General Motors fired an opening salvo against Tesla in the war for electric vehicle superiority today by introducing the Chevrolet Bolt, an EV concept capable of traveling 200 miles on a single charge.
GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra described the Bolt “an affordable, long-range all electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000.
“The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity. Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”
Electric vehicles are still plagued by an age-old conundrum: range v. price. The more you’re willing to pay, i.e. Tesla’s Model S at $80,000-plus, the more range you get. One of the keys for EV success is breaking that formula and the Bolt may be the first step.
Alan Batey,GM executive president, acknowledged the Bolt could challenge Tesla’s Model X, which is supposed to debut later this year.
“I haven’t seen a Tesla with our value equation,” he said.
Batey, however, declined to say if and when GM could build the Bolt. Those decisions are still pending, he said.
“What I am saying today is that this vehicle has a very important place in our portfolio,” he told reporters after GM’s official press conference. “We wouldn’t have talked about 200 miles of range and a $30,000 price unless we knew we could do it.”
No one else has the ability to offer a vehicle with a range of 200 miles and a price of $30,000. The Nissan Leaf costs less than $20,000, but its range is limited to around 100 miles.
(Buick Avenir could shatter expectations. For more, Click Here.)
Batey declined to discuss the battery technology that enhanced the Bolt’s range, but said GM will ready to discuss it in next few months as it releases more information about the science behind the car.
(Click Here for details about GM’s second-generation Volt.)
The Bolt utilizes lessons learned through the production of the Volt and Spark EV and is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets, GM officials said.
Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.
(Ford dropped a supercar bombshell in Detroit today! Click Here for the full report.)
Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said Tesla could use its mystique, particularly on the West Coast, where most EV’s are sold, to counter the competition from Chevrolet.
“Two hundred miles for $30,000 sounds like a great deal on the surface, and definitely puts the heat on Tesla’s Model 3 to knock it out of the park like the Model S did. With that said, if the Model 3 does in fact deliver similar range and pricing, many consumers may opt for the Tesla simply because of the nameplate assuming supply is available. Chevy will need other key features to differentiate, but it’s great to see the brand so committed to greener vehicles.”