Hatchbacks

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV hits the sweet spot at $37,495

With the $7,500 federal incentive, it squeaks its way under the $30,000 mark.

Chevrolet
2017 Chevy Bolt

Ball's in your court, Elon.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Chevrolet's pricing information for the 2017 Bolt EV is the first electric car to find the perfect balance between range and price.

Many folks have been waiting for EVs to find that sweet spot, which is typically regarded as 200 miles and $30,000, respectively. Some cars have that price, but not that range, and vice versa.

The Bolt EV will be priced at $37,495. "That's not below $30,000," you might say. It is if you count the $7,500 federal tax credit that comes (for the time being) with the purchase. Toss that on top, and you're looking at a price of $29,995. That's about $4,000 less than the average cost of a new car in August, as Reuters notes.

I wrote "for the time being" because these credits are not infinite. Automakers have 200,000 of these credits each, and Chevrolet's already sold 100,000 cars that qualify for the incentive. After the remaining 100,000 credits are used up, the incentive will be halved for two quarters. It'll then be halved again for two more, then it'll finally be phased out. Remember: This isn't a point-of-sale deduction on the MSRP, but rather a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your income tax liability.

Nevertheless, things are looking good for Chevrolet. The automaker's EV is out well ahead of its perceived competition, the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, which should be priced right alongside the Chevrolet. The Bolt's 238-mile range is well above the 200-mile initial estimate, as well. My colleague Tim Stevens slipped behind the wheel of a Bolt and was pleasantly surprised.

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