to have its share of problem, how many will cancel, when owners depends on they cars bot quality is not there.

Do you even know that GM is going to build only a maximum of 50K Bolts a year and that it will be a US only model at least for the next two years ?

You don’t know so how could anyone else know that?

Easily, you can follow the LG Chem expansion plans.

They can’t build many more Bolts simply because of the limits of LG Chem’s production facilities.

GM won’t commit to higher production volumes until they are satisfied that people will buy EVs in sufficient quantities. Remember, they took a few arrows in the back when the LG Chem plant in Michigan built on lots of taxpayer subsidies sat idle – they were paying employees to stay home on the taxpayer dime. That was during the initial launch of the Volt which was a bust.

The LG plant in Holland MI had to expand/add shifts

LG Chem today has more production capacity than Tesla with it’s gigafactory.

In a sense LG Chem today now has four gigafacotires. (Korea, China, USA, Europe)

What are you smoking ?

He’s right. The “GF” is producing exactly ZERO MWh as of today. Holland MI LG plant was producing 650 MWh as of last Dec.
The first US Gigafactory will be LG in Holland, MI.

6 months ago, a GM official said they could ramp up production to 50,000 in *2017* if the demand was there.

If there is really demand for 50k Bolts in 2017, GM should have no problem ramping up production to produce 60/70/80k Bolts in 2018 and beyond. I don’t know why you think the maximum Bolt production capacity is forever limited to 50k/year. Take off the Tesla blinders.

I highly doubt that they will find 50K customers per year.

Richardd962 said:

“The bolt may still win the global race, and sell more than the model 3…”

Not so long as LG Electronics is the single source for the Bolt’s powertrain, it won’t.

And it’s rather questionable that LG Chem could supply many more batteries than it has already contracted to deliver to GM. LG makes contracts for deliveries two years in advance; where are all those extra batteries suddenly gonna come from?

Now, it’s not impossible that in future years, GM might change things to significantly increase Bolt production. But it certainly won’t be in the first year of production, and I think it quite unlikely that it could happen during the second, either.

Tesla has clearly signaled that it plans to ramp up production of long-range EVs in a serious way, by building the Gigafactory. GM, at least so far, has given no such indication.

You seem to miss my main point, that Tesla as one real challenge to face, it is to improve their build quality, regular buyers wont accept monthly appointment to the service center. Buyers wants a reliable car.

That is a major issue I have as a Model 3 reservation holder. I have no doubt the Bolt will be a better engineered and manufactured than the Model 3 based on my experience with the Volt. I do hope that Tesla can increase their quality control when scaling an order of magnitude higher production.

The problems are not going up for existing models…just the problems they’ve had with Model X. The Model S issues have largely been solved.

If Tesla pulls the same stunt with the Model 3, then I agree with you. Otherwise, the Bolt will never hold a candle to it.

Until I see the BOLT at a central Florida Chevy dealer I will not hold my breath. GM might only sell them in ZEV states.

You won’t see a model 3 until 2019 for east coasters.

Why not ask your dealer to order you one?

I’m loyal to Tesla BELIEVE ME

If it were a race, Tesla won it years ago with the Model S ….

I would have to say that Tesla lost to the EV1 and the Leaf.

You are actually asserting that Tesla “lost” to the EV1; a test market car which hasn’t been made in decades?


Texas FFE, I think you need to go back on your meds! 😛

It is known that the company behind the EV1’s powertrain, AC Propulsion, was a significant contributor to the Tesla Roadster’s powertrain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_Propulsion

Roadster beats Leaf. You lose. Roadsters on the road today, every EV-1 fed to a crusher and buried like a shoddy Atari video game from the 80’s. Tie or lose, take your pick. First Porsche was all-electric. At least one still around. Porsche wins!

Look, I think Pushmi-Pullyu has a point about batteries being the manufacturing limits. Tesla has already admitted full-scale that the gigafactory alone is not enough for Tesla Energy and Tesla motors demand combined.
GM has said “scale up to” 10% of Tesla’s goals for the Model III. The B-Volt will not be sold at every Chevrolet dealer. The Cruz’s, Sonic, and Malibu more likely. GM isn’t all-in on EV’s, and my view on the B-Volt is that GM wants to maintain appearances. LG practically has made the car, that was visible in the unveiling.
What I hope happens is LG makes a car, after GM becomes a difficult partner. I also hope it doesn’t play a jingle when it is done charging, but it is their nature to do that.

