Chevy Bolt EV Bites the Dust as GMC Sierra & Silverado EVs Roll In
This article should come with some background music. Maybe we should start by playing “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen to get the ball rolling. At the end of this year, the Chevy Bolt EV will be no more, and the Orion Township plant in Michigan will begin to switch its production lines to those required for the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV models.
The Chevy Bolt EV goes the same way as the Volt
Do you remember the Chevy Volt? It was one of the first plug-in hybrid vehicles with more than 50 miles of all-electric driving range. In fact, the Volt gave us more EV driving range than most PHEVs of today. Still, once the Bolt EV arrived, GM deleted the Volt and moved on. Now it’s time to do the same again.
The Bolt’s battery technology is outdated
Unfortunately, the battery tech used in the Bolt EV and EUV is outdated. Most current and future GM EVs utilize the Ultium battery technology that first appeared in the GMC Hummer EV Truck. This platform has been adopted across GM’s brands and all new electric vehicles.
When GM first approached the goal of building a mass-market, affordable EV, they hit the market with the Chevy Bolt EV much sooner than Tesla did with the Model 3. Aside from a battery recall, the Bolt was the proof of concept for GM and became one of the most popular and best-selling EVs of the past few years.
How much is the Orion Township Plant overhaul going to cost?
Automotive News recently reported that GM is spending $4 billion to overhaul the plant to produce the two new electric pickup trucks, the GMC Sierra EV and Chevy Silverado EV, starting in 2024. This overhaul comes with some economic benefits, including employment at the plant tripling during the change.
Will GM replace the EV volume of the Bolt with these two trucks?
Currently, the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV are the two most affordable electric vehicles in the market. We can’t logically expect the same sales volume from two electric trucks. Instead, moving away from the Bolt models to the pickups is a transition forward in the evolution of electric vehicles.
“It’s not about replacement volume, especially early on. The Bolt has been a conquest machine for us. Early on, it was conquesting north of 85 percent, which means these were all brand-new people to Chevrolet, and what you find in EVs, there’s a tremendous amount of brand loyalty, but it’s really a propulsion decision. And so if we can bring people in based on the propulsion proposition that they’re looking for, we can do it with a brand that they’re familiar with, with brand names they’re familiar with, that works well for us.” – Steve Majoros, CMO Chevrolet to Automotive News
This quote tells us GM is counting on the brand and name recognition of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra to carry the day into the EV world. Much like Ford has done with the F-150 and F-150 Lightning, GM truck customers will now have electrified options when looking for their next pickup truck.
Where will GM electric trucks be built initially?
The Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV are scheduled to be part of the 2024 model year. Before the upgrades are completed to the Orion plant, GM will build these electric pickups at the Detroit plant called Factory Zero.
Once the upgraded Orion Township plant is complete, the company will have the capacity to build 600,000 electric pickup trucks annually.
Goodbye, Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV; it was fun while it lasted. (Cue sad farewell song)