"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.

gguinto | November 15, 2016

What happens when you're in Upstate NY and want to drive to DC at decent highway speeds with AC or heat on? How far off do you have to get out of 95 to get a charge and for how long?

Run4Waffles | November 15, 2016

CHAdeMO bro

You're not supposed to ask that question.

Bolt EV offers available DC Fast Charging capability, which provides a GM-estimated up to 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charge time. That’s enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee. DC Fast Charging stations are available for public use and are perfect for topping off your charge while on the go.

The available 240-volt charging unit is the fastest way to recharge your battery at home and offers more power than a 120-volt outlet. This higher-voltage system can provide up to an average of 25 miles of range per 1 hour of charge. You can fully replenish your battery from empty to full in about 9.5 hours.†

Silver2K | November 15, 2016

Cult follower! :)

burdogg | November 15, 2016

Yeah, I started reading the article and could not get through the whole thing first thing this morning - I was hoping it would be more balanced. I am fine with the Bolt succeeding - it is just this slant to journalism now a days - it is getting old. Instead of reporting facts, they have a mission to sell (must be getting paid by someone, I wonder who...)

Notice they give you all the figures of the bolt (oh but don't even hint that dealers get to choose the final price) and yet won't say a word about the Tesla Model 3 price? I also love how it sounds like you can get a Bolt right now. We will really see how close the general public gets the Bolt vs the Model 3. Time will tell. I am sure the Bolt will be first to general public, but not by as much time as some would make it out to be. (just because they say 2016, does not mean the general public as we have already heard it goes to fleets first).

Just wish there was some true journalism out there these days.

Run4Waffles | November 15, 2016

There's a seat for every arse @Silver. Not everyone can be a "smart" arse.


gguinto | November 15, 2016

LOL R4W... In that case, this is one sexy electric cat... :)

mrspaghetti | November 15, 2016

That's the cool thing about Vaporware - you can say anything about it and it can't be proven untrue.

Run4Waffles | November 15, 2016

@gguinto - I wouldn't use those words....

AmpedRealtor | November 15, 2016

Get out of your bubble, folks.

GM has done a heck of a job and they deserve the accolades they are getting. They beat Tesla at its own game by shipping an under $40,000 EV with over 200 miles of range at least a year ahead of Tesla. That's a big deal to anyone who is watching this industry. You can qualify GM's success all you want, but GM scored big here - and good for them!

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. Why do you think Tesla is developing Autopilot and self-drive so quickly? Tesla needs all the advantages it can get with stiff competition on the horizon. The drivetrain and range will no longer be differentiators for Tesla, it must find other ways to compete.

You can also bet that GM did its homework testing this car in all kinds of environments, and has thoroughly vetted its software and infotainment system to be rock solid and offer consumers features they demand. Tesla isn't doing that. Tesla is inconveniencing and angering customers with back-and-forth changes to its UI and taking away features owners have come to rely upon. Does Tesla think this will be okay to do to Model 3 owners? If so, Tesla may be unpleasantly surprised with the customer response.

If the Bolt existed when I bought my Model S, I would have bought the Bolt due to its more attractive price and more practical feature set that includes Carplay. I don't need 0 to 60 in 3 seconds - my last car was a Prius. I don't need a 5,000 lb full-size car. But I bought Model S because I wanted the range and my Prius was long in the tooth. I swung for the fences and decided to go big, but if I had a cheaper alternative I certainly would have considered it seriously.

rxlawdude | November 15, 2016

What happens when you drive a car with 0.31 drag coefficient at 75mph.
238 mile range? NFW.

Tropopause | November 15, 2016


Considering neither are available as I type this, I'm wondering which car you'd hypothetically choose when they come out- Bolt or Model 3?

nipper2 | November 15, 2016

@AmpedRealtor So sell you S and get your Bolt when it finely arrives good luck.

carlk | November 15, 2016

GM likely will sell Bolt for a loss. That's what one executive seems to indicate when he said GM could lose millions on the car because it is making a lot money selling pickups and SUVs. On the other hand I doubt it will make many more than just enough for compliance car. Losing tens of millions may be acceptable but hundreds of millions would be a big problem for bean counters. Let's wait and see if how GM will supply cars to dealers and how much mark up dealers will demand when there are not enough supply.

