2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV promises 238-mile range

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Chevrolet on Tuesday confirmed its 2017 Bolt EV electric hatchback will be coming with an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles.

That beats Tesla’s [NSDQ:TSLA] 215-mi estimate for the Model 3 by a significant margin, and the Bolt EV will also beat the Tesla into showrooms, arriving in late 2016. Model 3 production is slated to commence in late 2017, assuming there are no delays, which would be rare for Tesla.

Before you write off Tesla’s Model 3, though, recall that it’s a much more substantial car. It’s a sporty, rear-wheel-drive sedan with available all-wheel drive. It will also offer some premium features such as air suspension and even the slowest version will hit 60 mph from rest in 6.0 seconds or less.

In the Bolt EV, the electric drive system consists of a single electric motor mounted under the hood and spinning the front wheels only. It delivers 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and combined with a 7.05:1 final drive ratio should see the Bolt EV accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds or less.

The Bolt EV’s starting price hasn’t been announced but Chevy promises it will be below $ 37,500, thus keeping its promise of an electric car with at least 200 mi of range and a price tag of around $ 30,000 before incentives. Tesla says the Model 3 will start at $ 35,000, also before incentives.

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