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Reports that Chevrolet Bolt is a threat to Model 3 are deeply uninformed

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by jbcarioca, Jul 30, 2017.

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  1. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Given all the commentary from bears and "objective" third parties I decided to check out the Bolt myself. I have previous experience with the Volt, Leaf, i3, BYD E6 and of course with S and X. Since so many people have eulogized the Bolt I went to a local Chevrolet dealer to try one. I have several observations:
    Background
    1. The Chevrolet official Bolt literature refers to 'oil changes', roadside assistance including fuel up to five gallons, and engine checks. These were obviously generic, but gave me pause that nobody in GM thought to remove them from a BEV brochure.
    2. Chevrolet refers to:
    Charging- really meaning level 1 but not stated;
    Fast Charging- stated as 220 volts 23 amps and "requiring electrician installation"
    Ultra-Fast Charging- requires optional equipment...
    3. Nobody at the dealership understood what charging options might be or whether "ultra-fast charging capability could be installed at the dealer if it had not been done at the factory.
    4. The sticker on the base model I drove which has no options on the Monrony was $37,500. This dealer offered no discounts.
    Driving
    the drive ended out being quite short, my choice:
    1. Acceleration was leisurely. Subjectively Leaf, i# and even the BYD seem serious 'hotrods' in comparison;
    2. Regeneration was minimal, so braking was required for all stops;
    3. Creep was on, salesman did not know if it could be disabled;
    4. The physical environment seems to be Cruze-like, as it logically would, I guess;
    5. The salesman said it had been fully charged but the range showed 119 miles. I'm fairly certain it had not been fully charged.
    Equipment
    nearly everything essential is an option:
    -rear camera is optional (I thought it was a requirement for 2017 models);
    -no cruise control- that is an option,
    -the higher priced Premier model is still absent several things included in the base Model 3, so:
    - adding the DC Fast, Lane Keeping, Diver Confidence II, and Infotainment brings the MSRP to $43,905 but still does not include a good portion of the things eluded in the base Model 3.

    After the silly brochure, total lack of knowledge and fairly awful high priced car I conclude that no sane person would ever under any circumstances choose a Bolt over a Model 3 base model. The additional range of the Bolt might be a factor but the Bolt if certainly not a sleek car so highway driving probably will make typical range plummet since it is shaped rather like an attractive brick.

    Good grief! How do Car & Driver and all the other praise this monstrosity? It's more expensive than the Model 3 and offers much less. No wonder the inventory DOH has gone above 100 days according to Automotive News.

    As investors we might as well ignore GM. They don't know what they're doing.
     
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  2. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    You needed to pull the gear shift lever down into L, which you should know as a Volt driver. That gets you the one pedal driving.
     
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  3. X Fan

    X Fan Supporting Member

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    Great Analysis....but, I'm sure some will still brand the 3 as a "disappointment"....
     
  4. mtndrew1

    mtndrew1 Member

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    There are some factual errors in your post.

    Cruise control and backup camera are standard equipment. (edit: adaptive cruise is unavailable and around view cameras are optional)
    Creep can be turned off by dropping into "L" one-pedal mode (truly excellent)
    Advertised charge times are at 32A, not 23.

    Subjectively, I found the power of the Bolt to be quite startling and far greater than a Leaf or BYD product. The i3 is comparable. I put about 150 miles on a Bolt over six hours or so. No way 119 miles was fully charged.
     
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  5. rdalcanto

    rdalcanto Member

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    Personally, I value a car for the driving experience/handling more than all else. Considering that Motor Trend just said that the Model 3 makes the Alpha Romeo Gulia (probably the best driving small ICE sedan on the market) feel like a "wet sponge," there was no way a Bolt was ever going to compete. Add in other features like the ability to actually drive long distances because of the Supercharger network, autopilot, etc, and the Bolt was DOA. Other companies will be able to put a battery and a motor in a vehicle with 4 wheels and seating for 5, but they too will probably fall short of anything made by Tesla for the same price.
     
  6. dreamwave6

    dreamwave6 Member

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    It's quite simply actually. The Bolt is made by Chevrolet and, as such, is a typical American POS car. Ford, GM and Chrysler all make garbage cars and they should all go out of business. Tesla is the only American car company that is worthy of existing...and then some.

