Chevrolet Bolt To Be Built In Michigan In October 2016, Opel “Companion” EV Coming Too (Updates)

2 years ago by Jay Cole 145

The Chevrolet Bolt Will Go Into Production In October of 2016 According To Sources

The Chevrolet Bolt Will Go Into Production In October of 2016 According To Sources

Two suppliers from General Motors have leaked word that the company intends to put the Chevrolet Bolt into production in October of next year at its Orion township plant in Michigan.

The Chevrolet Bolt Concept was first seen last month at the NAIAS in Detroit last month – details here

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt Will Be Built Alongside The Next Gen Sonic In Michigan According To Multiple Sources

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Will Be Built Alongside The Next Gen Sonic In Michigan According To Multiple Sources

In addition to that news, Reuters has learned through a supplier that a badge-engineered “companion” model Opel all-electric car will also be built alongside the Bolt.  Although another “GM source” says a final decision on whether or not the Opel version will also be built in Michigan has yet to made.

The supplier sources who need significant lead time to prepare for production say they are being told that General Motors expects to sell 25,000-30,000 Bolts per year once production is underway.

Chevrolet reps have suggested the Bolt’s price would be around $30,000 after taking into consideration the federal credit of $7,500.

We should note that if the recently introduced 2016 Chevrolet Volt (details) which goes on sale this fall, is met with sales success, that credit won’t last very long as GM has already produced 77,077 plug-ins (through January 2015) out of the 200,000 allowance before the credit begins to wind down.

Chevrolet Bolt Concept From The 2015 NAIAS

Chevrolet Bolt Concept From The 2015 NAIAS

As Always We Just Had To Check Out The Back Seating Of The Concept Colt As Well

As Always We Just Had To Check Out The Back Seating Of The Concept Bolt As Well

 

Today the Orion plant is one of GM’s more under-utilized plants, as it only produces the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano…not exactly the volume of the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6 from 5-6 years ago.

The Chevrolet/Opel Bolt will ride on GM’s new Gamma small-car platform along with the next generation of Sonic.

The sources say the 200 mile EV will share much of the componentry with the 2016 Sonic.

UPDATE (1):  GM has made a official comment on this leak:

 “Bolt EV Concept is just that – a concept. We’re currently evaluating the vehicle program, but do not have any production announcements to make at this time.”

Looking at the careful wording of the statement, and the fact there are multiple sources speaking on some very specific information…and the fact that GM’s Consumer Affairs guy James Bell definitively said the Bolt will be in showrooms in 2016 during a live interview (watch) from the NAIAS (also retracted later) means to us that GM is probably not too happy with the informational leaks and are trying to”stuff the cat back into the bag”.

 (Of note: GM later made a statement to InsideEVs saying Mr. Bell made a “simple mistake” in the interview regarding the Bolt’s showroom arrive in 2016, and the company had “no productions announcements to make at that time”)

Update (2): According to reports, GM was attempting to contain this news until the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, where GM North America President Alan Batey, acting as the featured speaker at an opening breakfast Thursday of next week, would formally announce the 200 mile EV’s production in Michigan in late 2016.

The only question left to be answered?  Will Mr. Batey still be referring to the car as the “Bolt EV” or will GM have listened to the feedback from Detroit, and change the production vehicle’s name?

Reuters

 

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145 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt To Be Built In Michigan In October 2016, Opel “Companion” EV Coming Too (Updates)"

  1. Robb Stark says:

    In other words don’t buy a LEAF today wait a year and a half and buy a Chevy.

    1. Rich says:

      That’s what a 2 year lease is for.

      1. Lou Grinzo says:

        Exactly right, Rich.

        I’m 22 months into a 24 month Leaf lease, and I just worked with NMAC to extend my lease so I’ll have some more time to figure out how to bridge to The Promised Land, e.g. an affordable EV with roughly double the range of current Leaf. (Just to be clear, my wife and I LOVE our Leaf, and the range hasn’t been a serious problem, even in winter. More range would be a convenience more than anything else, as it would make managing our state of charge less urgent.)

        Since the Soul EV won’t be coming to where I live soon enough, and some other options, like the e-Golf, are getting pretty pricey, a two-year Leaf lease as a bridge vehicle is just about perfect. I would love to see this GM announcement force Nissan to pull in the Leaf 2.0 introduction to Summer/Fall 2016 instead of early 2017 as is rumored, but I’m guessing that’s unlikely.

        1. MikeM says:

          Lou,

          I’m very curious about the possible terms of an extended lease.
          Is there anything you are able to say about it?
          e.g. Extra down payment required? Continue at current monthly rate?

          My situation is similar to yours except:

          Leaf lease ends April 2017.
          Tesla 3 comes available in 201X.
          Starting to suspect that X >> 7.

          1. dack says:

            Yes me too. When I asked the dealer about extending my 3-year lease they said that was not possible. I guess dealing directly with NMAC may be the way to go.

    2. no comment says:

      to me, the 25,000-35,000 annual sales rate seems like a reasonable goal for the timeframe. it does also suggest that they are primarily going after the same segment as that of the Nissan Leaf. since many Leaf buyers bought the car when it was priced higher than the current price, those buyers might be swayed to purchase a Bolt at a higher price than the contemporary price of the Leaf if they can get a better feature set in the Bolt.

