Chevy Could Have a Change of Heart on the Bolt
Feelings were mixed when Chevrolet announced the end of the Bolt. It’s beloved because it’s one of the few affordable EVs, but on the other hand, it had terrible reliability scores that played a role in Chevy’s decision to retire it. Now there is hope for those who are mourning the loss of the Bolt because it could be making a comeback.
Chevrolet picked a strange time to end the Bolt
The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt has a starting price of $26,500, making it the cheapest EV on the market. When you subtract the $7,500 tax credit, if you meet the household income qualification, then you’re only paying $19,000.
Because of this, the Bolt has seen a massive surge in sales. We recently reported about this surge in sales, with 19,700 units being purchased this year. Even though the Bolt is far from being Chevy’s most popular model, it’s still popular enough to bring in some money.
So why is Chevy ending the Bolt now? There are a few reasons for this, such as the low-reliability scores. Plus, Chevrolet announced it is working on ramping up production on the Silverado EV. The Silverado is currently Chevrolet’s bestseller, so it’s likely that the Silverado EV will bring in more than the Bolt will.
Kelley Blue Book went on to point out that the biggest reason of all is the poor battery technology. All GM EVs have been switched to the Ultium platform which places the battery, motor, suspension, and steering components under a flat load floor. The Bolt is the only one that doesn’t, so it makes no sense to continue producing it in its current form.
Could the Chevrolet Bolt be making a comeback?
While nothing is official, there may be hope for the Bolt returning in the future. Kelley Blue Book referenced an interview on NPR’s Marketplace podcast, in which the GM CEO Mary Barra was careful not to make any promises, but did hint that the Bolt may not be fully retired.
She said, “We’re leveraging the names of our vehicles that are well understood and known in the industry. Bolt is something that has built up a lot of loyalty and equity. I can’t say more because I don’t discuss future product programs. But that’s an important vehicle in our portfolio.”
There were no dates given as to when this could take place, but it’s not likely to happen any time soon. Chevrolet is currently focused on switching over some of the more popular models to EVs. Even though the Bolt is having a massive increase in sales, it isn’t bringing in nearly the amount of cash as the Silverado, Equinox, or Tahoe.
Regardless, it does sound like Chevrolet acknowledges the Bolt has a significant part of Chevy’s history and growth, and is going to revive it at some point in the future.
Is this a smart decision?
Given that many automakers are pushing to go green, it only makes sense to bring the Bolt back. It already has an established base and many customers who have come to know and love it. While Chevy could always develop a new EV, and most likely will, by using the Bolt name, Chevy can keep some of the customers it may have lost by cutting it.
Hopefully, Chevrolet will use the hiatus when the Bolt is not in production to work on improving some of the many issues that plagued it and caused it to have such poor reliability scores. In the meantime, EV buyers will have to turn to other options.