Chevy Bolt’s Billion-Dollar Battery Replacement Debacle Is Bad News for Joe Biden

GM brand Chevrolet will spend $1 billion on electric vehicle battery replacement for Chevrolet Bolt models. This news is unsurprising as GM has issued several Chevy Bolt recalls earlier this year. President Joe Biden praised GM’s Bolt for being American-made and union-built at a recent meeting with American automakers. Here’s why GM’s colossal recall is bad news for President Joe Biden and the entire U.S.

The Chevrolet Bolt: The undeserving favorite

A red Chevrolet Bolt.
The Chevrolet Bolt | Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/LA Daily News via Getty Images

GM’s Chevrolet Bolt wasn’t considered a horrible electric vehicle, at least until recent recalls. The Chevy bolt was affordable and seemingly reliable. It even received Car of the Year from MotorTrend, back in 2017, shortly after its debut. The Chevy Bolt was set to become the quintessential middle-class American EV because of its price and decent range, not to mention its General Motors lineage.

Early models have an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles on a single charge (extremely uncommon at the time). It appeared that GM had struck gold and created the compact car of the future while being an automaker with strong roots in the past. If we learned anything this year, it’s that everything can change in a matter of a few months. Today the Chevrolet Bolt has become an undeserving American favorite.

Reviewers and consumers alike gleefully proclaimed that Tesla now had serious competition when the Chevy Bolt arrived. At the time, Chevy was providing more value and bang for your buck. Today, the Chevy Bolt’s reliability is not only questionable, but it’s also scary. Plenty of Chevy Bolt models have spontaneously caught fire.

So how do you own a Chevrolet Bolt without worrying about your house going up in flames? You don’t. The truth is, GM has tried to mitigate this issue and now finally realizes that it has to recall every Chevy Bolt model or face even more disaster. The Chevy Bolt is the only EV that falls under President Biden’s American-made and union-built expectation…and right now, it’s a huge failure.

GM’s billion-dollar debacle

A redy Chevrolet Bolt.
The Chevrolet Bolt | Chevrolet

According to Roadshow by CNET, General Motors is replacing 68,667 Chevrolet Bolt battery modules for the 2017-2019 model years. GM is also working to replace battery packs of more recent models. This may be the downfall of the Chevrolet Bolt as its credibility as a reliable EV is being burnt to a crisp.

GM estimates spending $1 billion to remedy this Chevrolet Bolt battery pack issue. Considering that the Bolt isn’t the highest-selling EV, this is an incredibly risky investment. On the one hand, GM cannot risk having drivers own vehicles that can catch on fire. On the other hand, even after the recall, it’s hard to imagine that any consumer would want a Chevy Bolt since its reputation has suffered so much.

The Chevy Bolt’s battery issue could not have happened at a worse time as automakers like Ford and Tesla are selling more EV units. It would be incredibly easy for the Bolt to be forgotten by consumers in favor of more exciting Ford and Tesla electric vehicles…that aren’t so flammable.

GM recall is bad news for President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden speaks about the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House August 16, 2021, in Washington, DC.
US President Joe Biden | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden is thankfully a strong supporter of electric vehicles. He is a believer in the electric future. He has ambitions and expectations for the U.S. regarding the reduction of carbon emissions. The only issue is, his expectations don’t seem that feasible. The President’s expectations seem more like a politician’s promises than achievable goals set considering all the factors and parties involved.

The President of the United States doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of Tesla and Elon Musk. Tesla does not use unionized workers. President Biden wants electric vehicles to be American-made and union-built. Tesla models occupy both the first and second best-selling EV positions. Tesla is a huge contributor to the electric future, and if Elon and President Biden can’t find a way to be collaborative, the country may miss out. Should Tesla be receiving more support from the U.S. government to meet mutual goals in carbon emission reduction?

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