Chevrolet Bolt EV And Volt Sales Flatten In April Despite More Inventory

1 month ago by Jay Cole 185

National inventory of the Chevy Bolt EV jumped from about 1,000 units in March, to more than 4,000 by April’s end (Bolt EVs outside Capital Chevrolet in San Jose/George B)

The first quarter of Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in the US for 2017 was a bit anti-climatic, as inventories remained very low in March, with GM’s production focused on bringing the 238 mile EV to Europe under Opel Ampera-E badging.

GM even took time to mention last quarter that dealer stock was limited, and the “days to turn is exceptionally low at 14 days”.

Maven to expand L.A. car-sharing and ridesharing services by introducing the Chevrolet Bolt EV to the fleet.

That all changed in April on the inventory side of the equation, as we noted in week 2 of the month that national reserves of the Bolt EV in America quadrupled (to ~4,000 units); and with that, we anticipated much higher sales numbers.

Unfortunately those sales did not materialize, and it is difficult to put a positive spin on April’s result for the EV.

For April, 1,292 Bolt EVs were sold, a gain of 32% from March when 978 were moved.

We should note that the almost 1,300 units sold is still a personal best for the Bolt EV, with the previous high coming this past January (1,162).  What is the reason behind the lower than expected numbers so far?   It is perhaps a case of the American public once again rejecting a small car offering, but only time will tell the story clearly at this point.

As for the Bolt EV’s “mini-competition” with the other major new offering for 2017, the Toyota Prius Prime; the Prime moved 1,819 copies in April (also a personal best)…but from an average inventory of less than 1,000 units.  We can probably now declare that the Prius Prime will be the best selling plug-in newcomer in the US for 2017 – that is, depending on how quickly Tesla can ramp Model 3 production in Q3.

Separately during the month, GM announced that the first “3,492 Bolt EV owners in the United States have driven a cumulative 4,570,300 miles as of April 2, 2017″.

During April, the Bolt EV also arrived in Washington for the first time, bringing the availability of the electric car officially up to 8 states.

Although we did see some inventory managed to find its way into other states originally planned for a May introduction (CT, ME, VT, RI, NH and CO).

The Chevrolet Volt

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Volt continues to be the runaway best selling plug-in for GM.

However, the 53 mile extended range car did have some trouble in April, and failed to best its year-over-year comps for first time in the 2nd generation’s sophomore season on the US market.

During the month 1,807 Volts were sold, a loss of 9% from the 1,983 moved a year ago.

For the year, 7,370 plug-in hybrid Chevys have been sold, versus 5,970 moved through April of 2016, a 23.5% improvement.

The All-New Cadillac CT6 PHV Has Arrived In The US In Very Limited Numbers

Also, we would be remise to not mention the all-new Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid.

The 18.4 kWh/31 mile range premium Caddy (full details here) arrived on dealer lots in very late March, and noted its first sales in April with 6 copies sold.

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185 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt EV And Volt Sales Flatten In April Despite More Inventory"

  1. bro1999 says:

    That sales # for the Bolt is a bummer for sure. I thought 2k was actually a possibility, especially with nearly 5k Bolts in stock.

    I think GM needs to unleash the rest of the tax credit via lease incentive now.

    1. Jon says:

      Most people don’t know it even exist gm isn’t advertising it

      1. JesseD says:

        Yeah I think the lack of ads are crazy…..

    2. Daniel R. says:

      I agree – why are they only giving $2,500 of the tax incentive to lessees?

      1. MIkeM says:

        I noticed that too.

        To the hapless salesperson, I politely conveyed the sentiment that he might want to keep his Bolts somewhere where the sun don’t shine until the full rebate is passed through. Then we can start working on that high interest rate (money factor) he was quoting too.

        Until then, my Leaf lease extension is just fine!

        1. Daniel R. says:

          Mlke – wish I could have joined you on the Leaf lease extension… my lease ended in February and the program was only available for leases ending April 1 or later!

          Should have held on to that old Accord for two more months way back in 2012 lol.

