September 13, 2016 / 12:14 PM / a year ago

GM says Bolt EV to have 238-mile range, more than Tesla Model 3

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Tuesday its electric subcompact Chevrolet Bolt EV will have an average range of 238 miles on a full charge, farther than rival Tesla Motors Inc expects for its upcoming Model 3.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is seen at the Washington Auto Show in Washington January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

The Bolt EV will be launched in a few months, nearly a year before the Tesla Model 3, with a starting price for U.S. consumers of $37,500. That is similar to the announced starting price for the Model 3, which Tesla has said will have a range of about 218 miles.

The Bolt is poised to be the first affordable fully electric car with at least 200 miles of driving range per charge, and a cost of less than $40,000.

Tesla’s Model S and Model X offer driving ranges of more than 200 miles, but prices start at about twice the Bolt’s.

The average selling price for a new vehicle in the United States is about $31,000, and GM reported that in August, its vehicles were sold to U.S. consumers at an average of $36,730. These prices reflect discount incentives to spur sales, which are not normally generous or even available for the newest of models.

GM shares were down 0.7 at $30.97 in early trading on Tuesday while Tesla’s shares were down 1.4 percent at $195.43.

GM has said that the Bolt, along with the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, will be made available to drivers of the ride-hailing service Lyft Inc, in which GM has invested half a billion dollars.

Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, are counting on the Model 3 to put a shine on the future of the company.

Musk hopes the Model 3 will be the company’s first truly mass-market vehicle, and said in July it will generate $5 billion in gross profit on annual revenue of $20 billion once production ramps up to half a million cars a year.

“It’s possible to fund quite a bit with that,” Musk said in July, referring to the expected profit.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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