While EV enthusiasts excitedly await the reveal of the Tesla Model III in 2016, by then there will be another contender for consumers’ attention. The Truth About Cars reports that a Chevy Sonic EV with a 200-mile range could debut alongside the 2016 Chevy Volt in the not-too-distant future.
With a new battery pack built in partnership with LG Chem, it seems like GM plans to usurp Tesla’s plans to deliver a long-range and affordably priced EV to the masses. The rumors of a 200-mile GM-branded EV have been around for awhile, with the 82-mile Chevy Spark EV serving as a placeholder for the time being.
With the Tesla Model III aiming for a $35,000 price point, GM will need to come in at or below that price point for the Chevy Sonic EV to have a shot. As the happy owner of a 2012 Chevy Sonic that averages about 300-miles of driving per tank of gas, 200-miles would fulfill 95% of my driving needs. Upgrading from the Smart-sized Spark to the slightly-larder Sonic should give it a wider appeal as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hot for the Tesla Model III, a car I haven’t even seen yet…but a Chevy Sonic EV would give me something else to seriously consider, especially if it comes to market a whole year sooner than the affordable Tesla. It will also be “Made in America”, giving GM regulatory credits towards meeting CAFE regulations (which the Spark EV doesn’t offer since its made in Korea).
Could GM still Elon Musk’s thunder? Wouldn’t that be something.