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.