National Rollout Planned to Boost Sales

Over the past year or so, anyone with an interest in affordable and practical electric vehicles has been following the upcoming showdown between Chevrolet and Tesla. With both the Bolt EV and Model 3 priced around $35,000 retail—and both with an all-electric range of well over 200 miles—the expectation was that the electric car market was about to move to another, much more popular level.

While no one has yet taken delivery of a Tesla Model 3, those lucky enough to live in California and Oregon have had the opportunity to own a Chevrolet Bolt since last December. For the rest of the country–excluding some states which have now also seen the Bolt in showrooms–deliveries of the Bolt were scheduled for late 2017.

However, recently General Motors announced that it will accelerate its delivery timeline, and confirmed that the Bolt will be available nationwide in August of this year. This is good news for EV consumers across the country, but begs the question as to why GM accelerated its release of the Bolt.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

We got ours! Coming soon to a neighborhood near you

The answer could be twofold. According to GM’s sales numbers reported in Automotive News, the company has sold less than 6,000 cars in the first five months of 2017; far from keeping on track with their goal of 25,000 cars by the end of the year (they also delivered fewer than 1,000 late in 2016).

The new August timeline also comes much closer to the first deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3, which should begin in July (though early models are reportedly only going to employees) and for which the hype has already hit a fever pitch with every siting broadly covered on social media and elsewhere. For the first five months of the year the Bolt is the best-selling pure EV not named Tesla, lagging the two full-size Tesla’s by several thousand sales, according to figures compiled by Of course, Tesla has confirmed it has more than 370,000 folks who have sent in $1,000 to reserve a Model 3 and it has ambitious plans to produce as many as 400,000 in 2018. The auto industry has plenty of skeptics who think those numbers are a pipedream, but Tesla is building a reputation for delivering on its promises, albeit sometimes late.

Whether the accelerated rollout is the result of slow sales or a move to compete more directly with the release of the Model 3, consumers win with access to the electric we at Clean Fleet Report love enough that one staffer has already leased his own.

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