In January at CES in Las Vegas we saw the brand new electric car from Chevrolet – the Bolt. This is a small fully electric car following on from the larger Volt which was a hybrid electric in many ways. Chevy in the US have announced a $50,000 price tag and for that value, it’s a real chance to shake up the market.
At $37,500 in US dollars, a rough re-calculation to Aussie dollars puts this at $50,000. Now, that’s a lot of money to spend on a hatchback, but you’ve got to see this as an early adopter technology.
More importantly, compare it to the Tesla Model 3, this too is a small car (though larger than the Bolt), and has a price range around the same point if not a touch higher.
The key difference – scale. General Motors is ready, and experienced at delivering cars at scale. Mass production. That’s something Tesla, despite their hype and value as a company just aren’t yet capable of doing.
This is why we’re in a crucial time for the motoring industry. Ford have electric cars, I saw some in Detroit – the difference is they are retro fitting electric capabilities to existing platforms. The Bolt (and Tesla cars) are designed from the ground up to be electric. Once Ford and others do that the tables will turn.
And the Bolt’s range? 383km’s. That’s a huge range, that’s smashing your Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi electric right out of the park.
Chevy’s Bolt won’t be a top seller, but it will get a lot of traction in the USA.
As we confirmed at CES in January, the platform is built to be global, so Right-hand drive versions can’t be ruled out – unfortunately Australia is too small a market to see this one on our roads just yet. Seems we’ll need to wait a whole lot longer for that.