Tesla Didn’t Kill the Model 3 — Lessons for General Motors (and Chevrolet Volt)


The Model 3 nearly bankrupted Tesla, but Mr. Musk kept it. It’s a shame GM can’t stick with its most popular EV, the Chevrolet Volt.

The Volt is a no-frills EV, perfect for penny-pinch EV buyers. Starting at just under $27,000, GM has struck the right balance to have everything you need in an affordable EV (including Apple CarPlay). It’s not an easy achievement.

I’m using the second bolt (see below for details). No, it doesn’t have high-end AI, sentry mode, FSD, or the latest and greatest battery tech. But who cares? It’s a compact (not too compact), very agile, quick hatchback with plenty of range (EPA rated 259 miles) to take you on long trips without fear.

And if you’d prefer a more nifty Bolt EV, it’s priced at just $32,000, but with features like adaptive cruise control with lane assist (in a way that mimics GM’s more advanced hands-free). A number of safety features can also be selected. Super Cruise Technology).

For the slightly larger Volt EUV, you get tons of features like the aforementioned Super Cruise, but that pushes the price into the $38,000+ range. However, it is still cheap by EV price standards.

1 satisfied customer

To give you a little history, I owned a 2018 Volt that was returned due to a battery recall. the money is back. I do not have any questions. GM fully cooperated with the return process. Kudos to the GM.

I am now driving a new Volt with an upgraded battery.

How good are the bolts? Edmunds said:

Why kill the popular EV?

Of course GM has reasons. The company is transitioning to the Ultium battery platform, and along with it, large electric SUVs and trucks, and even more expensive midsize SUVs. This includes GMC Hummers, Silverado pickups and Cadillac Lyric.

In the American auto industry, bigger is better. And not surprisingly, GM continues to lose money on the Volt. But apart from Tesla, every other EV maker on the planet is losing money as well.

Did Tesla kill the Model 3?

I would argue that killing Bolt is roughly equivalent to (hypothetical) Tesla killing the Model 3. Tesla initially failed to make a profit on the Model 3, which almost destroyed the company financially. But Tesla stuck with the lowest priced product, which ended up being the most popular model (before the Model Y). It’s more guts and endurance than GM.

And Tesla is working to offer even lower-cost EVs.

“And one of Tesla’s goals is to produce low-cost EVs…a broad push to transform Tesla into a mass-market automaker, including the production of half the models. It also includes the introduction of vehicles that the company hopes can be produced at a cost.” 3.

—Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2023

GM has already achieved this with the Bolt. Why not keep perfecting Bolt with the goal of making it so popular that it’s ultimately profitable?

GM has a dubious history of ditching EVs

GM has killed people so far all Many of them are groundbreaking, including the EV1, Chevrolet Spark EV, Chevrolet Volt and now the Volt EV. Questionable distinction.

It’s been about 12 years since GM entered the mass-market EV field with the Chevrolet Volt. Perhaps it’s time to stick to nameplates for the long haul. Ultium-based Bolt is a good place to start.

——

Note:

*Yes, I know, the GM doesn’t care what I say, but…

GM has made a series of disappointing decisions regarding EVs. The proof is in the pudding. Despite entering the mass EV market around the same time as Tesla (2010), it was beaten by Musk’s EV startup in the next decade.

It would be GM’s duty to leave the Volt alone after years of blood, sweat and tears (courtesy) in dealing with battery recalls. GM is finally starting to come into its own with the Bolt. It’s clearly one of the most popular EVs in the US and is nearly sold out.

Every EV manufacturer on the planet (including GM) now continues to produce large luxury and high-end EVs. Affordable and compact, I would argue that the Bolt is a unique offering in the crowded EV market. That’s what a significant segment of the EV market craves.

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