      2. Bacardi says:

        There are many parts to a lease beyond incentives/CCR/Lease Cash such as Money Factor, waiving the first payment, residuals and even the credit score it takes to qualify (GMF only requires a 620 to qualify for the lowest money factor, Maserati reportedly requires a score around 750)

        …GM decided for some reason to inflate the residual…What’s been loud and clear for years that the most important factor of leasing is folks feeling “entitled” to at least $7500 lease cash…GM could play around with the other factors, keep the save overall loan amount but give $7500 in lease cash…

      3. JayTee says:

        How long is the lease?

        1. Bacardi says:

          Check since deals change month to month…

    3. Larry says:

      While I have heard of California dealers with Bolts on their lot here in Ontario after contacting 40 dealers I found only one with a single Bolt. He refused offers of thousands of dollars over list. All dealers have all ready sold their entire 2017 allocation of Bolts and are now taking deposits on 2018 Bolts

  2. Someone out there says:

    Well that stinks! Clearly GM is doing something wrong here.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      No advertising. They rely on hype and only the real EV fans will no anything about it for another 6 months without proper advertising.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Maybe they are just following the Tesla model of not advertising EVs.

        1. Rob Stark says:

          That only works if you have a kick ass EV AND your rock-star CEO’s paramour is smoking hot Hollywood Actress.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            So I guess the key to selling EVs is not to make award winning EV offerings, but rather just to have Robert Downey Jr. run your company while dating Jennifer Lawrence?

            1. Prasanna Venkatesh says:

              If you meant the Bolt is Kick-ass.. It’s not. It’s good but not kick ass.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Maybe they are just following the Tesla model of not advertising EVs.”

          If GM was as successful at manipulating media attention to get free advertising as Tesla is, then perhaps they wouldn’t need to use nearly as much paid advertising to sell their cars.

          Tesla uses lots of advertising, and sales promotions such as their “referral” program. Tesla just does not use paid mass media advertising.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            I don’t know that “just manipulate the media to give you free attention” is a strategy that can simply be executed on command.

            Tesla is a startup darling. It is as unfair to compare their ability to manipulate the media to GM’s as it is to compare GM’s ability to manipulate the government to Tesla’s.

    2. patrick says:

      Really too bad. This is a great car.

      1. Peter Duncan says:

        YEs, but way too expensive for what it has to offer, People are not so dumb. Why pay twice the price of a comparable Sonic or Trax ?!?

        1. Kdawg says:

          Depends upon what you value. Some people buy Ferraris.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Why pay twice the price of a comparable Sonic or Trax ?!?”

          This is a false analogy.

          Try comparing the actual characteristics of the Sonic vs. the Bolt EV. Does the Sonic have the 0-60 performance, the instant response acceleration, the quiet ride, the lack of noxious exhaust, the infotainment system, the electronic displays that the Bolt EV has?

          I think not!

      2. Volt says:

        Yes the Volt is a great car. The Dolt on the other hand….

    3. Bacardi says:

      Of course, they put the powertrain into one of the worst segments…

  3. Jean-François Morissette says:

    Meanwhile in Canada, people who want a Bolt right now are being told to wait for the 2018 model year…

    1. Blaine says:

      Same opinion here. GM sales folks in Toronto told me that there’s a 8 month wait on new orders. With that kind of delay its obviously worth deferring any purchase until all the new competing models are available.

      Looks like a bit of a PR fiasco.

      1. Larry says:

        I spoke to several GM rep in Toronto about The severe shortage of Bolts in Canada. They said GM is looking for ways to increase production but would make no promises. Currently the only thing the dealers are offering is to take deposits for 2018 Bolt. I see little point in put a deposit down on unannounced vehicle with an unknown price or features. We don’t even know if there will be a 2018 Bolt.

  4. Alan says:

    A real di*k punch for GM,

    They should have concentrated on Europe to sell this car, high fuel cost and shorter distances to travel.

    Can’t say as I am overly surprised.

    1. spinner says:

      The don’t sell the bolt or the volt in the UK due to right hand drive but it could be one of their biggest markets in Europe

      1. Alan says:

        Tell me about it, I’m from the UK !

        Still, the Nissan Leaf 2.0 looks to be my replacement next spring for my Outlander PHEV.

        1. Kdawg says:

          You can’t get the Bolt EV and we can’t get the Outlander PHEV.

          1. Alan says:

            It’s a mixed up world !

