Bye-bye, Chevrolet Bolt
Chevrolet will discontinue its Bolt electric vehicle at the end of this year to focus on EVs that rely on newer technology, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday, on GM’s first-quarter earnings call.
The automaker plans to build electric versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra in Orion Township, Michigan, says Automotive News, the site of the plant that builds the Bolt. Employment at Orion Assembly will triple in 2024 when it reopens after a $4 billion overhaul, Barra said.
The Bolt, introduced in 2016, uses GM’s previous-generation battery technology. The Silverado EV, the spendy Sierra EV, and GM’s other upcoming battery-electric products are built on the Ultium architecture, which “allows for greater range and power” than the underpinnings of the Bolt.
GM said it has formed a joint venture with Samsung SDI to build a $3 billion battery plant in the U.S. that will open in 2026. The company didn’t identify a location but noted that added supply-chain diversification will be crucial to helping it achieve its targets of building 400,000 EVs between 2022 and mid-2024. The General also wants to sell 1 million EVs annually in North America by 2025.
GM has sold more than 161,000 Bolts in the U.S. The nameplate began as a hatchback and expanded to include a larger crossover called the Bolt EUV in 2021. Analysts have been expecting the vehicles to eventually make way for newer EVs, said Automotive News.
With the sub-$30K Bolt bowing out, it will be up to GMs newer offerings, like the Equinox EV, to fill the affordable EV pipeline that the current market desperately needs if those lofty electric goals set by governments are to be achieved.