By on October 6, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

Since General Motors showed the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the company has been adamant the car would compete with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 in terms of pricing, range and certainly in terms of consumer adoption.

The Teslarati, on the other hand, don’t seem to agree.

Tesla’s stated modus operandi since inception is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” But for fans of the Silicon Valley brand the M.O has been twisted into Tesla or bust, leading to straw man arguments and arbitrary analysis.

Electrek’s latest Tesla versus Chevy op-ed by Fred Lambert is a perfect example.

Lambert is resolute in his proclamation that the battle between the two brands is nonexistent: “GM is making a $37,500 car that would sell for $20,000 if it wasn’t electric, while Tesla is trying to make a $35,000 car that would sell for $35,000 if it wasn’t electric.”

It’s a distinction Lambert created himself, based on the Bolt being sized similarly to the Chevrolet Sonic. “I don’t think it is too far-fetched to say that the Bolt is shaping up to be an electric Sonic,” he says.

But it is, Freddy, it is. See, GM itself said recently that despite the Bolt program being born out of GM Korea’s Gamma family architecture, it quickly evolved into its own bespoke platform, sharing no common parts with Gamma II.

Next, Lambert asserts (once again without proof), that “Model 3 reservation holders are informed customers and they know a lot about Tesla. They have been following the company for a while and they are fairly well-informed.” But are they?

There isn’t much information regarding exactly who Tesla Model 3 reservation holders are, but it would seem to be a healthy mix of existing Tesla clientele, first time EV buyers and shoppers who fear missing out.

Take Joel Moffitt for example, a Cascadia College design student who The Seattle Times described as waiting to “get in on something that has the power or opportunity to change the way we get around.”

Or Toby Nitzsche, who told Fortune that he spent the night outside a Tesla store in California because “it’s about supporting the technology and keeping it going.”

Neither of these two individuals sound like died-in-the-wool Teslarati who, in Lambert’s esteemed words, “know a lot about Tesla.” That’s perfectly okay, but what’s not okay is asserting that the Model 3’s entire audience is a well-informed member of the EV movement, when in reality most people don’t buy cars to save the world — they buy cars to get to work and buy groceries.

Some of those looking to switch to an EV cite abolishing fuel costs and oil changes as a major motivator, something Tesla does not have a monopoly over. These are shoppers who are selfishly looking to reduce user cost — again, little to do with saving the world.

In fact, using Tesla vs. Chevy pre-orders as a barometer of execution and future success is a straw man in itself, as pre-ordering for the Chevrolet Bolt won’t begin until next month, just a stone’s throw from its late 2016 market arrival date.

Inexplicably, Lambert goes on to say that GM’s previous foray into the EV market in the mid ’90s, the lease-only EV1 (which ended up as pile of crushed metal), will push shoppers towards the Model 3. What Lambert and some of the Tesla fanatics may not understand is that the EV1 was a “real-world engineering evaluation” into the feasibility of producing and selling an electric vehicle in the United States. The EV1 was literally the first of its kind.

The EV1 project can be traced back to 1990, a full 23 years before Tesla would become incorporated, let alone produce and sell an electric vehicle. Yes, the EV1 was a premature undertaking when it first became available in 1996, but it’s far from a “scandal” (as Lambert calls it).

Perhaps the source of Electrek’s Tesla tint comes courtesy of the fact “some writers of Electrek maintain positions in $TSLA and other green energy stocks.

Could that also be the reason Electrek completely ignored the launch of the Bolt’s sister car, the Opel Ampera-e during last week’s Paris Motor Show? A car which Opel actually drove 260 miles from the heart of London to the show floor, while still showing some 50 miles in reserve.

For a publication that claims to be “a news site tracking the transition from fossil fuel transportation to electric and the surrounding clean ecosystems,” that’s simply inexcusable.

If, as the old adage goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, the mainstream manufacturers wading into the EV arena should be applauded, not chided for sins of the past.

