2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Overwhelmed By Model 3

There are a number of reasons for the Chevrolet Bolt to lose out to the Tesla Model 3, but the most salient one has to be how well the latter is backed by a vast Supercharger network.

This advantage applies to the Model S and Model X as well. The major difference is that the Model 3 costs at least half the amount one would need for a basic Model S. It is a more appropriate opponent for the Chevy hatch.

Nevertheless, folks are going to contend that the Model 3 and Bolt are totally different vehicles that aim for very different customers. True, but which other EV can directly rival the Tesla compact sedan?

It’s actually not the better specs or more attractive looks that would take the Model 3 much further than the Bolt – it’s the overwhelming presence of Tesla’s charging infrastructure. Unless GM invests in providing such immense support for its EV, there isn’t going to be a way for the Bolt to beat the Model 3.

Tesla Supercharger locations in the US projected for 2016

Tesla Supercharger locations in the US projected for 2016

Yes, Chevrolet may have at least a year’s worth of time to get a head-start on Tesla, depending on how long it takes for the Model 3 to commence production.

But one gander at the amount of reservations made for the Tesla sedan and we can say with absolute certainty that any advantage in timing that the Bolt has, the Model 3 would make up for it in no time at all. There’s no running from it.

And when it does, the presence of the vehicle by the numbers would cast a shadow over not just the Bolt, but other plug-in electrics as well. That would of course hinge on Tesla’s ability to keep to its massive annual production volume promise by the end of 2018.

8 thoughts on “2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Overwhelmed By Model 3

    • Dealerships are not likely in the perfect spot for a roadtrip fueling place. And who would want to hang out there for 20-30 minutes? Plus dealerships have limited business hours. Nissan tried this with the Leaf and it has not worked out well. The stations are often blocked by cars (dealerships are often overflowing with them) or behind a locked gate. Having each brand with their own network is not a good idea either. They need to agree on a standard and all support it and build an infrastructure together.

  • You’ve left out the recent announcement that the Model 3 will not get FREE use of the charging network. Most of the EV drivers are not doing interstate travel.

  • Failing an act of Congress,Tesla´s $7500 tax credits will run out pretty soon when they hit 200,000 vehicles sold. That will put them in a tough competitive position.

  • Who on earth would buy an UGLY car with DWARFED specs, for MORE money? Leaf is already paying the prize for ignoring EVs for so long time and Bolt will pay the same prize. They are all playing the catchup game, and looks like big losers!
    Time for the conservative carmanufacturers to plan for an imminent future without combustion engines!
    An answer to all oligarch-lovers; incentives are temporary and looks different in every county! Sounds dull to hear about the “incentive-argument” over and over again.
    Good to read that this article does not use that argument!
    Wouldn’t think that the Bolt will have free charge – you will hardly be able to charge your Bolt at all, cost or no cost, that’s the question this article tries to raise.
    Best thing Chevy could do; put a supercharger on the Bolt and make a deal with Tesla! Best for the customers and also for Chevy.

  • The fact that GM hasn’t invested in a charging network confuses me about their investment in Lyft. I mean isn’t the Bolt meant to be a taxi? Where will Lyft drivers who buy the Bolt charge it? The only good thing about GM and electric cars is that Tesla can’t disrupt GM because of the trucks and pony cars. But the Germans better watch out cause Tesla can produce outstanding electric cars in the US cheaper than the Germans can produce in Germany.

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