I’m not sure making cars is in LG’s wheelhouse. They would have to go through the long learning process that Tesla is still dealing with.

OK, I’ll give you a pile of parts that LG is supplying to GM and you build a car out of it. Should be easy, right?

Just ask Elon how “easy” it is to build quality cars in high volume. Wait, he’s doing neither yet. Let’s ask him in a few years.

The Model S is not generally considered an “affordable” 200-mile EV.

Maybe in Hollywood or silicon valley but in the real world it isn’t

Why would the model3 be ‘dominate’ the Bolt? In terms of specs/prices i don’t see so many better features on the tesla vs chevy.

Because only feature of bolt over model 3 is time to market at the expense of other features, like no adaptive cruise control let alone lane keeping, no long distance charging network, etc.

But it will have its nieche, like GM says they can probably sell 25,000 per year until model 3 becomes available, and who does not need quick charging and does not commute through stop and go traffic may not miss the more advanced features.

And who knows what features GM has in the works for Bolt 2.0. I am excited to see them on the road.

The Bolt EV is a hatchback and it will probably fit taller people than the Model 3.

Don’t be too sure about adaptive cruise control – GM is talking about full autonomous driving sooner rather than later.

Correct. I think the Bolt EV will be beyond ACC and will likely get supercruise.

Walt asked:

“Why would the model3 be ‘dominate’ the Bolt?”

Because Tesla is ramping up to produce the Model ≡ in large numbers, whereas GM has clearly signaled it plans on only limited production of the Bolt.

And that’s not going to change unless GM moves to build its own battery factories, as BYD and Nissan have done, and as Tesla is now doing.

Supercharger network, Supercharger network, Supercharger network.

That plus the Tesla looks better and has a much stronger EV brand.

The Bolt EV already has access to a pretty good fast charging network that is already growing faster than the supercharger network.

In my area they are adding 214 CCS stations in the next 9 months. In the US with the $4.5 billion in loan guarantees they will be used to expand the charging network even faster. The Bolt EV uses the SAE CCS standard which is backed by 14 auto manufacturers. Below is a picture of the CCS network on the 5th of July.


Can’t speak for everyone but many will much prefer a hatchback, particularly families.

Given that here in the UK and in Europe, the distances travelled are much shorter than in the US and therefore charging infrastructure would be less important as 90% + will charge at home and rarely use FC more than a handful of times a year at best so the Bolt (Ampera E) will sell very well if they want to sell it large numbers that is ! (at the moment it’s not due to be sold in the UK at all).

I wouldn’t underestimate the likes of Nissan and the German Automakers for being too late to the party for 200 miles +, they will be getting in the game just as battery energy density & prices are nearing the point of mass take up.

We are only at 1% market share for many major markets which still leaves the other 99% !

GM should consider making an all electric Volt with the Bolt battery, and get rid of the Volt battery tunnel when they do it.


… “but we still firmly believe that when the 3 arrives, it’ll absolutely dominate the affordable, long-range electric car segment” I disagree, because the new gen leaf has yet to be revealed.

Laser-focused?! What does that mean? Laser light is already coherent, optics will only mess it up.

Perhaps the term would be more clear to you if it was phrased “focused like a laser”.

And to nitpick: A typical laser emitter does require a lens to focus the beam. Maybe they all do; I dunno. Details here:


You may focus laser beam for specific application that require focusing, but is not part of the laser. Laser light is coherent, that is whole point why it is special.

focus and coherence are two very different things.

Focusing laser light works much better than focusing light from other nearby sources. Optics definitely don’t get ‘in the way’. I still don’t know what he means by ‘laser focused’, though.

My first thought was that it’s a reference to cameras and the improved focus possible when having a laser to measure the distance to the object.

Yea well local Opel dealerships tell me that the Ampera e or whtever they’ll call it has no official release date and some say don’t expect it before late 2017. Also wonder if my bike will fit in there as it’s very tight with my e-Golf as it is.

The Bolt and the Model 3 are going to be very, very different vehicles. The Model 3 is going to be a small sedan where as Bolt is going to be a much larger CUV (<23 sq. ft. frontal area compared to 25.8 sq. ft. frontal area). The Bolt will appeal more to family and cargo oriented purchases but small sedans, like the Ford Mustang, have historically sold well.

I think the Bolt is going to sell very well and develop it's own niche market, like the Chrysler minivans. I think Tesla is on very shaky ground financially and it's going to have a hard time producing an affordable Model 3. If Tesla does pull out a miracle and does start producing the Model 3 in numbers it won't be until 2019 or 2020 before sales of the Model 3 overtake sales of the Bolt.