    2. Rob Stark says:

      GM concentrates on CA-OR and China. Because they must sell EVs there.

      Expect more favorable treatment of Quebec now that the province has largely adopted CA’s BEV regime. China’s system is also largely adopted from CA. They consulted the head of CARB Mary Nichols before implementing their new New Energy Vehicle program.

    3. John Doe says:

      What a coincident. At the moment there are just over 4000 people waiting for the rebadged Bolt, the Opel Ampera-e in Norway.

      Many got a mail from Opel saying they have to wait to 2018 to get the car. Those that order the car now can’t get it until mid or late 2018.
      I would have thought GM, as a large automaker would have been able to rebadged cars fairly quick – when they see one branding not selling so good.

      The cheap price could make this a volume seller. We have soooo many old ICE cars that are due for scrapping. Over the next 3 years the electric car sales will skyrocket. With other companies like VW (that sells most cars in Norway at the moment) ramping up their model range with cars that has a sufficient range and price – GM has to be quick to sell the numbers they want (if they want?).

      There are over 4000 customers waiting in line to get the car, and there has not been one single advertisement. Only model 3 from Tesla has more preorders. I understand that they don’t advertise it if they are not able to meet demand – but when they have cars in the US that they are not able to sell.. I think it is just poor planning. Maybe they should be quicker on their feet to see where there is demand, and ship cars to them.
      If GM/Opel waits too long, the small Tesla model will be available. Depending on how fast they can begin and ramp up production. VW will also ramp up production, and the new larger BMW will come too (but in a higher price range). Soon the Bolt will look and feel old compared to the other models. So make, and sell as many and as quick as possible.

      Maybe it is because Peugeot bought Opel from GM, and they are not so interested in covering Opel’s needs?

  5. Ziv says:

    I have never liked the look of the Bolt but I thought the utility of it would lead to more sales now that they have good inventory levels in 8 of the state’s with the most BEV sales.
    Apparently I wasn’t the only one that thought the Bolt wasn’t the car for them.
    Hatches don’t have to be frumpy. This is GM at its mediocre “best”.

    1. CVVH says:

      Good thing GM didn’t make the Bolt a frumpy hatch. I personally like the look of the car. Got to finally see one in person and sit in it. Looks better in person than the photos, and I found the seats to be comfortable. The dealer only had the premier trims including the DCFC option. I live in a state where we do t have a ZEV mandate and there are have not been too many EV models to choose from. So when a used Spark EV showed up on the dealer lot last month, I snapped it up. I love it, but thinking I maybe should have waited for the Bolt. That may also be hurting sales, a lot of used leased EV’s are coming onto the market for great deals.

      1. Volt says:

        The Dolt is a frumpy hatch. What are you talking about?

  6. CCIE says:

    I’m a GM guy and I really want to like the Bolt, but it’s just not an exciting car. And there are only so many EV enthusiasts out there who are willing to compromise. Plus many of those EV enthusiasts are waiting on the Model 3.

    I understand that GM made the Bolt a small car because they don’t want to impact sales of their other models. But, if they are serious about making an EV people will buy, it needs to be an Equinox-sized SUV. That’s what americans want. And they’re used to pay high prices for them. As long as GM is making EVs that can be compared to a Cruze, they’ll never see mainstream sales.

    On the plus side for me, I’ll be able to pickup a Bolt in a couple years when they hit fire sale prices. My Spark EV ($6k brand-new, post tax credit) needs a big brother!

    1. Congrats on the Great Deal on the Spark EV! Did you get it with CCS?

      I wonder if GM including CCS in the Base Model in Canada, is why there are already none to be had, and not including CCS in the US Base Model is why so many are sitting on lots?

      Or, is it the Dealers, you know, the ones NADA says, are the only places cars should be sold by, independent of a manufacturer, that ordered the wrong inventory?? (Because they know more than us, and can’t take instruction!)

      1. CCIE says:

        Yup, 2LT with DCFC. It was a super-leftover 2015 that I bought last year. Dealer was super motivated to get rid of it.

        Definitely a fun little car. And, the DCFC charges at the full ~50kw speed right from the start without playing any games that I’ve read the Bolt requires. Not sure how GM screwed that up on the Bolt when the Spark EV has no issues doing it with a far smaller battery.

