More Chevy Bolt vs Tesla – GM doesn’t need to take $1000 to hold your spot

At a speech in Detroit yesterday at the SAE World Congress, a top General Motor’s executive took some shots at Tesla.

Dan Nicholson, General Motor’s Vice President of global propulsion systems, did mention that some customers may confuse the Bolt name with the Volt. Beyond that, however, most of what he had to say was comparing the Bolt electric vehicle with Tesla’s recently revealed Model 3 sedan.

Nicholson had this to say (in no particular order):

  • The Chevrolet Bolt is scheduled to go on sale long before Tesla’s Model 3
  • “It will be in production by the end of 2016, so it’s not necessary to put down $1,000 and wait until 2018 or sometime after that.”
  • “GM’s balance sheet is in pretty strong shape, so we don’t need to take $1,000 of your money just to hold a spot”
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Alan Moeller

By Alan Moeller

EV car evangelist! I read, watch, write, research and chat all things electric cars. Got a lead on a story? Shoot me a message on Facebook.


  1. Maybe GM doesn’t need to reserve a spot, but I’m plenty OK with dropping $1,000 for a spot in line for the Tesla. I don’t see where GM is even going to compete here. The Tesla will most likely have much better fit and finish ont he vehicle than anything GM can produce. The Volt was a good transitionary vehicle for people dabbling into the EV area, but I don’t see anyone in a Volt taking on a Bolt as their next car. With the model 3 also having a $35,000 starting tag and the Bolt being much more than that… It’s a no brainer.

  2. At least with the Tesla model 3, The cars are not going to be “compliance” cars like the 2016 Volt. I waited and waited for the “new” volt only to find I wasn’t one of the anointed ones that lives in California or the northeastern CARB states. Now that I can finally order a Volt, the new Bolt is announced and will (at least initially) be another GM compliance car. Maybe the model 3 that I reserved will be here by the time the Bolt trickles down to the second class citizens in the rest of the “United” States. Just think how many trucks and SUV’s GM can sell on the Bolt credits until then. If that’s GM’s marketing plan—good luck with it.

  3. Taking a stab at Tesla does not make sense because Tesla has created the Viable Electric Car (as opposed to my ZE Fluence which is limited to a 35 mile radius) Tesla has its own way which includes the fact that many many of the early Teslas model S need major downtime for manufacturing flaws right where it matteers, the drive train. Tesla has no other product. GM could have stayed with what makes money right now, burning cheap gasoline, but did not. It is investing big time in a Viable Electric Vehicle at a sane price. Chevy is represented world-wide whereas Tesla is limited to certain countries. So let’s give GM the nod for enterprise and if the Bolt is availeable in Israel i will go for it.

    1. GM could have made a viable electric car near 30 years ago without lithium batteries but killed it likely due to pressure by big oil.
      Due to the size of GM they could produce a viable electric car cheaper then anyone and dominate the market.Maybe even bring out some advanced battery tech they are hiding that makes lithium batteries look like lead acid batteries.
      Maybe that is the plan….Let Tesla spend billions on their giga factory then GM releases a sweet ev that Tesla can’t compete with leading to bankruptcy and GM buying up the giga factory for pennies on the dollar.Look what happened to A123 systems.
      A lithium battery manufacturer in the US goes bankrupt…how was that even possible.

  4. Associating Tesla with good fit and finish is extremely funny. Go ahead and pay $100K to have the “F&F” of an entry level Nissan.
    I just love when things become a religion, and blindness becomes a blessing.
    But I agree that GM does not need my $1k, only few million$ from all of us to have a “balance sheet in good shape”. Give me a break.

  5. GM is not even trying. After 5 years the new Volt only get a 3.6KWh on board charger. Everyone else are moving to 6.6KWh or better chargers. And the stupid one LED charging indicator, can’t they just add couple more. And just to confuse other EV drivers the LED status is backwards than the old Volt. Blinking means charging and solid is done charging, old Volt is the other way around. Really GM, try a bit harder in the actually engineering and usability.
    I drive a 2013 Leaf for now. I will either wait for a Tesla Model 3 or pony up for a base Model S. Not going to ever be a GM customer, nor VW either.

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