Why Chevy Discontinued The Bolt EV And What Comes Next – TopSpeed

During General Motors’ earnings call in late April 2023, CEO Mary Barra confirmed that the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV would be discontinued by the end of 2023. However, both models have recently reached the production and sales records GM was aiming for since Bolt’s launch in 2016. The Chevrolet Bolt, a hatchback, and the Bolt EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle), a more utilitarian variant, sought from their inception to become popular electric vehicles thanks to their affordable base price of $27,000 and a compelling range of 259 miles. Unfortunately, different problems kept the Bolt in the shadows of other models, specifically the Tesla Model 3. Thanks to an even lower base price and increased range, and having fixed a longstanding and costly battery fire issue, the Chevrolet Bolt has finally managed to become the success GM has been waiting for from the start, which made the decision to discontinue it more surprising.


Related: Comparison: Chevrolet Bolt EV vs Bolt EUV

The Bolt Is Affordable But Is Becoming Obsolete

Chevy Bolt EUV on a beach

Side view of the Chevy Bolt EUV on a beach

Halting Chevy Bolt EV and EUV production brings tremendous obstacles in accessing cost-effective electric vehicle ownership choices. The discontinuation is particularly disadvantageous because it compromises affordability, which sets it apart from other currently available vehicles. In addition, the Bolt’s initial price range is exceptionally reasonable; consumers may benefit from additional savings by availing themselves of an up to $7,500 EV tax rebate towards their purchase.” And while both the Bolt EV and EUV boasted numerous desirable features that quickly caught consumers’ attention at launch, their reliance on GM’s outdated BEV2 platform put them at a disadvantage compared to newer electric vehicle models.

Chevy Bolt EV dashboard

Photo of the dashboard of the Chevy Bolt EV

Thankfully though, GM has made an inspired shift toward utilizing its cutting-edge Ultium battery technology for upcoming projects such as the Cadillac Lyriq model lineup and others like the Hummer EVT1 pickup truck or GMC Sierra Electric Pickup truck which is already regarded as better than the Ford F-150 Lightning. This can only mean that Chevrolet is moving ahead with grander plans thanks mainly to these advanced power sources from within planning out a trio (that’s three!) of fully-electric SUV’s made utilizing what they’ve learned from this newest technology we have gotten our hands on yet: The Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV.

Related: Comparison: Chevy Blazer EV vs Tesla Model Y

Bumpy Track Record Could’ve Played A Part In The Bolt’s Death

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV front

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV front three-quarter backed-in on a residential driveway.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV has received a mixed reputation since its debut. While it was the first to boast an “affordable” price tag and long-range capabilities, it ultimately fell short of meeting its full potential. This was compounded by recalls in 2020 and 2021 due to fire concerns related to defective batteries from suppliers and manufacturers alike. Reports indicate that at least a dozen Bolts experienced spontaneous fires due to this issue. Regardless, GM executives have continued to tout the Bolt as a prime example of their commitment to electric cars. In fact, they claim that this model has helped draw new customers to the brand; over three-quarters of all Bolt, owners were previously driving non-GM vehicles. First, however, General Motors must focus on developing a new entry-level electric car that will fit into the upcoming Equinox EV line. Priced at around $30,000 out the door and made in Mexico, experts are eager to see whether this model holds more promise than previous attempts by the automaker have. GM is already making plans for significant ramp-ups in production for this Equinox EV.

Related: 10 Reasons Why The Chevy Equinox EV Should Be Your First Electric Vehicle

Its Size Was A Disadvantage

Chevy Bolt EV trunk

Photo of the trunk of the Chevy Bolt

Although the Bolt EUV can accommodate five people comfortably, its size may have been one of the reasons for its downfall, as it is small relative to other cars on the road today. The length difference between this model and its counterpart – the Bolt EV is mostly evident in how spacious it is at the rear, allowing ample room for passengers. As a result, this electric vehicle suits many drivers’ needs just fine for everyday driving, including when traveling with children using a toddler car seat. There’s enough legroom at the back for kids, too, not to mention how straightforward it’s to comfortably get them into their child seats. In addition, the hatchback-like shape provides plenty of cargo space. However, despite these advantages, U.S. customers tend to show little interest in compact hatchbacks compared to their peers worldwide, who gravitate towards more affordable EV options. On the contrary, in the United States, the trend tends toward extremely powerful cars and massive batteries, which translates to high production costs and longer charging times.

Related: 10 Alternatives To The Chevrolet Bolt EV And Bolt EUV

What’s Next For GM?

Chevy Bolt EUV cruising

Photo of a Chevy Bolt EV cruising

General Motors aims to get half its car production and sales by 2030 to be green-energy-based vehicles. For GM, expanding this market will mean a more extensive offering of EVs for the consumer. They’re confident that the situation will help reduce production costs and shape the options of customers still looking for reasons to start transitioning to emissions-free cars. With the objective that half of its production and sales in 2030 be of cars based on green energies, GM has outlined a critical path encompassing manufacturing, supply, and governance, allowing it to reach this goal in seven years.

Although Ford (one of GM’s main competitors in the U.S.) projected losses in its transition to electric cars (from 2021 to 2023) of around $6,000 million, this scenario doesn’t impede General Motors from doubling its commitment to this technology. For example, by next year, its Coahuila Mexico plant will only produce electric vehicles. One of the company’s plans is for the Blazer EV and Equinox EV models to be built in Mexico. GM will return to Europe as an EV-only brand. The goal of the American automaker is that by 2026 at the latest, the company has a catalog of 30 new totally green vehicle models globally; and, of this number, three (led by Cadillac LYRIQ) have already been introduced during their annual dealer convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States this year.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.