Maybe if the Bolt was a half-baked compliance car or conceptual idea existing in the minds of executives then yes, Lambert would have a point. But the Bolt is certainly not — it’s a very real product geared towards the modern consumer, with 94 cubic feet of passenger space (equal to the much larger Tesla Model S), technology to touch, and safety features in spades, all rolled into one emission-free vehicle costing less than $30,000 after incentives.

Isn’t that a good thing?

[Image: Tesla Motors]

This article originally appeared on GMInsideNews.

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80 Comments on “EVs, Fanboyism, and Electrek’s Slanted View of the Chevrolet Bolt...”


  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    As noted in several other places, this Bolt will be the Model 3’s undoing.

    It doesn’t have to sell as many, it just has to sell enough to eat up all those government incentives that Tesla is banking on when advertising their car.

    When Tesla doesn’t deliver on their predicted pricing, it will be cause for many cancellations.

    I really love my Volt still. Whisper quiet, smoothest variable transmission I have ever experienced. Heavy and stable feel. Great daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the per-vehicle incentives are for each manufacturer, they’re not all from the same pot. GM selling a Bolt doesn’t take away a tax credit from a Tesla buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Exactly. But what will happen at some point on the Model 3 is if all those pre-orders go through (they won’t, and history has shown not even close) then Tesla will eat up their tax incentives. The price suddenly goes up $7.5K.

        But the 800 pound elephant in the room is this. Tesla has never, ever hit a price target. The $35K base price Model-3 will be on sale for two weeks, option packages will be BMW, Porsche grade, and realistically the average Model 3 will likely be north of $40K, after government incentives.

        The $35K version will be the “Camry L” to grab headlines, and quietly killed shortly there after. That’s Tesla’s pattern on the S and the X, why should this be different.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          true, but GM’s problem is all of those Volts qualified for the same credit, so that’s reduced the number of credits available to prospective Bolt buyers.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Every single carmaker on the planet advertises a base price for a standard car, and then charges extra for options. Why would you expect Tesla to be different – did you really think you could add on all sorts of options for free?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I get that. But Tesla’s model is more like BMW and Porsche.

            Oh, you actually want 250 miles range? Well that’s another $10K.

            Look at the option sheets from the European makers in general, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes. They play an excellent game, charging very high markup for “options” that should be standard in a car of that prestige.

            Tesla plays the same game and worse.

            What auto makers generally don’t do is build an advertising/fleet spec vehicle and advertise and PR on that price, to kill it two weeks after launch effectively raising the base price say 20%.

            That is exactly what Tesla did with the Model S, killing the base model right out of the gate. The X never even hit its price target.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Tesla option pricing looks in line with $70-90K cars. I think you just like to whine.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            When your $35k Model 3 costs $45k, are you going to be able to live with that?

            And when the car generates losses at those prices, are the creditors and Wall Street going to be able to live with that?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Lol @ VoGo, we should call you Dodge Ram. You dodge all the points you can’t argue with (Tesla cutting the S base model out the gate and failing to meet pricing targets on the X), and ram through something that is supposed to redeem you, but falls short. Yes, Teslas pricing is exactly in line with the other car makers that love to gouge you for things that should be standard at that price, namely those he mentioned. You made his point for him, as though he needed help.

            Its funny how you guys are exactly like who the author described in the article. The thing that will leave you all dodging and raming is when the Bolt’s tires hit the pavement at the promised price while the 3 is delayed and its pricing “revised” from Elon’s unrealistic statements thus far.

            Unlike you, I have no dog in this fight. I wish GM the best with their Bolt and the same goes for Tesla and the model 3. But, if I were planning to buy such a car, I believe my choice would be the one I know will be in the showroom when its maker says it will and for the price it was promised at, not the one who is staging a cash grab before the fμ©ker is even out of the design phase, targeting those who seek to have bragging rights and an undeserved sense of self importance for “buying into something great”.

