August 19th, 2016 by Kyle Field on Clean Technica
At the ACT Conference in Long Beach, California, in April, Chevrolet shared that the Bolt would be available for pre-orders in August 2016, with deliveries starting around October 2016. Being that it’s August, I headed to my local Chevy dealer in search of pricing, order timing, and delivery estimates — and was bummed about what I found.
My local Chevy dealership (in Southern California, a HOT electric car market) shared that we should be able to order a Chevy Bolt “sometime in the third quarter,” and when I mentioned that I would be back October 1st to put in an order ( 🙂 ), the dealer representative clarified that it would likely be sometime in November 2016. This is a delay of 3 months when compared to the August order timing that Chevy shared back at ACT, which takes a chunk out of the huge and important lead time that Chevy had on the Model 3.
While I am thoroughly satisfied with the Tesla Model S I bought back in December 2015, I’m hungry to try out another EV, and the Bolt is the next pure EV that fits our narrow requirements until the Tesla Model 3 comes out, so I’m hoping to slide into one for a year or so until the Model 3 is ready … if the Chevy shoe fits (timing and pricing).
I probed about pricing and details but was given a big fat stonewall with the only comments being about how the previously announced pricing of $37,500 before rebates was yet to be confirmed as the official MSRP. With the Tesla Model 3 coming in at $35,000, I could only imagine that the only update to the Bolt pricing would be to lower it further … perhaps to the same $35,000 figure (or $34,999 after the marketing team puts in their 2¢, lol). Pairing that with a corresponding increase in range to the same 215 miles that the base Model 3 is expected to achieve would presumably help the model’s sales a little bit.
Finally, before leaving, I dug into delivery timing and found that the current target for deliveries had also slipped from October 2016 to “late January 2017.” The dealer rep also added that Chevrolet takes a few weeks off during the holidays … from just before Christmas well into January, which added to the delivery timing delay.
Overall, it’s still obvious that Chevy is pushing full steam ahead to get the Bolt out — though, the reality of bringing a completely new vehicle with a totally new powertrain, the supporting supply chain, and new suppliers (wassup, LG!) to market on time is not always so simple. These are the likely culprits for the delays.
Having said that, Tesla has yet to announce firm timing for Model 3 order and delivery. Though, we expect these to come through in late 2017 based on Elon’s last statements on the matter.
Ready, set, go! First one to market with a 200+ mile range EV for ~$35,000 gets 10 free market share points in the new market segment.