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As nearly as I can tell, there currently *is* no competition for the Bolt. It appears that the 'competitive' choices are models with
1) Cost well above a Bolt Premier (like, double), equal or better range: Tesla
2) Cost similar to a Bolt Premier, nicer interior, but half the range: BMW
3) Cost comparable to or less than a Bolt LT, but significantly less range: everyone else

Until the "$35K Tesla Model 3" appears (assuming that that really happens), or someone else looks at the Bolt and says "hey, I can do that", there doesn't seem to be anything that really competes with the Bolt. Or am I overlooking something?
 

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As nearly as I can tell, there currently *is* no competition for the Bolt. It appears that the 'competitive' choices are models with
1) Cost well above a Bolt Premier (like, double), equal or better range: Tesla
2) Cost similar to a Bolt Premier, nicer interior, but half the range: BMW
3) Cost comparable to or less than a Bolt LT, but significantly less range: everyone else

Until the "$35K Tesla Model 3" appears (assuming that that really happens), or someone else looks at the Bolt and says "hey, I can do that", there doesn't seem to be anything that really competes with the Bolt. Or am I overlooking something?
Well, there is the upcoming Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro that look to be very competitive with the Bolt, but they aren't here in the states yet and Hyundai has a history of just producing compliance cars, so wide spread availability and any great quantities may not materialize.

Sadly Tesla has illustrated to the world that the real money is in BEVs for rich people so likely the concept of taking BEVs down market to get wider adoption by middle class folks is likely no longer a goal for most manufacturers. Whatever GM's next BEV is will likely cost significantly more than the Bolt. We'll see...
 

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Hyundai Kona will be direct competition with the Bolt, but I doubt that they will produce even 200 a month for sale in the US. The Hyundai Ioniq EV has been out almost 2 years and has sold less than 700 cars in total. The demand was much much higher than that. People are expecting too much from the Kona. The expectation is that the Kona is listed as a SUV, but the Bolt probably has more overall cargo space. If anyone has ever driven a Kona they will see it is exactly the same category as a Bolt.
 

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Well, there is the upcoming Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro that look to be very competitive with the Bolt, but they aren't here in the states yet and Hyundai has a history of just producing compliance cars, so wide spread availability and any great quantities may not materialize.
Supposedly Hyundai is starting to deliver the Kona to Korea and Norway in significant numbers, so maybe this will be different. The Kona is a direct competitor to the Bolt and is similar in many ways. Hyundai's U.S. website says it's coming in the Fall. We'll see.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf is rumored to be competitive with the Bolt, with a larger battery and active thermal management -- i.e., fixing the flaws in the 2018 model that make it inferior to the Bolt.

The $35K TM3, when it finally arrives, will have similar range to the Bolt, a similar base price, and the advantage of a nationwide charging network that is leaps and bounds better than what anyone else has. If road trips are something that's really important to you, this might be more important that anything else. Note, however, that adding features above and beyond the base car will increase the price rapidly. They're features you'll probably want, too. Of all the vehicles under discussion, for example, it's the only one to even offer AWD as an option. Note that by the time you actually can take delivery of a $35K Tesla, the $7500 federal rebate may be gone, or partially gone.

tl;dr: If you can wait a few months or a year, it's likely there will be some direct competition for the Bolt.

Today, however, the Bolt stands alone in my opinion. But tomorrow might not be very far off.
 

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I do not anticipate Hyundai would be interested in selling more e-Konas in the US than is necessary to comply with the CARB states (if that's the name?) laws. And I do not anticipate the US car market at large to be more interested in the e-Kona than they seem to be in the Bolt. The Bolt is already "too small" for the current, large-living generation of US drivers; the e-Kona is visibly lower than the Bolt and its interior space is smaller because, you know, the glory of its 7-ft nose gotta be at the expense of the usable space.

At the same time, Hyundai can probably sell all e-Konas they can manufacture for the next few years in Europe for the asking price.
 

