Chevy’s first attempt at a Tesla Fighter, the Chevy Volt, kinda fell on its face. Sure they sold OK, but they never really brought the heat to Tesla. To be honest, none of the major automakers have been able to touch Tesla. The Volt is an expensive eco-box. The Leaf is an ugly, expensive, underpowered toy car. The BMW i3 is an expensive interpretation of a hipster’s ideal car (which, not surprisingly, isn’t very good).
The connected problem with all of these cars is that they are all way too expensive for the average consumer, even when you consider the tax incentive. And when you’re paying close to $40,000 for a car, you expect something… well decent.
Here is where the new Chevy Bolt EV comes in. Now, this is a concept car at the moment, however it will make it to production in some form. Basically, the Bolt is an electric car that can seat 4, travel 200miles on a single charge, charge to 80% in 45min, and it only costs (supposedly) ~$30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax incentive for EVs. Let me say that again, $30,000. That’s in the same price bracket as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the cars that pretty much keep the working class mobile.
Considering that the cheapest Tesla starts at $65,000, and has a range of about 200 miles, the Bolt is a pretty good deal. Is it as sexy as the Tesla? No. Is it as fast as the Tesla? Not by any means. Will it attract the same wow factor as a Tesla? Probably not. But the same can be said about a Honda Accord and a BMW M3. The will get you from point A to point B. How they do it is a different story. Not everyone needs a car that screams down the interstate with Rick Ross blasting through the 10000000000000 watt sound system, all while your poop shoot is being blown at with cold air. Both are cars associated with different images, but none the less they are cars.
What I’m trying to get at is that the Chevrolet Bolt EV should not be compared with other non-Tesla electric cars. In fact, it really shouldn’t be compared with anything, as there really isn’t anything like it (yet). I applaud Chevy for exploiting a niche that had yet to be exploited.