Is the Sonic EV GM’s Response to the Tesla Model III?
Banking on the success that Tesla has had with the luxury Model S, the automaker’s recently confirmed Model III looks to take the EV battle to the masses. The question remains, at least for General Motors, what will defend sales from Tesla’s new $35,000-$40,000 offering? According to a report from The Truth About Cars, Chevrolet is developing a Sonic EV with an expected 200-mile range to help mount the resistance. Pegged to arrive in 2016, the all-electric Sonic will most likely source power from a new lithium-ion battery developed by South Korea’s LG Chem – the company that already supplies batteries for the Chevy Volt. At first glance, pitting a Chevy Sonic against a $40,000 Tesla sounds like losing battle for GM, but it might not turn out that way. RELATED: See more photos of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic
GM wants to put a $30,000 price tag on its 200-mile range EV. That would be quite the stretch for an updated Spark EV, which currently gets a paltry 82 miles of range and retails for $26,600. The up-market, range-extended Volt would make a better first choice for LG Chem’s 200-mile battery, but it tips the scales at $35,000 in current form.
If the report rings true, it seems GM will attempt to undercut the Model III and offer comparable range to the Tesla, at a much cheaper price point in the Sonic. Buyers ultimately think with their wallets and a minimum savings of $5,000 off the bat would see many first-time EV buyers thinking Chevy.
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