The Bolt looks like a tiny car. It has surprising volume inside, but in the US small cars don’t sell terribly well. The Model 3 looks awesome hence its phenomenal interest and deposits.

Tesla offers a nationwide supercharger network. GM still doesn’t get it and is relegating the Bolt as a commuter car by staunchly refusing to lift a finger to support any charging infrastructure unlike every other major EV player.

Tesla does have challenges. The trunk is a detractor. They haven’t announced the final interior which may be good or bad. Model X has lots of design issues so its not clear the Model 3 will have smooth sailing. If anything the Model 3 is looking not much smaller than the Model S which will bring downward pressure on the price of the Model S. Arguably, the new Model S 60 is a step in that direction. Its a great value compared to the high end models but still much more expensive than the Model 3 will be.

I see the Tesla Supercharger network as a liability not an asset for Tesla.

Without the Supercharger network Tesla would not be where it is today, if at all.

Or maybe if they had tried to work with other manufacturers and develop a true fast charging standard they be in a much better position not have to having to support the ENTIRE fast charging infrastructure all by themselves.

Do you really think that the other automakers wanted to work with that nobody company Tesla back then? They probably just laughed at Tesla.

They did, and nobody listened. As usual.

Agreed. Nissan however has no supercharging network and has the most EVs on the road. I don’t know why everyone cares so damn much about the SC network. I would probably never need to use it given the other options available and oh guess what by having to have something that I don’t need means the car I buy will be cheaper!!!

I use it all the time when going past its initial range. When I drove from SF to San Diego I stopped four times and with a charging speed of about 320 miles per hour the stops did not need to be that long to get to the next. With chademo that would be more in the 150 miles per hour range added charge speed and would have taken me much longer plus cost real money that I already prepaid for SC by buying a tesla.

Chademo or CCS is 150 kW now and chargers will be upgraded sooner or later once 150 kW cars will start appearing on the road. And as you noted, you prepaid for Tesla chargers, it is no way free, it costs a fortune. I would prefer to pay just as everybody pays for gas, pay for what you need now, not pay thousands in advance for something you may use once a year or never.

Having just made two long trips in the time frame of since May, one in my car, Toronto to Orlando, and one on a flight in a hurry, to Vancouver, BC, with a rental car, I can say that renting a car, with no extras for insurance, at $2,500 for a couple weeks, says flying is not always the best alternate option to driving! Last Christmas, a coworker got his Model S 90D, drove it Toronto to Key West, over our break, and there were even less Supercharger stations then than now! Last Summer, I was surprised when I heard my name called out while I was at the Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to find out it was one of my EV friends, who owned, first – a LEAF, and later, bought a Tesla Model S40! He had since doene the software capacity release (Batter Upgrade), and added Supercharger Access, to make that trip. Driving time, for him, was as fast, or faster, than for me, in my ICE 2019 Kia Soul! So, yes, SOME people would not order the car with Supercharger Access, and they may be fine with that, but even then, if Tesla offers short term access,… Read more »

Sorry! My Proofreading stinks!
mTypo’s are winning!

That was a “2010” Kia Soul!
(I expect my last ICE Vehicle)

And – “since done the”

You can make the same trip in a Bolt EV. The Bolt EV already has access to a pretty good fast charging network that is already growing faster than the supercharger network.

In my area they are adding 214 CCS stations in the next 9 months. In the US with the $4.5 billion in loan guarantees they will be used to expand the charging network even faster. The Bolt EV uses the SAE CCS standard which is backed by 14 auto manufacturers. Below is a picture of the CCS network on the 5th of July.


Nissan has no supercharging network because their car can’t take the charge! Not enough cells with real-world C-rates.

SC network is critical to mass-adoption because 200+mile vehicles make it worth the while to go long distance without too much thought.

Texas FFE said:

“I see the Tesla Supercharger network as a liability not an asset for Tesla.”

Then you’re clearly in deep denial. The Supercharger network is a great selling point for Tesla, and creates a lot of free publicity for the company. It absolutely helps Tesla sell cars; it helps a lot!

In 5 years the supercharger network will likely be a liability. CCS chargers will be everywhere and some kind of workable billing system will be in-place. Once 150kw/350kw chargers are everywhere the weakness in the current Tesla cable will start to show themselves.