    Prior to buying my Model X, I only bought European (primarily) and Japanese (sometimes) ICE cars. Traditional American cars are pathetic. Thank the heavens for Tesla redeeming the United States as a country that can actually make awesome cars, like the Germans and Japanese.

    Andrew
     
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  7. RickAnstey

    RickAnstey Member

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    The stale Bolt inventories at Chevy dealers says it all. The car is DOA.
     
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  8. bro1999

    bro1999 Active Member

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    You need to press the accelerator down all the way.
    Shift to L and you activate 1 pedal driving. You can't stop with regen alone even in a S or X.
    Clueless salesman is clueless. Shift to L and no more creep.
    Bolt interior is not flashy. 238 miles for $37.5k.....something needs to be sacrificed.
    This one you are actually right.
    Uh, rear vision camera is standard. WTF?
    Again, standard. Again, WTF?
    What does the Premier Bolt lack that the base 3 has besides access to Supercharging?
    Again, what are these features the barebones 3 has a loaded Bolt doesn't?
     
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  9. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Thanks for all that. It would seem that the dealership and salesman knew nothing. I did not know most of your comments. Although I did push the accelerator as far as I could. The rear vision camera did not work on the one I drove, maybe a defect. Salesperson said it did not have one when I said I was surprised.

    It's good somebody likes this thing. Probably not enough somebodies since the inventory DOH is over 100 days.
     
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  10. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #10 McRat, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
    I agree with your concept, but it has nothing to do with the Bolt as you suggest. When you're at under 1% of the market, it isn't about fighting over market share, it's about making a market where one does not exist yet. For those in Rio Linda, you don't want a bigger piece of the pie, you need to get a bigger pie to begin with.

    However, the rest of your spiel is silly and incorrect. Shame.

    Next time you want to look at a car, any car:

    Read the owner's manual and a detailed review or two. This saves you from testing a car you won't like.
    Agree to the price before you arrive at the dealer. This saves you from shopping for something you won't buy.
    If you are not really good at driving (I suspect that is what happened), bring somebody who is. This will get you more information if you can swallow your pride.

    You're welcome.
     
  11. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Although I am not a fan of GM, still I must say that your report is decidedly unfair:
    Comments on the salesman's ignorance are only slightly germane, in that they will make it a bit more difficult for shoppers to get good info about the car, but if you had asked for the most knowledgable person about the car, you likely would have had a better experience.

    Salesman not knowing how to shut off "creep" mode is not a proper criticism of the car.
    Judging regen while in the wrong gear is not proper criticism of the car.
    I'm pretty sure that rear camera (image in the mirror) is standard equipment on Bolt.
    Failure to report Bolt's generous headroom front and back seems unfair.
    Failure to report Bolt's greater cargo capacity seems unfair.

    What you surprisingly failed to mention is that the two cars are so different in form and performance that neither is likely to compete for the other's target demographic, so for that reason alone Bolt is not a threat to M3 and vice versa.

    If GM were to actually support the Bolt and to promote it, that would be a very good thing for EV acceptance in the marketplace with two very different 200+ mile choices on the market.
     
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  12. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    #12 Jeff N, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
    As mtndrew1 pointed out, you got a bunch of things wrong. I won't repeat his corrections here.

    That price also includes the optional $395 for red, blue, or orange premium paint colors. The four shades of gray including white and black paint are no added cost unlike black-only on the Model 3. That Bolt EV price also includes the destination/delivery fee which is very likely not included in Tesla's $35,000 price. I think it is $1,200 for the Model S/X. Add that plus the fact that very few people buy black cars and the typical base price of the TM 3 is $37,000+.

    The $43,905 price also includes things that the base Model 3 does not have such as

    1. Surround view four-camera image system
    2. Heated front and rear seats
    3. Heated steering wheel
    4. Leather seats and wrapped steering wheel
    5. Premium stereo with subwoofer
    6. Camera-based rear view mirror
    7. Center console with covered storage
    8. Wireless phone charging
    9. CarPlay and Android Auto
    10. Attractive aluminum wheels
    11. Roof rails
    12. Self-sealing tires
    13. One-pedal driving with full stop and hold

    Driving 65 mph without A/C gets about ~230 miles of range. Driving 75 mph with A/C set to 72F on a warm day gets 190 miles. The official EPA highway rating is 217 miles.

