bolt model 3

During a media briefing at GM’s Alternative Energy Center this week, GM’s General Director of Electrification, Tim Grewe, said that Bolt prototypes have pushed past the 200 miles range that they were previously advertising. Coincidentally (or likely not), the news come just a week after Tesla unveiled its Model 3 and said that it is expected to have an EPA-rated range of 215 miles on a single charge.

Prior to its unveiling last week, Tesla was referring to the Model 3’s range as having a “minimum of 200 miles” on single charge, but at the event, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla was expecting the vehicle to achieve 215 miles based on an EPA cycle.

That’s for the base version starting at $35,000, as we revealed in our exclusive report on the higher-end version, the bigger battery pack should enable around 300 miles of range.

While industry analysts argue that the Model 3 and the Bolt will compete in the same market based on both vehicles having similar range and pricing (Bolt starts at $37,500 and Model 3 at $35,000), there’s a case to be made about the vehicles being in different luxury segments. It’s something I argued in my piece The Chevy Bolt is not a “Tesla killer”:

“GM is making a $37,500 car that would sell for $20,000 if it wasn’t electric, while Tesla is making a $35,000 car that would sell for $35,000 if it wasn’t electric.”

I wrote this opinion piece 9 months ago, before having seen the Model 3 or the production version of the Chevy Bolt, but I think it has never been more true now:

Unlike Tesla, GM already confirmed the details of the Bolt’s battery pack. It will have a capacity of 60 kWh with 288 lithium-ion cells in three groups of 96-cell and it weights a total of 960 lbs (435 kg).

Now it is more a question of confirming the estimated range based on an EPA cycle, like the Model 3’s 215 miles, but GM is not expected to announce it until closer to production later this year.

Until then, “more than 200 miles” will have to do.

Following the storm of reservations Tesla received for the Model 3, GM was asked to disclose customer interest during the media briefing, but the company refused to do so citing that they are not taking deposits or reservations for the Bolt.

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