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There has been a lot of build up and an extensive prologue when it comes to the electric car market. Now, the market finally finds itself with two companies promising affordable electric vehicles that also have a sufficient range to assuage consumer anxiety. Those two are the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.

Though the two vehicles will be competing for the same customers, the companies producing each one are markedly different. The battle between these two vehicles will evidence the strengths and weaknesses of each automotive brand, as well as the preferences of electric vehicle buyers.

A recent poll from Clean Technica asked, "Which model electric vehicle(s) are you most likely to buy/lease?" The results were pretty definitive with the Tesla Model 3 topping competition with 55.28% of the vote. The Chevy Bolt ranked 6th with 17.29%.



The poll shows that there is a lot of interest in the Tesla Model 3, and that many people, if they actually do end up purchasing an EV, intend to purchase the Tesla Model 3. Intention does not guarantee a sales victory for Tesla (which I will get into later,) but it does show some of the things that Tesla has going for it.

Tesla's Strengths

Though both vehicles will have similar prices and ranges, the Tesla Model 3 may offer more prestige, and that means spending the same amount of money for something that makes you look a lot more "cool." Tesla says that the BMW 3-series, an entry-level luxury sedan, is the target vehicle for the Model 3. Meanwhile, the Chevy Bolt is styled more like a premium compact car. On looks, prestige and general "cool" factor, Tesla has an advantage.

Another strength for Tesla is its already established network of vehicle superchargers. It is yet unknown how long the Model 3 will take to charge (the Bolt can charge 90 miles worth of range in 30 minutes, and the model 3 should be able to achieve the same or better,) but even if the range was less than the Bolt's, the wide availability of supercharger stations would bring piece of mind to many buyers.

Chevy's Strengths

First, GM has the advantage of having produced huge-volume vehicles in the past, and the experience of delivering vehicles to customers on time (something that Tesla has yet to master.) GM's efficiency was shown in the development on the Bolt itself. The vehicle was announced, designed, and moved to production in approximately one year. The concept was shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and a year later the production model was unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

This means that even if Tesla benefits from higher demand, it ultimately may be unable to deliver Model 3s to all the customers who want one simply because it does not have the capability. Those customers could flock to the Bolt instead. Pre-release waitlists for Teslas that remain long despite delays show that esla may be able to weather the storm if they end up delaying the Model 3 as well. Still, the Chevy Bolt will be available to drive home and into customers garages a full year before the Bolt, and that is a huge head start.

Quality is another strong point for the Bolt when compared to the Model 3. Tesla currently builds a small number of fast, innovative luxury vehicles with plenty of high-tech. Luxury car buyers are also more forgiving of reliability issues than those purchasing affordable sedans. Tesla is sailing into uncharted waters.

From Bloomberg:

“Established automakers with scale and profit margins that Tesla can only dream of are preparing vehicles that will take on the Model 3 directly. How will Tesla maintain its hype and prestige if its $35,000 car feels less luxurious than a $20,000 gasoline car … or even a comparably priced electric Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt?”

Are you considering the Tesla Model 3 as well as the Chevy Bolt? Do you see any additional strengths or weaknesses when it comes to this electric vehicle battle?
 

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My thoughts:
1) There's nothing "premium" about the Bolt EV design.

2) This discussion should wait until after the Model 3 reveal on 3/31.
 

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The Model 3 is said to have a 200 mile travel range on one charge so it could be down to what it looks like and what the standard model comes with. Too early to tell until the official reveal because we really can't compare a Bolt EV to a car we know nothing about.
 

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My thoughts:
1) There's nothing "premium" about the Bolt EV design.

2) This discussion should wait until after the Model 3 reveal on 3/31.
I saw the Bolt production model at the auto show and it did look pretty nice. I can understand how it could be seen as "premium" in the sense that it could definitely have been designed to look more "economy."
 

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My thoughts:
1) There's nothing "premium" about the Bolt EV design.

2) This discussion should wait until after the Model 3 reveal on 3/31.
I agree about #2 but with the Bolt EV out, it's hard not to look at the closest example we have from Tesla which does act as a good point of reference. Going to be some trickle down effect. One thing we can all agree on, the whole image thing about Tesla is what people will always buy into. It's like BMW & MB vs other brands, people love BMW and MB for image.
 

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I don't understand how foolish are those who want to buy an unseen and unproven car. If GM offered cars like TM does, it will have fewer sales. No one can say what the Model 3 really is, except TM employees who will not reveal anything until alfter March 31st (BTW it is "April Fool's Eve"), so that is why I call all Model 3 fans "fools".

The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is real since January 2015, have been seen and test driven by many this year, is in pre-production now (the "beta" phase), and will be in full production Oct 1st of THIS YEAR with the first customers buying and driving it by December. I cringe when I read about the "fools" putting down a deposit for a car that will not be sold until late 2017, or early 2018, when the Bolt EV will be a year old and have many thousands sold. I like the Model S because I saw, sat, and played in a Model S in 2013 at a TM showroon in Florida. But I will NEVER give money for any fantasy car to any manufacturer who will take that money for their bills now.

Tell your friends not to fall for that Telsa Motor hype (Nikola himself would be ashamed on how they are taking money for nothing), and wait until it is a real car at a showrom. Before that happens, get them to see and do test drives on the Chevy Bolt EV, and realized which is better.
 

