With the announcement that the Bolt has an EPA of 238 miles per charge, it looks like things are finally starting to heat up in the EV market. Congratulations!
Before I go on, I just want to argue on behalf of GM. At this point, the Bolt is, objectively, a good EV, if you ignore Tesla's cars (and you should, but more on that in a bit). It has a range of well over 200 miles per charge, starts under $40k, and is backed by a major car company (admittedly, one with a...less than stellar background). In the non-Tesla EV market, it's a goldmine. It is basically everything a major car company would want in an EV. I will admit that in the past, I doubted many Bolts would sell at all, and that GM's "30,000 in the first year" would leave a lot of them to rust in the dealership lots, but now I'm fairly confident I will eat my words.
There's one glaring issue with GM's -- and all the other major players' -- strategy. They're trying to make good EVs. Let's be honest here, if you ignore Tesla, the bar for a "good EV" is pretty low. If it weren't for Tesla, the original 200-mile range would have been enough in and of itself to sell over 30k cars a year. But sadly -- for the big boys -- Tesla exists. Why is Tesla such a game changer?
Because Tesla set out to make a good car that happened to be electric. This may sound pedantic, but it's an important distinction. By treating their cars as cars first, Tesla had to make a compelling car. After all, there's a LOT of car competition. It's the main reason that most car companies don't last (at least in the US, I honestly don't know about other countries). GM (and VW, and Mercedes, and all the others) aren't treating EVs as "V"s first and "E"s second. And that is their problem. It's simple to make a good EV. It isn't simple to make a good car that's electric.