William Maley

Chevrolet News:2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV To Start At $37,495

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When Chevrolet announced the 2017 Bolt's range last week, they hinted that the model would have a price tag of under $37,500 and would qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit. Today, Chevrolet announced the starting price for the Bolt will be $37,495 when it arrives at dealers later this year. The company is quick to point out that the price drops to $29,995 once you add in the $7,500 federal tax credit. But we need to stress that this tax credit cannot be used during the purchase of the Bolt, so you're still paying the $37,495.

The base Bolt LT will come equipped with a regen-on-demand steering wheel paddle, 10.2-inch touchscreen, backup camera, and more. Premier models feature leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, surround view camera, and the rear camera mirror. Chevrolet hasn't announced pricing for Premier at this time.

Source: Chevrolet
Press Release is on Page 2


DETROIT – The Chevrolet Bolt EV set the range benchmark for an affordable EV capable of going the distance by offering an EPA-rated 238 miles on a full charge. Now, Chevrolet is keeping its promise to offer the Bolt EV at an affordable price by confirming a base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $37,495 including destination charge. Depending on individual tax situations, customers may receive an available federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for a net value of $29,995.

“Value is a hallmark for Chevrolet and the pricing of the Bolt EV proves we’re serious about delivering the first affordable EV with plenty of range for our customers,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and leader of Global Chevrolet. “We have kept our promise yet again, first on range and now on price.”

Bolt EV buyers will find range, cargo space, technology and safety features standard in a great vehicle with crossover proportions. The thrill of driving an EV, along with the sales and service support of a nationwide network of Bolt EV certified Chevrolet dealers, makes the Bolt EV a smart buy for any customer.

The well-equipped LT trim starts at $37,495 and comes with standard features that include, among others, Regen on Demand™ steering wheel paddle, rear vision camera, 10.2-inch diagonal color touch screen and MICHELIN™ Self-sealing tires (in certain circumstances). The top trim Premier includes all LT equipment plus additional standard features such as leather-appointed seats, front and rear heated seats, surround camera and rear camera mirror. Pricing includes destination and freight charges and excludes tax, title, license and dealer fees. The Bolt EV will be available at select dealerships in late 2016.


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Based on other packages on other Chevy auto's, makes one think that this will end up at about $3,000 more for the next level up.

So were looking at about $40,495, unless Chevy wants to make sure to be able to advertise a fully loaded BOLT at under $40K, then I would say $39,995 makes sense for a fully loaded BOLT.

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Biggest hurdle GM needs to overcome is not pricing but its backwards dealer network if it wants to sell these. Went into the local Chevy dealer to look at a new Volt, bought a truck there awhile back, good people.  Salesman said they "didn't bother to learn anything about it because people who wanted them had already done their own research."  He then suggested I would be happier with a Cruze or a Malibu.

Friend of mine was dead set on buying a Volt, Chevrolet dealership was so backwards in selling the car he went out and bought a Prius instead.

I love GM's new direction, but it needs to do some work with its dealers IMHO.

That being said, the Bolt drive train in a small sedan would be a no brainier for me if they got the details right.  I am very excited about this new development from GM.

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13 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Base is an LT?  That means they really aren't selling "base" models of the Bolt yet, if ever.  Other Chevy cars come in L and LS trims below LT. 

As I posted in the Mileage thread, they have the LT and Premier packages, so would this Premier package not be equal to the LTZ packages of other similar sized auto's?

That is my thinking on why I figure the cost would be about $3K more or so. Bolt LT & Premier packaged auto's would be equal to similar equipped LT & LTZ auto's.

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As models get refreshed, LTZ goes away and is replaced by Premier.   So for example, the 2016 Sonic has an LTZ trim, but the refreshed 2017 does not and has Premier instead. 

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4 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

This will be a sales flop.

 A base $29k LEAF with a smaller battery and no quick charge only has a range of 84 miles. The Bolt can travel 2.8 times further on a single charge.

The LEAF with the larger battery and quick charge (which still isn't Level 3 charging like the Bolt) is $35k. The Bolt can travel 2.2 times further on a single charge.

