While it shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a swipe at Tesla for delivering the first sub-$40,000 long-range electric vehicle before them, it wouldn’t be the first time that GM tries to subtly, or more directly, take a shot at Tesla with the Chevy Bolt EV. Like when it sent out press pictures with a Bolt prototype driving in front of Tesla’ HQ or when they criticized the company for its reservation process.

Today, GM announced that it delivered the first Bolt EVs to 3 customers in Fremont, California – just a few blocks from Tesla’s factory.

GM made a small event out of it. Alan Batey, president of GM North America and Global Chevrolet brand chief, said during the announcement:

“All of the hard work that the Chevrolet team have put into designing, engineering and building the Bolt EV brings us to this truly satisfying moment of making the first deliveries to customers on-time, as planned. Only Chevrolet is able to offer a vehicle like the Bolt EV, with ground-breaking technology wrapped in a modern design that is also fun-to-drive at an affordable price.”

The automaker released a few information about the first 3 customers, revealing that they are all coming from electric or hybrid vehicles – replacing a BMW i3 in one case and a Toyota Prius in another:

  • William “Bill” Mattos, a retired law enforcement officer from Fremont, California, whose new Bolt EV becomes his third Chevrolet electric, after previously owning a Spark EV and second-generation Volt
  • Bobby Edmonds, a software developer with a family of four from Castro Valley, California, who replaces a BMW i3 with the Bolt EV
  • Steve Henry, a commercial real estate broker with a family of five from Portola Valley, California, whose new Bolt EV replaces a Toyota Prius

The Chevy Bolt EV starts at $37,495 before incentives, but the vehicles delivered today had options bringing the price over $40,000. After the federal tax credit and state incentives, the new buyers were likely to pay less than $35,000.

It’s expensive for a Chevrolet, but not for an electric vehicle with over 200 miles of range.

The company also released a few more details on its planned rollout in other states. As we recently reported, GM first announced that the Bolt will be available in 50 states at launch to prove that it is not a compliance car, but it recently dropped its plans for 50-state availability at launch.

Bolt EVs are currently going to California and Oregon. A few other states with zero-emission (ZEV) mandates will follow during the first half of 2017 and then GM promises nationwide availability (at Bolt EV-certified dealerships) around mid-2017:

“Bolt EVs are currently in transit to California and Oregon markets and are arriving this month. A national rollout begins in 2017, and a number of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States including New York, Massachusetts and Virginia will see first deliveries this winter. Bolt EVs will arrive to more dealerships in additional major metro markets throughout the first half of 2017. The Bolt EV will be available at Bolt EV-certified dealerships across the United States in mid-2017.”

As we recently reported, GM could be losing up to $9,000 per Bolt EV sold outside of states where GM can’t get ZEV credits. It will be interesting to see how many dealerships get “Bolt EV-certified” outside of ZEV states.

Featured Image: Customers Bobby Edmonds (l) of Castro Valley, CA, William “Bill” Mattos of Fremont, CA, and Steve Henry of Portola Valley, CA take delivery of the first three 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at Fremont Chevrolet in Fremont, CA. The all-electric Bolt EV offers an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a full charge. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)

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