238 miles of range puts the Bolt well ahead of contemporaries like the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and the Chevrolet Spark EV — all of which have driving ranges of less than 100 miles per charge. GM says that the Bolt will be the first affordable EV to offer greater than 200 miles of range, and we can’t argue with that statement.
The cheapest Tesla Model S, the 60 kWh model, offers a driving range of 210 miles and is priced from $66,000. Tesla offers variants with up to 315 miles of range, like the Model S P100D, but that will set you back a staggering $134,500.
The Bolt, in comparison, will start at “just” $37,500, before a federal $7,500 tax credit is taken into account, when it launches nationwide later this year. Several states also offer credits/rebates that can lower your total out of pocket costs by another few thousand dollars. The Tesla Model 3 will start at $35,000, but it won’t begin shipping to customers until late 2017 (and that’s being incredibly optimistic given Tesla’s penchant for delays).
“Chevrolet showed the world the production version Bolt EV earlier this year and in a few short months we’ve moved from that vision to a reality,” said GM North America President Alan Batey. “The Bolt EV is a game changer for the electric car segment and it will start to become available at Chevrolet dealerships later this year.”
It should be interesting to see how customers respond to the Bolt when it launches. Many Americans have been frightened by “range anxiety” when it comes to today’s affordable EVs, which deliver around 75 to 80 miles of range. But with 200+ miles of range at its disposal, the Bolt might become more than just a second car for short in-town trips for more families.