The Wall Street Journal reports GM has plans to launch an all-electric Tesla competitor for just $30,000. Sources close to GM’s plans claim the Chevrolet vehicle, dubbed Bolt, will be capable of around 200 miles on a single charge, and be available by 2017. That 200 mile range is important to Chevy, and is reportedly seen as the threshold when range anxiety goes away.
Chevy will reportedly talk about its Bolt concept on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show, where the automaker is also expected to reveal details about its new Volt (which was briefly teased at CES this week).
The Bolt is being designed to go up against Tesla’s Model 3, which is being designed as a more affordable alternative to Tesla’s Model S; the Model 3 is also scheduled to hit the market in 2017, a year after Tesla’s Model X is expected to be available. The Bolt’s design will also sport a hatchback form factor similar to the Volt, but be capable of driving up to four times farther than the Volt plug-in hybrid on a single charge; the Volt is both gas and electric.
General Motors has attempted to attack Tesla before with its $75,000 Cadillac ELR, but that did little to dent Tesla’s dominance in the luxury EV market. That said, even Tesla is finding it difficult to secure a major audience among EV fans, as gas prices have fallen considerably over the past few months. Both companies, however, do have loyal followings, and it appears Chevy is very intent on making a bet on the future.
Demand of electric vehicles hasn’t been particularly impressive in the early running, especially because of range concerns. WSJ says Chevy has sold just 90,000 Volts globally since they went on sale in 2010, with about 1,500 being sold this past December. GM, however, clearly doesn’t want to give up despite a relatively tepid response from consumers. We’ll see what’s unveiled on Monday.