The Consumer Level Electric Vehicle: How Will It Impact Automotive Manufacturing?

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Tesla may soon have some competition with their consumer level electric vehicle (EV) as General Motors announced they will ramp up production their 200-mile ranged 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The 200 mile range electric car market up until this point has been dominated by Tesla as they offer both high-end and consumer level electric vehicles. This new addition to the electric vehicle fleet could mean big things for manufacturers, material suppliers and the automotive industry as a whole.

General Motors has stated that the Bolt will cost around $37,500 before the $7,500 federal tax credit is factored in. However, Tesla’s Model 3 costs around $35,000 before the tax credit, so it may have a hard time competing with the current leader of electric vehicle manufacturing. Tesla has also announced that they will be ramping up production of the Model 3 which could have a direct impact on General Motor’s electric vehicle sales.

Electric vehicles have taken the automotive industry by storm. Nearly every auto manufacturer and even technology companies like Apple are getting in on the action. This new trend could have a profound impact on the automotive industry and every industry downstream. From engine manufacturers to the oil industry, electric vehicles don’t need any of these industries to the same degree as traditional vehicles. If the U.S. makes a dramatic shift over toward the electric vehicle it could upend everything we understand about the automotive industry and those industries that are closely connected to this behemoth market.

Yet analysts aren’t convinced that a consumer level price point will be enough to shift Americans away from their gas powered cars. Oil prices remain relatively low and it has made for a much less intrusive gas price. Forecasters, according to, estimate 30,000 Bolts will be sold in its first year and only around 235,000 electric vehicles are currently on our nation’s roads. From the most recent data, there are over 253 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads so the 235,000 EV’s haven’t had such a dramatic disruptive impact on these critical industry, instead these affordable EV’s open up another option for the consumer.

“It becomes just a mainstream vehicle choice,” Bolt product manager Darin Gesse told the AP.

Current oil prices have lead to low gas prices but this may not be the case indefinitely. Oil prices are notorious for their up’s and downs which could lead to a mass migration toward electric vehicles in the future. Engine manufacturers may feel some pressure as electric vehicles become more popular, but EV’s still call for some heavy duty manufacturing as well. Batteries, EV friendly infrastructure and vehicle components will still need to be manufactured so businesses may have to evolve to meet these demands if oil prices rise. For now, it is exciting to see a new take on the consumer level vehicle and one that could help mitigate damage to the environment but it is a trend manufacturers need to keep an eye on.

For more information on Electric Vehicles, take a look at the links below:

The Nikola Motor Company and Their Electric Semi-Truck

Tesla’s Master Plan Part Duex: Big Things For The Trucking Industry Ahead

Tesla’s Affordable and Impressive Model 3