For an EV buyer, spending an extra $2,500 to get more than double the range and the ability to have level three charging (plus all of the extras the Bolt gets you like CarPlay and AndroidAuto) is a no-brainer. 

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6 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

 A base $29k LEAF with a smaller battery and no quick charge only has a range of 84 miles. The Bolt can travel 2.8 times further on a single charge.

The LEAF with the larger battery and quick charge (which still isn't Level 3 charging like the Bolt) is $35k. The Bolt can travel 2.2 times further on a single charge.

For an EV buyer, spending an extra $2,500 to get more than double the range and the ability to have level three charging (plus all of the extras the Bolt gets you like CarPlay and AndroidAuto) is a no-brainer. 

Nissan also doesn't have a Volt for their Leaf has to contend with. Also, a large portion of Leaf buyers lease. I don't foresee GM having a 13K incentive on Bolt. In reality, the Leaf will be much, much cheaper to buy. I don't think many people are going to see enough merit in the extended range to buy a car that is so at odds with the packaging and look most consumers at large are attracted to. Nothing against the car, just what I anticipate.

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EV buyers and hybrid buyers, for the moment, are a different breed of car buyer.   To you and I, the Bolt may not look very attractive (though I think it's probably the best looking of models that aren't Tesla)..  But when you look at cars like the Pruis, which not only looks terrible, but also has a terrible quality interior, and drives like utter crap.... EV and Hybrid buyers obviously don't care about these traits. They care about not using gasoline.  

GM is the first to offer an EV that truly can be a family's primary car if needed, and at a relatively affordable price.  That's a pretty big deal. 

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Tesla getting over 400K reservations in such a short period of time has gotten everyone’s attention.  But what pushed that number more, the brand label or the range?  Obviously a little of both, but I think label has more to do with it.  People don’t care if an Apple product is the fastest or has the best battery.  They simply want the label and they don’t want to read research all the particulars.  They can also brag to all their friends after making the purchase.  Same with Tesla.  Go count how many Tesla S owners currently also drive large gas sucking vehicles, or jet set around the world.  The Tesla allows them to cast an image, however false it is.  And while the Bolt appears to be an excellent product, it is lacking the brand label.  But maybe people do cling to the range number and will use that as justification for their purchase.  These are much different times, and who knows which direction the consumer will go.  In fact, not knowing is what Ford bases their electrification strategy on….letting the customer decide for them.  Their strategy is to offer gas or EV or PHEV or Hybrid, all in the same vehicle.  The business case they make is obviously lower costs. They are also dead serious about it, investing $4.5B and introducing 13 additional electrification vehicles to market by 2020. Ford also stated that they would match any range of vehicle sold, which is little more than battery sizing.  And it’s not that they could not have made a battery fit their Focus EV to raise it from 117 mile range, but it is at the end of it’s life cycle.  And there is a compelling option to undercut the Bolt price significantly, perhaps under $30K.  And while that might not be enough to steal a lot of market share, it is cheap to do with great ROI.

 

There is no doubt we are living in a bold new automotive world.

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Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

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1 minute ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Tesla getting over 400K reservations in such a short period of time has gotten everyone’s attention.  But what pushed that number more, the brand label or the range?  Obviously a little of both, but I think label has more to do with it.  People don’t care if an Apple product is the fastest or has the best battery.  They simply want the label and they don’t want to read research all the particulars.  They can also brag to all their friends after making the purchase.  Same with Tesla.  Go count how many Tesla S owners currently also drive large gas sucking vehicles, or jet set around the world.  The Tesla allows them to cast an image, however false it is.  And while the Bolt appears to be an excellent product, it is lacking the brand label.  But maybe people do cling to the range number and will use that as justification for their purchase.  These are much different times, and who knows which direction the consumer will go.  In fact, not knowing is what Ford bases their electrification strategy on….letting the customer decide for them.  Their strategy is to offer gas or EV or PHEV or Hybrid, all in the same vehicle.  The business case they make is obviously lower costs. They are also dead serious about it, investing $4.5B and introducing 13 additional electrification vehicles to market by 2020. Ford also stated that they would match any range of vehicle sold, which is little more than battery sizing.  And it’s not that they could not have made a battery fit their Focus EV to raise it from 117 mile range, but it is at the end of it’s life cycle.  And there is a compelling option to undercut the Bolt price significantly, perhaps under $30K.  And while that might not be enough to steal a lot of market share, it is cheap to do with great ROI.

