Is $30,000 and 200 miles the new EV benchmark?

by Ernie Hernandez on January 17, 2015

Target with arrows

Chevrolet Bolt misses that mark

Chevrolet announced the Bolt concept electric car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a price of $30,000 and a driving range of 200 miles. The Bolt’s $30k price point is to be reached after incentives, which means that the vehicle price will be roughly $37,500. Elon Musk’s Model 3 is due around the same 2017 time frame with a starting price of $35,000 – before incentives – and a stated driving range of 200 miles. It seems the Model 3 may be the better deal, although still short of reaching that target.

Musk, though, has shown with the Model S launch that the announced price and the actual price of the vehicle may vary. Model S was announced with a $57,400 starting price in 2011 (found here). Tesla never actually produced a Model S with that 40 kWh battery pack. The starting point of the Model S ultimately turned out to be $69,900 for the 60 kWh battery pack model.

Nissan’s LEAF currently starts at $29,860 (before incentives), has an EPA driving range of 84 miles, and Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has indicated that the next LEAF will get double its current range. If they can maintain the same starting price and offer a driving range of 168 miles Nissan is getting closer to that elusive $30k/200 mile benchmark. If they can actually reach that 200 mile target range I think that will be a significant milestone in the development cycle of the electric car. The question is, will a range of 168 miles be enough to bring in new buyers, or does Nissan (or another maker) need to bring in a true $30,000, 200 mile car to really attract the masses? Time will tell.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

evjuice February 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

“Tesla never actually produced a Model S with that 40 kWh battery pack. The starting point of the Model S ultimately turned out to be $69,900 for the 60 kWh battery pack model.”

This statement is only half true.
It’s true that Tesla never produced the 40 kWh battery pack BUT Tesla did sell 40 kWh buyers a 60 kWh car with software limited range. This car came with a $10,000 credit putting the base car at $59,900. With the $7,500 fed and (at the time) $2,500 CA state cash back actually put the stripped down 40 kWh Model S at $100 less than $50,000.00.
This was only for a limited time and it appears to be only about 700 lucky owners that are driving a battery upgrade-able (for $10,000) relatively inexpensive Model S that on the outside look like all the others that are nearly twice as much..

Reply

Ernie Hernandez February 20, 2015 at 6:22 pm

evjuice – Welcome to Living LEAF. I do remember reading that Tesla had made this offer, but I was not sure that anyone actually took them up on it. Thanks for the feedback.

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