2017 Chevrolet Bolt: So Cheap It Hurts Tesla Model 3

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For those looking to get your hands on the Chevrolet Bolt, at least in the states where it’s available, you’re in luck. Due to competition between dealers, and the imminent threat of the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf, you would be able to buy a Bolt for discounts of up to over $5,000.

And if you’re in California, you can add the state’s own EV rebate on top of that discount and pay far less than the Bolt’s starting price of $35,000. This would effectively give the hatch an advantage over the Model 3, which also starts at that price.

But that’s not all. Each EV producer is allocated only 200,000 vehicles to qualify for the $7,500 tax break from the federal government. Tesla is one of the beneficiaries of this initiative, but may cease to be soon after the launch of the Tesla Model 3 later this year.

Tesla Model 3

By the end of last year, more than 110,000 units of the Tesla Model S and Model X have been sold combined, and that figure should have risen to about 115,000 through February.

When the Model 3 starts rolling out to buyers, Tesla would likely not have reached its 200,000 yet. But how soon before it does? Well, Hybrid Cars predicts that by the end of this year, the automaker would have sold close to 170,000 vehicles stateside, leaving more than 30,000 vehicles for the taking.

And not all remaining units for the tax break would go to Model 3 buyers, as sales of the Model S and Model X would also take up a large part of what’s left. That, combined with the fact that the Chevy Bolt would continue to enjoy the $7,500 credit with GM far from hitting its own 200k cap, is going to give the Bolt an extra edge over the Model 3 in this price war.

1 Comment

  1. Samuel Hoogendoorn

    March 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I feel that the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model III are going after two completely different customers and mindsets which is why there has not been a mass exodus from Tesla to Chevy with the Bolt coming out.
    Tesla has several advantages over the Bolt that are worth the extra $$$$$.

    #1 is AWD. That is a necessity for many people living where it snows. AWD is not even available on any non-Tesla EV right now (Rimac Concept One doesn’t count).

    #2 is Supercharging which is an absolute must if you would like to travel long distances conveniently or make the Model III your only vehicle. In general, the Model III will be able to charge faster though.

    #3 is Autopilot that you can’t get in any Chevy model at any price. Autopilot is a game-changer and will help relieve the stress and tension that is caused when stuck in traffic for hours (I was on the road for six agonizing hours yesterday due to traffic; doubled the time). It also helps on long boring road trips, freeing up that time to do other things more safely. Admit it. You already drive distracted. It would be nice to actually have something watching the road ahead and 360* around, ready to help avoid a collision.

    #4 is looks. Some prefer the practicality and form-factor of the Bolt for in-city and everyday driving, but you cannot honestly say that the tall, stubby little Bolt looks better than the longer, lower, sleeker, curvaceous beast that is the Tesla Model 3. It’s science.

    #5 Greater range at higher speeds due to the superior aerodynamics (Bolt owners experience drastic range reduction at speed) as well as larger available battery packs will give the Model 3 more widespread appeal. If a Model 3 can be had that does 290 miles of range, it gives the whole range more street cred even if the base version only does 215 miles.