Boomer and I got to see and ride in the Bolt. A auto magazine writer and his photo crew had a pre-production Bolt to drive for the weekend. They were especially interested in how those of us who have reserved Tesla Model 3s found the Bolt.
Better interior than Volt, comfortable rear seats with good leg room, more than in LEAF. "leather" on higher trim felt like vinyl, definitely not near luxury quality. Biggest disappointment for me was no GPS even with higher trim. Instead the good high-quality central display had a "projection" mode that could display the GPS map from your smart phone.
Best features of car: real good torque, better than LEAF, and real good Regen. The Regen was also adjustable.
Reporter asked for a vote as to how many folks who had reserved a Model 3 (almost all 20 something present had), would now consider a Bolt after seeing it. Only one hand went up. Boomer said he might convert on of his two Model 3 reservations to a Bolt, but not his other one.
Reporter understood that one of the biggest disadvantages of the Bolt was its very limited fast charging network vs Supercharger network. Another was the lack of over-the-air software updates. He said the car was capable of over-the-air updates, but he doubted whether GM would use it because that would anger their dealers who want excuses to charge fees. Boomer said he had that problem with his i3, where BMW had good updates, but his dealer would refuse to install them unless he could find something wrong with the car, because they wouldn't deal with the car without being reimbursed by BMW.
NYTimes ran a story a week ago that claimed the Bolt was a "Model 3 killer" and that giant GM was going to crush Tesla. Based upon what I saw, this is Not going to happen. GM is producing the Bolt on one of their many regular assembly lines, mixed in with ICE cars, which reduces risk and allows them to scale production up or down to match demand. This reduces risk, but it also reduces production efficiency. Tesla, used to high risk, will produce the Model 3 with a highly automated assembly line where "humans are banned." I think we will get more car value the Tesla way.
It would be great if GM produces and sells 100K Bolts next year, which would further the EV revolution without seriously impacting Tesla or Model 3 sales.
LEAF Ocean Blue SL, "100 % Electric" decals, Delivered June 3, 2011
Sold June 2014 27K miles, 18% capacity loss, 1 bar, 5.0 mi/kWh.
Solar 4.6 KW DC with both string and micro-inverters.