GM’s most affordable and accessible electric vehicle currently in the lineup – the Chevrolet Bolt – will eventually disappear to make way for more electric vehicles on the automaker’s Ultium platform.
GM said the future Equinox EV, which will be revealed in September, is expected to start at around $30,000, making it one of GM’s most affordable electric offerings. Pricing for the 2023 Bolt EV will start at $26,595 and the EUV will start at $28,195.
The Bolt and Bolt EUV, the SUV’s design for the vehicle, are on the automaker’s BEV2 platform, which stands for Battery Electric Vehicle.
But GM’s upcoming electric vehicles will be powered by its own Ultium battery propulsion system, which begs the question: How long will the Bolt fit into the Chevrolet lineup?
“Will the Bolt be in our ‘x’ portfolio a number of years from now?” Steve Majoros, Chevy’s vice president of marketing, told the Free Press on Monday. He will be with us for a while. But as we get bigger and bigger here, the portfolios change.”
Majoros wouldn’t confirm the timing of Bolt EVs leaving the lineup, but said, “They’ll be with us for the foreseeable future, and as we go through the portfolio, we’ll see next about the long game so…more is coming.”
General Motors has announced that it will add at least four new electric vehicles to Chevrolet in the next few years: the 2024 Silverado EV, the 2024 Blazer EV, the Equinox EV and the electrified Corvette.
General Motors manufactures Bolt vehicles at the Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township. But as part of a $7 billion investment in manufacturing in Michigan announced earlier this year, GM is upgrading the plant to begin building the Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV in Orion in 2024. GM said Bolt EV production will begin in 2024. The EUV “will continue through the plant conversion.”
General Motors’ Cadillac is introducing a luxury 2023 Lyriq SUV, GMC has a 2022 Hummer pickup and Buick will also get an EV in the next few years. General Motors plans to have all of its cars across its four brands electric by 2035.
This wouldn’t be the first time Chevrolet had hit one vehicle to make way for another. In 2019, Chevrolet retired its Volt hybrid to make way for the all-electric Bolt, which travels about 250 miles on a single charge.
“We are in the pioneering stages of electric vehicle technology,” said Michael Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive. “We will see a lot of new products coming to the market and we may see some products go. BMW got rid of a lot of its early electric cars.”
Krebs said there is still a possibility that GM will keep the Bolt name for use in a new electric vehicle, “if they feel it has value.”
General Motors revealed the Bolt as a concept car in January 2015 and began production in 2016. Since then, it has sold more than 140,000 vehicles.
But it hit a snag last year when GM had to pull all of its 2017-22 bolts because of faulty batteries that pose a potential fire hazard. GM stopped building new bolts late last year to work with its battery maker LG Energy Solution to fix batteries in this recall.
With the battery repaired, Chevrolet resumed production in April at Orion. It’s in the process of restarting production with a goal of surpassing the annual Bolt sales figure of 24,000 this year. In the second quarter, GM sold 6,945 Bolt EVs and EUVs, down 38.3% from the same period last year.
But Majoros said Chevrolet has pent-up demand for the Bolt. Last month, GM said it would cut the price of the 2023 Bolt and the Bolt EUV by about $6,000. The 2023 Bolt EV model year will start at $26,595. Pricing for the 2023 Bolt EUV will start at $28,195. Both prices include delivery charges.
GM said the price cut is to ensure that the Bolt EV/EUV is competitive in the market by making affordability a priority.
Jesse Toprak, chief analyst at Autonomy, an electric car subscription company, said GM’s decision to lower the price of the Bolt will make it the cheapest electric vehicle available and potentially bring in new customers.
Majoros said that even when Bolt eventually fades out of the lineup, he’s providing value now.
“Products come and go all the time,” Majoros said. “This is the thing for the customer at this time if you want to get into an electric vehicle with an attractive price, great design, great technology, massive range” and a free home to install chargers.
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