        I agree that DCFC should be standard. I don’t use it a lot, but like having it just in case.

        The dealers are a major issue. But, GM let it get this way. Other manufacturers hold their dealers to a somewhat higher standard.

        And they chose to sell their EVs through their low-end car brand. Always a great comparison when a $45k Volt is parked next to a $15 Cruze and they both look the same. Until they can sell EVs at reasonable prices they should have used the Buick or Cadillac badges.

        1. BenG says:

          I agree it was a mis-step to use the low-end label for their EVs. They should have made their initial efforts bigger and more powerful Cadillacs, competing more with Teslas than Priuses.

          1. JeremyK says:

            Volume sales are in Chevy, not Cadillac and volume sales are needed to get battery/electronics prices down. Selling EVs under Chevrolet is fine as long as the quality and powertrain performance is best in class. GM just needs to figure out how to advertise these cars if they really want to move them. Also, as others have said, BUILD a PHEV Equinox ALREADY! WTF GM?

            1. BenG says:

              I think Tesla got it right targeting the premium market first because the cost of the battery is less of an issue for a higher priced car, and the battery provides performance to justify the price. Over the years you build volume and attack lower cost markets as the cost of the battery drops.

              GM had an inherent contradiction in the Volt because they sized it and badged it like a volume affordable car, but the size and price of the battery dictated an unaffordable price, especially since it cut into passenger and storage space compared to competitors. So GM laid heavy on the options to kinda justify the price/size/performance of the Volt, but that would have worked better if it were the Cadillac Volt, not Chevy. The 2012 Cadillac Volt, preferably built with a performance bump like they later did for the 2016 ELR, would have been a sweet halo car that commanded a better price than they got for the Chevy.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              JeremyK said:

              “Volume sales are in Chevy, not Cadillac and volume sales are needed to get battery/electronics prices down. Selling EVs under Chevrolet is fine as long as the quality and powertrain performance is best in class.”

              Can’t agree. Chevrolet is GM’s cheapest badge, and EVs come with a price premium. That’s why some industry watchers have suggested that GM should have sold the Volt and the Bolt EV under the Buick badge. Not sure that would be best either, as Buick has the reputation of being “cars for grandparents”. On the other hand, one could argue that’s exactly what Buick needs to revive its reputation.

        2. unlucky says:

          There’s a lot of false information out there about DCFC and the Bolt and you’re a victim of it.

          I fast charged my Bolt 3 times so far and it never has failed to take the maximum possible power when it charges. On a 100A charger it took 100A (said 101 on the screen), on a 125A charger it took 125A. The reason it doesn’t get the “full 50kW” is the same reason your car doesn’t either, because the total power delivered is determined by the pack voltage and the charge current. On a 369V pack (as your car has) you won’t get to the “full 50kW” on a 100A (50kW) charger because the max charging voltage won’t get to 500V. Your car will charge at about 40-43kW until it tapers.

          http://insideevs.com/informative-comparison-test-on-updated-2017-bmw-i3-94ah-33-kwh-performance-charging/

          See the charge rate there? Take the 12 minute figure and quintuple it to make an hour rate. That’s 8 times 5 or 40kWh.

          I fast charged this weekend and the primary thing holding me back was the charger. I charged 25% faster on a 125A charger than on a 100A charger. And even with your later taper you will will start to taper long before a Bolt will in terms of kWh simply because the Bolt pack is larger.

          So I’m not sure what GM screwed up. Some people speak of the earlier taper, I am withholding judgement until I see better data. I never took detailed data on my car, but I’ve seen it going full bore past 60%, when the internet says it drops back at 53%. And I can also say that at 80% the charging rate is quite diminished. I watched a 100A charger dropping down to 62A at the 80% mark. Even at the higher voltage the pack was taking at that point, that’s, what, 25kW? I’d love to find a 200A charger and let the car fly. Maybe we’ll find that the tapers are due to charger limitations. Or maybe we won’t. At least we can find out if it really can hit 80kW when it’s near empty.

          But in the end, just as you, I don’t use DC fast charging all that often. Most of the time I charge at home. And I do so at 7.2kW. It’s annoying GM never put even 6kW charging on the Spark EV.