            I’d also be quite likely to place my bet on the one not likely to screw it up with some cheesy half-baked “ooohh” and “ahhh” crap like an autopilot that isn’t a real autopilot and can kill you if you don’t know that, or an all glass roof on an economy model, or maybe gulwing doors that weren’t quite ready before being brought to the showroom.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          @ApaGtth

          I’m anticipating that, with a fairly loaded Model 3 like I’d probably spec out, the price will probably be closer to $45-50K.

          That’s pretty standard for the industry these days. Offer a cheap bare-bones version, and jack the price up quickly with options.

      • 0 avatar
        THE_F0nz

        Thank you for the information on credits being allotted for each manufacturer! I was misled!

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      “As noted in several other places, this Bolt will be the Model 3’s undoing.”

      Sorry, I don’t agree with you there. That is like saying that the next Samsung Galaxy phone (especially if it doesn’t catch on fire) will be to undoing for the iPhone.

      Tesla will always have a loyal cult following just like the people who wait in line for the next iPhone. They wait in line because Apple made it. No matter what the competition has to offer.

      Don’t get me wrong, I hope that Chevy sells a million Bolts. I want to get one myself.
      I also think that Tesla has some cool cars and if I could afford it, I’d buy one

      • 0 avatar
        THE_F0nz

        I agree with you, as I noted above, I was misled regarding those credits.

        I think there is plenty of space for the Bolt and the Model 3 if both are eligible for credits. That is, as long as they (the credits) exist.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Except the Bolt is coming from a manufacturer with a track record of making a reliable car which is infinitely more complex than anything Tesla sells (the Volt.)

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Was just wondering how the Volts have held up — average reliability according to Consumer Reports.

          I’m no GM fanboi, but I think I’d still trust this devil, versus one I REALLY don’t know, if I were looking for a vehicle from this space.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Was just wondering how the Volts have held up — average reliability according to Consumer Reports.”

            consumer reports is f*ed up. they give the 2016 Volt a “good” new car prediction, but an “average” prediction in the table. the only downmark they give for the car is a “Poor” in 2015 for “audio system.” That does not make for an unreliable car. For all of the other stuff, the 2013-2015 Volt gets mostly “Excellent” or “Very Good.” especially the critical powertrain ratings.

          • 0 avatar

            @JimZ

            AGreed Rather than look at Consumer reports which does its analyses only periodically, use Truedelta instead which gets quarterly data from all its active subscribers.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I tried to give TrueDelta a chance, but I stopped contributing because of their constant spamming; it was like almost every few days “please come back and update” this or that.

            plus, they’re pretty obscure so two marks against them are their small sample sizes and the higher likelihood their respondents are self-selected.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “What Lambert and some of the Tesla fanatics may not understand is that the EV1 was a “real-world engineering evaluation” into the feasibility of producing and selling an electric vehicle in the United States. The EV1 was literally the first of its kind.”

    yeah, unfortunately that crowd has latched onto Chris Paine’s hit piece “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Chris Paine made a follow up Who Saved The Electric Car and GM got heavy praise for the Volt. Lutz was prominently featured in the second documentary.

      The EV1 was not practical in the real world as battery technology did not support real world, any location operation. In cold climates the EV1’s range could have been reduced to as low as 10 to 15 miles on a cold winter morning.

      • 0 avatar
        healthy skeptic

        The EV1 was also a massive money loser per unit, as I understand. Its main problem, among others, is that it was simply too far ahead of its time. The technology and cost really weren’t there yet.

  • avatar
    redliner

    The article is basically saying “We want cool entry-lux EVs, not an electric Honda Fit”.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think anyone who expects the Model 3 to be “entry-lux” is going to be sorely disappointed. Tesla would be losing $10,000 on each one.

      you barely get into entry-lux at that price point with a regular gas engine car, let alone one an EV with a megabattery.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        JimZ,
        What you (and many here) are not seeing is how quickly battery prices are falling, in large part because of Tesla. BEVs will achieve price parity with ICE by 2020.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I’m not sure I buy that. economies of scale cause large cost reductions when you have a new technology, and get better at making it. Lithium-ion has been manufactured at large scales for a long time now. More production will lower it some, but only incrementally. I don’t think the price floor on them is as low as they think it’ll go. Plus, most of these rely on cobalt, and a large chunk of cobalt production is in conflict regions in Africa. Just like we saw with China and materials for rare earth magnets, when a region has that much control over a critical material you risk price instability.

