Tesla Model 3 Mania Dies Down, Buyers Wander Toward Bolt and Prius

Tesla Model 3 (TSLA)

Tesla Motors Inc is working round the clock to build the mass market Model 3 and to begin deliveries in late 2017 as promised. The firm is however prone to delays and missing deadlines – rivals are banking on Tesla’s propensity to miss production deadlines as an avenue to tout their cars as ready alternatives to the Model 3. However, the Model 3 is still easily the best mass-market EV in the market and buyers might not mind waiting just a little longer in order to get value for money.

Tesla has a difficult but possible task ahead to deliver the Model 3 to more than 400,000 people who have reserved the car with $1000 deposits. The firm is still taking new orders for the Model 3 but it has changed the language on its website to suggest that it won’t deliver  new orders of the Model 3 until mid-2018 or later. If you don’t want to wait until 2018 before driving an entry level EV, here are some ‘less-appealing’ alternatives to consider.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model 3 Logo

General Motor’s Chevy Bolt

General Motors is setting up its Chevy Bolt EV as a ready alternative to Tesla Motors Inc Model 3. It is no longer news that the Chevy Bolt is targeting the same market as the Model 3. Last Friday, GM tried to steal market share from the Model 3 when its spokesperson Fred Ligouri stressed its relative availability over the Model 3. In Ligouri words, the bolt is “a great car for anyone looking for a small crossover.”

In April, Dan Nicholson, GM’s VP of global propulsion systems revealed what we’ve suspected all along when he made a ‘direct’ reference to the Model 3. In his words, “It will have 200 miles of (electric) range, and it will be in production by the end of 2016, so it’s not necessary to put down $1,000 and wait until 2018 or sometime after that.”

Toyota’s Prius Prime

People don’t usually mention Toyota and EVs in the same sentence largely because Toyota is content with building and selling gas guzzlers. However, Toyota is stealthily creeping up from behind to steal market share from the Model 3 with its Toyota Prius Prime. Prius Prime is not a full plug-in EV like the Model 3, the Prius Prime runs a gas-electric hybrid system.

However, the Prius Pime still meet the needs of most eco-conscious buyers. Toyota has revealed that it has achieved the highest government mileage rating of 133 MPGe. In contrast, Tesla’s Model S has 99 MPGe, the Model X has 93 MPDe, and the aforementioned Chevy Bolt has 119 MPGe. Toyota’s U.S. CEO Jim Lentz observes that both Tesla and Toyota “are sharing a lot of environment and engineering.”

How long will buyers wait for Tesla Motors’ Model 3

Tesla Motors Model 3 is easily the best entry level EV in the market. Starting at $35,000 before incentives it promises 235 miles range on a single charge. More so, it has the added ‘technical advantage’ of being made by a firm devoted to EVs as opposed to rival products that traditional automakers are offering. The best part is that the Model 3 might debut with Level 5 autonomy, which would make it a full self-driving car.

However, the fact that Model 3 buyers will need to endure long wait for the car could be a major drag. Ron Cogan of Green Car Journal observes that “It’s one thing to put in a reservation that really speaks to you like the Tesla Model 3, but to be told you won’t get that vehicle for several years is a real impediment.”

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.


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