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Discussion Starter #1
The most direct competitor to the Bolt EV is the Tesla Model 3, but we can also look at the body style of the Bolt EV and make some comparisons to similar vehicles. The Bolt EV is a small, tall 5-door wagon. This body style dates back to cars such as the late 80's Toyota Tercel Wagon and large hatchbacks such as the Toyota Matrix from the 00's. It's a body style much more prevalent in the rest of the world, as the US consumer has typically gravitated to larger SUVs and more recently CUVs instead of wagons when more space and practicality is needed than a sedan allows. The European classification for this body style is compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

From an engineering and design perspective, there are two vehicles that stick out in my mind as interesting comparisons to the Bolt, assuming we use the small tall wagon as the foundation for comparison: the Honda Fit and the BMW 225xe Active Tourer.

The Honda Fit has been around many years and is widely known for it's efficient interior packaging. It's an inexpensive, practical car that provides a "traditional" car comparison point to the Bolt EV.

The BMW 225xe Active Tourer requires a little more introduction, especially to US buyers. This vehicle will not be available in the US. The ICE version has only been available for just over a year in Europe. BMW will soon be selling the 225xe in Europe. It is a PHEV, with a 3-cylinder engine in front and an electric motor in the rear. The battery is small (7 kWh) and hence the electric range is low (~20 mi). This short electric range is similar to the other PHEVs from European auto manufacturers. What makes the 225xe an interesting comparison to the Bolt EV is its green car credentials and, especially for this comparison, it's body style as a small tall wagon.





So obviously these cars have quite a few differences, notably the luxury and technology content as reflected in the wide price disparity, but their similarities are striking. The 225xe is larger and heavier but the passenger and cargo space is challenged by the complex hybrid powertrain. The Fit is smaller and lighter, but uses the internal space very efficiently.

I also included the C-MAX Energi in the table since it also has the small tall wagon form factor, even if its back seat is significantly smaller than either three.

It appears GM is trying to position the Bolt EV as a "normal" car, that happens to be a BEV, so I wanted to compare it against cars with similar form. By normal, I mean it won't have the range limitations that the current crop of sub-100mi BEVs have, or the packaging challenges and complex mechanicals of PHEVs.
 

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Your table highlights the great value for the money offered by the Honda Fit. It's arguably the most rational choice.
 

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The Fit provides the simple transportation, but many (most) look for more than their minimum needs.
Exactly, otherwise we would all be driving 5 year old Toyota Corollas. I have not bought/leased an EV yet, but I have wanted to, and I think the Bolt will finally offer the criteria I need: 50-state availability, long range, and affordable price.
 

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I am THOROUGHLY impressed with the interior volume figures. We currently have a FIT and are head over heels in love with the Magic seats. The number one question for us at this point is how usable that space actually is...
 

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While GM will gain some buyers who buy the Bolt because it's a great car that happens to be a BEV, I expect that most buyers, and probably nearly all buyers on this forum, will be purchasing for the 200 mile range powertrain. If that's the main driver of Bolt purchases, then the Bolt really has no competition, aside from perhaps a used Tesla Model S, which is still much more expensive.
 

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While GM will gain some buyers who buy the Bolt because it's a great car that happens to be a BEV, I expect that most buyers, and probably nearly all buyers on this forum, will be purchasing for the 200 mile range powertrain. If that's the main driver of Bolt purchases, then the Bolt really has no competition, aside from perhaps a used Tesla Model S, which is still much more expensive.
I think it goes one further to be honest. It's not the 200 mile powertrain people are interested in but the cost savings associated with a 200 mile electric powertrain.

It may be splitting hairs but I think it's an important distinction.

I wrote else where that should we decide on a Bolt, theoretically my wife can shuffle herself to and from work all week on a single charge (excluding other extra curricular trips)

We shall see...
 

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I think it goes one further to be honest. It's not the 200 mile powertrain people are interested in but the cost savings associated with a 200 mile electric powertrain.

It may be splitting hairs but I think it's an important distinction.

I wrote else where that should we decide on a Bolt, theoretically my wife can shuffle herself to and from work all week on a single charge (excluding other extra curricular trips)

We shall see...
If the cost savings were the driver, then they would just cheaply lease a Kia and call it a day, or maybe buy a used car. A $400 monthly EV payment is not saving anyone any money. The desire to own an EV, end gas price anxiety, and demonstrate concern for the environment are the main drivers to own an EV, in my opinion. More and more people are discovering how delightful they are to drive as well -- so smooth and quiet. That's a luxury experience in its own right, worth paying for over a conventional car.
 

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I am THOROUGHLY impressed with the interior volume figures. We currently have a FIT and are head over heels in love with the Magic seats. The number one question for us at this point is how usable that space actually is...
The numbers are great, and probably going to be fairly usable. For most folks.
For me, I look at the rear cargo area, and that's a direct fail for me right there. Having it drop down 4-6" from the hatch... no good. I need to be able to move dog crates in and out easily. Heck, even be able to open the doors on them. I could build up a platform to fill out that space, but then its mostly lost.
Right now, if I had to choose, it would be the i3 over the Bolt; even with the higher cost and lower range, if nothing but for the flat rear floor.
 

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If the cost savings were the driver, then they would just cheaply lease a Kia and call it a day, or maybe buy a used car. A $400 monthly EV payment is not saving anyone any money. The desire to own an EV, end gas price anxiety, and demonstrate concern for the environment are the main drivers to own an EV, in my opinion. More and more people are discovering how delightful they are to drive as well -- so smooth and quiet. That's a luxury experience in its own right, worth paying for over a conventional car.
cost savings don't just come from the monthly nut...

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/10/20141031-icct.html

Most of what you're saying sounds like the rhetoric the manufacturers are spouting. In actually most consumers are doing it because it's financially advantageous to do so.
 

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You sure those cargo figures are accurate for the C-Max Energi? That model has a HUGE hump in the cargo area to accommodate the extended-range battery. I'm thinking those figures are for the non-Energi C-Max, if not the Euro-spec non-hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The numbers are great, and probably going to be fairly usable. For most folks.
For me, I look at the rear cargo area, and that's a direct fail for me right there. Having it drop down 4-6" from the hatch... no good. I need to be able to move dog crates in and out easily. Heck, even be able to open the doors on them. I could build up a platform to fill out that space, but then its mostly lost.
Right now, if I had to choose, it would be the i3 over the Bolt; even with the higher cost and lower range, if nothing but for the flat rear floor.
I think you need to watch this video on the Bolt EV trunk capability...

https://youtu.be/6lnkgEbSqfE?t=4m2s
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for showing that to me, had not seen that platform in the various photos and videos I've seen so far. That... that could make a big difference. Still end up with some 'wasted' space, but could put some emergency supplies or something down there.
You're welcome. Personally, I'm hoping that space is where they put the rear motor for the AWD performance variant they make to better compete with the Model 3 in 2018. Time will tell.
 

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You're welcome. Personally, I'm hoping that space is where they put the rear motor for the AWD performance variant they make to better compete with the Model 3 in 2018. Time will tell.
It sure looks like they left room for it behind the battery. "Anything's possible" - Pam Fletcher.
 

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This has me excited to see how it will perform in the winter since AWD vehicles are known to do better. And with the way this system is designed, they could possibly do more to improve it for just that.
 
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