Congrats Model 3 and please Forget About Chevy Bolt! (without pics)

Congrats Model 3 and please Forget About Chevy Bolt! (without pics)

It’s great that GM producing the Bolt and I’m sure GM’s dealers can be forced to sell a few. While not my kind of car, it may appeal to those who like sub-compacts, higher costs and generic styling that looks like a hundred other sub-compacts. There is nothing wrong with that and I would hope GM makes more owners aware of EV advantages. I’m not very hopeful of GM’s Bolt since they are forced to sell it through dealers who hate EVs and are not very customer friendly.

As for GM beating Tesla, I’d agree. It could be argued GM beat Tesla with the 600 or so EV-1 sales back in the late 1990s. As for the Bolt, what we’ve seen so far is not competitive with the Tesla Model 3. Three huge differences are the Bolts lack of autopilot, lack of any Supercharger network and relatively low performance.

For those that want a Bolt – go for it. They are not competitive or even in the same class as the Model 3 and you’ll have a year or two to regret your choice.

I approved this message. It was not created by GM, a dealer or someone shorting Tesla stock. If you are in love with the Bolt, please visit GM’s Bolt forum (if it exists).

Red Sage ca us | April 19, 2016

Strange that the pre-Production BOLT is actually completely different from the BOLT Concept from a year earlier. A bit less edgy, taller, higher off the ground, different rear hatch and window treatment, much closer to the Honda FIT in overall design... Oh well, not too many people noted the VOLT Concept was completely different from the original Production car either.

Hi_Tech | April 19, 2016

I find it hilarious that GM is calling it a CUV, not a sub-compact 4 seater. Talk about marketing! | April 19, 2016

What is a CUV? - Crushable Utility Vehicle?

lolachampcar | April 19, 2016

I'm reasonably sure I forgot about Chevy when I sold my Camaro in college.

jordanrichard | April 19, 2016

And just to add to the benefits of the Bolt, you can know that GM will not be supporting any fast charging system for your car when you try to take it on a road trip. They recently just flat out said that.

bj | April 19, 2016

Ø might buy one - it's got a hatch.

JeffreyR | April 19, 2016

@bj Harsh! :D

kzodz | April 20, 2016

Look, it doesn't compare to the model 3 any way you look at it. It's slower, has less range, and does not look like a luxury car. But, in a practical sense this car is a generation older than the Model 3, which I doubt will be widely available before 2019 even for those of us who waited in line. And it offers a TON of range compared to anything else you can buy and drive in the short term.

Red Sage ca us | April 20, 2016

Just as a reminder:

archvillain | April 20, 2016

The Bolt seems like an extended-range Leaf, which doesn't appeal to me.
But... average daily taxi miles is 180ish...
A taxi could save an awful lot of money if it was electric...

I wonder if GM is not actually trying to appeal to people with the Bolt, but starting to amass the technology to take aim at transport fleets? Because it sure isn't taking aim at people like me :)
(GM has certainly been intermingling their new-hotness buzzwords with a lot of "uber!!!" and "lyft!!!")

Red Sage ca us | April 20, 2016

archvillain: I believe that GM announced a major deal with Lyft at the same time (the same week) they introduced the pre-Production Chevrolet BOLT. The reasoning behind it is apparently that though the automotive business is around 2.5 trillion bucks a year worldwide... The transportation services business (trains, plains, buses, taxis, etc) is all told over 5.4 trillion bucks per year. So, they decided to get a slice of that pie.

archvillain | April 20, 2016

That could be great - GM and Tesla each carving up a separate cake and so replacing ICE at a higher rate than if they were directly fighting over the same buyers in a zero-sum game.

Tiebreaker | April 20, 2016

Red Sage: you gotta stop with those pictures. My eyes hurt....


quinney | April 20, 2016

If GM sold fleets directly to transportation-as-a-service companies, they could bypass dealership imposed inertia. | April 22, 2016

Direct sales to service companies makes a lot more sense. If GM can bypass the dealers who are reluctant to to sell the Bolt, it could be a big win for GM. Fleet sales rarely care about style or performance, so it would seem to be a good fit.

swingshiftworker | April 23, 2016

"For those that want a Bolt – go for it. They are not competitive or even in the same class as the Model 3 and you’ll have a year or two to regret your choice."

I look at it differently.

I don't particularly like the looks of the Bot and won't know if I like it at all until I see/drive it BUT if Chevy is offering a 2 year lease at a reasonable price, I certainly wouldn't mind leasing one until the Model 3 finally arrives.

Then I'll have the advantage of driving an EV car that actually has enough range to be practical for the way I drive locally, which none of the other current EV vehicles do, while waiting for the Model 3.

I certainly have no regrets if it turns out this way.

Tstolz | April 23, 2016

If the environment is a factor in your decision the Bolt is probably the wrong car. Didn't GM basically say they wanted the Bolt to raise their fleet fuel economy average so that they could sell more SUVs? I can't support that.

groovykool | April 23, 2016

Save your hate for ICE vehicles. The BOLT is three years ahead of the Model ≡. If they have a good three year lease I may go for it.