  2. David Murray says:

    That means the current generation Leaf will still be almost $10,000 cheaper than the Bolt. And who knows what the price will be of the second generation Leaf, but I bet it will still be cheaper than the Bolt.

    1. Robb Stark says:

      2015 LEAF has a starting MSRP of $29,010

      2017 Bolt could have a starting MSRP as low as $37,500.

      1. Ziv says:

        Which makes you ask, what is the increase in EPA AER worth? 80 miles is nice, 200 miles is outstanding. But is it worth $9,000? 120/3.5 = 35 kWh * $200 = $7,000. So the Bolt at $37,500 MSRP looks to be overpriced by todays standards. And by next year Nissan will probably have a longer range Leaf option out there. So Chevy will be trying to market a car that costs too much again. After the lessons they should have learned with the Volt and the ELR.

        My money is on GM being completely clueless, again.

        1. Tesla has shown that a lot of people will opt for the $10k+ extra range option. Even if the lower option is still over 200 miles.

          No, it doesn’t really make economic sense. (if your trips are that long, and not too frequent, you could fly for less, and rent for a whole lot less).

          Most people went for the 85 anyway (me too).

          1. I think there is a lot of pent-up demand for a 200 mile AER BEV.

            Cost curve is going the right direction, within the first 5 years of the Bolt’s run, I believe prices will be very competitive even with a ~50kWh battery.

            1. GM went from 19 to 18kWh with the Spark EV between 2104 and 2015.

              This car is slightly larger than a Spark EV has, and doubly the battery size adds significant weight, so I predict their “200 mile” car will have a 40kWh usable battery.

              That will put the car firmly in the 150-200 real range, with 200 miles only possible at 50-55mph steady speed. Like all EV’s, cold will kill the range.

          2. Dave86 says:

            I do a lot of daily 120 & 170 mile trips. I can’t make a Leaf @ 80 miles work for me. But the Bolt could do the job.

            Does the Bolt make economic sense? Well, @ $30K, it’s affordable to me and there is a sense of social responsibility.

          3. no comment says:

            that’s because the Model S is targeted toward a high income segment. the Bolt will not be, so there is price sensitivity. it will be interesting to see how this turns out, because the basic question is one of the willingness of the general public to pay a premium for extra EV range (since it looks like the Bolt will cost more than a Volt)?

        2. John Hansen says:

          Yes, $9,000 is the difference between being a city-only car and being a all purpose car. That’s money well spent.

        3. kdawg says:

          The Bolt may have many more features and a better interior. The Leaf SL is $35K. The Bolt may have better performance and ride characteristics as well.

          Until fall of 2016.. it’s all guessing at this point.

          1. no comment says:

            i don’t see what you were complaining about with respect to the rear liftgate. in the picture above, the rear liftgate looks fine to me.

            i guess it’s one of those “eye of the beholder” things…

            1. kdawg says:

              Are you referring to my comments the other week about the bubble-glass? It’s hard to tell from the pics above, but when you see it in person, to me, the rounded back glass doesn’t look so good. Kind of like an aquarium. I do like the layered “onion” effect of the tail lights.

              1. Scramjett says:

                Beats the hell out of the huge huge rear blind spots in the Leaf.

              2. no comment says:

                you can see the curvature in the glass on the lift gate in the photo, but it looks to have a fairly modest radius of curvature. in my mind an aquarium would have more curvature than this. it doesn’t look objectionable to me, but it is one of those “to each his own” things.

            2. MTN Ranger says:

              I’m betting that the rear hatch will be redesigned for 1) easier/cheaper manufacturing and 2) better looking!

        4. scott franco says:

          Yes, worth it.

    2. Stuart22 says:

      Even at $10k less than the Bolt, the Bolt is far, far cheaper than the current LEAF on the basis of $$ cost per mile of range.

      LEAF costs $327 per range mile
      BOLT costs $187 per range mile

      It’s a slam-dunk in favor of the Bolt.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Do those numbers just come from MPGe estimates?

        I’ll also add that, at this point, pricing on the Bolt is very speculative. It could go lower or higher than the estimates used above to declare it a failure.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Haha, never mind, I get what you did now with the cost. Cut me some slack, it’s the end of a long week. 😉

          1. Stuart22 says:

            You are excused…(-

            LEAF – 27,500/84 = 327
            BOLT – 37,500/200 = 187

            1. 2017 LEAF – 165 miles EPA range – $40k
              2017 Bolt – 165 miles EPA range – $37.5k

      2. Tech01x says:

        Tough to make any comparison with the Bolt until the EPA ratings come out.

  3. Ct200h says:

    This should encourage Nissan to get the gen 2 leaf to market by 17 model year(end of 2016)

  4. Anon says:

    It’s not very big, is it…

    Paint it white, put the “Bolt” lightning logo on the sides and sell it as the Limited Disney Edition Bolt. 😉

  5. voltowner says:

    Will it be sold in all states?

    1. kdawg says:

      Mary Barry said “Nationwide” at the Detroit Auto Show.

      I bet she’s pissed again that this info keeps getting leaked.

