"Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid.”

"Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid.”

Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year

From the article:
Even the folks at Tesla, the electric vehicle masters of the universe, have been put on notice: The Bolt EV sets a benchmark for value and performance they’ll have to work overtime to match. “This is a direct challenge for Tesla to make the Model 3 anything near the Bolt EV for the same price,” executive editor Mark Rechtin said. “Chevrolet has made affordable long-range electric transportation available to the masses. Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid.”


Every electric car on the road is a plus. Hopefully.

tes-s | 15 November 2016

Afraid?? He must be ecstatic! This helps Tesla achieve their mission, and is exactly what he wants.

jb1120 | 15 November 2016

I hope the Bolt succeeds, big league. If it does, we all do, especially the planet.

David N | 15 November 2016

My bet is that Elon is not a bit scared, but excited to see at least some movement in the EV direction. Elon has always said that he is hell bent on not making just any EV but the best car in the world. Bar none.
I don't think he will let GM make a "better car for the masses" than Elon Musk does. Be patient. Lets give GM credit where credit is due. Most of us (midwest, east) will not even see a Bolt until mid to late 2017 anyways.
I hope it takes off with a lot of publicity, that will peek a lot of peoples interest in EV's, just in time for Model 3 release.
One thing I do like about the Bolt is that you do sit a bit higher, somewhat similar to a small SUV. As I get older I appreciate sitting a bit higher for easier ingress/egress than in a low laying sedan.
Philly Gal hit it on the head, the Bolt has come about chiefly due to the advances made by Tesla.

oildeathspiral | 15 November 2016


I'm aware of the dishonest headlines that GM was losing $60,000 per Volt when it was introduced but any idea what the margins are on the 2016/2017 Volts?

trixiew | 15 November 2016

I'll bet Elon just smiles, and thinks "bring it". Does it have coat hooks?

tes-s | 15 November 2016

They "may" be losing money on the Bolt program the way they allocate costs, but I don't think they are losing money on each car.

Silver2K | 15 November 2016

not sure ODS, never really looked into the newer models.

Brian10 | 15 November 2016

I'm glad the Bolt won. BEVs need all the good publicity they can get. Tesla will have another chance at the top spot when Model 3 is released.

KP in NPT | 15 November 2016

+1 Brian10

Go BEVs!! And the publicity is good.

EternalChampion | 15 November 2016

Tesla should be just as worried about this as Rolls Royce should be worried about the Geely doppelgänger.

drrod | 15 November 2016

On my 3rd Tesla. But now ..... I am very, very, very afraid ...... very ....

TaoJones | 15 November 2016

I wouldn't drive a Dolt if you gave it to me.

The Dolt is a South Korean import and is a Chevy in name only. At least they didn't call it the Nova II.

No fast charging unless you happen to win the lottery by finding a CCS charger.

Max 30,000/yr production, caveats aside.

That the Dolt won COTY is a travesty. A year hence, it should be the Model 3. Which won't be a travesty.

negarholger | 15 November 2016

The COTY is a well deserved honor for LG. Fortunately no ignition switch GM could have messed up.

radami2 | 16 November 2016

Anyone notice that 3 of the last 7 COTY from MT have been EVs? 2011-Volt, 2013-TeslaMS, 2017-Bolt. Pretty good considering that that's almost half the EV models available. At least in any numbers. Seems to me people are watching the EV market.

croman | 16 November 2016

Volt is not an EV. At least not in my book.

radami2 | 16 November 2016

Does plugin fit in your book? You can pick your nits but the larger point is that a lot of folks would like to see electric power drive cars and drive oil out of the picture.

PhillyGal | 16 November 2016

@radami - I agree.

The Volt bothers me in that Chevy still gets to make it needlessly complicated ($ for parts and service) but I love it if it makes people comfortable with the idea of a plug in vehicle. Even if they just use electrons 50-75% of their miles, it's a huge win against oil.

croman | 16 November 2016

Like FCV, PHEV is just a fancy name for a less efficient, halfway measure to BEV. The time has come and past for those half-measure technologies (as evidenced by the Bolt). I agree that they reduce consumption of oil and reduce GHGs but I do not like the German view of "electrics" as including HEV, PHEV, and FCV. I don't see oil going anywhere with the Volt and other PHEV. Just my .02.

Tropopause | 16 November 2016

This is the chance for the USA automobile companies to take the lead in BEV's before the Germans do.

tes-s | 16 November 2016

Volt is an EV. My guess is about the same electric miles (electricity from the grid) driven on Volts in the US as on Teslas.

Silver2K | 16 November 2016


Not possible

tes-s | 16 November 2016

I figure about 30% more Volts on the road in the US than Teslas (and they got a head start), and about 30% less grid miles per vehicle.

