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Karl Brauer, senior director of insights and senior editor at Kelly Blue Book, has given a prediction of anything between 30,000 to 80,000 Bolts to sell in the first year. Given the sales record of past EVs outlined in the article, what are your forecasts on how the Bolt will do ??

"During the 2015 calendar year, the best-selling electric vehicle was the Tesla Model S with 25,700 units sold. On a close second, there’s the Nissan Leaf (17,269 units), while the BMW i3 settles for third with 11,024 units sold. In total, 116,548 battery-powered vehicles were sold in the United States in 2015. This is a tell-tale sign that our appetite for hybrid, PHEVs, and electric vehicles is slowly but steadily growing.

Even if initial availability will be restricted to a handful of states, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is slated to go on sale nationwide by early 2017. The $37,500 retail price sans the $7,500 tax credit makes the subcompact EV attainable for most people in the market for all-electric propulsion. The Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, will undercut the Bolt by $2,500 when it goes on sale in the lattermost half of the calendar year 2017.

The big question is, will the Bolt manage to sell at least 30,000 in its second year of production or will the Model 3 render it obsolete? Only time will tell, but there’s no doubt that the Tesla is more spacious, more desirable, and it is bound to have the edge in terms of range, albeit not by a lot. The 400,000 pre-orders (and counting) also skew the outcome for the long-awaited Tesla Model 3.

In any case, the first year for the Bolt will see Chevrolet sell lots of vehicles as fleets to companies that want to go green. Ford is also planning a competitor for the Bolt and Model 3 for the calendar year 2019. Considering that the battle in this segment is intensifying, Brauer is on to something with his prediction."
 

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The $35K Model 3 will not be made available until orders for higher spec units are filled. Likely at least a year after the rollout begins, so 2019 or 2020 model year. I saw a survey where 70%+ were looking for options like the bigger battery, dual motor, and performance version - so a smaller Model S in the $50K - $60K range if completely optioned out. The exact specs on the Model 3 have not been finalized (Tesla just stated that design will be finished by June 30th), so we don't know much about what the $35K will get you.
As much as people like to compare the two, I don't think the Bolt and Model 3 will be cross-shopped in the near future. I think we'll see the Bolt vs LEAF 2.0 as more likely competitors. And by the time the Model 3 is widely available, I expect more 200 mile options from other manufacturers. They'll be available on dealer lots to drive home when you decide to purchase, as opposed to order and wait for ????. Local dealers (for better or worse) will be available for service (many people will be hundreds of miles from Tesla service).
When the LEAF was the main player (mass market, <$40K), they were able to fairly consistenly sell 2K/month. The increased range, dropping prices, increased familiarity of EV's and "spill-over" from the Model 3 hype should enable the Bolt to exceed an average of 3K/month. I think 35K in 2017 is relatively conservative, but depends greatly on how it is rolled out and made available.
That 115K number includes PHEV's (about 50K), so if you look only at BEV's, that's about 65K for 2015. If you look at BEV's <$50K, it leaves about 40K, so first year sales equaling that would be a great target!
 

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but there’s no doubt that the Tesla is more spacious"
I don't know about the more spacious part. I know that when I attempted to get into the Model S that I could not bend enough to get under the window arch. I expect that the Model 3 will be the same or more difficult. I am 6'3" so perhaps I'm just not flexible like you youngsters.
 
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