      1. no comment says:

        it was not a slip of the tongue to state that the car would be sold nationwide, it was an intentional statement. but “nationwide” doesn’t mean that there won’t be a phased roll out. the Volt is sold nationwide but it wasn’t on the first day of sales.

        1. kdawg says:

          I wasn’t saying “nationwide” was leaked, but the Oct 2016 info was. Mary wasn’t too happy when the WSJ leaked the whole Bolt concept in the first place.

          Regarding a phased rollout, I’m almost 100% positive that’s what will happen, but the question was, will it be sold in every state. I think the answer to that is Yes. The Spark EV didn’t made it past a few states.

          1. no comment says:

            i doubt that the “leak” was a big deal at all; after all, it achieved buzz and was easily knocked down as being non-authoritative. that the Bolt was going to be introduced was not a surprise; the GM CEO would not have prominently associated herself with the car had the decision not have already been made to introduce it.

          2. ClarksonCote says:

            “The Spark EV didn’t made it past a few states.”

            …yet. I still believe it will move to more CARB states, and possibly, broaden beyond that.

            We already know they made some recent cost and efficiency improvements in the Spark EV’s battery (see http://insideevs.com/gm-shifts-2015-chevy-spark-ev-battery-manufacturing-house-facility/ ). That may compel them to broaden beyond the current state offerings.

            1. no comment says:

              the bigger problem with the Spark is that it doesn’t have the range for nationwide deployment given the conservative approach taken by GM when it comes to EVs (for example, GM was much more conservative in battery temperature management than was Nissan, which is a good thing in my view). by contrast, while the Bolt won’t get 200 miles, nationwide and year round, it should provide credible range. there could be a problem with recharge times, which might make the car problematic as a vehicle to drive daily. in other words, if you start with a full battery on monday, you will almost certainly be able to do your days’ driving without issue; but by friday, things might not be so clear. i would expect that this is one of the things that GM would monitor in a national roll out. but GM has introduced the Spark in a couple of new markets, so GM will undoubtedly collect data that will help them in assessing the needs of the Bolt outside of the usual EV markets like california and texas [which actually is a crazy state – i know because in a fit of extremely bad judgment on my part, i actually lived there. but i’m glad that there is a place like texas for the kind of people who want to live in a place like that].

          3. Josh says:

            IIRC, they stated that the Spark EV would be available “nationwide” originally too.

            I think the Bolt has a real shot of being more than a compliance offering, but I guess we will have to wait a couple years to be sure.

      2. jhm614 says:

        I’ll bet she’s not. This is great marketing to the EV fan base. Almost Tesla-like!

  6. pk says:

    My Leaf lease ends in 2017. Looking forward to all the possibilities available by then.

  7. Ryan says:

    Reminds me of an i3?

    1. no comment says:

      i think that it looks a lot better than a BMW i3, and the Bolt doesn’t have the weird rear doors, either.

      1. kdawg says:

        And it’s not two-tone. (and doesn’t have the nostrils)

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          And price wise the i3 BEV is not in a good position. Only the i3 with Rex will be able to remain competitive thanks to that extra capability the Bolt doesn’t have.

  8. M999 says:

    GM’s battery supplier must be making some excellent progress if a 200 mile car is this close.

    This is going to be an incredible revolution.

    1. Grumpy says:

      I don’t think the range/price ratio is that surprising. Look at the Tesla Roadster. Efficiency gains, and what probably amounts to a chemistry change, are boosting mileage by about 40%. I would guess to size and weight of the two cars is similar, so 200 mile range is probably indicative of second generation EVs.

      Nissan probably doesn’t want to talk too much about a 200ish mile Leaf, because they don’t want to canabalize Gen 1 sales. Look at what has happened to the Gen 1 Volt.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      It shouldn’t be a surprise. LG Chem has been telling us for years that they are slowly improving batteries and this BEV is on their timeline for 2016.

  9. ClarksonCote says:

    Sell a variant to the US Postal Service for mail delivery vehicles! That’ll also help drive down costs through economies of scale. 🙂

    1. no comment says:

      that’s actually not a bad idea; with a 200 mile range, you could cover virtually any postal route, in any part of the nation, with zero tailpipe emissions (don’t know about fairbanks, alaska, though).

    2. JeffD says:

      My wife would probably prefer something with a higher stance and AWD, but the range would definitely work. Placement of the shifter is also important for mail delivery if it is to be used without adding right side pedals or steering wheel.

  10. Lensman says:

    First GM made the Volt using the front end of the Cruze, one of Chevy’s cheapest cars; now it’s going for the Bolt, using parts from the even cheaper Sonic?

    GM is going in the wrong direction with its EVs. Not that this is a surprise — obviously leaders in the gas guzzler market don’t want to compete against their own products by selling a compelling EV in large numbers — but it -is- disappointing to see that such anemic, half-hearted efforts continue to be the best offers from any EV maker other than upstart Tesla Motors.

    1. Dana Pearson says:

      Well…it’ll either sell or folks will continue migrating to leaf and Tesla…

      There’s no stopping this revolution this time…

    2. See Through says:

      I see some people are losing it; struck by the Bolt. Lighten up, EV fan!

      1. James says:

        @SEE THROUGH

        Yeah – you own an EV – riiiiiiiiiiiiiight

        It’ll be fun seeing you disappear when EVs are as common as hybrids on our roadways.

