With the future of the electric vehicle now cemented, automakers are moving to incentivize their customers to buy in. Some manufacturers offer rebates, effectively paying customers to purchase one of their electric vehicles, like the Chevy Bolt. It remains to be seen if this tactic will become commonplace or if Chevy will have to breathe new life the Bolt to keep it competitive.
A technological learning curve
New technology is expensive. Development costs are high, materials are costly, and consumers are hesitant. Remember how expensive a flat-screen TV was in 2005? Hint- a lot. Since then, costs have come down because materials have gotten cheaper, and the product has become more viable in the marketplace. Nowadays, you can find a flat-screen for a few hundred bucks on Facebook Marketplace.
Electric vehicles are no different than a then-new flat-screen TV in this regard. Right now, consumers are hesitant, development is expensive, and materials are scarce because demand did not exist for some of these materials until now. Tesla got lucky, they don’t have this problem because a Tesla has become a status symbol, just like a BMW or Mercedes.
EVs are expensive, and Chevy wants to change that
Chevy has recently thought of a creative way around this problem. They know nothing incentivizes a person like money, and according to Cox Automotive, the cost of a new electric vehicle is a hefty $55,600. Chevy aims to help their customers by bringing that number down a little in two ways.
The 2021 Chevy Bolt comes in well under the average EV cost in the U.S., starting at $36,500. The American automaker has taken another $9,000 off the price tag with a rebate, according to Cars Direct. A further $3,000 can be hacked off the cost of the new Bolt by optioning the DC Fast Charge Package.
Is the $12,000 rebate on a Bolt worth it?
This massive discount brings the cost of a brand new, already cheap EV down to a shocking $24,500. Not bad considering the astoundingly high cost of most electric vehicles. However, just like that flat-screen TV, electric vehicles have really only caught on with upper-middle-class and upper-class buyers for now.
Those buyers aren’t necessarily looking for a cheap EV. They want the best they can get. Those are the people looking for the hot new thing, and a status symbol rolled into one. But what if that isn’t who the Detroit marque is trying to talk to here? It seems Chevy is looking to pull in those looking at more economical options and encourage them to look at an EV instead.
Those looking at economic options aren’t concerned about the overall cost of the Bolt, however. All that matters is how much the lease payment is. As Cars Direct points out, these discounts bring the cost of a lease down to a fantastic $175 a month.
After all, Chevy gets kicked a little government money for selling so many electric vehicles out of its lineup over a year. Perhaps a little automotive quid pro quo is exactly what the electric vehicle market needs to get up and running.