GM’s Chevy Bolt off the starting block in the race for pure EVs

Tesla’s Model 3 will enter production lines in mid-2017. Although GM’s Chevy Bolt is the 1st car manufacturer to provide a pure EV, the lack of charging stations could play spoil sports. On the other hand, Tesla has a network of Superchargers.

With General Motors’ production line at Orion Township, Michigan, set to hum with the Chevy Bolt, a new wave of practical and affordable cars are set to be launched.

By the end of this year, consumers in Oregon and California will be able to buy the Chevy Bolt for $30,000 (after tax credits). Although it is not yet clear as to which state will get the first crack at the Chevy Bolt, besides Lyft drivers, the Bolt has beaten Tesla to the punch of launching the first pure EV in the market: Tesla’s model 3 will enter into production only in mid-2017.

As per HIS estimates, the Bolt is unlikely to be a strong seller, with only 30,000 expected to be sold in the first year. This pales in comparison to Tesla’s Model 3 which has garnered more than 400,000 pre-orders.

For GM, the Chevy Bolt, is a cautious step in the pure EV market, whereas for Tesla, whose business is all about electric power, the EV market is only a logical step, it will land with both feet on the ground.

However, GM’s Chevy Bolt is a step in the right direction. Current offerings in the EV market are currently split between long-range and costly offerings, including Tesla’s Model S and BMW’s i3, and shorter ranged but more affordable vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf.

It is in the mix market mix that the Bolt will land: its post-credit cost is alluring since it’s less expensive than the typical $34,000 selling price of a new conventional car in the US, and yet its mile-range of 238 miles is long enough that you wouldn’t be worried of running out of juice during lengthy commutes.

What will impact is however are charging stations. Tesla has its network of Superchargers which makes cross-country travel a breeze. But with the Bolt, there’s no guarantee of getting juiced up while travelling coast to coast.

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