          honestly so many of those analyst reports have a “Disco Stu” vibe to them.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @jimz: the cost reductions in lithium batteries from companies that I’m in contact with aren’t just from volume. One big improvement comes from refining the manufacturing process. Component to cell time only a fifth the time of the old processes due to new electrode technologies. Reducing the amount of inert material in the battery is another improvement. This technology isn’t in mass production yet, but it’s out of the lab and they’re in the process of constructing the production facilities.

            Other companies that I’m not as close to may have improved the processes as well. It’s a simpler approach than exotic new technologies and materials. Basically, they are refining the current technology.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Considering that Tesla doesn’t even delivery “luxury” in a $130k Model X, I don’t think a Model 3 will remotely qualify as “lux”. They are a premium brand but they are about technology not luxury.

        An interior that is the level of an Accord EX does not qualify as luxury regardless of the price tag.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Have you seen the interior of a basic BMW 320?

          Then you’ve seen the quality you should expect from a $35K Tesla.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Vogo, you along with most of the planet do not know what the quality of a $35K Tesla will be since it hasn’t been shown let alone reviewed.

            You should go to Jack Baruth dot com to see more of your dubious comments (on a different topic) taken apart.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            VoGo, Not sure why you would say that. We don’t know the quality of interior to expect on a $35k Tesla. Based on what I had seen in the S, I would say that is on par with a 528i.

            We all know Tesla interior materials aren’t that great. They’re ok for a $35k car, but not one double that price.

            Maybe they’ll take that deposit money you handed over/loaned and buy better quality materials.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Thanks for the tip, Mike,
            It’s really awesome that there’s a safe place for TTAC posters to rag on me without fear of moderation.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Given a $100K Model S interior barely betters a $30K 320i (and is nowhere near as well put together), I sure have no expectations of anything nice inside a Model 3.

            I’ve said it before – $35K electric Civic, at best. With early ’80s General Motors build quality, at best.

          • 0 avatar

            “without fear of moderation.”

            How dare Jack engage in free speech?

            I’m also wondering just how much narcissistic injury can one suffer when one is using an anonymous pseudonym?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ronnie,
            I used to use my name and hometown as my handle on TTAC, but decided to change because of the death threats I received here (this was before Mark). I didn’t think that risking the lives of my wife and kids was worth it.

            I did use my name to respond on Jack’s site.

            The thing about moderation that I like is that it promotes an atmosphere where people can disagree about ideas, without resorting to name calling.

            Sorry that you find me so insufferable.

          • 0 avatar

            Insufferable? Nah. In light of your reflexive playing of the racism card, your complaining about name calling is closer to hypocritical than insufferable.

            Maybe Jack has a lower tolerance for suffering fools gladly than I do.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Take the plank out of your own eye first, Ronnie.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Have you seen the interior of a basic BMW 320?

            Then you’ve seen the quality you should expect from a $35K Tesla.”

            the “basic BMW 320” doesn’t have $10,000 of battery on its BOM.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ronnie,
            When you’ve gotten your head so far up your a$$ that you can’t tell the difference between someone disagreeing with you and ‘playing the race card’, then maybe it’s time for you to reconsider your politics.

            Maybe I’m just old school. There was a time when Jews were at the front of civil rights marches, before their leaders entangled themselves in right wing Israeli politics.

            But I’ll certainly consider your words of wisdom every time I need the opinion of a seamstress with a broken down website no one cares about who is so broke he needs to borrow $15K from his mommy so he can buy a subcompact.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Children, play nice.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      People prefer something they think of as a nicer 320i over something they think of as a costlier Honda Fit. Super easy to understand, even though I don’t agree with it.