@AR You got a good point. Bolt could be a good replacement for Prius or Leaf but Elon is planning on replacing BMW, Audi or even Accord/Camry type of cars with EV. Model 3 is exactly what will do the job not the Bolt.

Gert van Veen | November 15, 2016

Isn't the Bolt a DOA? Nice to drive around the city, not for long distances, charging speed is to low. Paris-Berlin is well to do in a MS, it will be a hell in a Bolt. A lot of money for not a lot of functionality.
And, as it seems, Ford doesn't believe they have an advance either, seeing the letter to Trump.

SamO | November 15, 2016



If Bolt were available today. The Model 3 will be just as available as the Bolt is today by July 1, 2017. That's only 8 months. So, not "over a year before".

PhillyGal | November 15, 2016

What today's so-called "journalists" will fail to see is that the Bolt being the Car of The Year


a huge accomplishment for Tesla.

Tropopause | November 15, 2016

I like the Bolt but I don't like Motor Trend's misleading journalism. They make an effort to describe how affordable the Bolt is vs. a Model S 60. Then they attack the Model 3 below (CAPS added for emphasis):

"Of course, the Tesla Model 3 is slated to be priced AROUND THE SAME as the Bolt EV and scheduled to start TRICKLING off assembly lines in late 2017. But Tesla has been EVASIVE about prices for a FULLY equipped vehicle. The Bolt may still maintain its edge here."

1.) If you're going to promote Bolt's price, then also be exact about Model 3 - it will be $2,500 CHEAPER than Bolt, not AROUND THE SAME price.

2.) Model 3 will not TRICKLE off assembly lines in late 2017, Tesla is beefing up to meet the excessive demand. How many Bolts will come off Chevy's assembly line per year? I'm thinking more Model 3 in 2017 than Bolts in the same year.

3.) Tesla has not been any more EVASIVE about a FULLY priced Model 3 than Chevy and Motor Trend are with a fully priced Bolt. Musk said Model 3 would average $42,000 (if I remember correctly). I had to read deep into the Motor Trend review to see their Bolt AS TESTED is $41,780. Yet MT didn't mention this price at all in their write-up. That's evasive!

Let the Bolt be what it is and stop the hype, please! I hope the Bolt does so well, it forces GM to make the car in real quantities instead of compliance numbers.

croman | November 15, 2016

Bolt's 238 mile range is EPA rated. It is not an ideal measurement. The reason they can go further with a 60kwh battery is that the Bolt has a different motor that provides greater efficiency than a Tesla induction motor (or a leaf or anyone else). Tesla should look into that advantage and incorporate it rather than dismissing competitors out of hand. That being said, I had a Model 3 reservation and rather than waste my money on a Bolt, I upgraded to an S. I think whomever can do that will do that. The rest will wait for a 3 because Tesla > Chevy. Brand name means a lot as do the features that the 3 will have that the Bolt will never have (Supercharger > Chademo (if it even has that); self driving; availability (30k max production on Bolt ensures it is in short supply especially outside of West Coast even if demand is present)). Honestly GM customers aren't interested in EVs. They killed the EV and they aren't going to participate meaningfully in a renaissance. Though I'd love to be wrong.

PhillyGal | November 15, 2016

And some will wait for the 3 because they just can't get past that "look only a mother could love" of the Bolt.

barrykmd | November 15, 2016

Does GM have HTML tags and search on their forum?

croman | November 15, 2016

That being said, the latest battery tech in a Tesla might mean the Model 3's 55kwh (or whatever) battery actually is more energy dense and therefore will go farther than a Bolt. We don't know.

djharrington | November 15, 2016

It's interesting to see some of the animosity towards the Bolt. I'm an EV agnostic. My MS has been the best overall car I've owned, but I love my Focus EV as well. I'm happy that the Bolt is coming out and hope they eventually make it in large numbers. Will I ever buy one ... likely not. However, we all know people that, despite how nice a Tesla seems to them, they'll never buy one, citing the immaturity of the company. Maybe the Bolt would work for them, and that's one more ICE vehicle off the road. More EV choices are better for consumers.

Tropopause | November 15, 2016


Agreed. Model 3 hasn't been EPA rated yet. I imagine the Bolt's 3,500 lbs weight primarily is the reason for 238 miles EPA from 60kWh battery rather than a superior electric motor.

