A Chevrolet Bolt Crashes a Tesla Owners Meeting in California

The media, helped by the statements made by manufacturers, would want you to believe there's a war brewing up inside the EV segment with the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 on each side of the battlefield.
Chevy Bolt surrounded by Teslas 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot
That's not entirely false, but it's not exactly true either. What the two cars have in common is that they use an electric powertrain and they have a starting price of around $35,000. We'll go out on a limb here and say that they will also share a similar maximum range, at least with the base Model 3.

Apart from these two, possibly three things, though, they're as different as they come. First, there's the body style where one is a hatchback and the other a sedan. The two companies seem to have taken divergent approaches toward interior design as well, with the Bolt taking a more conservative route and the Model 3 going for the "where the hell are all the buttons?" method.

To sum it up, the Chevy Bolt feels like a very good car that just happens to be battery-powered, whereas the Model 3 is more like an exclusive gadget, even though it explicitly describes its intentions as "mass market." That means that whatever the Bolt is - and we've all agreed it's a pretty damn good EV -, it's not a Tesla Model 3 killer.

This idea was confirmed by a little stunt pulled by Motor Trend's Kim Reynolds who took Chevrolet's EV to a Tesla owner's meeting in California. Instead of pelting it with eggs and rotten tomatoes, the EV enthusiasts took turns in driving in the car and, unsurprisingly, declared themselves impressed.

Before he left, though, Reynolds asked those present to raise their hands if they had a Tesla Model 3 on order. Almost all hands went up. He then asked them to keep their hands up if they would now consider canceling their orders to buy a Chevrolet Bolt instead. Unsurprisingly, all hands but one went down. That one that stayed up belonged to a BMW i3 owner who had two Tesla Model 3 reservations and was now thinking about giving up on one of them for a Bolt.

Not exactly a great success for the Chevy in its alleged fight against Tesla, but that's probably because there is no real fight. What the Bolt will do is expose a lot of people to the idea of an EV that otherwise would never have gotten so close to one. Just by being being a good car and sitting in a Chevrolet dealership, the Bolt will do a lot for the renown of electric cars. Tesla Model 3 included.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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