      Arguments over the quality of a Model 3 interior none of us have seen are beside the point. Not only is the Model 3 prettier, but Tesla has brand cachet. In the same way people admire BMW for inventing the sport sedan, people admire Tesla for inventing the desirable electric car. And that’s totally appropriate.

      Personally I’ll take a 200+ mile EV *now* and at a *verified* affordable price, even if it resembles a Honda Fit and/or a potato…rather than a sexy one “later” and a “projected” affordable price.

      But honestly, I think of the Bolt as a predecessor, not a competitor, to the Model 3. Not having placed a Model 3 deposit, I figure I could get through an entire Bolt lease by the time a Model 3 became available to me. I think the same is true of most of us.

      And anyway, Elon Musk’s whole point in founding Tesla was to prod other automakers into making EVs by showing it was possible to make one people want. So Tesla fans, you win if I buy a Bolt, just as you win if I buy a Tesla.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    As a Model 3 res holder, I don’t bear the Bolt any ill will. In fact, ordinarily I would wish GM nothing but the best with it. But…

    …but GM decided to oppose Tesla’ direct sales model and support those BS franchise laws that force everyone to buy from dealers, like it or not.

    So nothing against the Bolt on my part, but a big beef with GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Can you blame GM for looking to keeping the playing field level (or tilted in their favor)? They are stuck with all these franchise dealerships whether they like it or not. Why give a newcomer competitor the freedom of not having similar strings attached?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Yes. I can blame GM for old school thinking that continues to saddle consumers with the horrible dealer based market structure we have today.

        GM had an opportunity to help transform the industry, and they failed.

      • 0 avatar
        healthy skeptic

        @Quentin

        >> Can you blame GM for looking to keeping the playing field level (or tilted in their favor)?

        Absolutely I can. I won’t be buying any GM products while they’re doing that.

        And actually, in the long run it’s not really in GM’s interest either. As your argument implicitly states, direct sales is a potential advantage, meaning good for both manufacturers and consumers. That’s why the existing franchise system has to be reinforced by law. Heaven forbid a successful alternative be allowed to arise.

        The “level playing field” works by hobbling everyone equally with balls and chains. Does that sound like a good thing to you? I’d prefer to see those balls and chains get cut off.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          That wasn’t my point. Look at it from a human nature perspective. GM is a business. They are doing what they can to protect their interests. Supporting the dealer/franchise arrangement isn’t immoral or unethical. It might not be the absolute best thing for the end consumer, but I’m not going to fault a company for asking that other companies in the same business operate in a similar fashion.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I logged in this morning and found a full on defense piece on TTAC for GM, the EV1, and the Bolt.

    Clearly this site has been hijacked by pranksters.

    • 0 avatar

      @APaGttH
      The same Russian hackers that are trying to throw the election.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Yes, it was kind of shocking.
      And it’s not even April 1st. So , you can’t even point to that.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        They probably did it to annoy the Tesla fanatics like Vogo.
        I expect (but am happy to see the evidence) the Bolt will be at least as spacious, as long a range, as reliable and an equal interior quality as the Tesla. So aside from aesthetic considerations (which are personal) there is no inherent advantage to the Tesla other than “image” and bring a cool kid.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @mike978: There are other advantages to Tesla, like the supercharger network and the ability to add options like all-wheel-drive and longer range.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            True, but then Chevy come back with more sales and servicing outlets. So still pretty even. Except one is almost here on time and price, the other, from a me too company (since second to market) is still over a year away.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            At least you’ll probably be able to count on the Bolt’s doors opening when you want them to.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Just saw my first Tesla SUV( X) today , and I am in metro NY where I see 20 Tesla sedans a day, no idea how they are selling, the Bolt is a different car than the Tesla 35K car, one it is here now and can be driven by the end of the year at the price GM said it would be at, it will not have the Tesla halo but that is OK. I do not see Tesla getting more sales because of the Bolt but I can see some folks jumping off the reservation line at Tesla to get a Bolt.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    What a rambling, confused article. new writer, or pseudonym? Why even bother picking on some obscure article on some other site?

    By the way, the source of the “Model 3 doesn’t compete with Bolt” theory is right here. I started it, and resent that some hack claims it months later.