Not sure which drives more miles charged from the grid, but seems possible it is very close.

thranx | 16 November 2016

@Bighorn: some of us can perceive sarcasm.

The more EV's, the better. I do reckon, however, that GM dealers will push them about as enthusiastically as they have the Volt. Not to mention the Spark.

carlk | 16 November 2016


+1. I hate it when people use the term electrified to describe those cars. It's nothing but attempt to confuse consumers. The worst one is the Prius plug-in which gets only 10 miles electric range even when owners remember to plug it in at home. Most people here in CA buy it just for the HOV lane access although pretty much everyone of them on the freeway is burning gasoline and emitting toxic gases. | 16 November 2016

I have no problem with people buying Volts - as they are likely to be future Tesla owners!

As of June 2016, the lifetime numbers show there may be a little more Volts than Tesla Model Ss in the USA, although this may switch by the end of the year. Tesla has already sold more Model S cars worldwide, with Leaf's beating both GM and Tesla.

Volts are now around 117,000 through June 2016, making it third-highest worldwide, led by the Leaf’s 225,000, and Model S’ over 129,000. (from

For 2016, The Model S outsells every other EV. The Volt is in the #2 slot, with the Model X in the #3 slot. From:

AmpedRealtor | 16 November 2016

Tesla is obviously doing something right, they have several hundred thousand pre-orders. The best I could find for Bolt was anecdotal - statements from some dealers that they have pre-sold half of their allotments as of October. I believe GM is capable of scaling production quickly if their orders pick up. It's good news that their traditional ICE dealers already have some pre-sales, but let's see how this pans out. As we all know, ICE dealers often try and steer customers away from EVs and towards their more service profitable vehicles.

Try not to be offended when I critique Tesla and offer a positive view on a competing EV. The more EVs the better. There is plenty of room in this space if we want to eventually replace all ICE cars with EVs. I do think, as Tesla owners, it's easy to have our blinders on out of brand loyalty. GM and others don't have to fail in order for Tesla to succeed. I do not agree with how Tesla is going back-and-forth with the software, current state of infotainment is certainly not class-leading, and future UI/feature changes could become an issue when they start pumping out half a million cars per year to an audience that is accustomed to their vehicle interfaces not changing after purchase. Yes, improvements will also be pushed to the car and that's a net positive, I'm simply saying it can be a double-edged sword. Especially with customers who may not be of the early adopter mindset.

When I say that customers might cancel their Model 3 orders for Bolt, it's due to there being a substantial wait for Model 3. Tesla said that new orders won't be delivered until mid-2018. Assuming GM ships the Bolt in Q1 of 2017, it could make sense to people who would rather have a 200+ mile range EV today rather than wait a year-and-a-half.

As far as long distance travel is concerned, Tesla has the edge with the Supercharger network. This is where I think GM misfired by not building its own infrastructure or partnering with someone. Relying on CHAdeMO or CCS charge points that are not controlled by GM is essentially throwing their customers into the great unknown and puts them at the mercy of others. Some of the CHAdeMOs that I've planned to visit are non-functional judging by the comments at Plugshare and other sites, some have been sitting that way for weeks or months.

The Germans look to be interested in jumping in as well. I welcome all of the new competition. Isn't this what Tesla wanted all along? Elon said Tesla is a forcing mechanism that will push other manufacturers to manufacture EVs. So far, it seems Tesla's is succeeding in that regard.

Tesla clearly targeted the higher income, higher price class for the Model S and Model X. That's where the money is, and when you need higher margins, that's the market in which you want to sell. That was part of Tesla's plan all along and it worked. But if there was a less expensive alternative with comparable range, I would most likely have gone that route given my prior vehicle purchase history and how much I felt comfortable spending. I went way outside of my comfort zone with Model S and I don't regret it. But what if I had another viable option at less than half the price? I may have made a different choice.

Goose | 16 November 2016

^ Bolt does not use chademo for DC fast charging

PatRaz | 16 November 2016

Credits to GM and their CEO for getting the Bolt out and pushing a zero emission affordable and practical car. It's going to be a popular EV. There is one little problem though. LG, who makes the batteries, does not have a Gigafactory. As such there is only capacity to manufacture 15,000 cars p.a. in the early years.

Silver2K | 16 November 2016

Bolt is not out yet

RPMTESLA.COM | 16 November 2016

Wait !!! What about how ugly the bolt is. Come on. It's uglier than a Prius and a volt !!

KP in NPT | 16 November 2016

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

Haggy | 16 November 2016

If GM won this, good for them. It has nothing to do with Tesla, and I don't think Tesla has any plans to turn the Model 3 into a compact crossover hatchback so GM need not worry.

