Elon Musk might want to check his rearview mirror. General Motors announced today that it is hot on his tail, pledging to build an affordable electric car in 2017.
“We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles,” GM North America president Alan Batey said of the car in a statement on Thursday. The vehicle will be built at a factory in Orion Township, Michigan that currently produces the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact and Buick Verano compact. GM has said that the company will invest around $200 million in equipment to produce the car.
It was no secret that GM had been working on electric vehicles. At the Detroit auto show in January, the company debuted an electric concept called the Chevy Bolt, which it suggested could come out before the Tesla Model 3. Although Tesla CEO Musk has been outspoken about wanting to grow the electric car market overall (in 2014, he made Tesla’s patents freely available to competitors) there’s no doubt that GM is setting its sights on stealing away some of his company’s market share. Its newly announced car will carry a price of $37,500 (well under $30,000 after tax credits), which puts it in the same price bracket as the Model 3. It will also complete 200 miles on a single charge—another Tesla parallel.
Currently there aren’t many more details available, including the final name of GM’s new vehicle. The small hatchback will, however, be based on the Chevrolet Bolt concept car, meaning that customers will have two gorgeous electric vehicles to choose from in a couple of years.