Tesla Motors Inc says that most of its employees are already working hard on its mass market EV, the Model 3. The transformation from luxury market focus to mass market appeal is going to be made more difficult by the appearance of rivals. One of those rivals, the Chevy Bolt, has just shown up in leaked pictures.
Autoblog‘s sleuths managed to capture pictures from a private photo shoot for the Chevy Bolt, and the above was the result. Sebastian Blanco, who writes about EVs for the outlet, said that “It looks like a Volt had an evening of regrets with an i3.” We’ll let the world form its own opinions about the design that Chevy has gone for.
Chevy accidentally shows off the Bolt
More leaked photos of the Chevy Bolt can be found over at Autoblog. Steven J. Ewing, who wrote a piece about the leak for the outlet, repeated the spirit of Mr. Blanco’s response. The Chevy Bolt looks a whole lot like the Chevy Volt, but it’s got a dash of the BMW i3 thrown in there.
Tesla Motors Inc hasn’t shown off what it’s going to make the Model 3 look like, but the firm isn’t that far away from a supposed reveal. In its most recent earnings call the firm’s CEO Elon Musk said that the car will appear for the first time in the Spring of 2016. It’s not going to be ready for mass production, however, until 2017 at the earliest. Given Tesla Motors’ problems with the Model X, that release date isn’t going to be taken as anything concrete.
Chevrolet says that the Bolt will be on the road in 2017. It’s supposed to be a hatchback with 200 miles of battery powered range. The firm is going to show off the car in its first official way at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. We’ll get confirmation of the release details and design then.
Looking at the Tesla Motors rivals
Once the Chevy Bolt hits it’s likely to be met by the Tesla Motors Inc Model 3, among other claimants to the mass market EV crown. Goldman Sachs, and much of the rest of Wall Street, reckons the EV market is going to expand by orders of magnitude in the coming years. The winner of this battle will reap dividends.
The BMW i3 is already on the road in full EV format, but it’s not exactly up to scratch when compared with an ICE vehicle or a more expensive Tesla Motors Model S. The BMW boasts 81 miles of range. The latest Nissan Leaf can travel about 84 miles on a single charge. All of the firms involved in the space have promised big boosts in range in the years ahead, but Tesla Motors may be the only firm with the power cells to make that happen.
Nissan has sold about 14,868, while Chevrolet has sold more than 11,000 units of the Volt in the US for the year so far through October. Tesla Motors, however, has sold more than 20,507 units of the Model S in the country so far this year, putting it in prime position to swoop sales from under Nissan and Chevy when it aims at the mass market.