    3. John Hansen says:

      Huh?

    4. kdawg says:

      Um, being on the same platform and using the same parts are completely different things.

      Good troll attempt though.

  11. pjwood1 says:

    I want to think this is a year away. Still, 200 miles of range, October 2016, is a pleasant surprise.

    It will be interesting to see if the evolution of ZEV state sales is something GM, or the others, will be able to contain. I can imagine 25k cars selling in ~9 states, but the ire it’ll create?

  12. JohnLars says:

    This is great news. Sooner than I expected, with a much more advanced car than I expected. This is not Tesla, folks, this is mainstream Chevrolet. Good news for all of us EV enthusiasts. Btw, I predict Leaf will make its own news before Oct 2015.

    1. See Through says:

      Sweet Mary! Yes, this is great news! Tesla fanboys have been saying for years that no one else can make a 200-mile BEV. Well, here it is! A real, damn good looking electric car for the people, that doesn’t go kaput every few thousand miles.
      Waiting to trade in my Spark Ev next year. Time to short some more TSLA tomorrow.

      1. Anon says:

        You have a fugly Spark? Ohhhh, okay. Now I feel bad for you.

        1. See Through says:

          ROTFLMAO! I thought Tesla was the cramped, civic-like fugly one 🙂 Chinese call it ‘dwarfy’. My car is perfect for my short commute.

          “5 Reasons Why Tesla Is Struggling In China”
          https://ph.news.yahoo.com/5-reasons-why-tesla-struggling-170700700.html

          1. DonC says:

            Gee, the primary reason people buy Teslas is to show off. Who knew? LOL

          2. Anon says:

            You’re Chinese? Interesting…

          3. James says:

            Guilty of being sucked in by a troll…But a Model S “cramped and dwarfy”?!!!

            Are you kidding me?

            See Through is getting more transparent as days go on.

            EV Troll all the way.

            1. Scramjett says:

              Indeed, one wonders if this individual has ever BEEN inside a Tesla? I’ve driven mostly small cars my entire life and a small car the Model S ain’t! If I could afford one, I’d give Mitsubishi the middle finger and get a Model S instead. The amount of cargo space is insanely good!

      2. I totally do not believe you really drive a spark 😉

        1. Anon says:

          Yeah. His comparisons are very odd. I’ve sat in a Spark EV. They’re econoboxes, with very little interior space. I don’t get his “reality inversion filter” at all. 😛

          1. Big Solar says:

            Davemart was always saying how great the spark ev is. Maybe if you post enough fud you get a free spark?

      3. Josh says:

        Chevy releasing this car with its range only validates the concept Tesla has been pushing, long range BEVs. I wouldn’t be so sure that this car will put Tesla out of business.

        The plug-in market is getting ready to grow like crazy. ICEs/hybrids will be the ones taking the lumps on sales.

      4. Get Real says:

        Well See Through, you are once again contradicted by the facts. Tesla has the Highest Score of all by far for its service and repairs. Read and weep:
        http://insideevs.com/consumer-reports-tesla-1-servicerepair-beats-independent-shops-dealership/

        1. taser54 says:

          Of course Consumer Reports also found the Model S no more than average in reliability.

          Weep and Read. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/10/survey-shows-tesla-model-s-has-average-reliability/index.htm

          1. Get Real says:

            TeslaHater54, Sorry but I almost confused you with See Through.

            Anyways, The early MS average reliability score is a reflection of a new company fine tuning its first real mass-produced car.

            In any case there is a clear reason that the Model S alos received the BEST score ever by Consumer Reports for a car of 99 out of 100 points to go along with Tesla’s stellar service score.

            So, right back at you to read and weep:
            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/tesla/model-s.htm

            So

            1. Get Real says:

              Sorry, got cut off some how.

              Seriously, Elon Musk welcomes the Bolt because his stated goal all along has been to pressure other manufactures to produce compelling EVs since his ultimate goal is the electrification of transportation.

  13. jerryd says:

    It isn’t going to use the Volt battery as too big, heavy to put enough to get 200 mile range.
    So it is going to need to be 20% larger and have a floor battery even including better kwhr/lb by then, instead of the Volt’s
    T one.
    That is only 20 months away, a short time for such a new design.

    1. kdawg says:

      But we don’t know how many months (years) they’ve been working on this behind the scenes. So that 20 months to finalize the details and get the suppliers/tooling set up.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      The Bolt will use a flat floor battery that will be a advanced version of the LG Chem pack in the Spark EV (probably 2.5x bigger).

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        The question is, why didn’t GM use a flat battery in the brand new Volt 2?
        By the way, if they had done so, they could have proposed a Volt 2 BEV as well as the just the Volt 2.

  14. Anthony says:

    If the car arrives on dealer lots Q1 2017 (with a new name!) then that would be a big win for GM. In 2 years, GM will have 60,000 EV credits left. They will need to get the price down ASAP, since if they make 30K Bolts and 30K Volt, they will be at a disadvantage to other EV makers who haven’t hit their 200,000 unit limit.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      But that will also mean that they will be at an advantage vs. other automakers that haven’t produced and sold 200,000 EVs.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Exactly, GM will be on its second generation of BEV with the associated manufacturing and component cost reductions.

