Finally outselling the Volt, Chevy's increasing Bolt production by 20 percent.
Did you think that electric-vehicle startups like Tesla would push mainstream automakers out of the EV game? Think again. In fact General Motors has had such strong demand for the Chevy Bolt that it's had to increase production. In announcing its financial performance for the first half of this year, GM confirmed that it's ramping up production of the electric hatchback by 20 percent – thanks to strong demand in the US and Canada, but also South Korea. Global sales of the Bolt have been up more than 40 percent from January through June of this year.
Chevy sold 7,858 examples of the Bolt just in the US so far this year. As CNET points out, that's a significant margin over its nearest rival, the Leaf, of which Nissan sold 6,659 in the same market over the same period of time. “Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV... has outstripped production,” said GM's US sales chief Kurt McNeil. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.” Though Chevrolet sold more Volts than Bolts last year, sales of the larger plug-in hybrid are tapering off as demand for the Bolt has increased.
The two are now neck-and-neck in GM's sales chart, the Volt (at 7,814) only slightly outsold by the Bolt (at 7,858). But the general trend has the Bolt growing (up by 3.5 percent year-to-year for the first half) and the Volt decreasing (by 28.5 percent). Tesla still reins king in the EV market, though. It sold 40,740 vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2018 – including 10,930 of the Model S sedan, 11,370 of the Model X crossover, and 18,440 of the more affordable Model 3 sedan. While it didn't break down its sales by region or market, the US accounts for the largest share of Tesla's sales.