The Chevy Bolt is the car I need, but the Tesla Model 3D is the car I want.



Amen. That’s why we’re getting both to replace our Fiat+Spark along with our CR-V ICE and G37.

200+mile vehicles will essentially remove our ICE needs.

Supercharger network? SMH. No need – We bring the minivan for roadtrips for major hauling

The Chevy Bolt is the car I need, but the Tesla Model 3D is the car I want.

Same here 🙂

So, Buy one of each!

“Buy one of each”, is exactly what some people did with the LEAF – VOLT choice, last time!

I really am not convinced that GM wants to sell the Bolt. They know that the demand is much higher than what they plan to build. Cars like the Bolt will cut big time into the maintenance revenue stream of most car manufactures and dealerships while currently providing smaller margins to manufacture. They will likely stonewall EVs as long as they can.
I suspect they will market the Bolt even less than they do the Volt hoping to sell as few as possible.
EVs will go mainstream when the auto manufactures make more money from them than they do the smog rods.

Why would they go through the massive job and expense to create a car they don’t want to sell? That doesn’t make any sense at all. They already have other “green” cars so they are not forced to do it and if they were they would only do the minimum effort necessary, not push the market forward like they do with this car.

It might have something to do with tightening emission control targets ?

Across a range of vehicles the manufacturer has to hit a target mpg (I read somewhere it was going to be 54mpg in the US ?).

If they want to sell ICE’s they will need Pure EV to offset ?


To sell more Silverado’s, they need to sell more Volts, Spark EV’s (Which are ending production very soon, if not by August!), and Bolt EV’s!

Same for Suburban’s, Large ICE SUV’s, etc.
Or else, they need to keep buying CARB credits from Tesla, and others!

Actually it looks like the Spark EV is getting at least 1 more year of production according to autonews.com

“Someone out there” said:

“They already have other ‘green’ cars so they are not forced to do it and if they were they would only do the minimum effort necessary…”

Outsourcing the entire EV powertrain to LG Chem, limiting at least the first year of production to only 25k-30k units, announcing they have no plans to sell the car in right-hand-drive countries, and refusing to make any plans to build their own battery factories… looks an awful lot like only doing the minimum effort necessary, at least to me.

GM is signaling in every possible way it has absolutely no plans to ramp up production of the Bolt to significant numbers.

Not at all. It looks like they realize that they are not in the battery manufacturing business and decided to leave that to people with the know-how. Just as GM are not producing their own steel plates, wheels and other components.

It’s possible that they will start manufacturing their own batteries in the future but at this point it would be premature to set up such production. They would have to commit significant resources to build a battery factory and it would take them much longer to come to market.

Regardless of whether they “want” to sell the Bolt, they definitely NEED to sell the Bolt to meet ZEV mandates in CA in the future.

The Lyft/Maven car sharing investments show that GM cares about the Bolt as much more than just a compliance car.

The won’t make enough Bolts for there to be really any short term impact on dealerships.

That’s one of the reasons they won’t build out charging infrastructure, as the Bolt really isn’t designed for long distance travel.

The spacing of the charging stations for a Bolt would likely have to be at 90-100 miles apart which means a cadence of 1.5 hours of driving, 50-60 minutes of charging.

This is not really the mass market ICE replacement vehicle that people really want. It is commendable nevertheless and I hope it sells well, as each electric mile instead of a gasoline/diesel mile is a win. But it won’t be the transformative vehicle.

Maybe when GM decides to make a BEV Malibu, or Camaro, build that fantastic looking Buick Avista as a BEV, we’ll see that GM is really serious about this. Of course, they need to dump a few billion into battery factories. Thus far, they have been quick tepid.

If people can do road trips in their 86 mile LEAF I’m sure they can do it in the 200+ mile Bolt as well.

I have done road trips in the VW eGolf. But that means going from SF to Santa Cruz or Monterey, not to Los Angeles and San Diego. Different category road trip, more local and scary / uncertain because the charging planning is not built into the car navigation like on the tesla. Instead we used chargepoint and plugshare apps and a lot of hoping 🙂 worked all right but not as secure a feeling as with the tesla.

“Someone out there” said:

“If people can do road trips in their 86 mile LEAF I’m sure they can do it in the 200+ mile Bolt as well.”

People do road trips in their antique Ford Model T, too. Just not many of them.

Just because a few dedicated (or fanatic) owners are willing to go to the lengths necessary to use the Leaf for a long distance road trip, and post logs or videos of their journey, doesn’t mean that has, or will, convince the general public that the car is suitable for long distance travel.