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Agree, in today's real world, buy it now, the Bolt no direct competition.

Lessons learned from the first year of Bolt ownership.

1. For our use, the 238-mile range is a non-issue. We could have lived comfortably with the i3. Knowing what we know now, we'd have bought a loaded (WITHOUT that goofy "range extender.") lease return i3. If it weren't for the high BEV insurance premium, we could have bought two of them.

2. Again, for our use, DCFC is a non-issue. We don't have it and won't ever miss it.

3. Since we have a paid-for SUV in the garage, long-distance travel is a non-issue.

4. The $35,000 TM3 will probably never exist. Tesla can't even make enough of the $60,000 version to satisfy demand. Industry expert analysis says they'd lose way too much on each $35,000, so it will never be for sale.

5. And yes, we'd pay extra for AWD, but not at Tesla's premium asking. The Bolt is not a true northern tier winter car. We mounted Hakkaplilitas, but it's still not going to buck drifts.

6. One should spend way too much time in the Owner's Manual to customize the Bolt software to his/her preferences. Ours still beeps at us for inexplicable reasons of its own. Those can probably be turned off.

7. Accept the tradeoffs. The Bolt is a state-of-the-art-today BEV. It is not a competitive $43,000 car, just based on luxury and convenience features. Get over it.

8. It's an absolute hoot to drive. We enjoy it even when urban errand running. It does daily duty superbly well and makes it fun. (One caveat - the instant response of the Bolt will have it in places sooner than the drivers of the huge ICE slugs expect. Their driver looked in the side mirror some minutes ago and it was clear to change lanes; now, the Bolt is where they haven't looked recently. Those left-turn-on-dead-red-bandits now are wide-eyed as the Bolt has the green and is headed quickly toward them as they're broadside in the intersection.)

9. The Bolt styling is so hatchback-generic, and the BEV speed is silent, so the occasional speed doesn't irritate bystanders or attract LEOs.

jack vines
 

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{...} Since we have a paid-for SUV in the garage, long-distance travel is a non-issue.
We found that to be our situation as well. Heck, our 80-mile range EV was fine for over 80% of our usage. I'd actually be interested in a 130-150 mile-range Bolt (for $26K-$30K MSRP), as that will get us (round-trip) to well over 90% of our daily driving with no away-from-home charging, even on most weekends.

For my family's driving, a 100-140 mile EV paired with a 30-mile electric-range PHEV would provide about 98% electric fueled driving (based on days of year - based on miles, we'd probably drive on gasoline about 4-6 times during the year for a total of about 1500-2000 miles, at the most efficient and least polluting usage pattern for gas: 60 mph on cruise control for several hours).
 

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Supposedly Hyundai is starting to deliver the Kona to Korea and Norway in significant numbers, so maybe this will be different. The Kona is a direct competitor to the Bolt and is similar in many ways. Hyundai's U.S. website says it's coming in the Fall. We'll see.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf is rumored to be competitive with the Bolt, with a larger battery and active thermal management -- i.e., fixing the flaws in the 2018 model that make it inferior to the Bolt.

The $35K TM3, when it finally arrives, will have similar range to the Bolt, a similar base price, and the advantage of a nationwide charging network that is leaps and bounds better than what anyone else has. If road trips are something that's really important to you, this might be more important that anything else. Note, however, that adding features above and beyond the base car will increase the price rapidly. They're features you'll probably want, too. Of all the vehicles under discussion, for example, it's the only one to even offer AWD as an option. Note that by the time you actually can take delivery of a $35K Tesla, the $7500 federal rebate may be gone, or partially gone.

tl;dr: If you can wait a few months or a year, it's likely there will be some direct competition for the Bolt.

Today, however, the Bolt stands alone in my opinion. But tomorrow might not be very far off.
I think you mean, the $35K TM3, if it ever arrives...
 

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I think you mean, the $35K TM3, if it ever arrives...
I definitely meant when.

