When it comes to affordable EV transport, Tesla isn’t the only game in town anymore. Chevrolet yesterday announced that its new 2017 Chevy Bolt comes with an impressive 238 miles of range on a single charge. Notably, this represents about 23 more miles of range than what Tesla’s entry level Model 3 is expected to deliver when it begins shipping late next year. The Model 3 is said to sport 215 miles of range, but more expensive configurations may include longer range options.
The new Chevy Bolt is expected to ship in late 2016 with a sticker price of $37,500, putting it directly in the ballpark of the Model 3 which will sell for $35,000. All told, the Chevy Bolt will ship before the Model 3, will be approximately the same price and will feature more impressive range. Suffice it to say, Tesla’s Model 3 will have more stringent competition than many might have otherwise assumed.
What’s particularly interesting about the upcoming Bolt is that Tesla is now facing stiff competition at both ends of the market. On the luxury side, Tesla’s Model S is being targeted by a number of experienced automotive companies, including Audi, Porsche and Mercedes. And now on the more affordable side, Tesla will now have to contend with the Chevy Bolt.
Now to be fair, the Chevy Bolt isn’t the nicest looking car in the world, but it’s still a step up from previous iterations. Having said that, Tesla still boasts a number of advantages within the battle for EV supremacy. For starters, the Model 3 sports a much sleeker look than the Bolt. What’s more, Tesla’s Supercharger network and advancements in Autopilot software, taken together, tend to make the Model 3 a more compelling vehicle. Equally as important, Tesla has the brand cache that money simply can’t buy.