Chevrolet Bolt is back, or will be soon

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet

General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced during an investor call last April that the Chevrolet Bolt EV and its slightly larger model, the EUV, were winding down production, which would end after the 2023 model year.

Tuesday, during a quarterly earnings call, Barra announced that the Bolt would be back after all, an all-new model built on the Ultium electric platform instead of the slightly dated, LG-based model it is now.

Barra said details would be forthcoming, but it seems highly unlikely the new Bolt will be ready by the 2024 model year. After all, Chevrolet has to find a new plant to make it: The Orion, Michigan, factory where the current Bolt is built is converting, via a $4B overhaul, to electric Chevrolet Silverado trucks.

2024 Silverado EV, RST trim shown Chevrolet

Chevrolet has no real, low-priced EV in line to replace the Bolt, but the company expects some buyers might be enticed by the new Equinox EV which goes on sale soon, although it will be more expensive than the Bolt, the cheapest of which starts at $27,495 (shipping included).

2024 Chevy_EquinoxEV_1LT
2024 Chevy Equinox EV, 1LT trim shown Chevrolet

“Our customers love today’s Bolt. It has been delivering record sales and some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry,” said Barra. “It’s also an important source of conquest sales for the company and for Chevrolet.”

The Bolt went on sale in 2017 and the EUV in 2021, but early in its introduction it was slowed by multiple major recalls for a fire risk. Once that problem was fixed, sales have been reasonably strong, though hardly stellar, aided by a couple of substantial price cuts.

The current Bolt EV starts at $27,495, and the EUV starts at $28,795 including freight. The EV has a listed range of 259 miles, the EUV 247 miles.

Sales of Bolt EV and Bolt EUV through the first half of 2023 have been the strongest to date, Chevrolet says. Eighty percent of Bolt owners are staying loyal to Chevy and nearly 70 percent of buyers who are trading in a vehicle for Bolt are trading in a non-GM product.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet | Suzanne Pressman

“We will keep the momentum going by delivering a new Bolt,” Barra said, “and we will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program with significantly lower engineering expense and capital investment by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies and by applying our ‘winning with simplicity’ discipline.”

General Motors reveals its all-new modular platform and battery system, Ultium, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Design Dome on the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan.  Steve Fecht for Genreal Motors



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    While I wasn’t exactly “in the market”, I was interested in the Bolt as a possible grocery-getter. However, just about the time I started investigating, I got word of its discontinuance, so backed off. Now, I think it’s good to know that it’s coming back, but I hope it isn’t going to go from a $27K runaround car into a $38K debacle. Remember what you said about “simplicity”, Mary, please!

    Maybe for the extra money, they can make it right this time, and not subject to fires, recalls, and replacement, like the current Bolt has been.

    …and take a page out of the Japanese automakers playbook and slightly change the back of the body to offer a sedan (and dare I say it… 2 door coupe?) version.

    Call that the Volt.

    Learn from the Prius and get better looking too.

    GM will probably bring it back into production, price it at $45K, then cut the price to $38K and explain that everyone is getting a great deal.

    I do wonder if the Bolt is better served by doing some sort of small crossover thing. Either way, not excited about it.

    They can’t make a profit on any EV they make so the Bolt will have to be 55K to to accomplish that. Ford lost 3 billion selling EV’s last year. Tesla knows how to profit from the cars they make as they are worth 18 times the gm value. Everybody else is a decade behind. EV’s are a novelty for the well off.

    No, not just for the well-off. In California, 22% of new-vehicle sales are EVs, and the rest of the US is on a trajectory to match that in 4 years (Bloomberg News). GM is on trajectory to #2 and maybe eventually #1. As for the Bolt, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I found the Bolt EV wheelbase too short (subject to hobbyhorsing on rough roads) but the EUV quite nice.

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