Doing a road trip in a Leaf is too difficult for the average consumer and just highlights the issues with BEV’s compared with ICE vehicles. Tesla and their supercharger network is the best option at present to replace ICE vehicles and the Model III will be able to use it.

The spacing of the charging stations for a Bolt would likely have to be at 90-100 miles apart which means a cadence of 1.5 hours of driving, 50-60 minutes of charging. — Tech01x You numbers don’t make since. If charging stations are 90-100 miles apart you will either stop at every other one 180-200 miles within the range of the bolt (3 to 4 hours of travel time) then charge for an hour or stop at every one (1.5 hours of travel time) and charge for 30 min to top off the charge. Your number take max charging time at half the distance. Personally the charging times are a bit higher the my avg stop on my last several ICE trips our breaks were generally be more like 10 to 15 min ever 2 hours to hit the can and just move around a bit not counting the hour we generally took for lunch. So although longer then normal still not far off from my travel time using ICE vehicles since my personal recharging times require more frequent breaks. Now when the chargers hit the 150kw standard that will overall be the best balance at least for me. Still not… Read more »
It’s hard to trust anything General Motors says about EVs after the “in-your-face” systematic crushing of the EV-1 in the Arizona desert 15 or so years ago. Further, GM’s behavior toward Bob Lutz’s love child (the Chevy Volt) is also suspect. Why isn’t the company pushing the car? Or, is it just the Chevy dealerships that are unfamiliar with the car and are refusing to sell the Volt? So, it remains to be seen if Chevrolet will mass market the Bolt as Nissan did with the Leaf. Musk has publicly announced that the Model 3 will be probably be the least expensive car Tesla will ever make. This leaves lots of open territory below $40K for other manufacturers. I suspect that despite the #35K target price, no one will be walking out of the showroom with a Model 3 for less than #40-45K. The Bolt at $37,500 is probably closer to its true selling point than the 35k pipe-dream estimate from Musk Inc. If Musk wants to continue to build state-of-the-art automobiles loaded to the gills with all the latest technology frills, he is free to do so, but an endless string of luxury cars from Tesla will never get… Read more »

jmac said:

“…GM’s behavior toward Bob Lutz’s love child (the Chevy Volt) is also suspect. Why isn’t the company pushing the car?”

This is ignoring history pretty firmly. GM did make a real effort to advertise the Volt when it was new, and in the first few years of production, made the car faster than it was selling, so they wound up having to idle the production line for some weeks every summer.

In light of that history, it is perhaps understandable why GM is being so cautious about Bolt production, and why GM has limited its development costs by farming out the entire EV powertrain to LG Electronics.

Understandable, but it leaves GM in the position of not being able to significantly ramp up production even if they want to. However, GM could certainly make changes in future model years to increase Bolt production if they really want to.

Future years. But certainly not the first year, and likely not the second, because LG Chem makes contracts for delivery of large quantities of battery cells two years in advance.

The EV-1 was a long time ago. The Bolt and Volt are today.

And let’s be careful not to glorify the EV-1. It was a radical technological leap but totally impractical for 99% of drivers. The Bolt will be a thousand times better than the EV-1 and unlike the EV-1, anyone will be able to buy it.

Really, you may as well refuse to buy a Bolt because the Corvair was unsafe at any speed. Or don’t buy a Ford because the Pinto had a tendency to explode in flames.

Finally, Chevy has come a long way on reliability since the 90s. They still make some junkers but Volt reliability is at Toyota levels and it’s reasonable to expect similar from the Bolt.

Consumer Reports gives us our best window into used car reliability, and according to them, the Volt is solidly average, year after year. Not exactly Toyota level, whose Prius consistently scores ‘much better than average’ on reliability.

The Volt is pretty solid, not to slag on it … I’m shopping right now and the reliability of the Prius is a pretty big draw to me over the Leaf or Volt.

Also consider that the Prius quality benefits from two decades of incremental improvements, while the Volt data that it is being compared to is from a first generation version of the vehicle.

GM is the one that killed the electric car in the first place and they are now trying to block Tesla at every turn with the dealership issue.

The only reason they produced the Bolt in the first place is so that they won’t be out done by an upstart like Tesla. If Tesla were to suddenly disappear how long do you think GM would continue with the Bolt program. My guess is that they would shut it down immediately and happily continue producing gas cars.

I don’t trust GM and will never buy another of their products because of what they are doing to try and stop Tesla.

