Yes, it’s true, the Chevy Bolt EV and its ever-so-slightly different Bolt EUV twin, arguably the best deals in EVs right now, are leaving production by the end of the year. It was initially reported by CNBC, which cited GM CEO Mary Barra’s comments during an earnings call. We received confirmation from a Chevrolet representative with the following statement:
“When the Chevrolet Bolt EV launched, it was a huge technical achievement and the first affordable EV, which set in motion GM’s all-electric future. As the company continues to grow its EV portfolio with the Ultium platform, and as construction continues at the Orion Township, MI, assembly plant in preparation for battery electric truck production beginning in 2024, Chevrolet confirmed Bolt EV and EUV production will end late this year. Chevrolet will launch several new EVs later this year based on the Ultium platform in key segments, including the Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV.”
The Chevy Bolts are built at that Orion factory, and so it seems that one of the main reasons the Bolt is being phased out is to accommodate manufacturing of newer Ultium-platform vehicles such as the Silverado EV.
It still comes as a little bit of a surprise that the end of Bolt production would be announced with no immediate successor announced. Certainly the Equinox EV will be fairly affordable with a price tag close to $30,000, but both Bolts had MSRPs under that. Plus they offered impressive range and were generally very good little cars in a market with very few affordable options.
The Bolt line has even been seeing improved sales. The last three quarters all saw sales increases. In the first quarter of this year, Chevy sold 19,700 examples, more than the Blazer, Colorado and even Suburban individually. It was certainly GM’s best-selling EV.
With all that being said, we won’t close the coffin on affordable GM EVs just yet. We asked about the whether the Bolt name will stick around or if some other direct replacement is coming, and we got a version of the classic “We don’t comment on future product,” line. That’s not concrete in either direction. Furthermore, Mary Barra herself said there was something more affordable than Equinox in development. And that makes sense, because why would GM completely cede a segment where it was competitive? The Bolt’s closest competitor, the Nissan Leaf, only sold around 2,300 units last quarter, and Nissan isn’t giving up on that.