Chevy Bolt – A BMW i3 Competitor?

BMW i, Models | February 13th, 2015 by 13
2015 Chevrolet BoltEV Concept exterior 001 750x500

This morning, Chevrolet confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept unveiled at Detroit Auto Show. GM North America …

This morning, Chevrolet confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept unveiled at Detroit Auto Show. GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show.

The new electric vehicle will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

With the range and improved aesthetics over the Volt model, the Chevy Bolt aims to take on BMW’s i3 EV.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

2015 Chevrolet BoltEV Concept exterior 003 750x499

General Motors is leveraging the battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV therefore, the Bolt EV is engineered and designed to offer more than 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000. In comparison, the BMW i3 starts at $42,400 for the fully electric version. A $7,500 federal tax credit applies to electric vehicles.

ChevroletBoltConceptReveal03 750x317

The progressively styled vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles and it was designed to support DC fast charging. This would allow the Chevrolet Bolt to be utilized in various daily drive conditions and make it a perfect competitor to the i3 in both price, range and performance.

The main concern with the Bolt may be the use of less premium materials, some quirkiness seen in current Chevy models, but these could be offset by buyers looking for a car with zero emissions and below $40,000 price point.

While the concept will most likely differ from the production version, the Chevrolet Bolt will look fresh, youngish and stylish. BMW i3 was also highly praised when its launched for its futuristic lines.

Starting next year, the competition in the electric vehicles segment will increase, with automakers not only delivering new niche EV products, but also longer driving range.

13 responses to “Chevy Bolt – A BMW i3 Competitor?”

  1. CDspeed says:

    No Chevy really competes with BMW, but I do think the Bolt ups the anti. The i3 with its 81 to 110 MPC is pretty consistent with every small electric car that is currently on the market. I could see the Bolt once launched slowly eroding the i3’s sales numbers. But I think the i3 will remain popular with the type of customers that buy BMWs, and Volt owners will probably be those most likely to buy a Bolt first. New buyers will probably jump at the Bolt because a lot of people want more range then they’ll actually use in a day, and people love not having to think about things, and you really don’t have to consider your driving habbits before buying a car with that much range.

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      And you are perfectly correct! It will remain relevant even if the Bolt does put out a lot of range, nice interior and overall provide a viable alternative. It’s the switch from small diesel/petrol powered vehicles to the electric powered cars that will make the sales numbers in the forthcoming years.

  2. Chris Llana says:

    The i3 has been in production for more than a year, while the Bolt at this point is vaporware, with no announced production date, and a speculative range and price. The Bolt’s “target” price might very well be the price after government incentives have been applied. Who knows? GM has been short on the details.

    The Bolt is not an i3 competitor, because it doesn’t exist. If you want to compare the two, you have to compare any future Bolt with what BMW is offering at that future time, and I can guarantee it will be something more advanced than the current i3.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Well. It’s def coming. :)

    • Disqus Tim says:

      The BMW i3 uses a modular design for the battery packs. If more energy-dense batteries are available in early 2017 (scheduled Bolt launch), which is likely, there’s no reason why BMW wouldn’t incorporate them, and possibly also offer an upgrade to existing i3 owners.
      However, if the Bolt arrives in early 2017 with a 200+ range, and BMW hasn’t upgraded the i3, then the i3 is toast, despite the BMW badge on the hood.
      Tesla is also promising the Model 3 for early 2017, and at a $30k price point. I’ll believe that when I see it – Tesla makes a great, but very expensive EV, it remains to be seen whether they can make a great and inexpensive mass market EV.
      I’m rooting for Tesla, but Musk may be promising more than he can deliver…

      • Chris Llana says:

        Anyone can make a 200+ mile range EV, but not without a serious weight, volume, and cost penalty. For most people, who drive less than 50 miles a day, a 200-mile range EV doesn’t make sense. I’d be glad to see 200-mile EVs for people who need that range, but I’d want a lighter, less-expensive 100-120 mile-range EV with much better performance and handling. A PHEV makes more sense for people who frequently travel long distances.

      • Vanja Kljaic says:

        This is going to shape the small electric city car market. No doubt about it! And you are correct, there is a strong chance that this does provide excellent range with the evolutionary changes made to the batteries, electric motors and overall materials (lightweight stuff) used there.

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      That’s the price with the tax credit in there already. But overall, Chevrolet is going to put this into production. It looks kinda cool and it may well put a few customers in a tricky decision when opting out for a small electric city model then.

  3. Michael Christopher Frazier IV says:

    even attempted the same color… fucks i give: none.

  4. Sabre says:

    If the bolt costs 10k less and has a 200 mile range, then i3 sales will be limited to those who care that the factory in Leipzig is powered by windmills. However, but suspect the i3 range will get a considerable boost before the Bolt sees the inside of a showroom.

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