I suspect Elon is playing chess with GM in regards to range of the Model 3 vs. Bolt. GM claimed "over 200 miles", Elon claimed "at least 215 miles", then GM got a 238 EPA, now we wait for Model 3 EPA; and I imagine it will be better than Bolts even with a 55 kWh battery thanks to weight, aerodynamics, and Tesla know-how.

carlk | November 15, 2016


I do remember AR on this board in the early days when he was having a hard time deciding whether he should buy the S. There are indeed people who just don't feel comfortable driving a better, more advanced, expensive or fancy car, whatever you call it, than what their perceived social value of a car. On the other hand not all Prius or Leaf owners don't want a fancier car if they had a choice. We had a Porsche and a Prius before we replaced them with an S and an X. Whatever best car that fits our purposes would the the car we buy. As a car guy and board certified geek faster, fancier and more technologically advanced the better for me. You can tell by now there is zero chance that I will even consider the Bolt.

Tesla smartly attacked the highest end market to change people's perception of EV. That was clearly stated in its mission statement. It certainly understand that a company like it could never make all cars for all people. It is not a bad thing for other car manufactures to address different market segments. That's actually exactly what Elon had in mind, to induce other auto companies to jump in.

Silver2K | November 15, 2016


I can assure you the software on the bolt is not only as bad as the volt, but I'm betting it's worse because theyou pushed this car out. The other issue Chevy never addressed was the rotor corrosion issue. The rotors were so cheap the skip please off them with hardly any use. I took it in answering was told I would have to pay for the rotor. I asked the tech why I would be responsible for something I hardly every use? He had no answer and replaced the rotor without question for free. Before I turned the car is, the other rotors were peeling also. The walls on the volt are paper thin also. I can just imagine how that bolt is built to be that cheap..

They're only making 30k a year(?). How many buyers you think Tesla will lose out of around 400k? 30k? OK, good luck.

carlk | November 15, 2016

...than what their perceived social value of a car should be.

Silver2K | November 15, 2016


kwen197 | November 15, 2016

AmpedRealter +10.

In a couple of months we can drive a Bolt and do our own comparisons, but I see this as a bonus for Tesla owners, as Tesla has to re-think its advantages and court its customer base to keep them.

If GM is smart enough it can strong arm every GM dealer in the US to instal chargers at their dealerships.

Tropopause | November 15, 2016

"If GM is smart enough..."

Enough said. ;)

carlk | November 15, 2016

"as Tesla has to re-think its advantages and court its customer base to keep them."

Like making cars like Bolt and sell them through dealer networks and stop building superchargers? I certainly hope not.

rxlawdude | November 15, 2016

If the Bolt has a "different type of motor" than the Tesla induction type, does that mean GM is locked into purchasing rare earth elements from China?

lilbean | November 15, 2016

@PhillyGal, Exactly! The bolt is fine for people who don't mind driving an ugly car.

ckcland2 | November 15, 2016

The 3 will knock that ugly car off very quickly. That will be fun to watch, another success for Tesla!

dborn | November 15, 2016

Other than design both inside and out, I understand the BMWi3 is a nice zippy car to drive. Pity about the low range though.

eztider | November 15, 2016

That Bolt is an ugly car. And 0-60 in 6.3 is not going to hack it in L.A. on the freeway. At least, not the way I drive. That said, the more people in electric cars the better, for all of us.

carlk | November 15, 2016

"does that mean GM is locked into purchasing rare earth elements from China?"

Yes. Not only that GM used to own a large rare earth plant in Indian but decided to sell it. The plant was sold to a US front of a Chinese company. The US front is necessary since it makes a lot parts for the defense department. Shortly after the purchase they laid off all workers and moved the entire plant to China. GM can not escape responsibility of the rare earth situation today.

Run4Waffles | November 15, 2016

@AmpedRealtor – I’m shocked with the insult given here. You know of each of us. I don’t believe any one of the individuals have created any animosity towards you. There’s no need for your comment.

We have discussed the Bolt, GM, charging and travel throughout the summer. Speaking for myself, I’m outside the bubble looking into the bubble at GM. We compare the products brought to market and of course it’s going to be against Tesla. The bar is set high. We’ve discussed what we believe needs to be done for a successful transformation versus a compliance vehicle. This is based on what Tesla has been able to accomplish, moving the ball forward and from what we hear from people around us concerning switching.

