Your move, Elon Musk.
General Motors plans to start building the Chevrolet Bolt — its all-new, $30,000 electric car — in October 2016 at an underused small-car plant north of Detroit, according to two supplier sources.
GM’s (GM) production target for the all-electric concept car, which has a 200-mile range and was unveiled at the Detroit auto show last month, is about 25,000 to 30,000 cars a year, the sources said.
The Bolt will be assembled, along with a companion model for GM’s Opel subsidiary in Europe, at the Orion Township plant, the sources said.
This move puts a lot of pressure on Tesla to get moving on production of the Model 3, its own low-end electric vehicle. The car is currently due for roll out in 2017. Tesla (TSLA) isn’t exactly known for hitting its own deadlines, though. After all, the crossover utility Model X still hasn’t been released, and deliveries were supposed to start last year.
The electric car maker may give more information on the Model 3 when it reports fourth-quarter results after market closes on Wednesday. While a prototype for the Bolt was shown in Detroit last month, a prototype for the Model 3 still hasn’t been unveiled.
Tesla is still the top dog in the electric vehicle space. Karl Brauer, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, calls the company “the big shiny bobble in the segment.” If GM beats them to the punch by the getting an affordable electric car on the market, though, that could be a big hit, and not just to Musk’s ego.
—Reuters contributed to this report.