  15. Josh says:

    As excited as I am to see the Bolt make it to market, I really hope this doesn’t mean a VoltUV is never going to happen.

    I can’t see them delivering both of those in 2016. It seems like the under $50k plug-in CUV/SUV may never happen in the US.

    1. no comment says:

      if GM introduced an xEV utility vehicle, i doubt that it would be called a Volt.

  16. kdawg says:

    I think some overtime just got scheduled at Nissan & Tesla.

    🙂

    1. Anon says:

      Tesla’s run like SpaceX. People are already on OT.

      1. James says:

        Back in the days when Microsoft hired Americans, they used to call the Redmond, WA campus, “The Velvet Sweatshop”.

        Hire talented kids out of college that don’t know better – give ’em free pop, no dress code and a cot in their cubicle.

        Wonder if that is Tesla nowdays?

        Everybody wanted to please Bill Gates back then. Today, Microsoft “insources” Indian families by the planeload – and still gets workers living here cheaper than if they hired Americans.

        1. kdawg says:

          Tesla & Apple are competing for talent … so the interwebs say.

      2. kdawg says:

        OK, then I’ll change my “joke”. Tesla & Nissan will be adding a 2nd engineering shift.

        1. Nick says:

          Beware the mythical man month. 🙂

          1. kdawg says:

            OK, they will now start making their coffee with RedBull 🙂

  17. kosee says:

    Yes an opel version! This means the European can buy one as well! It was already strange to me that this would be an America only thing. We’re gonna have to pay the full price though…

    1. Kimmo57 says:

      Good thing indeed, but after experiencing the level of build quality of my Ampera, I truly hope Opels will be built in Europe.

  18. Cavaron says:

    35,000 Bolts could be well below demand of a 30k$ 200mile EV. I assume the battery supply is the limiting factor. Maybe they can pull out 50% more if the Volt 2 lacks demand after two years.

  19. DonC says:

    GM usually starts testing its production ready cars a year before they go into production, so if this is true we should be seeing some spy shots by this fall at the latest.

    Nissan may or may not have a competitive battery. Renault certainly doesn’t think it will. Nissan also desperately needs to fix the battery fade, which essentially comes down to having a TMS. That makes the packaging even more difficult and having a battery which is more energy dense particularly important. Given that Nissan is all about cheap, my guess would be less range for a cheaper price.

    1. kdawg says:

      Someone should dress up their i3 in camo, put a Chevy emblem on it, an mess with all the reporters. 🙂

      1. Mr. M says:

        lol, you made my day…

  20. Remember, GM said that the Spark EV would sell “everywhere” (Europe, Canada were specifically mentioned), but ultimately it is a strict CARB-ZEV compliance vehicle in the strictest sense.

    So the Sonic platform Bolt will replace the Spark EV, which means that it absolutley will be sold in the various CARB-ZEV states (maybe more than three), and that could certainly be “nationwide” which just so happens to be the following states listed below.

    I suspect, however, that they might take the fight directly to LEAF (and i3 / Model 3, too) with sales in hotbed EV areas like Washington state and Atlanta. Obviously, if they give the green light on an Opel, it’s going to Europe, too.

    CARB-ZEV – California’s ZEV program has now been adopted by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. These states, known as the “Section 177 states,” have chosen to adopt California’s air quality standards in lieu of federal requirements as authorized under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now spelled out federal law. Maine, Washington DC and New Jersey are participating with ZEV initiatives, but are not signatory CARB-ZEV states.

    1. Hatim says:

      So, how would Tesla feel about this coming Bolt?
      Are they suprised that someone else(GM) has come first with an affordable 200mile car?
      Do you think that Tesla thought that the model 3 wouldn’t have competition for a while, hence the huge investments?

      1. Mark C says:

        I choose to be cautiously optimistic on a 200 mile AER Bolt. A LOT of show cars come and go but not that many actually come to market in the same way they came to the auto show.

        So for now, I will refrain from saying they have come to market with an affordable 200 mile car.

    2. kdawg says:

      “Remember, GM said that the Spark EV would sell “everywhere”
      ———–

      I don’t recall this. Do you have a link?

      1. Stuart22 says:

        Any statement GM made regarding broad sales intentions for the Spark EV were made before they went public with its MSRP. Suddenly, Nissan slashed MSRP of the LEAF and caught GM flat footed right just as they were set to offically publicize the Spark EV MSRP.

        Soon after, GM rather reluctantly priced the Spark at a competitive point with the new LEAF price, and basically gave up any nationwide intentions.

        Nissan’s hardball approach to pricing the LEAF created a price point without profits, chasing away serious competition. Since then, only one other manufacturer – BMW – has come up with a serious 50-state entry into the sub-100 mile range EV market. Take note that their prices start $10k-15k higher than LEAF prices.

        GM eventually realized they’d have to carve out another market segment beyond where the LEAF perched itself if they were going to enter the BEV market. Tesla helped define that segment with their Model 3 intentions – 200 mile range at $35k.

        Tesla’s arrogance caught them wasting their time perfecting the Model X falcon doors – an insignificant need but with significant snob appeal – and the Model 3 idea remained in the vapors.

        Meanwhile, GM got serious, leapfrogged over everybody and surprised the world with the Bolt.