    You call it a monstrosity after a quick spin around the block... I've driven mine for 6 months and 13,000 miles on multiple road trips including a 9-day 2,600 trip from San Francisco to central Utah. I think it's awesome. Does that mean it's better than a Model 3? I don't know since I haven't driven one yet but neither have you. I have done extended driving in a Model S P85 on a week-long 1,300 mile road trip. I prefer the Bolt as a daily driver. One of its best features is the slickly-implemented one-pedal non-creepy driving which you entirely skipped by not trying the car in 'L' drive.

    The Bolt has strong acceleration including at freeway speeds where the Leaf, i3, and other non-Tesla cars typically lose their oomph. A Bolt at the REFUEL EV races at Laguna Seca just set a new "Production" class laptime record and beat the laptime of every Tesla entered in the same race the previous year. It obviously couldn't have done that with only "leisurely" acceleration. Next time put the Bolt in sport mode which makes the go-pedal more reactive.

    2017 REFUEL EV Race Sees New Track Records - HybridCars.com


    As I noted above, the Model 3 really isn't more than a few hundred dollars cheaper MSRP for most buyers and once inventory builds at your local dealer you'll be able to negotiate discounts. If not, then buy from a high-volume dealer in California for ~ $3,000 discount and have the car shipped to you out-if-state for $800 dollars.

    Although there is a lot of overlap between the Bolt and Model 3 since they are the only sub-$40k cars with 200+ mile range they still fit different niches. TM 3 is a sedan with a lower driver sitting position. Bolt is a hatchback with a higher seating position. For some families they would actually be a good pairing in the garage (my own longer-term plan). TM 3 as the sleek road trip getaway car as well as daily driver. Bolt as the practical all-purpose car with more flexible storage capacity and access, easier parking in urban areas with its shorter length, but still capable of occasional longer trips.

    Inaccurately trashing the Bolt after a superficial test drive is not helping to further the EV revolution.
     
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  13. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    This I did. I really ang them dealership and asked for the most well-informed salesperson before making the appointment.

    I'll not refute @McRat because I can suggest nothing that might make him think of other possibilities other than my incompetence.

    My approach was to do a bit of research, follow the builders instructions "...ask your dealer", and ask for the most well-informed person.

    Obviously I was not expert on the car before driving it. By contrast, neither was I for Tesla when I wanted to buy one. With Tesla, though, the manual was shown to me in the car and I had an hour or so looking and reading before driving.

    How many potential Bolt buyers actually will know more than did I?
     
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  14. Tforme

    Tforme Member

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    The OP's write up, as has been noted, is filled with bias, incorrect info and general garbage. It's really a pathetic attempt to trash the Bolt.

    I have both a Model S and a Bolt. Both are excellent cars. And each is an important vehicle for advancing the adoption of EVs.
     
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  15. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Bolt sales for 2017 are sitting at about 70% of Model S (#1 EV) US sales so far this year. Considering everything, including a new model, and only partial sales coverage, and the Chevrolet badging. DOA might be a bit over-stated, but it is often repeated. It is the third largest EV seller in the US out of 16?
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    I suspect most of them. People now do research online before visiting a dealer.
     
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  17. cdub

    cdub Future Model 3 owner / Current original Leaf owner

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    The Bolt will be dwarfed in sales by the 3 when it comes out. GM will never sell more than 20,000 cars.
     
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  18. X Fan

    X Fan Supporting Member

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    I believe Bloomberg's Tom Randall says it best: "I’ve heard a lot of people trying to compare the Model 3 to GM's all-electric Chevy Bolt (known as the Opel Ampera-e in Europe). Even though they're similarly priced and both run on batteries, the parallel ends there. The Bolt is an economy gasoline car that’s been electrified; the Model 3 is—something altogether different. "

    Driving Tesla’s Model 3 Changes Everything

    Bolt is just not a core product for GM & in the immediate term will never have the solution set that Tesla offers: AP, supercharging with ability to travel long distances easily (Bolt has nice range but where can you go?), great software....
     
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  19. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    And that right there is at least half of what's killing the Bolt. It's becoming incredibly obvious how important it was for Tesla to do direct sales and avoid franchised dealerships. (I wish I knew which Venture Capitalist insisted on this to Musk and company; very very smart man or woman.)
     
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  20. erthquake

    erthquake Member

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    Who wants to bet that dealerships choose who has to give the Bolt test drives based on which salesperson had the worst month?
     
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