    Fact is, the Model 3 is a mid-size (“C segment”), while the Bolt is a subcompact (“B segment”). Americans have always loved mid-size cars and shunned subcompacts (“penalty box on wheels”).

    Given a choice between the two, Americans will always pick the mid-size over the subcompact.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Sub compact? They have the same interior volume (or maybe the Bolt has even more) so how do you say they are different categories?
      It is a hatchback, maybe you missed the move from sedans (mainstream andu yet) to crossovers (hatchbacks). Seems Chevy may have bet right.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Yep. BMW was lambasted for pitching their “very very light EV” BMW 3 series with the 40 mile range as being a stopgap for the release of the Model 3.

    At least that car is the right damn size and there is some sense in picking up a 3yr lease on one and tossing it when the Model 3 arrives.

    I dont think even the VOLT is a comparable car to the Model 3.

    Americans hate subcompacts anyway and I personally feel like these companies are screwing me over by trying to charge medium car prices for a subcompact.

    Sure its full of batteries but why stick me in a toy car I wouldnt force my 16 y.o. daughter to drive?

  • avatar
    gomez

    The Bolt and Model 3 are not competitors. Yes, they both “start” at $35k, but a fully loaded Bolt will sell for <$42k before the federal rebate and other incentives. Tesla's options strategy mirrors the German brands and guarantees that almost none of those cars will actually be sold at $35k. The average will be in the $45-50k range. A fully loaded Model 3 will probably overlap with the base Model S, in the mid-$60k range. A lot of those preorder holders that want the "hip" Tesla experience for the price of an Audi A3 or a loaded Camry will cancel their preorders when they see how much it will cost them to get a Model 3 equipped like an Audi A3 or a loaded Camry. Of course, Tesla may do very well with leases….

    Most preorder holders will also be upset when they realize that they probably won't even get a chance to place an order until 2019. The Model 3 may start shipping in 2018, but they will do staggered rollout where CA and the other CARB states get the cars first. This is stupid…a paying customer is a paying customer, why should it matter where that customer lives? It was stupid when GM did it with the Volt, it will still be stupid when GM does it with the Bolt, and it will be even more stupid when Tesla does it with the Model 3 given that they sell direct-to-customer. At least with the Volt (and presumably Bolt), the staggered rollout was <6 months before non-CARB-state customers could get start buying. The staggered rollout for the Model 3 will be much longer than 6 months. By the time the Model 3 deliveries begin in non-CARB states, the Federal tax credit will be gone and every buyer in a non-CARB state will have missed that savings.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      COTD Award.

      You win the Internet.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The EV market is about to get a lot more crowded. There are a number of 200-ish mile range EVs that will be hitting the market in the Model 3 timeframe. Nissan will have 200ish mile range Leafs in 2 sizes (supposedly 2018), Hyundai has a 200-mile range version of the Ioniq on the way, Mercedes has the EQ series cars, BMW the i5, Ford’s Model E, Audi, and Porsche. Porsche has the 800v charging (and I’m assuming Audi will get it as well) and I think Mercedes just signed on.

      The 800v system will be a huge advance for EVs. That’s when EV charging starts to close the gap with ICE car fueling times. The 800v system will be critical in growing the size of the EV market – which you need to do with so many cars hitting the market. Tesla absolutely must move to 800v and will need to upgrade the supercharger network. The 800v system is fast enough that you could see it popping up at gas stations and challenging the Supercharger network.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        The Bolt is here and the Model 3 will be soon enough. None of the other things you listed exist yet, and some probably never will. The Ioniq is probably the closest thing to a real car on the list, but it will initally ship as a 100-mile car.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      @gomez

      I don’t know why it seems so scandalous to so many that the Model 3 will cost a lot more loaded up. This is standard for the higher-end market. As a res holder, I’ve already anticipated this.

      A loaded Camry? Oh joy… Nothing wrong with them at all, but somehow the thought of one doesn’t get my blood pumping. I already have a fridge, dishwasher, and washer/dryer. I don’t need any more appliances.