        I don’t think GM needs to worry about Tesla – it’s Nissan who will spoil things if anybody can.

        1. kdawg says:

          I just don’t recall any statements by GM saying they were going to sell the Spark EV nationwide.

          1. Stuart22 says:

            I think there was some not quite official statements made about a broadbased sales program for the Spark EV. At the least, they hinted it, denying it was intended to be a compliance car.

            But then Nissan did their thing, and GM short-circuited any plans for large scale sales.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Yeah, I’m not sure why Ghosn said it but he said some time ago that the solution to electric car desirability was more fast chargers.

              I think that is misreading the market where I live. Between cities we usually have ZERO facilities, and the only facility of any kind that I know of that would be of use to me on the NYS thruway is a 120 volt outlet that is supposedly for public use in the Clarence Service center (westbound only) and that If I even tried plugging a L1 charging docking station into it I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone accused me of stealing electricity such as what happened to the Leaf owner. On PlugShare there was an outlet in the back of a home depot (120 volt) so I asked the manager, and he said, yeah there’s an outlet there, but to please remove it from plugshare since its not for public use.

              I guess our situation where I live is similar to apartment dwellers everywhere. We don’t need 1000 public chargers such as Kansas City will have.. We need SOMETHING 1/2 way between big cities, but even that’s a pain really.

              Can’t speak for anyone else, but I just want to get in my car and GO. That’s why each of my cars has what is considered EXTREME range for an EV, since I didn’t think I could get along with anything less. I bet many other prospective EV owners think similarly even if the dont verbalize, but a 200 mile economically priced Bolt would go along way toward satisfying that concern. I bet that’s the way GM markets it also.

              THe other posibility is that Ghosn just said whatever is most convenient, since he knows a big battery leaf (at the time) was years away.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          “Any statement GM made regarding broad sales intentions for the Spark EV were made before they went public with its MSRP. Suddenly, Nissan slashed MSRP of the LEAF and caught GM flat footed right just as they were set to offically publicize the Spark EV MSRP.”

          Your assertions make no sense. If that were the case, I highly doubt the Spark EV would be priced LESS than the Leaf, given that it has better MPGe, acceleration, etc.

          1. Stuart22 says:

            Sure the Spark is a better EV than the LEAF in lots of ways. But where the LEAF is more or less a ground up design, the Spark EV is a gas Spark with an EV drivetrain. A smaller class of car to boot.

            Still, that EV drivetrain had development costs on top of the parts expenses which from an accounting POV should have had the price of the Spark higher than it ended up being, especially if GM had intentions of going national.

            Go back and look at the timing of everything. It all falls together.

            At the time GM was readying the Spark EV, showing it to the press, LEAF sales were in consistent three digit territory, struggling to keep its head above water.

            The Spark was a threat to the LEAF’s survival, especially if it could have gained traction from a GM committed to its success. The spotlight was moving over to GM, and Ghosn had to do something desperate to keep the LEAF from extinction.

            So Nissan threw a hail mary and slashed prices to the bone just prior to GM announcing the MSRP of the Spark EV. GM was caught off guard, and I believe they decided to follow suit with the low MSRP amidst much confusion and dispute from the powers that be within. Those that wanted national exposure got clipped, and those who expected profits got none.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              True, the Leaf is larger.

              I don’t feel like the platform should matter at all though. Whether it started as a gas variant or was designed as an EV all along isn’t as important to me if compromises in the utility don’t need to be made,

              Ford compromises the utility in all their plug ins in this regard. To my knowledge, there is virtually no compromise in the Spark EV. But since it isn’t available near me, I don’t know that with certainty. 🙂

              1. Stuart22 says:

                True, the Spark EV drivetrain is well-packaged for an ICE-based BEV. What sets it apart from the Ford and other ICE conversions is that GM did the design, development, and manufacturing in house.

                To me, that in-house investment strongly suggests GM did seriously consider marketing the Spark EV more broadly than they ended up doing.

            2. kdawg says:

              The Leaf is an electric refreshed Nissan Versa.

        3. MTN Ranger says:

          No matter what some think, The Model E will basically be a $40k – $70k BEV when options are figured into the average sale price. There is plenty of room for the Leaf/Bolt/Model 3 pricing strata.

    3. ClarksonCote says:

      Do you have a link Tony?

      Also, they do sell the Spark EV in Canada too, as fleet sales. Which, as I recall, is consistent with what they had said they planned to do.

      1. Josh says:

        I had the same recollection that it was supposed to be nationwide. This is the only quote I can find though, but it was after announcing it was a compliance only.

        “Right now (for the Spark EV) – just California and Oregon. We’re always evaluating the potential to expand into other markets –but no plans to expand at this time.”

        http://insideevs.com/gm-has-no-plans-for-chevrolet-spark-ev-nationally/

  21. Raymondjram says:

    If the 2017 Bolt is that much better than the Spark EV, GM can stop the production from South Korea, and let the Bolt lead the way as its small BEV offering.

    Now, what is Ford doing? The BEV Focus is larger than the Sonic, but they have not announced any new BEVs, or any new Energi models. If Ford can increase the Energi range to 40 miles, then it will compete with the other EVs and the Chevy Volt.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      The BEV Focus has extremely small cargo space due to being a conversion. With a flat floor battery, a similar length Bolt will have significantly more interior space than the Focus.

