The upcoming Tesla Model 3 will undercut the new Chevrolet Bolt in its home market, with the electric car maker this week reaffirming its commitment to a starting price of US$35,000 ($49,300).
After the higher than expected pricing for the Model X, which was unveiled last year, some analysts and commentators had speculated that the company would walk back from its earlier statements on the Model 3’s opening point.
When asked by Bloomberg this week about the Model 3‘s pricing, Tesla spokesperson Khobi Brooklyn said: “We can confirm it’s US$35,000 before incentives. We haven’t changed our minds.”
That means that the Model 3’s list price will undercut the Chevrolet Bolt EV hatch by US$2500 ($3520). The Bolt, which was unveiled in production guise at this year’s CES, will be available in the US from late this year with a starting price of US$37,500.
Its battery pack, developed in conjunction with LG Chem, is said to give the tall hatch a driving range of over 320 kilometres (200 miles). Foot to the floor, the Bolt can do the 0-60mph (0-96km/h) sprint in around seven seconds.
With the Bolt, GM has decided to marry its affordable all-electric drivetrain with a Jazz-style tall hatch body. For the Tesla Model 3, Tesla is aiming for buyers who are in the market for the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, or any of their direct competitors.
As such, the Model 3 looks likely to adopt styling broadly similar to the larger Model S sedan that’s on sale today.
The pricing for both the Model 3 and Bolt are before any state or federal government rebates for electric cars. In some US states this can total $US7500 ($10,600) in incentives. This would bring the price of the Bolt down to US$30,000, and the Model 3 to US$27,500.
Above: the Tesla Model S faces off with the Audi RS7. Read it here.
By way of comparison, in the US the Nissan Leaf is priced at US$29,100 before incentives, which can bring its price down to as low as US$21,600.
The Model 3 will face no competition from the Bolt in Australia, however, with Chevrolet’s local stablemate confirming that the small electric hatch will not be offered here anytime soon, if at all.