If you were rooting for the Chevrolet Bolt – the 200-mile EV concept unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show – we have some bad news: already the car has a threatening contender for the budget EV throne.
When Tesla Motors originally announced the Model 3 sedan, meant as a half-price alternative to the Model S, the electric automaker touted a projected MSRP of $35,000. But more recently, CEO Elon Musk took to the Automotive News World Congress stage on Tuesday to shut down any loose room for interpretation. He clarified that $35,000 will be the sedan’s cost before government incentives.
Conversely, the Chevrolet Bolt – anticipated to be production-bound by 2017 – is advertising a projected MSRP of $30,000 after incentives. This means that just accounting for the Federal credit of $7,500 for purchasing an electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3 would come in at around $27,500 – or $2,500 less than the Chevrolet Bolt. With that, you’d presumably receive better luxury, range, and likely even improved aero over the Bolt.
Granted, it’s not too late for Chevrolet to work out a solution for reducing the Bolt’s cost even further; just between the marque’s first- and second-generation Volt EVs, production costs have been reduced by a reported $10,000. But Tesla Motors also has the advantage of its imminent Gigafactory battery production facilities.
Clearly, the folks at GM have their work cut out for them.