You may or may not know it, but there’s a race in the vehicle market to bring inexpensive, battery-powered vehicles to consumers. Tesla’s Model III has been anticipated, but it just may have a predecessor.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV can go 200 miles on a single battery charge, General Motors says and has inserts between the wheel spokes to reduce drag. Drivers can expect their battery to charge to 80% in less than 45 minutes, thanks to the battery’s DC fast-charging capability. The company showed off a prototype at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year in Detroit as sporting a wraparound rear window, full-glass roof, headroom and legroom, and an array of driver controls.
Tesla’s Model III has yet to produce an engineering prototype, leaving only GM’s Bolt EV the lone source of futuristic car tech on the market. The Model III is expected to arrive on the market in 2017, with more details to come in 2016. Tesla’s own Elon Musk says that he wanted to call the new vehicle the Model E, but Ford sued because it has a vehicle with the same name.
Tesla says its very own battery-powered vehicle will cost $35,000 when it arrives to market next year, placing the Chevrolet Bolt EV in a more affordable price range. The Kia Soul EV will run 93 miles on a single charge but costs slightly below what the Tesla Model III will at $33,700. The Tesla Model S 85D can power 270 miles on a single charge, but will make you cringe at its $85,000 price tag before federal tax credits provide some form of relief.
Battery-powered vehicles will be less expensive than current diesel-engine vehicles, with batteries being far easier to replace than diesel engines. The charging capabilities of these same vehicles are incredible, seeing that current diesel engine cars require so many hours to recharge. 45 minutes to get 80% battery life instead of 5 hours, for example, is far more convenient for most customers.
General Motors says that its battery-powered vehicle will cost $30,000 when it arrives on the market in 2017. In addition to fast charging and long battery life, the Chevrolet Bolt EV will incorporate automatic-park-and-retrieval that utilizes voice command to tell your car to park, then call your car to your side when you’re ready to leave. While all of this sounds impressive, GM has had similar vehicles like the Volt hybrid that had a working prototype in 2007 and arrived on the market in 2010 but with disappointing results. The Chevrolet Bolt EV will be built at the GM Orion Assembly in Township, Michigan.