      And how is it “stupid” that OEMs roll out based on geography? To me, that sounds more like a concession to reality. Cars are 3,000-4,000 lb chucks of hardware. Shipping costs money. They probably want to recover overhead a little faster and pick the low-hanging fruit first.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      But Elon answers my tweets, so I’ll wait until 2050 if I have to.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This article covers a lot of different angles, so where to begin?

    First – a math check. 1990 is 13 years prior to 2003, not 23.

    EV1 – Totally irrelevant to any EV discussion today.

    Fanboyism – Well, I once leased a Leaf, and know a fair bit about Tesla. As an early Model 3 reservist, I’d be a 2nd-time BEV buyer, unless you count my Optima Hybrid as some sort of EV. I mostly vote “R”, unless I like the “D” better. I’m what’s now called a “climate change skeptic”, so I don’t subscribe to Mr Musk’s quest to save the Earth.

    But I like many aspects of the EV owning and driving experience. I am considering the Model 3 not because of its brand badge, but because of its price, performance, looks, range, and Supercharger access.

    To Pch101’s first point above ^^, if my Model 3 comes in at $45k lightly optioned, I may balk. The most I’ve spent on a car in 2016 dollars is about $33k, and the subsidies I might receive would put the vehicle slightly above that figure. Even though the average transaction price for a vehicle today is ~$33k, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    To Pch101’s second point above ^^, if Tesla is going to lose money on the Model 3, then undoubtedly they will sink. No amount of fanboyism will prevent that. Just as I wouldn’t buy a Pontiac or Suzuki today, I’d be hesitant to buy a Tesla if it looked like the company could collapse. But I do have confidence the Gigafactory will reduce battery costs, and that is key to the company’s future.

    One item rarely discussed is Tesla’s future ability to service their fleet as it grows geometrically. I have doubts about that.

    Bolt – It looks like a great car. It could be my first GM car, if only it was supported by a national charging network. The Bolt’s looks aren’t bad, but the Model 3 is better, IMO – no big deal, because I’ve had several homely cars over the years. The Bolt will never outsell the Model 3, but I believe it will have fewer problems and decent support. Also, GM can afford to lose money on it; Tesla can’t. I’ll be the first to check out a Bolt when it appears in my area.

    Electrek – I don’t subscribe there, but I do look at insideevs.com, where you can find many fanboys. Some nuts over there were predicting 1 million Model 3 reservations, in spite of my corrections to the contrary.

    Personally, I wish the discussion included the other major players, namely Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, BMW, VW, and Ford. Nissan has ceded their lead to everyone else, with no promised ETA for a Leaf 2.0. I won’t buy it, anyway, due to my experience with Leaf 1.0. It was ultra-reliable, but had a lying gas gauge, worthless nav, clueless dealer support, notable battery degradation, and horrendous depreciation. Besides all that, it was great – seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      That is a fair and balanced take on EVs. I think the Tesla looks more desirable and desirability does play I to car buying decisions. Rationally Chevy is now where Tesla will be in 12-18 months with the 3. As other manufacturers come o to the market it should help expand the market, but I suspect Tesla will be a niche in that market segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Tesla won’t fail. The brand is worth something; in the worst case scenario, it will be acquired by a major automaker for some fraction of its current market cap.

      Of course, that won’t bring much joy to the shareholders who paid triple-digit prices for the stock.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @SCEtoAUX: It was ultra-reliable, but had a lying gas gauge, worthless nav, clueless dealer support, notable battery degradation, and horrendous depreciation. Besides all that, it was great – seriously.

      Well, they seem to have solved the battery degradation issue – I can still get 9.2 plus miles before the 12th bar drops (at highway speeds) and I’m really close to 38k miles.

      The Nav system has some good points, like downloading the latest list of charging stations and providing navigation to them. However, the real-time traffic reporting seems to only cover highways and can’t touch waze.

