Thought of the Day: Essentials or Extras?

Welcome to Thought of the Day! Join Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield as she poses a question for you all to think about and answer.

Today, following the launch of the Chevrolet Bolt EV online configurator, we’re asking if automakers should include more features as standard on electric cars (and push the base price up) or if they should continue to ship cars without features that many consider essential — such as rapid charging — in order to keep the entry level price low?

Watch the video above, and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Albemarle

    I think fast charging should be standard on EVs. Even though I personally don’t plan on ever using it, it seems to be a basic function of a modern car, like a radio, air conditioning, electric windows etc.. GM Canada put in fast charging as standard, so why not in the U.S.?

    It’s more interesting when thinking about heated seats and steering wheel. On an ICE these are almost always add-ons and often not available at the bottom end of the range. There is not a long EV history, but we seem to assume, because of the low power storage in the past, that we should be driving with cold cabins hence the need for heated seats and wheels; anything to make it to Grandma’s house. But with the Bolt, perhaps it’s time to take another look. I like the idea of a resistance heater because it gives lots of instant heat and as long as it takes only a small % of the battery to run, all is good.

    When we get our Bolt, there is no question in my mind that my wife will want to operate it like her current Subaru Crosstrek, heat when she wants it, battery be damned. In the winter, if it doesn’t have the range that will allow that, she will take the other car. So perhaps what is essential with an 84 mile range car, is unnecessary with a 238 mile car.

    On a totally different note, I think many journalists are not being fair to other EVs. We get almost all models here in Ontario Canada so price comparisons are easy. A Bolt starts at ~$44,500 all in but tax, the Premier around $49,500, but a Ford Focus EV or Leaf is around $32,000. This a lot of price difference between these models. It’s quite easy to see, for those that don’t need the range, they can save significant amounts of money. There are also often deals and promotions on these other EVs. Yet in reviews these EVs are often compared as being direct equivalents. Why do car reviewers note a $500 price difference when doing a head to head with regular cars but ignore over $10,000 price difference with EVs?

  • Martin Lacey

    GM went for the just cheaper than a Model 3 to grab the headlines. Heated seats, decent home charging (in the US that means a drier outlet) and either a CCS or CHAdeMO charger should be standard. But then GM are only making a K car and don’t see the benefit of brand loyalty in the EV market.

    I think once the Model 3 comes out and folks can do a feature comparison between both cars that the GM Bolt at $2,495 extra will crash and burn. It also goes to show how much GM are paying for their batteries if they have to charge extra for what every other EV includes as standard!

  • Jeff Laurence

    Both… Kia offers lots of nice extras at a little bump in price. I didn’t really think I needed them but now, I would hate to give them up. Maybe like the Leaf, they could offer three different trim options or just offer the niceties individually priced like Elio.

  • Jeff Songster

    Definitely think that heated seats/windscreen/steering wheel are essentials… also DCQC in my mind makes the car so much more useful that it is needed. Folks that don’t get it will likely regret it eventually as the charger nets expand.
    As to the 9000 per car loss… get them while you can folks… they will be compliance cars limited avail in the few states…

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