Besides Tesla has the supercharger network which makes their cars true cross country cars. Any other EV will have to rely on the not so reliable charging network that is currently out there

Tesla certainly has had a key role in jump-starting the EV revolution but now the genie is out of the bottle so this trend cannot be reversed now. If Tesla were to fold sometime soon it’s possible that the EV development would be slowed down a bit but I don’t think it’s possible to reverse it anymore.


Tesla is pushing the EV revolution forward at a faster pace, but even if Tesla disappeared tomorrow, the way first-world governments are putting increasingly stringent limits on emissions from new cars, it looks inevitable that legacy auto makers will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into producing more and more plug-in EVs, despite the fact that neither they nor their dealerships want to sell them.

Either that or, like Fiat, they’ll refuse to make EVs and just go out of business.

Here is a quick fact, 2 years after having my bolt, tesla worshippers will still be waiting for the model 3… And nissan and hyundai at the least will also have at that time a 200 miles ev… and then we will be able to compare… i am not saying the bolt will be better or worst but i will have one and in the next years i will test a tesla when available… Tesla is a religion like apple… the model 3 doesnt exist yet and the followers think it will be better then everybody else… i prefer to base myself on facts… so i will take the bolt first and compare when the others really come along..

steve said:

“…i am not saying the bolt will be better or worst but i will have one…”

How do you know that you’ll have one? Do you have a reservation in? So far as I know, GM doesn’t do reservations for upcoming cars.

With only 25k-30k units produced in the first year, we can be sure that a lot of would-be Bolt buyers are gonna have to settle for something else.

Tesla took preorders for the Model 3 before it’s design was even finalized on paper, yet now you question whether someone will be able to buy a Bolt next year?

I used to only suspect you to be a Tesla Fanboy, but now you confirm it.

Bolt parts suppliers have already confirmed the ability for production to ramp up to 50K or 70K per year depending on the source. And we know Chevy dealers will steer customers away from the Bolt because they fear it as much as the oil companies. Is it theoretically possible that GM will max out production capacity despite dealer efforts to kill sales? Sure. But in all probability anyone who really wants a Bolt will be able to buy one.

I had no trouble buying a 2011 Volt in early 2012 (in the midwest) and they only made 15K Volts in 2011.

I think that if somebody wants to buy a Bolt in 2017, they’ll be able to find one.

I am so excited about both the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. This is the pure EV market entering the mainst5. Good times!

Absolutely! This is the opposite of a zero sum gain – the more EV’s the better. You can like one more than the other, but the need to dis the one you don’t like seems small minded.

Just wait until we get the Leaf 2.0 and longer range e-Golf and i3 – we will have a wealth of choices.

Zero-sum game – oops.

Don’t forget the Hyundai Ioniq and the 2017 FFE.

Hear, hear! Thank you, speculawyer.

It’s so strange to see EV enthusiasts arguing over whether the Bolt or the Model ≡ is the “better” car, as if sales of one is gonna cut into sales of the other. Both cars will almost certainly be in higher demand than either GM or Tesla can make during at least the first couple years of production. The real competition for the Bolt and the Model ≡, is not the other BEV — it’s gasmobiles.

Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, and when it comes to the difference between different BEVs: viva la difference! A wider disparity between different BEVs means a wider market.

I think Tesla got the Model 3 right. GM should have designed to use the nicer looking Volt platform so it can also be a 200+ mile EV. With the EV being a more upscale 5 door sedan sharing Volt bones. Instead GM went backwards and created a $37k sub-compact, that looks cheaper than the Volt, but costs more. Also the Bolt should have been named Volt EV. But GM got caught in their own marketing deception trying to sell the Volt plug-in hybrid as an EV. Now they have a Volt and Bolt, that sound the same, and the mass market won’t know the difference, no matter how much marketing is done. This is clearly Tesla’s market to win. Even if the Bolt does get a spike upon launch, it most certainly will be tied to the shortest lease they offer, so most of those consumers can take delivery of their ordered Model 3 as soon as it’s ready. I still think this is GM’s way of being in the game, and out of the game at the same time. Putting their 200+ mile EV drivetrain under a least desired body. Similar to Ford, putting their plug-in hybrid drivetrain… Read more »

Where did you get that “sub-compact” thing? Its inside volume is the same as 94 cu ft of Model S:
52.2 cu-ft / 1478 L 1st row
42.2 cu-ft / 1195 L 2nd row

You may don’t like CUV style and prefer sedan, and I guess many would share your opinion in specific demographics, but CUV is getting quite popular overall in recent years.