  22. lithium says:

    Remains to be seen how GM answers tesla’s supercharger network. Until then the value of the bolt as an “all purpose” car is still quite limited.

    1. lithium says:

      I suspect their answer will be “Volt” which is fair given that that is my current solution. But that doesn’t help the value of the bolt at all.

      1. kdawg says:

        And they will rely on all the CCS chargers that are being rolled out now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we are seeing CCS chargers, but to be competitive, they need to be 100kW+ and have multiple chargers at each location. This way there’s more assurance a spot will be available.

    2. Scramjett says:

      This is exactly why I’m still going to be waiting for the Model III. A 200+ mile EV is in of itself is a great improvement, but having a supercharger or QC network to support it would be significantly much better. Right now, Tesla is the only one with such a network supporting their cars.

      1. no comment says:

        elon musk only said that the Tesla supercharger network would be free to Model S owners. don’t expect free use of Tesla supercharging stations if you don’t buy a Model S.

        1. kdawg says:

          My guess is that we’ll see the $2000 charge for SC access.

          What I would love is for Tesla to offer a conversion kit for other BEVs. I’d pay $2000 to have my Bolt converted to charge on the SC network.

        2. buu says:

          it costs 2k$ for 60kWh S, no no it’s not free

      2. Spider-Dan says:

        If only Tesla hadn’t locked out other EVs by going with a non-standard, proprietary connector. Then other EV drivers might have the option to simply pay Tesla for charging.

        Don’t worry though, Tesla is trying to grow the entire EV market! As long as you define “the entire EV market” as “any car made by Tesla.”

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          Except it is the other way around, when they where looking for a fast charger at 135 KW there was no one with such a standard. What were they supposed to do? Go back to old fashion 40 KW?
          When you are at the front you make the new standard as a matter of fact

          1. Not only did Tesla create that high powered and more elegant standard, they built it AND they offered it to the industry for competitors to use.

  23. abhishekifmr says:

    As a citizen of developing world( India) i am happy that more and more EV are coming. If anybody thinks that Leaf, Spark are bad please ask companies to sell in India i am sure we are more than happy 🙂

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Exactly. I seldom criticize the WHOLE ev when talking about electric cars, only picking on very small features I’d think I could easily improve.

      To criticize the entire car would then have others asking the reasonable question, of ‘Ok, design a better one cheaper’.

  24. Aaron says:

    Rumor has it the companion SUV will follow in the same naming convention as the Volt and Bolt, and will be called the “Dolt”.

    1. Rick says:

      And after that, the EV Pony car, which will of course, be called the Colt.

      1. kdawg says:

        I prefer a larger version to be called MegaVolt.

  25. Lou says:

    Couple of things come to mind, especially now that we have had a few weeks to ponder the “Bolt”. 200 mile AER is great, and will fill the bill for almost 100% of potential buyers. However, it has been shown by Tesla that even a 300 mile AER may not be enough if there is not a viable network of QC’s to allow one to “return” from their 150-200 mile trip. Obviously this point has been brought up repeatedly on this site, and I would have to believe that GM is well aware of the need for a QC network. Possibly CCS and CHaDeMo will come together to make it easier to offer combined units. Those dual purpose units will be critical. Now, if this car(sadly)is just an expanded version of essentially a Compliance Car, then GM will lose EV buyers. The Volt’s a great car and Volt II is even better. But many of us want the all EV experience and if GM is just playing with us, it could turn off buyers to GM(after the EV1 debacle). My sense, though, is that GM is serious about EV’s and the “Bolt” is meant to bridge that gap bertween the Extended Range and the truly long range BEV. It may take several years for GM and others to produce an affordable BEV with AER of 300+ miles. The Bolt may show GM’s committment and allow them to take a bite out of Tesla’s expected consumer level Model 3. Frankly I think Tesla would welcome this car, as it keeps the spotlight on EV’s. The market for an affordable 200 mile family car is absolutely real, and GM is not handing that over to Tesla and Tesla knows that their car will be more of a luxury experience than the Bolt. Just my take on things. Not having seen the Bolt prototype in person, I am curious just how large(or small) it really is. The Sonic is a small car, but admittedly bigger than the Spark. Before switching to a Volt I drove a Mitsubishi I-MiEV for 2 years. The difference in comfort between the 2 cars is noticeable. Right now I would not want to go back to the smaller car. We’ll see, but I’d like it if the Bolt was more along the size of a LEAF.

    Lou

    1. danpatgal says:

      I saw the Bolt in person at NAIAS, and it is a spitting image of the BMW i3. Looks to be about the same size too, just no funky rear doors.

      I’m pretty sure the Bolt will feel small compared to a Volt, but I don’t know, the one time I sat in a Volt, I felt kind of cramped … and I could barely get in the backseat (I’m 6’4″). The iMiev, dumb as it looks, has great headroom in front and back, good legroom in front with manageable legroom in back. It “rides” like a smaller car (narrow and a bit tippy), so the Bolt will be better – though I’d guess not as good as the i3.