And if you guys haven't noticed, sales of crossovers are crushing sedans at all price levels.

Bighorn | April 23, 2016

Maybe three years on Mercury.

jordanrichard | April 23, 2016

groovykool, I may have a public school education, but can you explain your math. The Bolt, is due to be out at the end of this year, and the Model 3 will be out at the end of next year. 17-16= 1. How do you get 3? | April 23, 2016

I think what groovykool is saying that no one is waiting for the Bolt, and there will be plenty available at the end of 2016 when dealers will try to prevent sales by not ordering them and using bait and switch to try and get customers into some crummy ICE they have sitting on the lot.

IF you order a Model 3 today, it may be several years before you get one due to the backlog. As for actually deliveries, if GM and Tesla are on schedule, then they are about a year apart.

groovykool | April 23, 2016

My Model ≡ was reserved on the second day so I have about 200K ahead of me! My reservation didn't come with any delivery date estimate.

Model S and Model X were very late.

If Tesla really wants to maximize the number of Model ≡'s that get the tax credit, they are going to have to stockpile 1-2 years worth of production and then deliver them in the two quarters after they ship the 200,000th Tesla is the US.

I'll wait 3-4 years to save $7500.

Bolt's will be available in 2017 and If I like it, I will lease one while I wait for my Model ≡ !

Haggy | April 24, 2016

That's not quite a fair assessment. The Model S was about six months late. It also required Tesla to get up to speed with a brand new factory and no experience making a car entirely from scratch. The Model X was well over a year late, but Tesla knew exactly why. They admitted that they bit off more than they could chew for the first release, and wanted it to be the ultimate crossover. With the Model 3, it's supposed to be a great car, but not a $100,000 car with complex options that will take years to get right.

Based on what Tesla did with the Model S and what they could have done with the Model X had they left off the types of seats and doors they used, it seems as if the delay for the Model 3 should be less than it was for the Model S. It's reasonable that there might not be a delay at all, given Tesla's track record. This time around, they are starting off with a factory, years of experience building cars that were designed from scratch, and a simpler overall design than the Model X or Model S in many ways. And even with the options that have been mentioned for the Model 3, Tesla has been there and done that.

If you look at other projects, such as autopilot, it's hard to say whether they were on time or late since they didn't preannounce the hardware or software. But the lack of software being ready merely meant that they released the car anyway, and as time went on, it got better and better. If you want to argue that Tesla might have wanted the software ready within months of the announcement, that might be a fair statement. But it didn't keep people from getting the car. Tesla didn't announce any software features that would take an inordinate amount of time to design.

The Model 3 might be on time, and might get better over time. Looking at Tesla's track record for the past two vehicles and trying to extrapolate misses the point. You also have to look at expectations. With any other car company, if they are expected to release a model in September for the next model year, and it comes out in October, it's considered late. With Tesla, there's an expectation among some people that Tesla might be a year or more behind schedule. If they are closer to a month behind schedule, it will be overlooked by the press, but unlike cars that show up with dealerships, Tesla will get its first ones out the door even if it takes another month or two before they are coming out by the hundreds. So I don't see them being late.

Hi_Tech | April 25, 2016

I'm thinking that Model 3 may begin deliveries as early as late Q3 2017, instead of end of 2017. Essentially, they'll "deliver" earlier than planned.
Keep in mind that they'll probably deliver to only the initial local group (California based, previous owners and employees) so that can get all of the bugs worked out. But, will be able to do mass deliveries starting end of 2017.

Tropopause | April 25, 2016

Buying a Bolt doesn't allow GM to defeat CAFE standards. The government mandate for fleetwide MPG's is the same whether GM sell zero Bolts and fewer SUV's or 50,000 Bolts and more SUV's. The net result for GM's fleet MPG is the same.

If you cut your apple pie into 4 slices or 8 slices; still the same amount of pie!

Boycotting Bolt will not protect the environment according to CAFE rules.

Red Sage ca us | April 25, 2016

I won't boycott the BOLT. Just commenting on how GM has boycotted ME.

Nexxus | April 26, 2016

I just look at it like: For every BOLT they sell, that will be one more ICE off the road!

jordanrichard | April 26, 2016

Go_Peddle_4_me, +1

Though, the type of car the Bolt would most likely be replacing is a ICE commuter car, leaving that household's relative gas guzzling road trip car still an ICE vehicle. The Bolt won't be able to replace that, but the M≡ will.

I believe it was AAA or perhaps the DOT that cited the typical distances traveled over the 2 biggest travel holidays of the year in the U.S., Christmas and Thanksgiving. I believe it was 235 miles. Something the Bolt will never be able to do, without a proper charging network.

Red Sage ca us | April 26, 2016

BOLT owners may have to find themselves getting familiar with this:

US Department of Energy | Alternative Fuels Data Center -- Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations