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GM keeps Chevy Bolt alive

Henry Epp Jul 28, 2023
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When the Chevy Bolt first entered the market in 2017, EVs were making up a smaller percentage of car sales. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

GM keeps Chevy Bolt alive

Henry Epp Jul 28, 2023
Heard on:
When the Chevy Bolt first entered the market in 2017, EVs were making up a smaller percentage of car sales. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Back in April, General Motors announced it was pulling the plug on the Chevrolet Bolt — its compact, affordable electric vehicle. They introduced the Bolt six years ago, and the plan was to end production at the end of this year and focus on larger, higher-end electric models.

Well, what a difference three months makes. Earlier this week, GM’s CEO Mary Barra announced the company will bring back a new version of the Bolt, citing its strong sales and customer loyalty to the brand. The move is all about catering to a wider segment of the market.

The Chevy Bolt hasn’t had the smoothest ride. When it was introduced in 2017, electric vehicles made up a much smaller segment of car sales. Then, it faced recalls because its batteries kept catching on fire. But now it’s selling really well. 

“The current generation Bolts are flying off the dealer lots,” said Chris Harto, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “Because they’re really providing, you know, a strong value proposition for consumers.”

In other words, they’re relatively inexpensive. A new Bolt will set you back about $26,000. That’s the cheapest new EV you can buy. And, it’s eligible for a federal tax credit.

Sam Fiorani with AutoForecast Solutions, said keeping the Bolt around opens the company to more customers.

“To young buyers, to people who wouldn’t have looked at General Motors otherwise, and especially wouldn’t have looked at their EVs because they couldn’t afford a $60,000 or $70,000 vehicle,” he said.

And making electric vehicles more affordable is necessary, Fiorani said, if EVs are going to succeed in the long term.

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