      I love hearing about the Bolt, but I can’t believe they will meet 200 miles range and $30k, even after the fed credit. Both of those will probably soften as real production vehicle hits the showrooms. If I’m wrong, they’re going to be very hard to buy, ’cause I’m thinking people will be clamoring for them (barring a nasty economic meltdown that sucks out purchasing power).

      1. kdawg says:

        I also saw the Bolt in person at the Detroit Auto Show, and I own a Volt. To me the Bolt appeared bigger.

    2. no comment says:

      while you may personally be an EV enthusiast, i think that for GM the main focus will be in the PHEV segment (and i don’t think that GM will be alone in this). with PHEVs, there is no need to build out a quick charge infrastructure since you can use the existing gas station network. so what the PHEVs do is replace almost all gasoline use for day to day driving.

      1. kdawg says:

        Wouldn’t it be great if everyone drove a PHEV or a BEV and just argued about which is better. Today, we still need to convince 99% of drivers to plug-in.

        1. Brian says:

          +100

          That would be a dream come true.

      2. Epicurus says:

        Yep. BMW has already said that plug in tech will be used in all models in the coming years but most models will be plug in hybrids.

  26. CAB says:

    A friend and I own a Focus Electric and Volt respectively here in the Dallas area. We were both discussing options for or “next” EV – particularly used Model S 85s – and came to the conclusion that range extended (with a gas engine) EVs were really the only real option when it came to our out of town travel since Texas is a big state with tons of rural towns (with no destination charging by the way, much less any fast chargers even PLANNED much less in existence on the routes). It isn’t like we are talking about 1000 mile trips either. That left us asking “so , if a pure EV is still relegated to in town use…how much battery do we really need?” 200 miles might become 120 on really cold days I suppose (probably more), but honestly, even 90 or 100 “honest” miles in all conditions would probably be fine. I think the “200 mile” number is likely a nice “psychological” comfort zone for folks since they will translate it to: “that’s plenty, and I won’t run out of juice”. They will THINK they can take such a car “out of town”, but will likely realize how challenging that will be, but it won’t matter since 98% of their daily trips will be covered w/o range anxiety of any kind.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I think a 120 mile range on the coldest of days translates to “90 or 100 “honest” miles” as most people like some amount of buffer beyond their travel distances, so good point… the Bolt should do well in that regard.

      1. kdawg says:

        Personally, most of the places I go that are out of town are about 120-150 miles round trip. So 200 miles is in my safety zone. If it’s really cold out, I’ll probably have to be more careful or possibly destination charge if available.

    2. Josh says:

      Living in Houston, I understand those considerations too. 100 mile “all weather range” really wouldn’t cut it for me though. It is 102 miles round trip to Hobby Airport for me (a common destination, once a month or so) and there is no charging at the airport.

      That pretty much means Model S or range extender for me. Hopefully the Bolt will live up to the 200 mile EPA claim.

    3. CAB says:

      It was sort of a sad realization that even a Model S 85 wouldn’t work for us any time in the next few years for out of town travel. Admittedly, part of the challenge here was price. It was hard to stomach that kind of money for an “in town and just beyond” car – at the Bolt’s price point, we would be quite a bit more forgiving of its total capabilities. The irony is that the Tesla is likely a great long distance cruiser…(note: I know it works great for many in other parts of the country or with very specific driving needs).

  27. Bill Howland says:

    Well the styling is rather the same issue as the LEAF, that is ‘an acquired taste’.

    Hopefuly it is more roomy than the volt, since car makers need to make some larger BEV’s to appeal to more people. An Impala dual fuel gasoline/Nat Gas vehicle is soon to be released, why not something in this size electric?

    Unless they made a private deal with Tesla not to encroach on the Model S.

    But many here have repeatedly said they want a big, electrified vehicle which is also a good value since not everyone can afford an “S”

  28. Bro1999 says:

    I remember suppliers spreading rumors of the new Volt having 2 battery options….we see how that panned out.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      I had heard that also, and that fact was the only one my Dealer got wrong, that of there not being 2 batteries.

      What really suprises me about cars in general today is how ‘take it or leave it’ they are.

      I grew up in the 60’s when you could order a large chevy as a biscayne with 3 speed manual tranmission, and they’d give you money back if you wanted the radio removed, all the way up to a Caprice with 3 speed automatic and power everything, and a 427 v8. And every other trim level / power train combination you can think of.. You could get a basic powerhouse, or a 6 cylinder luxury cruiser.

      Now it seems we don’t have hardly ANY choices, which I don’t understand since supposedly everything is CAD/Cam and Flex assembly, then the cars they turn out are rigid copies of one another except for the paint. Of course if you order a basic tesla, you can get it in white or black with a black interior. Is Henry Ford resurrected or something?

      1. Bill Howland says:

        And then you had your choice or normal or HD alternator, Normal or HD battery, economy or perforance rear axle ratio, steering wheel or floor mounted shifter, about 10 different radio/sound combinations, ANY mix and match of trim levels (you weren’t locked into multithousand dollar packages), whereas today no auto maker seems to show any flexibility, and of course the bugaboo with my 2011 volt is I have no control over the thing at all, not being even able to turn the traction control off when I’m stuck in the snow. At least many complained about this and later models can defeat it.

  29. Epicurus says:

    Would there have been more sales if the Volt had been a small SUV instead of a car?