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.
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.