In an electrifying twist, General Motors (GM) has indicated a potential resurgence of its popular Chevy Bolt, a notable rival to Tesla’s electric vehicles. The Bolt might be off the shelves only temporarily, stirring excitement among electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts.
As Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, strives to maintain affordable yet technologically sophisticated EVs, GM emerges as a formidable competitor. Tesla’s cheapest model, the Model 3 RWD, listed at $32,740 before tax and after a $7,500 federal tax credit, is anticipated to be overshadowed by the forthcoming Cybertruck, with a predicted price tag north of $40,000.
The 2017 introduction of the Chevy Bolt resulted in it securing the title of the second best-selling EV that year, only outdone by Tesla’s Model S. The Bolt, priced at $26,500, was not only the most affordable EV on the market in 2023 but also a decorated one, garnering accolades such as the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and a spot among Time magazine’s Best 25 Inventions of 2016.
Despite plans to escalate Bolt production from 44,000 units in 2022 to 70,000 in 2023, GM abruptly paused the manufacturing of Bolts. As Chevy’s senior manager for communications, Cody Williams, stated in April, “Chevrolet confirmed Bolt EV and EUV production will end late this year.”
CEO of GM, Mary Barra, in her April earnings call hinted at the Orion assembly plant reopening in 2024. With its full production capacity, the facility is expected to nearly triple its jobs and produce 600,000 electric trucks annually. Barra announced, “We’ll need this capacity because our trucks more than measure up to our customers’ expectation.”
A recent NPR interview unveiled Barra’s insinuation of reviving the Chevy Bolt under GM’s third-generation battery technology. She cautiously said, “…Bolt is something that has built up a lot of loyalty and equity. So I can’t say more because I don’t discuss future product programs.”
Given these guarded words, Bolt enthusiasts may anticipate an updated version of the vehicle soon after its discontinuation later this year.