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The latest Chevrolet Bolt will be the most affordable EV in America. The Bolt’s low starting price won’t push it to the top of electric vehicle sales rankings. Here’s why the Chevy Bolt isn’t likely to dominate the competition.

The Chevy Bolt EV once fell from grace

A silver 2023 Chevy Bolt EV electric hatchback is parked on sand.
The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Chevrolet

The rise and fall of the Chevy Bolt EV is a cautionary tale for all automakers. Electric vehicles are still in their infancy compared to internal combustion vehicles. There’s a learning curb to EV production, and that process of trial and error is costing brands millions of dollars.

The Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback was once a symbol of progress for America’s potential electric future. It was an American-made EV produced by an American automaker. The EV was affordable and had enough range to be practical for many drivers. The Bolt made such an impact on the industry that Japanese automaker Honda decided to partner with GM to develop an electric vehicle of its own.

The 2017 Chevy Bolt received a warm reception from consumers and critics alike. The decision that the Bolt would lead the charge for GM EVs was all but unanimous. It was smooth sailing for the nameplate until recent years.

Reports of Chevy Bolt batteries overheating and causing fires began to circulate in 2021. By 2022 several different Bolt battery fire incidents had been reported. GM recalled every Bolt model ever produced to address the issue. CNBC claims that the battery debacle cost GM somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8 billion. Ouch.

Affordable prices aren’t enough to compete in today’s electric vehicle market

Affordability is a factor in choosing a new EV, but it isn’t necessarily the deciding factor for many electric vehicle buyers. The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y led EV sales in 2021, but there were several more affordable alternatives to the electric vehicles. Furthermore, the Bolt is far from the only affordable electric vehicle on the market.

The Nissan Leaf, Mazda MX-30, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Kia Niro EV are all affordable electric vehicles that don’t sell as well as the more expensive Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and Ford Mustang Mach-E. None of the affordable EVs listed have been as controversial as the Bolt nameplate either.

Affordability won’t push Chevy Bolt to the top of electric vehicle sales or rankings. If General Motors wants consumers to trust the nameplate again, it’ll have to prove itself reliable over time.

Americans are willing to pay for quality EVs

The best-selling electric vehicles aren’t the most affordable EVs. The Ford Mustang Mach-E starts at around $36,395 after federal electric vehicle tax credits. Kelley Blue Book claims that the average new vehicle price topped $47K at the top of the year.

Americans are willing to pay $36,000+ for a practical electric vehicle. According to Electrek, the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV will start at around $25,600. Will this big price cut be enough to win consumers over?

Read more about the Bolt in the next article below.


Chevy Bolt: GM Tells EV Owners to Park 50 Feet Away From Others