It’s fine for you to have your opinion about the Bolt, GM, charging and travel that’s different from others. We’re here to have intelligent discussions. Not to throw insults around. We’re a community here and also have comradery.

And we’re able to identify journalism BS when we read it.

We dispense the Kool-Aid with our eyes wide open.

Run4Waffles | November 15, 2016

@djharrington - You'll find no love lost by some towards the tax payer bailout company GM, and the NADA, due to their constant fight against Tesla.

kagai | November 15, 2016

First of, yay to more electric cars!

But realistically, if you gave me a Bolt for free - I would sell it and put the money towards a Model S. I can't look past it's ugly look. Yeah I know, that's a superficial reason to dismiss a car.

You can't argue about it's value for money - but I would argue that one of Tesla's biggest appeals is it's lack of compromise on everything, including looks and design. The bolt lacks a cool factor IMO. It's like trying to convince someone waiting on an iPhone in a line a mile long, that there's' this Android device you can buy right now with no wait, at half the price and even better specs....

The author would be better of saying that Nissan (Leaf) has been put on notice.

The Jaguar I-PACE though...mmmmmh....if I were in the market for an SUV, I would seriously consider that over a Model X....

Goose | November 15, 2016

I have seen a lot of folks mention the Bolt using chademo for long distance charging, but on the Chevy web site they only mention using CCS SAE for DC fast charging. Where I live in Michigan CCS SAE chargers are being installed by evGO and cost $5.95 per session plus $.20 per minute. That is crazy - $18. for around 130 miles of range.

GreenP85D | November 15, 2016

American and European EV's use CCS, not CHAdeMO standard. Currently there are very few CCS quick chargers available. And GM has publicly stated they do not plan to invest in building CCS charging stations. This will be the Achilles heal for the Bolt. Until there is a reasonable CCS charging infrastructure in place, it will not be a viable single car solution. BMW and VW are starting to invest in CCS infrastructure, but are far behind Tesla. Also, the current 50kw limit on CCS and CHAdeMO is a a problem. Until they increase the design to 150kw and get all the existing stations upgraded, it will take too long to recharge 60kw and larger batteries on a long trip. Even 20-40 minute stops every few hours with Superchargers is too long for most American drivers to embrace today. I cannot see the Bolt being sold in large numbers (>30-50K/year) until they have a pervasive, fast charging network established.

KP in NPT | November 15, 2016

I am happy the Bolt exists and hope the COTY award brings it publicity - maybe enough that GM will actually market it nationwide, instead of just to ZEV mandate states.

Those who think customers will see the Bolt before the Model 3 - I doubt that will be true unless you live in a ZEV state. MI, will the Bolt will be made, can't even buy a Bolt when it comes out.

What is disappointing is all indications from GM are that it's a compliance car. Besides only available in ZEV states, it lacks real charging solutions for long distance travel (stopping 9 hours to charge every 200ish miles?), 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. We'll see if the advertising part changes once they start arriving at whatever dealerships will actually get them.

I really do want the Bolt to succeed. But I want them 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.

mbb | November 15, 2016

I wonder if those journalists would actually buy Bolt instead of just profit from advertisement money? Put money where your mouth is. Tesla owners know much better.

SMCH1998 | November 15, 2016

Yeah, it's a Chevy.
How can anyone compare it with luxurious Tesla cars.

oildeathspiral | November 15, 2016

Amped has some good points but carlk made the point that is among the most important IMO: is GM losing money on the Bolt? IF so, they technically beat Tesla but in a way cheated to win. Regardless, in the long term it's not that meaningful and more importantly it's not sustainable.

Would anyone disagree that with the M3, Tesla has a cost advantage over GM on it's battery pack and electronics and a further advantage with it's direct sales model with no middleman aka dealer such that it evens out GM's other manufacturing cost advantages?

Silver2K | November 15, 2016


chevy was losing tons on the volt also

Bighorn | November 15, 2016

Does anyone remember what the Motor Trend Car of the Year was in 2011?

Bighorn | November 15, 2016

Spoiler alert:
"Moonshot. Game-changer. A car of the future that you can drive today, and every day. So what should we call Chevrolet’s astonishing Volt? How about, simply, Motor Trend’s 2011 Car of the Year."

Elon must be scared.

Silver2K | November 15, 2016

and sales were awful