Passenger volume in the Bolt is great at 94 cu ft. About the same as the Model S 95 cu ft. The space in the Bolt comes from the high ceiling with upright seats and tons of headroom. The Model S offers much more room side to side, and it has 31 cu ft of storage space vs. the Bolt’s 17 cu ft.

Keeping the roofline low on the Model S limits the interior volume, but it helps the aerodynamics immensely.

The Model S is basically a mid-size sedan, a slightly large mid-size. The Bolt is a sub-compact CUV.

The Model S is 32 inches longer and 17 inches wider than the Bolt. Those are huge differences which are why one is classed as sub-compact CUV and the other is classed as mid-sized to large sedan.

The Bolt is classified as a Compact Utility Vehicle, not a sub-compact CUV. The Bolt has the same frontal area as a Kia Soul and has a larger frontal area than any other BEV except the Model X. Do you think a Kia Soul is a sub-compact? What are all the other BEVs, sub-sub-compacts?

Wikipedia says the second generation Kia Soul is classified as a subcompact CUV. It also says: “Mini SUV, also called subcompact SUV or subcompact crossover, is a class of small sport utility vehicles with a length under and around 4,200 mm (165.4 in). ” Which would fit the Bolt at 164 inches length.


Wiki says a Compact SUV has length 167-181 inches. These are vehicles like the Honda CRV, RAV4, or Ford Escape.

Wikipedia calls the Kia Soul a subcompact crossover SUV, that’s very much bigger than a sub-compact car. The Tesla Model S is classified as a full size luxury car yet it has a much smaller frontal area than the Bolt.

I think some of these listing on Wikipedia are not accurate. Wikipedia says that the sizes are bassed on EPA classifications but EPA classifies the Kia Soul as a small station wagon.

BTW the model S has a frontal area of 23 sq. ft. compared to the 25.8 of the Bolt.

The Ford Focus is not a sub-compact. The Bolt wheel base and track are almost identical to the Focus but the Bolt is five inches taller and five inches shorter in length than the Focus. The cargo capacity of the Bolt is also about 25% greater than the non-electric Focus.

We are leasing an e-Golf and a Leaf, and it is hard to stay under the lease mileage. To lease a 200+ mile EV would not make much sense, because you can only drive it <32-41 miles a day, on average.

The Bolt had to be a sub-compact car to try to keep the costs of the battery and the total car cost down under $40,000 while still achieving 200 mile range in early 2017.

Yes, a compact-sized 5-door, 5 seat hatchback like the Volt is going to be a better fit for the US public down the road, but stuffing enough batteries in there for 200+ mile range and keeping the cost below $40,000 in 2017 is basically impossible.

Tesla is aiming for that size car at that price, but it will be a couple years before they are selling many below $40,000, and by then they’ll have the Gigafactory running and cutting the cost of batteries 30%.

The Bolt is not a sub-compact, quit saying that. The only BEVs that have a larger frontal area are the Kia Soul (only slightly) and the Model X.

“The Chevrolet Bolt … is an all-electric subcompact vehicle developed by Chevrolet on an updated Gamma II platform shared with the next generation subcompact Chevrolet Sonic.”


It’s length and width would make it a subcompact. It’s height and good use of space make it as roomy inside as a mid-size sedan.

This article says that it is officially classified by the EPA as a ‘small wagon’ … so the ‘subcompact’ vs ‘compact’ doesn’t even come into play since those categories are for sedans not wagons. http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/chevrolet_bolt_2017

Okay, l’ll buy that. I hope from now on you will say that the Bolt is a small wagon and not a sub-compact.

I thought the Bolt was classified by the gov’t as a ‘mid-size wagon’.

Supposedly, with the rear seats folded, it has 11 more cubic feet of storage space (handy for large objects) than the “S”.

I don’t see the criticism of the BOLT prior to its release. At least it is SOMETHING.

Some auto makers are hardly doing anything to improve the popularity of electric cars.

Looks like about 50 comments where people arrogantly say they know more than GM about everything.

Since this article is about ‘pencils down’, so what is the final product of the ‘3’ going to be? And now FORBES is saying this just seems like promises with nothing concrete, yet all the criticism here is of GM?

Nah, EPA small wagon will be the class for the Bolt, which includes cars both smaller and bigger than it. Medium wagon is stuff like the Prius V or the Benz E350 wagon.