 

 

 

There is no doubt we are living in a bold new automotive world.

 

One of the things I keep reading is that it is easier and cheaper to engineer a car to be an EV from the start rather than try to convert an existing gas-powered platform to EV.  I don't know how true it is, but it seems to make sense.  In the Bolt and the Teslas, the battery helps to provide torsional rigidity.  On a Focus EV or Spark EV, the battery doesn't really contribute to the rigidity, thus the overall weight of the car is higher than it could be.  Also on the Bolt and Telsa, the wheels can moved forward... on an EV built off a gasoline based platform, engineers have to make things fit hardpoints that aren't as ideal for an EV.   Even the Nissan LEAF is an extremely modified variant of the older Versa platform and as such has all the baggage related to that.  A more recent example of this limitation is the Hyundai Ioniq, which was purpose built to be both a hybrid and EV.... in EV form, it too only has 110 miles of range like the Focus EV. 

So, while yes companies can convert a gas-powered platform to EV, a purpose built EV will nearly always be better.  

2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

I won't be looking at initial sales volumes as GM has already said they will be doing a slow roll-out of the car.  What I'm interested in is how long those cars sit on the lots or if they are sold before the truck even brings them in. 

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4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

EV buyers and hybrid buyers, for the moment, are a different breed of car buyer.   To you and I, the Bolt may not look very attractive (though I think it's probably the best looking of models that aren't Tesla)..  But when you look at cars like the Pruis, which not only looks terrible, but also has a terrible quality interior, and drives like utter crap.... EV and Hybrid buyers obviously don't care about these traits. They care about not using gasoline.  

GM is the first to offer an EV that truly can be a family's primary car if needed, and at a relatively affordable price.  That's a pretty big deal. 

Although the current Generation Prius is a gigantic leap forward in the styling and interior department.  Also, drives much better than previous generations.  Still...GM needs to work harder to market the Volt and the Bolt, methinks.

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1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Although the current Generation Prius is a gigantic leap forward in the styling and interior department.  Also, drives much better than previous generations.  Still...GM needs to work harder to market the Volt and the Bolt, methinks.

Different strokes... I think the newest Prius is the ugliest in a long line of ugly. 

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7 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

Pretty much this....the Bolt is an order of magnitude better than the Leaf, which has horrible crash test ratings, a short range, battery issues, and looks like a vacuum cleaner on wheels.

 

Domestics are very good at taking an idea put forth by imports and taking it forward for the win.  Remember the Genesis 4 cyl Turbo coupe and how it was going to be the car of the century according to all of the automotive writers? In the mean time, Mustang has the ecoboost and Camaro has a Turbo 4.  Meanwhile, the Genesis coupe is DOA.

1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Different strokes... I think the newest Prius is the ugliest in a long line of ugly. 

I actually kind of like it.  as one of my friends put it....something like a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers woudl do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....in a good sort of way.

9 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

One of the things I keep reading is that it is easier and cheaper to engineer a car to be an EV from the start rather than try to convert an existing gas-powered platform to EV.  I don't know how true it is, but it seems to make sense.  In the Bolt and the Teslas, the battery helps to provide torsional rigidity.  On a Focus EV or Spark EV, the battery doesn't really contribute to the rigidity, thus the overall weight of the car is higher than it could be.  Also on the Bolt and Telsa, the wheels can moved forward... on an EV built off a gasoline based platform, engineers have to make things fit hardpoints that aren't as ideal for an EV.   Even the Nissan LEAF is an extremely modified variant of the older Versa platform and as such has all the baggage related to that.  A more recent example of this limitation is the Hyundai Ioniq, which was purpose built to be both a hybrid and EV.... in EV form, it too only has 110 miles of range like the Focus EV. 

So, while yes companies can convert a gas-powered platform to EV, a purpose built EV will nearly always be better.  

