The Chevy Bolt is the answer to Tesla's Model 3, and it looks like a winner for American consumers. The official EPA estimate on the range of the all-electric Bolt is 238 miles on one charge. With a base price of $37,495, Chevy beats Tesla at its own game in terms of range and price for an electric vehicle.
When the Bolt reaches dealers in late 2016, the cheapest Tesla on the market, the Model S, will be $66,000 with 210 miles of range. A comparable Tesla, the Model 3, won't hit the market until late 2017 or early 2018 with a price of $35,000. The Bolt may actually beat its own EPA estimate in city driving, an arena where electric vehicles excel at delivering savings on gasoline.
The closest competition to the Bolt is the 2016 Nissan Leaf. This import goes 84 miles on one charge and it costs $29,860. Taking into account the Leaf's limited range and the Model S's luxury price, the Bolt gives you the most bang for your buck.
Throw in $7,500 in federal government incentives to purchase cars that don't use gasoline, and you've got a car that is virtually maintenance-free that can charge in your garage overnight for slightly less than $30,000. Reuters states that the average price of a new car in America was $34,143 in August 2016. The Bolt comes in lower than that average when you throw in the tax break that lowers the amount of your income tax liability.
The Bolt has two trims, according to The Detroit News. The LT trim comes with standard features such as a steering wheel paddle that regenerates the battery, rearview camera to make backing up easier, 10.2-inch dashboard touch screen for viewing every bit of data on the vehicle and self-sealing Michelin tires that help prevent flat tires. The higher-end trim, the Premier, costs $40,905 and has more amenities. Both styles seat five people, which is perfect for daily commutes, taking the kids to school, shopping trips and extracurricular activities for the youngsters.
Don't confuse the Bolt with the Volt. The Chevy Volt travels 53 miles on a charge before the gasoline engine kicks in. The Volt still saves on gas bills and lowers your carbon footprint. If your one-way commute to work is 26 miles, then you can make it back home on one charge in the Volt.
Chevy delivered on its promise. The automaker said the Bolt would be the first mass-produced, all-electric vehicle for under $40,000 that could travel more than 200 miles. It's a vehicle that CNET says finds the "sweet spot" of having an electric vehicle with a 200-mile range or more and a price of under $30,000. Both options, fuel efficiency and price, are extremely attractive to drivers looking for a new vehicle. Chevy is a year ahead of its competition. Now it's up to American consumers to respond to the hype and take the EV market to the next level.