Chevrolet Hopes $37,495 Is Low Enough to Lure Buyers into the Bolt

After revealing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt’s surprising EPA-estimated range (238 miles), General Motors has now rolled out the price for its long-awaited electric car.

What will it take to get into Chevy’s EV? $37,495, which includes destination. A federal tax credit lowers that to $29,995, or five bucks below the “affordable car threshold” so sought after by EV builders.

GM touts the hatchback Bolt as the first affordable long-range electric vehicle, clearly enjoying the year-long lead it has on rival Tesla. The first Bolts should appear onto select dealer lots in December, while Tesla’s EV for the masses — the Model 3 — isn’t due until late next year.

In Canada, the Bolt carries an MSRP of $42,795, plus a $1,600 fright charge. Depending on the province, government EV incentives could lower that price significantly. In Ontario, the entry price would come to $33,034, including freight.

In the U.S., the federal tax credit only applies to the first 200,000 Bolts produced. GM would like the Bolt to do well, but EVs are still a niche market, despite the 373,000 reservations for the Model 3. Don’t feel the need to hurry to avoid missing out on that tax credit.

Contrasting the Bolt and its chief rival, which will be the second “affordable” long-range EV, the Bolt has the upper hand in range (238 miles versus the Model 3’s 215), but the Tesla undercuts it in price. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is adamant that the Model 3 will start around $35,000 before the tax credit.

That price could easily change, as could the Model 3’s range, as a lot can happen in the course of a year. Tesla claims its low-cost EV’s battery will be smaller than 60 kWh, which happens to be the size of the Bolt’s battery pack. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Musk tack a few more miles onto his range estimate.