Elon Musk's track record for outlandish goals that most sensible people could not be faulted for thinking are impossible is pretty consistent: It takes longer than expected. A lot longer. But eventually the goals are met.

Private orbital liquid fuel rocket? Late, but done.

Private spacecraft visiting ISS? Done.

Private spacecraft capable of returning from orbit? Done.

Heavy booster? Very late, but done.

Man-rated space flight? Late, but close to being done.

Oh yeah -- reusable orbital boosters? EVERYONE said this could never work, it used too much propellent, it could never be economical. Done.

24 hour turn-around? That's definitely on Elon-time. I find this one a bit hard to believe myself, but we'll see.

On to Tesla...

Electric car company (Roadster)? Done.

Build a nationwide charging network capable of supporting long range EV travel? Done. (In Europe too, just for good measure.)

Electric car company mass producing cars that people want to buy? (Model S and X)? Done.

Making electric cars sexy? Done. Before Tesla, electric cars were synonymous with glorified golf carts. (Did you know the model designations are intended to spell "S3XY"?)

$35K BEV? Not yet. But it's close. The $60K TM3 with the long range battery and the Premium interior supposedly has a 30% profit margin. That would put the cost at $42. Take off $2K or $3K for the smaller battery, and another thousand or two for the materials in the Premium package, and you're pretty close to making a profit on a $35K car. Easy? No. On Elon's schedule? Probably not. But people betting against Musk both figuratively and literally don't win very often.

He's got a long track record of accomplishing what he says he's going to do, albeit not as quickly as he expects. I'll be very surprised if Tesla isn't selling a $35K BEV by the end of 2019. Considering all the major manufacturers that are also bringing $35K 200-mile BEVs to market, it looks like a lot of auto industry CEOs also believe Tesla can do it.

Despite this defense, I'm well aware of the brand's shortcomings. They've got some serious problems to correct. That's the cost of doing business. But that's no reason not to believe they'll make a $35K M3. Or the 2020 roadster. Or the semi. Or the pickup. Or whatever comes next. The company is being positioned to be at the forefront of a BEV revolution. Not just in sexy little sedans, but across the transportation landscape. There's plenty of investors who are willing to finance that in exchange for getting in on the ground floor of something huge. He's got a ridiculously huge vision, and enough success in his rear view mirror to attract whatever capital he needs.
 

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I definitely meant when. I'll be very surprised if Tesla isn't selling a $35K BEV by the end of 2019. Considering all the major manufacturers that are also bringing $35K 200-mile BEVs to market, it looks like a lot of auto industry CEOs also believe Tesla can do it.
From all my reading and personal experience, Elon's got the vision, the software and the battery drivetrain in hand.

However there were many and varied industry members and industry press who when Tesla was announced predicted exactly the problems he's now experiencing. Building reliable, quality cars profitably in large volume is very, very difficult and the learning curve is so steep, the capital market often becomes impatient with the continuing losses before profit comes.

Yes, he'd probably eventually be able to get the volume up, but those who know from auto industry experience don't believe the $35K TM3 can be sold at a profit.

jack vines
 

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but those who know from auto industry experience don't believe the $35K TM3 can be sold at a profit.

jack vines
They may well be right. I suspect $35K is at the very edge of what Tesla thought might be possible. But does that car need to make a profit? And when? The company as a whole does, certainly. Eventually. Not every trim level of every model has to, at least not all the time.

The real question is whether the car will be for sale (profit or loss not withstanding), and what financial situation the the board/owners/whomever are willing to accept.

One thing that seems likely is that this very issue may be behind the desire to take the company private at this time. Wall street may want a profitable M3 and a profitable Tesla right now. A private investor who is more in tune with Tesla's long term goals may not be as concerned about the immediate profit or loss on the $35K car. Sell the car, build the brand, and make money in the long run.
 

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Didn't they end up building like 500 40kW Model S cars.. maybe they will build like 500 base model 3's. Before discontinuing them.
 

