The time when the Chevy Bolt officially goes into is getting near, but details about the car’s capabilities have remained hard to find. Now Chevrolet says the official EPA range rating is 238 miles. The car has a 60 kWh battery, the same size as the entry level Tesla Model S 60. The Tesla has an EPA certified range of 208 miles. And the Bolt has a hatchback, one thing we know the Model 3 will not have.
Of course, the Tesla is a larger, heavier car but if numbers are important to you, the Bolt has a significant edge. One of those nunbers is the price. The Bolt costs more than $20,000 less. The Tesla Model 3, due out sometime in the next 15 to 18 months, will have at least 215 miles of range, according to the company and will cost about the same as the Bolt. Anyone who knows anything about Elon Musk will tell you the Tesla will beat the Bolt’s official range numbers by the time production actually begins.
GM says the Bolt will meet the average consumer’s daily driving needs “with plenty of range to spare.” Since most Americans drive less than 50 miles a day, GM’s claim is technically correct. But many consumers think they need a minimum of 200 miles and would feel more comforatable with 300 miles, according to a recent survey.
“Chevrolet showed the world the production version Bolt EV earlier this year and in a few short months we’ve moved from that vision to a reality,” GM North America President Alan Batey said in a statement. “The Bolt EV is a game changer for the electric car segment and it will start to become available at Chevrolet dealerships later this year.”
GM hasn’t given an exact price for the Bolt, other than to say it will start at less than $37,500. After the $7,500 federal tax credit, a base model Bolt will end of costing most drivers about $30,000 — less if state and local incentives are available.
Chevrolet says the first Bolts will arrive at “select Chevrolet dealerships in late 2016.” Just exactly which dealerships is still unknown, although California is a safe bet. If Chevrolet follows the same strategy is used with the second generation Volt, dealers in the other 10 states that use the California emissions regulations will be next on the list.
One area where Tesla will still have a numbers advantage is the time it takes to recharge the battery. Chevy’s website says the Bolt’s battery will need 9 hours to fully recharge using a 240 volt charger. Although no specifications are available for the Model 3 as yet, its big brothers, the Model S and Model X, easily beat those numbers. All Teslas have access to the company’s proprietary Supercharger system, which can provide an 80% recharge in 30 minutes or less.
The Bolt will not be all things to all people. Will it be the kind of “compelling electric car” Elon Musk is begging other companies to build? In a few months, we will know for sure.
Source: Automotive News Photo credit: Cheverolet