Chevy sooner or Tesla later?

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That is the question — for the very few people who are somehow ambivalent about which brand should get their business. Most potential buyers already have their minds made up, even before the ☰ springs from the cake March 31. What makes TeslaMondo so sure about this?

EVs are statements. When you buy abnormal transportation, you believe you’re saying something, about a bunch of things. You are philosophically invested in the purchase. The car affects your social image, and your self-image, much more than a normal car does.* And so you don’t make the decision lightly. Choosing Bolt vs ☰ isn’t like choosing Camry vs Accord. It’s more like choosing a president. Try finding someone who is ambivalent about Trump vs Sanders vs Clinton.

EV buyers, even newcomers, are tech-savvy and therefore net-savvy. They read lots of sites and peruse lots of forums. They know more about Tesla than the average man on the street. And most importantly, they know GM is trying to hassle Tesla. They might know the details (the Bolt photo-ops near Tesla HQ, the Barra jab during the Bolt debut, the GM letters to state pols about banning Tesla, the Bob Lutz dissage**), but even if they don’t know the details, they’re probably aware of some friction, and they’ve already decided how to vote with their wallets.

An EV purchase usually isn’t urgent. Very few people will order a Bolt just because they’re hard-up for wheels and can’t wait for a Tesla ☰.  These buyers aren’t poor or transportation-deprived. If TeslaMondo is wrong about this, and GM really does grab a first-mover advantage, then watch for a flood of three-year-old Bolts hitting the used market circa 2020 as people try to get into a ☰, or even a Y. By then, the Gig should hit full song. Tesla products should be readily-available.

GM has shown its cards. That’s the problem with going first. So how strong is GM’s hand? TeslaMondo sees a pair of sevens. Like, wow.

*With time, of course, EVs will become normal transportation.
**He’s still considered a GM guy.

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5 thoughts on “Chevy sooner or Tesla later?

  1. Jerry Cecere says:

    The closed-end lease on our super FIAT 500e ends July 31, 2017 and we do not plan to purchase it, mostly because of the limited range, so the Chevy BOLT will be the electric car we would choose to lease for 3 years August 1, 2017. We would consider the TESLA MODEL 3 then, but it won’t be available, so we’re kind of forced to choose the BOLT. Who knows? It might be a really fine choice. Selecting the BOLT 3 year lease would force us to delay getting a TESLA Model 3 until 2020. If the BOLT is a decent EV, that would likely be OK with us. By mid 2017 the BOLT should have its wrinkles ironed out, and by mid 2020 the MODEL 3 should be widely available. That’s the plan today! Polish Proverb: “The past is always changing; only the future remains secure”.

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  2. Gee, but I thought the Model 3 is supposed to be a “mass market” EV and not just one for image conscious buyers trying to make a political statement. Do you really that if it’s a good car, the mass-market won’t buy a Bolt because it’s from Chevrolet? I’d guess it’s the other way around– Chevy’s been in business for 100 years and has dealerships to service it all over the place. It’s also again in excellent shape financially and thus likely to be around long enough to fulfill the warranty obligations. Meanwhile, if Tesla has one-month waits NOW for service, what will things be like if it’s selling 3x as many cars? And as it consumed almost $2 billion in cash last year, what if the capital markets stop indulging that? What good will an eight-year warranty be if Tesla is in restructuring by 2020?

    Regardless, in a way this is almost a moot discussion if we’re talking apples-to-apples on the price tag, as while the Bolt will be available this fall starting at $37,500, Tesla is unlikely to deliver you a Model 3 equipped for less than $50-55,000 any time before 2019.

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  3. […] Originally published on TeslaMondo. […]

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  4. Rob Andrews says:

    EV enthusiasts understand that Bolt has terrible charging capabilities and no national charging network. In addition, GM has chosen to play the bully by getting state legislators to outlaw competition. As an EV enthusiast, Bolt and GM are falling short

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  5. […] Originally published on TeslaMondo. […]

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