Pour one out for America's least expensive EV.
After announcing that the Camaro will be retired following the 2024 model year, Chevrolet has just confirmed to Automotive News that the Bolt will share a similar fate. It's unlikely to cause enthusiasts to shed tears like the Camaro, but we will mourn the loss of America's least expensive electric vehicle. Even following a recent price hike, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV was the cheapest electric car on sale in the USA, starting at $27,495. The 2023 Bolt EUV wasn't far off at $28,795, both not including the $7,500 federal tax credit.
"It's just a natural progression, natural next step for us," said Chevrolet CMO Steve Majoros. "We're joining the Ultium party. Bolt has been a phenomenal product for us, no doubt. It's done great things for Chevy, for GM, dealers, customers."
2023 will be the final model year for the Bolt and dealers can continue to order the EV and EUV through this summer. After that, General Motors will convert its Orion Township plant to produce the Chevy Silverado EV and the GMC Sierra EV.
"It's not about replacement volume, especially early on," Majoros explained. "Bolt has been a conquest machine for us. Early on, it was conquesting north of 85%, which means these were all brand-new people to Chevrolet and what you find in EVs, there's a tremendous amount of brand loyalty, but it's really a propulsion decision. And so if we can bring people in based on the propulsion proposition that they're looking for, we can do it with a brand that they're familiar with, with brand names they're familiar with, that works well for us."
Outside of Tesla, the Bolt was a hot seller for GM. With 38,120 units in 2022, only the Ford Mach-E outsold the Bolt (only counting non-Tesla EVs). The company has sold over 161,000 Bolts since the model was introduced in 2016, but sales only equated to a fraction of Tesla's volume. GM knows it has to focus on larger, more profitable EVs that appeal to a wider US audience.
Sadly, this means there will be very few "truly affordable" EVs left on the market. The 2023 Nissan LEAF should be the cheapest at $28,040 with the 2023 Mini Cooper SE coming in second at $30,900. Chevy will replace the Bolt with the larger and more practical Equinox EV, but that will have a starting price of around $30 grand.
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