That’s a pretty good article you linked to on the Bolt at Car Connection. I read about some things I hadn’t read before like the self sealing tires. I think anyone that’s really interested in learning about the Bolt should read this article, maybe it will stop some of the discussion about how big the Bolt is.

Totally agreed that GM used the wrong platform for the Bolt, but a lot of what you describe as intentional is anything but. I know about GM’s design problems from relatives who work at their tech center in Warren, MI. What happens is the stylists create absolutely stunning designs. They are dead sexy, passionate, lusty, everything hot selling car would be. Then the crusty old executives see the designs and whine because “they don’t look like GM cars”. This design by committee cycle repeats until the prototypes are the same old boring Generic Motors designs we see daily. Occasionally a stunning design slips through because some executive champions it, but those are the rare exceptions. Note: I have not seen these designs, it is only vague descriptions I get, relayed to me as I described above. But I trust the judgement of these sources. With the Bolt, GM were in a bit of a bind since a new platform would increase development costs and retail price. In my opinion they should have developed a single dedicated EV platform for both the Volt and Bolt that featured a flat battery pack and could be offered in both sedan and hatchback configurations… Read more »

That is very true about GM…
But it is also true of Toyota and they became the largest auto co in the world because they sell boring looking and boring driving apliances that are reliable…

Some people would be reluctant to buy a Bolt simply because of the ignition scandal with all that implies. Some will only care about here and now and/or money. Some care about principles too, especially when other people were killed because of known negligence.
In this respect GM and Tesla or say Honda are not equal as far as we know, as of now.

Yeah, GM has a serious reputation problem. Hopefully Mary Barra can do some executive housecleaning to change the corporate culture.

Plus the way that try to elbow out another american company Tesla, by paying lobbyists, buying politicians to push legislation just to prevent a competitor to sell.
And with the resources they have they could surely compete , for the better car, with tesla not try to legislate them out of business. I really don’t like this, out of principle, the bullying attitude. Don’t own any shares though, I am just saying.

In the end if there is a race the only winner will be the EV buyer, with more choice.

I will buy Leaf with 40 kWh for my women and a Bolt or Leaf 2 with 60 kWh for me :-). I think with this drag Tesla battery will be smaller in base, but drag coefficient I don’t need good because my daily route is very speed limited so I only choose the car with bigger battery for longer lifetime, better charging speed.

Leafs for your “women”? LOL, you don’t live in Utah, do you?

The Bolt has a big problem. Who wants to spend $30,000 for a car that looks like a Honda Fit?

It seems that GM electrified the cheapest platform they could find to get the price competitive with the Model 3.

Unfortunately for GM – looks matter. The Model 3 is elegant and beautiful. The Bolt looks like a shoe.

If looks mattered that much why do so many people own Toyotas??
Why do people own ugly CUVs??
Or do people simply think they are needed to drive over parking lot speed bumps??

The Model 3 looks cramped and hot. Whatever, there is room for both.

Fixed that for you Ambulator: “The Model 3 LOOKS hot”.

BTW, I agree that there is more than enough room for both.

I don’t care who gets there first. I want to see the three-way shootout reviews between Tesla, GM, and Nissan before I make my choice. 🙂

You will be waiting until 2018 at the soonest maybe 2019 depending on if Tesla for the first time is able to make it delivery targets.

Wow, lots of Model ≡ vs. Bolt comments which somewhat miss the key point. As an EV enthusiast (commenting on this blog) you and I both want Chevy to win AND Tesla to win. GM is still a legacy automaker with most of its IP tied up in ICE powertrains and its distribution in dealerships. Still, GO GM and GO Bolt! To get where we need to be, we need *10 or more* models selling 500k / year by 2020. I suspect GM’s heart isn’t in it the way Tesla’s is, but I (and Elon) would love nothing more than to be proven wrong. So get out there and promote any EV your friend, relative, neighbor, coworker, etc. is inclined to consider (yes, even plug-in ICE cars like the Volt).

So, remind me, just how many Bolt reservations are there at the moment compared to the M3’s ~500k?

Remind me when, if ever, will Model 3 SALES surpass Bolt sales.

First the Bolt didn’t bother with a reservation system at least 2 years before the car is made instead Chevy is shipping the car in 2017 vs 2018 (maybe) more likely 2019 or 2020. Also it is under 400k M3’s reservations at present. If Tesla is able to actual ship model 3 in 2018 the number might swell to 500k but they aren’t there yet.