However one may perform against the other, both the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are going to be great game-changing EVs. One would start shaping the competition in the market as early as next year, while the other should pick up in the next.

The path may be lit for these two all-electric wonders, but each must overcome a hurdle of doubt before it could convince consumers that it is worth its touted ambitions.

For the Model 3, the skeptics are in full voice, saying that Tesla is not going to be able to meet its production volume goals of 400,000 units in 2018.

Tesla Gets People Talking, Sweating

Celebrity former GM exec Bob Lutz is perhaps the most vocal critic of the vehicle, followed by FCA boss Sergio Marchionne who is less direct with his criticisms. Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, on the other hand, remains open though not altogether certain of Tesla’s lofty goals.

Doubts from rivals are expected, but the most dangerous is doubt from suppliers, who according to Automotive News don’t believe that they can make the deadline that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stipulated for the unique components of the Model 3.

Given the whole fiasco with Tesla’s first Model X falcon wing doors supplier, the automaker’s current suppliers may feel like they’re walking on thin ice.

2016 Tesla Model X sets precedent for worry among suppliers

2016 Tesla Model X sets precedent for worry among suppliers

Model 3 Also A Problem

The good news for Tesla is that the Model 3 is not only facing problems, but has become a problem for the Chevrolet Bolt.

As much as consumers doubt Tesla’s ability to meet its volume targets, they are doubting the Bolt’s ability to match the Model 3 in appeal.

And it has nothing to do with range, looks, performance, or autonomous driving – people think that the Bolt would be a great EV that sets itself up as a practical drive that does well to set itself apart from the Model 3.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

However, they aren’t big on the idea of getting a Bolt because of the lack of Supercharging infrastructure. They believe that it is this support rather than the inherent features of each vehicle that would take the Model 3 well above the Bolt, despite the latter’s one year head-start in the market.

Would the Chevrolet Bolt be able to at least rival the Model 3 in autonomous driving?


3 Comments

MIch Fin · May 23, 2016 at 5:12 am

The Bolt lacks the styling and performance to compete with other ICE vehicles at the $30-37k price point. It looks like a nice car but a consumer will look at it and a Chevy Cruze and say why am I spending an extra $10k+ to be electric.

On the other hand the Model 3 at $35k is priced similarly to other luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series. Performance is equal to or better than the entry level BMW. Styling is futuristic without being weird. It will certainly have versions with ludicrous performance which will enhance the brand name further.

If Chevy really wants to sell the Bolt they will need to find a way to drop the price by at least $5-10k.

    RSBaker · May 23, 2016 at 10:05 am

    The price of Chevrolet Volt was reduced over time by GM. I suspect that Bolt EV will also see similar downward adjustments as production volumes grow after the first couple of years. Tesla on the other had has only seen price increases especially for cars with the most popular options. It was reported this week that GM is already testing autonomous versions of Bolt EV for ride sharing services. LINK: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/18/self-driving-chevy-bolt-testing/ Tesla Has done an amazing job of building a company and model line up from scratch but GM’s advantages should not be discounted. GM is also more quickly able to respond to the market changes than Tesla is at the moment.

Scott Jordan · May 24, 2016 at 9:37 am

The biggest challenge for the Bolt (or any electric really) is the charging network. Jumping to electric for the masses requires comfort knowing that you can charge it easily without returning home. And without sitting at a standard wall outlet for 5 hours.

So, we all know about Tesla’s Supercharging network. If Chevy or Ford or whoever wants to be a player, they need to have a national charging network. And they need to be very loud and proud of it. They need to assure any potential buyer that they will never be stranded.

As it stands, only Tesla is doing that.

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