I won't be looking at initial sales volumes as GM has already said they will be doing a slow roll-out of the car.  What I'm interested in is how long those cars sit on the lots or if they are sold before the truck even brings them in. 

One can hope they sell.  I think given proper marketing, that can happen.  I also think being two or three years old with few issues will help their cause.  The VW scandal has left a lot of "green car" buyers high and dry, this car is coming out at a good time....

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20 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

I actually kind of like it.  as one of my friends put it....something like a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers woudl do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....in a good sort of way.

That is at once the most accurate and horrifying description of the car I have heard to date. I may be stealing it if/when I review one.

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Drew,

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

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Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

That is at once the accurate and horrifying description of the car I have heard to date. I may be stealing it if/when I review one.

You are more than welcome to do so. I did get 76 MPG tooling around Columbus for an evening in said friends Prius. Fuelly has them at about a 55 MPG average, vs about 44-48 for the previous car.

Still I am thinking of something performance oriented when I turn in the Jetta TDI. BRZ/FRS or the like.

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@A Horse With No Name

QUOTE of the DAY!

"Prius - Something a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers would do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....In a good sort of way!"

:roflmao: 

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I think there are a lot assumptions about buyers of both the Bolt and Tesla. That is the biggest hinderance as to understanding why or why not said car succeeds. If someone owns an expensive CUV/SUV and a Tesla, that doesn't mean anything other than the fact that one is for highway traveling while the other is perfectly suited to city and short range highway drives. Unless someone here has actually talked to these particular Tesla owners, it's pretty silly to assume anything else than what it's intended purpose is. 

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13 minutes ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Drew,

 

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

 

Oh, I'm sure that the Focus EV cost less to develop than the Bolt... and its costs are spread over a broader sales base as well.

However, I don't think Ford would have been able to produce a car with the room and range the Bolt has by using a gasoline powered platform. One only has to look at where the battery is mounted in the Focus EV for that.  It partially is in the trunk area and adds nothing to the platform strength, so that adds weight.   Because the battery can't be mounted under the Focus, in order to get a 238 mile range, Ford would have needed to stuff the doors and seats with batteries.... and then it becomes a race with weight... trying to get enough batteries in there to increase range while fighting against weight creep due to the increased number of batteries. 

The Bolt is a lot more spacious inside than other cars with that exterior size.

 

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4 minutes ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Drew,

 

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

 

The value is in having an established EV market and proven technology as a move to alternate proportion systems foes forward. Even though PC type computers are easy to use, something Apple established when they first came out....Apple still has a huge fanatical following.  IF GM plays this right....IF....they will have a huge loyal following for electrics.

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53 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Oh, I'm sure that the Focus EV cost less to develop than the Bolt... and its costs are spread over a broader sales base as well.

However, I don't think Ford would have been able to produce a car with the room and range the Bolt has by using a gasoline powered platform. One only has to look at where the battery is mounted in the Focus EV for that.  It partially is in the trunk area and adds nothing to the platform strength, so that adds weight.   Because the battery can't be mounted under the Focus, in order to get a 238 mile range, Ford would have needed to stuff the doors and seats with batteries.... and then it becomes a race with weight... trying to get enough batteries in there to increase range while fighting against weight creep due to the increased number of batteries. 

The Bolt is a lot more spacious inside than other cars with that exterior size.

 

Space and packaging is an entirely different subject, and yes, it certainly favors the Bolt.

55 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

The value is in having an established EV market and proven technology as a move to alternate proportion systems foes forward. Even though PC type computers are easy to use, something Apple established when they first came out....Apple still has a huge fanatical following.  IF GM plays this right....IF....they will have a huge loyal following for electrics.

It's a bigger risk for GM for sure, but Ford must feel that at this time, the added reward is not worth the risk.  It's not like they have not done pretty well with electrification to this point, for years being second to only Toyota.

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      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.
      The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this. Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen. The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout. Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort. The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids. Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove.  The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway. You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside. The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll. One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Highlander
      Trim: XLE AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
      Base Price: $39,980
      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. 
      But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off.
      "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters.
      GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters.
      According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing.
      Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts.
      The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift.
      “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister.
      “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
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