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Didn't they end up building like 500 40kW Model S cars.. maybe they will build like 500 base model 3's. Before discontinuing them.
I'm thinking that everyone who has been waiting with a $1000 deposit will eventually be allowed to buy one for $35K. Then they will start selling that same car to everyone else for about $41K.
 

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I'd agree there is no current competition. Any car you can't buy (or get within 4 to 6 months) I don't consider an option. I probably would have been willing to spend the extra on a 3 if it had a hatch. The AWD and extra range would have been worth the premium. Certainly any car that hasn't even started shipping can't be consider as "current" competition.

Pretty much all available BEV's have their own compromises. But for most of us, those don't outweigh the benefits.

I do think Tesla will produce the $35k car. But why would they as long as there is so much demand for the more expensive (ie higher profit) models that they can't make them fast enough. That is just smart business and increases the chances they will still be making cars in 10 years.

238 miles is more than I generally need, but there are enough times I want to do a day trip of 80 to 100 miles each way that anything less would be limiting. And if the wife is along, no way I'm going to push the limits.
 

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I'd agree there is no current competition. Any car you can't buy (or get within 4 to 6 months) I don't consider an option. I probably would have been willing to spend the extra on a 3 if it had a hatch. The AWD and extra range would have been worth the premium. Certainly any car that hasn't even started shipping can't be consider as "current" competition.

Pretty much all available BEV's have their own compromises. But for most of us, those don't outweigh the benefits.

I do think Tesla will produce the $35k car. But why would they as long as there is so much demand for the more expensive (ie higher profit) models that they can't make them fast enough. That is just smart business and increases the chances they will still be making cars in 10 years.

238 miles is more than I generally need, but there are enough times I want to do a day trip of 80 to 100 miles each way that anything less would be limiting. And if the wife is along, no way I'm going to push the limits.


I think it's pretty clear why they are not producing the 35k version. The margins are not very good at that price and they can leverage what's left of the tax credit to get folks in the door to buy the version with the battery pack and auto pilot pushing the price up to 50k. I am sure there were a few model 3 buyers who went in thinking they were going to buy a 35k model and ended up getting the more expensive version. I am betting the sales pitch was get it now and while the tax break is still valid your only paying $7,500 for battery pack and auto pilot. Just a guess...
 

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Didn't they end up building like 500 40kW Model S cars.. maybe they will build like 500 base model 3's. Before discontinuing them.
This is exactly what I think will become of the much famed "$35,000" Model 3. They will wait as long as they can, then produce a small amount, make sure all the EV press sees that they actually delivered on Elon's promise and then quietly raise the base price and feature list for base the next model year.

The 35K TM3 was always about perception and marketing, not reality. It was never a car Elon wanted to build. He likes fancy refined things, not inexpensive ordinary things. The rouse has worked. Even to this day, you hear Tesla fans say stuff like- "Why would you buy that car??? You can get a Model 3 for $35,000 and it's way better!", or "The Model 3 is cheaper than a Bolt and it's way better.". This is because Elon said it, so it's as good as money in the bank and it will be reality someday to them. How long it takes to get it, or how many people will actually be able togged it is irrelevant to them.

When the day comes that Elon finally Tweets that Tesla will be raising the base price and adding features to the base car, all the Tesla fans will nod their head in a agreement and say stuff like, "Makes sense, who **** wants a Model 3 without Autopilot, or the premium interior anyway??" And the swindle that was the 35K TM3 will have worked it's magic and fade into the history books.
 

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I am betting the sales pitch was get it now and while the tax break is still valid your only paying $7,500 for battery pack and auto pilot. Just a guess...
Yes but the sales pitch used to be- "You'll be able to buy a new Tesla and after state and federal rebates and credits, it will cost you well under $30,000". Here in California, people were dreaming of their brand new "25,000" Tesla. Sadly, it was never to be. Even if they decided to do a run of the base car for publicity sake, there is a mandatory destination fee of $1200 on that base car, so at best, if they did it today, it would be a $26,200 Tesla. Oh yeah... and you had better like black because that is the only color.
 