Silver2K | 16 November 2016

Haggy, this has everything to do with Tesla, they compare the vehicle to a tesla | 16 November 2016

It's important to compare the Bolt with the Model 3, as I expect many (most?) Bolt owners will want to switch to a Tesla once the lease is up or they want a better vehicle :)

Haggy | 16 November 2016

They compare it to many unrelated cars. That doesn't make the comparison relevant. I have nothing against GM. I have a reservation for a Model 3. No matter how good the Bolt is, that won't change.. That's simply because the Bolt isn't the type of vehicle I'm looking for so it can't be "better." It can't be a better small sedan because it isn't one.

Tropopause | 16 November 2016

I think the Bolt is better looking than the new Prius.

rxlawdude | 16 November 2016

@Trop, agreed. The new Prius, especially the rear at night, looks like someone drizzled raspberry syrup on both sides of the trunk.

Run4Waffles | 16 November 2016

You're just jealous because someone didn't drizzle raspberry syrup on both sides of your trunk.

Silver2K | 16 November 2016

daaaaaaamn... that's worse than my shorts pic!

Silver2K | 16 November 2016


you're right, but it makes the comparison to the uneducated. There are many of those in the non-ev field

JeffreyR | 16 November 2016

@mp1156 wrote:

"...Besides [being] only available in ZEV states, it lacks real charging solutions for long distance travel..., only certain dealers able to sell and service it, and it has gotten no national (or even ZEV state) advertising, unlike the rest of their lineup....

"I really do want the Bolt to succeed. But I want [GM] to be serious — as of now I'm skeptical that GM isn't gimping it like it has its other EV offerings. The fact that a lobbying group representing GM and other OEMs is already asking the new administration to let them off the hook for making EVs isn't helping."

Really excellent points. The one that I like to make when folks laud GM for "being first to produce a 200-mile, mass-market BEV," is that the race to 1 Million is really what matters. Will GM sell some Bolts in ZEV states? Yes, likely around 30K by the end of next year. GM has even said that they have enough capacity to grow to 50K Bolts per year. So not only does Tesla have at least 8 years of Bolt production reserved (some have thrown around 600K reservation numbers recently), but they hope to produce that backlog by mid-2018. Even if it's late-2018 or early-2019 that will dwarf Bolt's sales. We are talking an order of magnitude (10x) w/in a year or two of M≡'s initial production.

Do I want the Bolt to succeed? Absolutely. Will I cancel my Model ≡ order? Maybe. But that would be to get a Model S, not a Bolt. As others have mentioned:

Elon must be very happy rather than being afraid.


For me, it would be a bad idea for Tesla to try to out-range the Bolt w/ their base version. If the economics make sense for 215-220 miles of range, then so be it. That is more than enough to take advantage of the Supercharger Network. Folks that want more range/performance/charging speed can upgrade. Just getting a dual-motor, AWD version may put an upgraded Model ≡ over the top. That ~$7000 price difference (MT as tested ~$42K minus base M≡ $35K) gets you a whole lot of upgrades.

Coastal Cruiser. | 16 November 2016

What MotorTrend executive editor Mark Rechtin said in the piece:

Even the folks at Tesla, the electric vehicle masters of the universe, have been put on notice: The Bolt EV sets a benchmark for value and performance they’ll have to work overtime to match. “This is a direct challenge for Tesla to make the Model 3 anything near the Bolt EV for the same price,” executive editor Mark Rechtin said. “Chevrolet has made affordable long-range electric transportation available to the masses. Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid.”

What MotorTrend executive editor Mark Rechtin could have said, given the EXACT SAME FACTS:

Still, the folks at Tesla, the electric vehicle masters of the universe, have little to fear if the Model 3 comes through as promised: The Bolt EV sets a benchmark for value and performance... today. Given the specs of the Model 3 however, the Bolt challenges, but fails to match or exceed the lower priced and better equipped Model 3,” executive editor Mark Rechtin said. “Chevrolet has made affordable long-range electric transportation available to the masses. Elon Musk, who's stated goal it is to see all auto makers go fully electric, should be gratified that his pioneering efforts have made one of the largest auto makers very, very afraid.”


tes-s | 16 November 2016

Competition is good.

Bolt will have a 1-year running start on the M3.

I would bet on global M3 sales surpassing Bolt a year after M3 is released.