      The gas gauge/ battery percentage used/range prediction seems to be accurate in my car. I check it against my actual mileage/battery percentage used and kWhs used to recharge and it seems to be right on. Of course, just like a gas car, it’s not going to predict when I’m in a hurry and going to blast along in the left lane at 90+ mph.

      Clueless dealers are still there. I’ve used the phone support with success, although my only issue, the required modem upgrade from 2g to 3g due by the end of this year due to AT&T 2G EDGE network shutdown, is something they haven’t been communicating with us about and phone support has no info to give us.

      As far as depreciation goes, on paper, it’s still really bad. Then again, I paid next to nothing for the car, so my actual depreciation isn’t bad. That deal probably wouldn’t happen for a new car, but hopefully, the battery reliability improvements will slow down the depreciation.

      Probably my biggest issue is the cheapness of the interior. The dash seems like it came from Revell or Monogram and I’m not exaggerating. Right now I’m trying to track down an annoying squeak at the right side of the dash. The positive side of that is that anything Tesla might throw at me would seem like a huge upgrade. My son’s iA even blows away the Nissan interior quality.

      Right now, the rumor is that Nissan will have a subcompact with 180+ mile range and a midsize with 200+ in 2018. Personally, I think they’ve been quiet because they’ve been tweaking the specs in reaction to the other cars coming to the market.

      For my next cars, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. For the “fun” car, I definitely want to go electric. I’m hoping the all-electric version of the Corvette happens and maybe something from Porsche as well. Tesla’s next roadster would be a candidate as well, but who knows how far away that car is. Rimac seems interesting with the 4 motor drive system and two-speed gearbox. It’ll be interesting to see what Koeniggsegg does as well.

      For commuting, I might keep the Leaf. I’m really tempted to look at a Mission-E (or whatever they end up calling it) or some sort of Tesla. The problem is that I’m not sure I want to beat up a 6 figure car on a commute. I can just re-battery the Leaf at 100k miles. If they can retrofit the ZOE with a 40 kWh battery, they should be able to do the same with the original Leafs battery case. That would give my car around 175 mile range. Not as good as 200+, it’s plenty for a commuter car. For me, even a 175 mile range would eliminate any need for public charging. I rarely take car trips beyond 120 miles one way.

      Nissan should work on getting the cells used in the new ZOE into the current Leafs battery case. They could get rid of lot lease returns by turning them into upgraded 175 mile range cars if they could offer them for maybe $18k.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    EZ-PZ:

    Model 3 should one ever exist will be approx 57″ tall.

    Bolt is (important word!) approx 63″ tall.

    Life may not be fair but it can be unequivocal.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    For the life of me, I genuinely don’t understand why people compare the Tesla S to the Chevy Bolt. The Tesla has an artistic design appeal that Chevy will never, ever be able to compete with.

    There isn’t a single Chevy that nails a design win in its segment… no, wait. The current Malibu is an exception, but only to look at, not to actually drive.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    “all rolled into one emission-free vehicle costing less than $30,000 after incentives.”

    There are many, many people who don’t/won’t qualify for the full tax credit.
    It would be more accurate to say this vehicle cost about $37,500 but there are federal tax rebates up to $7,500 depending on your tax situation.
    One must have at least $7,500 in tax liability to claim the full credit.
    Considering that about 45% of Americans pay zero federal tax, it is very likely that the vast majority of Americans cannot buy a Bolt for $30,000.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      When I leased my 12 Leaf, Nissan took the $7500 rebate for themselves, so my MSRP was that much lower. This relieved me of having to qualify via tax return.

      Things may have changed since then, or are different for leases, or are different per mfr.

    • 0 avatar
      Becker

      That’s not how it works. The 7,500 is not deducted from taxes owed.

      Please look in to it. Readily available on the IRS web site.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think anyone in this thread said that the tax credit is deducted from taxes owed. Whittaker correctly stated that the tax credit is deducted from your tax liability.

        Taxes owed is not the same as tax liability.

        As SCE to AUX points out, if there is any doubt as to a persons ability to qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit, leasing is the advisable purchasing decision.

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