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I definitely meant when.

Elon Musk's track record for outlandish goals that most sensible people could not be faulted for thinking are impossible is pretty consistent: It takes longer than expected. A lot longer. But eventually the goals are met.

Private orbital liquid fuel rocket? Late, but done.

Private spacecraft visiting ISS? Done.

Private spacecraft capable of returning from orbit? Done.

Heavy booster? Very late, but done.

Man-rated space flight? Late, but close to being done.

Oh yeah -- reusable orbital boosters? EVERYONE said this could never work, it used too much propellent, it could never be economical. Done.

24 hour turn-around? That's definitely on Elon-time. I find this one a bit hard to believe myself, but we'll see.

On to Tesla...

Electric car company (Roadster)? Done.

Build a nationwide charging network capable of supporting long range EV travel? Done. (In Europe too, just for good measure.)

Electric car company mass producing cars that people want to buy? (Model S and X)? Done.

Making electric cars sexy? Done. Before Tesla, electric cars were synonymous with glorified golf carts. (Did you know the model designations are intended to spell "S3XY"?)

$35K BEV? Not yet. But it's close. The $60K TM3 with the long range battery and the Premium interior supposedly has a 30% profit margin. That would put the cost at $42. Take off $2K or $3K for the smaller battery, and another thousand or two for the materials in the Premium package, and you're pretty close to making a profit on a $35K car. Easy? No. On Elon's schedule? Probably not. But people betting against Musk both figuratively and literally don't win very often.

He's got a long track record of accomplishing what he says he's going to do, albeit not as quickly as he expects. I'll be very surprised if Tesla isn't selling a $35K BEV by the end of 2019. Considering all the major manufacturers that are also bringing $35K 200-mile BEVs to market, it looks like a lot of auto industry CEOs also believe Tesla can do it.

Despite this defense, I'm well aware of the brand's shortcomings. They've got some serious problems to correct. That's the cost of doing business. But that's no reason not to believe they'll make a $35K M3. Or the 2020 roadster. Or the semi. Or the pickup. Or whatever comes next. The company is being positioned to be at the forefront of a BEV revolution. Not just in sexy little sedans, but across the transportation landscape. There's plenty of investors who are willing to finance that in exchange for getting in on the ground floor of something huge. He's got a ridiculously huge vision, and enough success in his rear view mirror to attract whatever capital he needs.
You may be right, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the $35K Model 3 ever gets built.

I’ll check back every year or so to see how it’s going.
 
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Yes but the sales pitch used to be- "You'll be able to buy a new Tesla and after state and federal rebates and credits, it will cost you well under $30,000". Here in California, people were dreaming of their brand new "25,000" Tesla. Sadly, it was never to be. Even if they decided to do a run of the base car for publicity sake, there is a mandatory destination fee of $1200 on that base car, so at best, if they did it today, it would be a $26,200 Tesla. Oh yeah... and you had better like black because that is the only color.
I am sure there are some unhappy folks but it really is your typical classic auto bait and switch that's been going on for years . I remember seeing that ad in the paper for a brand new 15k car and when you show up at the dealership it's a pink car with no AC, manual stick, and no power options including no power on the doors..Next thing you know your spending 10k more...
 

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However there were many and varied industry members and industry press who when Tesla was announced predicted exactly the problems he's now experiencing.
Which makes his accomplishments all the more impressive.

...those who know from auto industry experience don't believe the $35K TM3 can be sold at a profit.
Elon seems to be predicating a lot on lowering the cost of battery production. If he's got a way to do that he may confound the "experts" yet again. After all, that's the biggest cost item in a Tesla and most people in the auto industry aren't really all that knowledgeable about it.

I actually think his biggest short-term risk is ramping up the servicing infrastructure to handle the volumes of cars he plans to sell. It only takes a few high profile horror stories to turn people off of a brand.
 
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