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General Motors believes it can compete head to
head with Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors with a mid-
$30,000s electric car with 200 miles of range on a
charge that it will unveil today in Detroit,
according to a person with knowledge of GM’s
strategy.

The unveiling of the Chevrolet “Bolt,” the GM
concept car, marks a remarkable recovery for the
carmaker, which a year ago had to sever its
contract ( http://qz.com/160199/the-physics-
that-killed-gms-latest-hopes-for-a-200-mile-
electric-car/ ) with a Silicon Valley startup
company from which it originally planned to buy
the 200-mile-range battery. GM’s savior is South
Korea’s LG Chem, which supplies the lithium-ion
batteries for GM’s plug-in hybrid Volt, and for six
months has said that it will produce ( http://
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/18/lg-chem-
batteries-idUSL4N0PT25U20140718 ) its own 200-
mile battery by 2016. That is the battery that will
be in the Bolt.

Even if GM can field a 200-mile car, there has
been much doubt ( http://qz.com/252990/the-
story-of-elon-musk-and-gms-race-to-build-the-
first-mass-market-electric-car/ ) that it can build
one that will not be embarrassing next to Musk’s
Model 3, a planned 200-mile, $35,000 Tesla that
he disclosed in October ( http://
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/tesla/87867/tesla-
model-3-to-challenge-bmw-3-series-world-
exclusive ) . Given Musk’s record for stylishness,
anything GM would produce would seemingly
appear dowdy.

But the Bolt, which will begin production in 2017,
“is really cool looking,” said the person familiar
with GM’s plans. “It’s not a cardboard box on wheels.” The person described the Bolt as a
crossover SUV ( http://www.theatlantic.com/
technology/archive/2014/07/how-the-crossover-
conquered-americas-automobile-
market/374061/ ) , which technically means a
vehicle with features of an SUV built on the
platform of a sedan.

There already is some early snickering. John
Voelcker, editor of Green Car Reports, wrote that
the name of the car ( http://
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1096166_why-
bolt-is-a-really-terrible-name-for-chevys-electric-
car ) is “really bad.” “To say that there will be a
great deal of confusion at dealerships between the
Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt would be a gross
understatement,” he said. “And that’s not even
starting to address the issue of, ummmmm, bolt
jokes.”

Voelcker previewed humor he found on the
Internet, including, “I guess Jolt was taken,” and,
“I can hear it now: ‘Only a nut drives a Bolt.'”

But GM thinks that it has advantages over Tesla,
specifically its size as a company, which will allow
it to make profits on its cars. It does not believe
that Musk can.

GM has “purchasing power to
leverage with this vehicle,” the person said.
As for its name, “Bolt is the name of the concept
vehicle,” the person said. “It could change.”

Author : Steve LeVine

URL : http://qz.com/324740/gm-thinks-
its-200-mile-bolt-can-beat-elon-musk-tesla-
model-3/

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