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I think it comes back to the whole image that people built up in their mind about Tesla and that's quite strong. A lot of buyers that don't know much about cars go for what looks good to them and TM cars are attractive to me, but not enough of a reason for me to get one, hence why i'm here.
 

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I feel like Tesla won't even have a production model ready by the reveal date. People will probably see a computer generated rendering at the launch and that's probably it until next year.

By the time the model 3 is out and on showroom floors, Chevy could be working on their next EV.
 

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That's interesting...

Based on this article from tech times, "General Motors says the Bolt will have a range of over 200 miles and will include a quick-charge outlet that enables 30 minutes of charging to produce enough reserves to travel up to 90 miles.

The Model 3 is supposed to be about 20 percent lighter than the Model S, which has a range that's north of 200 miles as well. Tesla has established supercharging locations that'll give its vehicles about an 80 percent charge in about 40 minutes.

The Model 3 isn't just a lighter version of the Model S. It's also a stripped down version of the luxury car. It hasn't yet been made clear what features the Model 3 will drop to limbo under the $40,000 price point, but the sensor-reliant Autopilot may be one of them."

Do you think that with the Tesla hitting under $40,000 price point will be a huge factor when it comes to choosing which car?

Will it be a tight/close comparison between the the Bolt and Tesla?

Then again, we gotta wait and see what model 3 is all about when that's release to have a better or more accurate comparison right?

The bolt is stepping their game in many ways, and for the Tesla to also hit the low price point... is it worth it for them to strip their luxury car brand down to this?
 

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Model 3 has been announced that production will begin in late 2017, with first deliveries on the West Coast and work East. Current Tesla owners have priority over others.

IF Tesla stays on schedule (which would be a first), the Model 3 will at least a year behind the Bolt.
 

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I don't understand how foolish are those who want to buy an unseen and unproven car. If GM offered cars like TM does, it will have fewer sales. No one can say what the Model 3 really is, except TM employees who will not reveal anything until alfter March 31st (BTW it is "April Fool's Eve"), so that is why I call all Model 3 fans "fools".

The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is real since January 2015, have been seen and test driven by many this year, is in pre-production now (the "beta" phase), and will be in full production Oct 1st of THIS YEAR with the first customers buying and driving it by December. I cringe when I read about the "fools" putting down a deposit for a car that will not be sold until late 2017, or early 2018, when the Bolt EV will be a year old and have many thousands sold. I like the Model S because I saw, sat, and played in a Model S in 2013 at a TM showroon in Florida. But I will NEVER give money for any fantasy car to any manufacturer who will take that money for their bills now.

Tell your friends not to fall for that Telsa Motor hype (Nikola himself would be ashamed on how they are taking money for nothing), and wait until it is a real car at a showrom. Before that happens, get them to see and do test drives on the Chevy Bolt EV, and realized which is better.
The waiting time for a Tesla is huge, so if you want one, you do need to put down a deposit. The deposit is refundable, so you can get back your $1,000 if you change your mind for whatever reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd prefer to be able to see both before buying. I don't want to order a Tesla Model 3 early, but I'm not going to write it off before seeing how Tesla does with the project.

I'm more confident in Chevy's ability to produce a quality vehicle though.
 

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We'll know what the Tesla 3 will look like at the end of this month. Heard that they're unveiling it on the 31st but people are going to be so disappointed if Tesla doesn't deliver. I don't really plan to get one and I'd be disappointed just because they've been building it up so much.
 

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Get ready for "Tesla Fools Day"!!

We'll know what the Tesla 3 will look like at the end of this month. Heard that they're unveiling it on the 31st but people are going to be so disappointed if Tesla doesn't deliver. I don't really plan to get one and I'd be disappointed just because they've been building it up so much.
Well, March 31st is only a few days away. If the local news shows these Tesla fans waiting outside their showrooms that night (like a Walmart line before "Black Friday") I will be laughing my head off!!:D

Then I will laugh again after reading the comments of the disappointed and dejected fans that don't like what the Model 3 seems to be, since it is a prototype and not the final version for another year or more.
 

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Are you saying they won't like it because it is a prototype, or they won't like it because it won't look like a good prototype? Hopefully that question makes sense.
 

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I thought the Model 3 was going to be shown in production form and not prototype? They're already taking deposits so I assumed the production model was completed...
 

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I thought the Model 3 was going to be shown in production form and not prototype? They're already taking deposits so I assumed the production model was completed...
Nope - the complete specs aren't even finalized and "will be released as we get closer to production"
 

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Lol, that guy has been lining up for 3 days so far. Tesla is like the next iphone to me and I really don't see the hype when we know nothing.
 

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I don't quite agree that these cars are going to compete for the same customers. I live in France, where a shorter car is usually a better chance to find a parking space, so the Bolt scores one point at 4.16m. Also, I find the Model 3 boot opening very inconvenient, whereas the Bolt is a 5-door MPV. I don't care about the expensive glass roof of the Model 3, and would rather have a standard roof in case of accident, which would also be cheaper.

To me and a lot of people, looks matter less than convenience (otherwise why would I own a LEAF?), and the Bolt is still a much better looking car than the LEAF or Soul EV!
 
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