Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show General Motors revealed is 200-mile per charge 2017 Chevy Bolt EV. Chevy also promised that the new Bolt “will go into production by the end of 2016.” Chevy had Bolts on hand and offered journalists short drives around the parking lot of the show. Thus, Chevy has effectively beaten Tesla to market with an affordable EV design that has decent range. Tesla wants you to know it has not forgotten its version.
Joseph White reported that Tesla says the Model 3 is “On schedule” and will be shown in March. White says that the timeline means the Model 3 may be in production in 2017. However, Tesla’s Silicon Valley deadlines are often fuzzy or just plain made up. The “launch” of the current Model X was in September. After more than three months Tesla had delivered just 208 vehicles.
The Chevy Bolt and Model 3 from Tesla are being hyped differently by the EV advocacy media. The Bolt is here now, and Chevy plans to offer it for sale below $40K. With incentives, it would be possibly a $30K vehicle, maybe slightly less. What is pretty clear is that it is an “economy car” of sorts, not a premium sports sedan. Inside EVs and others are writing that the Tesla Model 3 will have a similar price range, but be a competitor to the BMW 3-Series. If that comes to pass, the Tesla would clearly be the better car. We’ll know in about five or six weeks assuming Tesla has a real car at the reveal.