The All-Electric Car Segment Revs Up the Competition


From the time Chevrolet first unveiled its all-electric car at the North American International Auto Show back in 2015, the Bolt’s arrival at car dealerships has been highly anticipated. While the 2017 Chevy Bolt isn’t available nationwide just yet, the bowtie brand delivered its first three all-electric cars to buyers the second week in December. The Bolt’s official arrival to the market comes an entire year prior to Tesla’s anticipated release date of its economically-priced Model 3, a car that the Bolt happened to beat out for the coveted title of Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award. Adding insult to injury, the first 2017 Bolt allocations were delivered right in Tesla’s own backyard, about three miles down the road from the company’s electric car factory in Fremont, California. As much as we expect to see this rivalry increase in intensity over the next few years, Tesla can’t deny the long list of awards that the newest all-electric car has managed to earn since it was first introduced to the industry.

All-Electric Vehicles – More Competitive Than Ever Before

The all-electric vehicle market has always been a curious one, with plenty of people interested in the technology from early on. President Barack Obama helped to solidify the all-electric car market during his 2011 State of the Union Address, during which he set a lofty goal for the United States, automakers, and technology companies alike. President Obama declared that the United States would be the first country in the world to have one million all-electric vehicles on the road by 2015. The declaration was an ambitious one to say the least, and obviously was not reached in time. Despite this fact, the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States government have since remained steadfast in their commitments to lessen our dependency on foreign oil, and have since extended the one-million electric car deadline to 2020.

President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address may have set an unattainable timeframe, but the U.S. government began its efforts back in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The U.S. Department of Energy pledged billions of dollars in federal funding to help propel the development of necessary technology for all-electric cars, and has gone a long way in helping to bring all-electric vehicles to American roadways. On top of competitive federal funding grants, the government also authorized federal tax credits for buyers of hybrid and all-electric cars, which has incentivized more drivers to buy alternative fuel vehicles.

President Obama will vacate the office on January 20th without reaching his one-million electric vehicle goal, but it won’t be the first time a politician was unable to fulfill a promise to his constituents, and surely it won’t be the last. Despite the fact that at the end of 2016 we are still noticeably short of having one-million electric vehicles on American roadways, there are still dozens of alternative-propulsion vehicles for sale at dealerships across the United States. With more electric and hybrid models available to consumers, the once non-competitive segment has grown into one of the most highly contested car categories in automotive history. With the race to produce the best selling, highest awarded all-electric vehicle in America, it seems that Chevrolet has its heart set on coming in first place.

2017 Chevy Bolt Already Boasts an Impressive Collection of Awards

The newest addition to the Chevrolet lineup has barely made it into the hands of consumers, and it has already earned a long list of impressive industry awards, accolades, and honors. By the end of November, the 2017 Chevy Bolt amassed enough awards to fill a high school trophy case – and that was before the all-electric car had even made it to dealerships.

While Tesla is patiently sitting on the Model 3’s arrival, which is set for late next year, the Bolt is snagging as many industry accolades as it can muster. We imagine that Tesla is certainly feeling the pressure brought on by Chevy’s economically priced all-electric car. As Tesla watches the latest 2017 Bolt models arrive down the street from its manufacturing plant, let’s sit back and take a moment to appreciate the awe-inspiring list of awards that the 2017 Chevy Bolt has already managed to collect.

  • Car and Driver: 10Best Cars
  • Car Connection: Best EV to Buy, Best Hatchback to Buy 2017
  • Green Car Reports: Best New Car to Buy
  • Green Car Journal: Green Car of the Year
  • Hispanic Motor Press: Best EV/Plug-In Vehicle
  • Motor Trend: Car of the Year
  • AutoGuide: Reader’s Choice Award
  • Time Magazine: 25 Best Inventions of 2016 Award
  • Popular Science: 10 Greatest Automotive Innovations of 2016

With plenty of recognition so far, the 2017 Chevy Bolt will surely add to this already impressive collection once it finds its way into the hands of excited consumers. For now, Chevrolet and General Motors are restricting delivery of the Bolt to California and Oregon, before a national roll out will begin at the start of 2017. The plan to deliver 2017 Bolt models to dealerships nationwide has been carefully planned, and buyers who live in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states will have the first chance at Bolt ownership in winter of 2017. Good news for residents here in Albany, New York, who are anxiously anticipating the all-electric car’s arrival, while residents in the Midwest and other states nationwide will have to wait a bit longer to get behind the wheel of the new Bolt.

Tesla and GM in Direct Competition for the First Time

Tesla has earned its title as the leader of the all-electric vehicle market, and has also cornered the luxury sedan segment thanks to the Model S. Outselling individual luxury nameplates from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Lexus, Tesla has had no problem in the small niche segment where it currently resides.

With the introduction of its newest Model 3, Tesla has put itself in direct competition with one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world. The race to own the mass market electric-car space is ramping up, and will be in full swing once Tesla releases its least expensive nameplate towards the end of next year. While the Tesla Model 3 is expected to feature a lower starting MSRP than the Chevy Bolt by a few thousand dollars, the 2017 Bolt offers an all-electric range of 238 miles, while the Model 3 is expected to come up much shorter than its newest competitor.

Only time will tell whether the Chevy Bolt is able to outsell and outperform the latest Tesla Model 3, and we will be waiting in eager anticipation to see which one comes out on top. Until then, be sure to come down to DePaula Chevrolet in Albany, NY, where we will be one of the first dealerships in the U.S. to have the 2017 Bolt available next year.