KP in NPT | 16 November 2016

@tes-s I bet it's faster than that. Reports are GM will only produce 30K the first year. Tesla will deliver more than that in a quarter. (if things go as planned.)

milesbb | 16 November 2016

Tesla has yet to sell the lowest price model X, the 5 seat version to folks that have had reservations for years. Does anyone expect a Model 3 to be sold for less then $45k in the first year? How long did folks wait for the S40 to be delivered after they started delivering S85's? Chevy will first sell in compliance states for better return. Tesla will have the same incentives to first sell in the compliance states, I would expect first Model 3 deliveries to go to California. The end of the Tesla $7500 tax credit is coming. Tesla will make sure those last folks that get the credit will have paid a premium. Its just business, Tesla need to make a profit.

Ross1 | 17 November 2016

You know? Some would say TESLA has so far sold every one of its cars at a loss.

@amped; With a pre-order list a mile long, a lot of people are going to cancel their Model 3 orders in favor of a car they can potentially have today.

No more than 30 000. 5% max.

How many Models 3 will be produced alongside Bolts?
Bolts should be over and out before M3 deliveries even start.

People will definitely go Nuts over Bolts.

jordanrichard | 17 November 2016

I am sorry, not really, but GM shouldn't credited for doing something that they were forced to come out with. The mere fact that they amongst other are quickly asking Trump to not force them to make EVs tells you that.

Giving credit to GM for coming out with the Bolt is like praising your kid for doing their homework.

Yes it is great that they managed an EPA rated range of 238 miles from such a small car, but let's not be slapping GM on the back for coming out with the Bolt because we all know full well that they will stop making it, the instant they don't have to.

I give Nissan far more credit for the Leaf than anything GM comes out with. At lest Nissan sells the Leaf everywhere, hence the number sold.

As for people cancelling their M≡ reservations to get a Bolt, umm, I don't think so. If my memory serves me correctly, the Bolt was revealed before the M≡ was revealed and yet there are literally hundreds of thousands of people that chose to literally put money down on the M≡, despite knowing it will be almost 2 years before they would get their car.

People buys cars not only based on the car itself, but the reputation of the company behind the car.

Just simply look at the facts. Elon has already announced that the first year's production is already in net effect, sold out. Where is GM's announcement about the Bolt's first year production being sold out........?

burdogg | 17 November 2016

SO, here is an article that proves what we have all been saying about the Bolt and availability:
GM's Chevy Bolt EV Not Widely Available Until Spring

3:07 pm ET November 17, 2016 (Dow Jones) Print
By Adrienne Roberts

General Motors Co.'s first long-range electric car won't be made widely available for several months, with the auto maker planning to sell the Chevrolet Bolt in California and Oregon in coming weeks to meet its commitment to put it on sale in 2016.

GM has said its $30,000 Bolt will be on sale in the 2016 calendar year, a target that qualifies the car for certain product awards and allows the company to say its car hits the market well in advance of a rival product being developed by Tesla Motors Inc. GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said Thursday the car is expected to meet high interest, but will be offered in limited quantities in 2017.

"We are focusing on this year getting the cars ready for customers...and doing it the right way," Ms. Malcho said. GM has seen highest demand for its Volt plug-in hybrid car in California since it went on sale in 2010, with 40% of all Volt sales coming from that state.

Deliveries to other markets will be at a "slow flow" pace, she said.

GM's Bolt, capable of driving more than 200 miles on a full battery charge, has been praised for a lower price tag than other long-range electric cars, which is possible using a $7,500 tax credit. Motor Trend magazine this week named the Bolt its car of the year and North American Car of the Year Jurors evaluating cars going on sale in the 2016 calendar year have named the vehicle a finalist for their coveted award.

Executives at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week said the Bolt is an important car for both meeting increasingly stringent state and federal emissions regulations and polishing GM's image. Tesla has often been seen as the leader on electric cars, and a flood of new entrants -- ranging from Tata Motors' Jaguar to Volkswagen AG's Audi -- are planning to take Tesla on.

Nissan Motor Co.'s Michael Bunce, speaking during an interview Wednesday, said the Japanese auto maker is revamping its Leaf electric car and will show off a new version soon. He said the vehicle will have battery-range upgrades and a revised design.

Tesla's Model 3, a less-expensive alternative to the auto maker's Model S sedan and Model X sport utility, is slated to go on sale in late 2017. The auto maker has indicated it will have similar price and range of the Bolt.

A small batch of Bolts -- a few hundred at most -- will be used in the fleets working for ride-hailing service Lyft Inc.'s, a partner of GM, Ms. Malcho said.

--John D. Stoll contributed to this article.

So yeah, Bolt may have beat the model 3 to the line, but by end of 2017, will be no where close to the actual number of cars on the road as Model 3.

Run4Waffles | 17 November 2016

And behind this curtain we have......


Haggy | 17 November 2016

There's nothing wrong with praising kids for doing homework.