Sales have slipped, but that doesn't mean GM is giving up on the Chevy Bolt EV just yet.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV will always bear the distinction of being GM's first volume-production pure-electric vehicle, as funky looking as it is. But while General Motors has a whole onslaught of battery-powered passenger vehicles in the works, from a number of different brands including Cadillac and GMC, the Chevrolet Bolt won't fall by the wayside.
Instead, it will keep on fighting, with a completely redesigned 2021 model slated to be revealed later this year. At its "EV Day" presentation to the media on Wednesday, GM revealed details of the new second-generation Bolt EV to a group of journalists, dealers, and investors, aimed at keeping the EV relevant in a world that has, it seems, largely fallen out of love with cars.
Motor Trend describes the new 2021 Chevrolet Bolt as a less plasticky, more comfortable version of the subcompact hatchback, with attractive seats featuring a "cool" bolstering pattern, and an updated infotainment system. It will ride on the same platform as the outgoing Bolt EV, making it one of few future GM EV's not slated for the company's advanced new BEV3 architecture - at least not yet - and it will use the same battery pack.
Bear in mind: the Bolt EV has already been upgraded for 2020, receiving a 66-kWh battery pack in place of the old 60-kWh one, for a total EPA-estimated range of 259 miles vs. 238.
But the biggest change by far will be the addition of the Bolt "EUV" - or "Electric Utility Vehicle". That model isn't due until the summer of 2021, as a 2022 model, but it will address what might be the biggest inhibitor to the Bolt's success: the fact that it's a subcompact car.
The Chevrolet Bolt EUV will see the regular Bolt's wheelbase extended by 3 inches, giving rear-seat occupants some much needed additional legroom, while the overall length gains an extra 5 to 6 inches, per Motor Trend. Additionally, it will be the first non-Cadillac model to offer GM's Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, and both the driving range and recharge times are expected to improve.
Will all that be enough to put fresh wind in the Chevy Bolt's sales, allowing GM's quirky electric subcompact to compete in segments historically dominated by Tesla? Time will tell.