Its that time of year again NDEW: Where EVer’s country wide gather to extol the virtues of driving electric. There were two events easily within driving range of the Bolt: Ann Arbor, and Toledo. Honestly I didn’t even think to do the Toledo event until it was too late–the Toledo event was the first weekend of the week, and the Ann Arbor event was at the ending weekend.
I dutifully charged up the Bolt and was off to the event in the mid afternoon.
I’d say there was about two dozen vehicles there including some of the newer entrants to the EV world:
At least two Model 3’s–I think there was a 3rd one lurking about as well.
An I-Pace! This was one I wanted to see just to gauge the size of it (its billed as a SUV/CUV). Look at its size compared to the Bolt next to it–about the same height but a lot longer.
Finally a new Leaf.
There really wasn’t much here: It’s been in the same spot now for the past few years–an empty field behind a local Whole Foods Market. I really didn’t see a lot of browsing and/or interested parties. No one even said hi or asked if I had any questions even as I was inspecting some of the newer EV’s. This could be because I was there later in the day, most likely after the big rush–if there was one.
At least I did see some test drives going on–mostly Tesla Model S’s.
Hasn’t hit Southeastern Michigan yet. I am seeing more and more Tesla’s when I’m out and about on the roads, however. In the past month or so I’ve seen several Model X’s (different colors so I know they are different cars), and a few Model S’s. I believe I’ve only seen one Model 3 so far–you’d think I’d start seeing more given that Tesla has really started cranking out the cars and deliveries.
Of course Michigan isn’t really a Tesla friendly state: The auto dealers managed to get a law passed “clarifying” that its illegal for OEM’s to have a dealership–must be a franchised dealer not owned by the OEM to be able to sell cars. As such I think there is only one Tesla gallery in Michigan at The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI. That pretty much makes it so only the people that really want a Tesla get one. (Tesla does go to great lengths to make it easy to purchase: You can even order one right off their website.)
(Saw a Model X this morning which was the inspiration for this post…)
Waiting for the 3’s to arrive en mass.
The closer I get to the end of my C-Max lease the more it is apparent that Ford will have no BEVs of any sort available (they will, in fact, have even less plugin vehicles to choose from than when I started the lease).
This means that to get a BEV I have to look at other manufacturers for that battery goodness. From what I can see of the market I’ll have about 6 different options for a 200+ mile BEV:
Going through them:
The Model S, and X are simply too expensive and thus can be ruled out.
The Model 3 just won’t be available as I didn’t add myself to the 300k+ of people who reserved one.
The Chevy Bolt is pretty much at the top of the list because its affordable, and available in my area (and I’ll have some experience with one as I did get to rent one for our next vacation).
The Jaguar I-Pace looks really cool, but it is a Jag…and expensive (although its cheaper than the Tesla’s! LOL). The only way I can see getting one of these is if there is one available at a local dealer and they make a killer lease deal.
The Kona EV….this one has given me pause for consideration: It will likely be the least expensive EV of the list above. The big question here: will one be available (in Michigan) in time for my lease end–I’ll have to see if I can check out an ICE Kona (as Hyundai has been doing the “multiple powertrains available” thing: you’ll be able to get a Kona as an ICE, a Hybrid, a plug-in Hybrid, and a BEV). If I do end up with one it will be the first foreign car I’ve ever owned/driven.
Interesting times ahead…
The question is: Where is Ford in this market?
The answer is: being left in the dust.
What market is that? The 200+ mile EV club. Granted the only members in the club right now is Tesla, but Chevy is knocking at the door with the Bolt.
If this review is any indication the Bolt is going to be a hit. You can spend hours debating if the Model 3 is “going to kill Chevy” or that the Bolt “will be the death knell of Tesla”. Personally I’d hedge towards Chevy: If the Bolt is as good as that review indicates then with a solid year (plus?) lead on the market it will give Tesla some solid competition.
The next few years promises to be exciting ones if you are an EV enthusiast.
So again: Where is Ford?
Late last night (11:30pm Eastern) Tesla revealed the Model 3:
Already there’s been 150,000+ reservations. So if you’re at the end of that list, and they ramp up production slowly (or even moderately) from the projected “late 2017” start then you’ll be lucky to see your Model 3 by 2019?
Wow. Don’t get me wrong it is a sharp car (personally I’m not too thrilled with the “blank” nose, but then again originally I wasn’t sure I’d like the fake grille on the FFE but it grew on me). Am I one of the 150,000? No–I had given it considerable thought: the deposit is refundable and it would be likely that I wouldn’t get the car until after my current lease ends but in the end I decided not to.
By the time the Model 3 does hit the market there is going to be a lot of competition in the class. Some will be cheaper, some will be more expensive; will any of them be “better” than the Model 3? That is a question I cannot answer and greatly depends on how much of a fan you are of Tesla (just read through some of the comments on any article about the Model 3’s reveal and you’ll see what I mean).
One thing is for sure, though, we are definitely living in interesting times…
Check out this Ars Technica article about the Chevy Bolt. Seems like Chevy is going to handily beat Tesla’s Model 3–makes you wonder if Chevy timed this news release to beat Tesla to the punch as the Model 3 prototype will be unveiled next week.
The thing is, when I look at the picture in the article, below:
This side view really looks like a BMW i3 to me…not sure why (perhaps its just the relative proportions).
By the time my 3 years is up on the C-Max I’ll have plenty 200+ mile BEV’s to choose from thats for sure.