          BTW, someone in here said that their tests had shown that Bolt EVs have a greater than 7.2kW charger, that their chargers recorded 8kW and higher figures. That’s most likely not true. I attached my Bolt EV to a 40A/230V EVSE this weekend and measured the current with proper testing equipment. It maxed out at 31.8A, that’s 7.2kW and the figure that would be expected. It’s possible the car takes more current on 208V (three phase) power but I really doubt it does. Anyway, if you have a 32A (7.2kW) charger at your house for your Bolt EV rest assured you are charging it as fast as you can. Having a 40A charger wouldn’t increase the rate.

          1. David Lane says:

            unlucky, I would love to see you write an article for InsideEVs or Green Car Reports which would shed some light on this fast charging the Bolt issue.
            Thanks for sharing!

            1. unlucky says:

              Er, it’s kind of impractical. I’d have to make a day of it because the chargers near me are 100A chargers, not 125A. The 125A (62.5kW) charger I used was over 100 miles from my house. And when I did it this weekend I didn’t really feel like taking down figures from the screen standing in the hot sun. And I had driven about over 500 miles in the last 27 hours (even including a lot of time at my destination and sleeping) so I was really just looking to get home.

              I can say I got 24kWh (over 100 miles) in 32 minutes from a 125A charger. I’m not sure if I was in the sweet spot though, it should have been able to hit over 50kW at some point during that charging session, but not at the start since the pack voltage was too low and maybe not at the end since the SoC got up to 65% by the end and that might be past the start of the taper. That particular charger didn’t give amps/volts as it went, I would have had to write down the kWh delivered figures on minute intervals and then subtract them to get the per-minute rates. And I just didn’t feel like doing all that.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                It’s too bad you don’t have the time to write it.

                I hope someone will take the time and effort to write a first-hand report about DCFC charging a Bolt EV, because I think this is an important issue.

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. — Johannes L. A. van de Snepscheut

                1. SparkEV says:

                  boltev.blogspot has charging graph. Bro1999 also has a blog post about Bolt’s DCFC. He confirms a step at about 50% from 125A to 100A, and another at about 70% from 100A to 60A, pretty much what’s shown in boltev.blogspot.

                  https://bro05.blogspot.com/2017/03/fast-charging-experiences-with-bolt.html

            2. SparkEV says:

              If you want to see Bolt DCFC graph, see

              http://boltev.blogspot.com/2017/01/dc-fast-charge-data.html

              I don’t think an article on Bolt’s DCFC is quite good, yet. Wait until 100kW+ DCFC units are available, and then an article might be warranted.

              1. unlucky says:

                That graph isn’t right, or at least not canon. The falloff at 53% isn’t right, as I mentioned above. The “step falloff” isn’t right either. As my car went past 75% to 85% I watched the charge rate fall continuously, not in a step.

          2. CCIE says:

            I just saw a thread today on gm-volt.com today with an update on Bolt DCFC rates. Seems like it’s not bad at warmer temps. The previous threads indicated that the car had issues if the battery wasn’t at an ideal temperature (an issue the Spark EV does not have). I hope it’s true and DCFC does work well for the Bolt.

            You are correct that the Spark EV does max out around 44kw on a “50kw” charger. But, it hits that 44kw almost instantly and hold it till the taper.

            1. SparkEV says:

              SparkEV shows up to 48kW when using ABB (125A, aka, 62.5 kW) DCFC unit all the way to 80%. It starts slower at low SoC, but never below 40 kW.

              1. unlucky says:

                At low SoC it starts at 125A, same as it starts at mid SoC. The difference is that with a lower pack voltage the kW delivery rate is lower.

                It starts at 125A and holds it until 60%, probably further. I wasn’t watching it the whole time, as I mentioned above.

                1. SparkEV says:

                  There are others who say there’s a step drop at about 50%. Even if 60%, pack voltage is less than 80%, so the average power delivered to 80% would be less than SparkEV. This is why I see 48 kW when it’s approaching 80%, but Bolt will not see this.

                  Sure, Bolt puts more energy to 60%, but not keeping even 50 kW to 80% seems weird with 3X bigger battery than SparkEV. Even Tesla’s steep taper keeps it above 50 kW to 80%.

          3. devbolt says:

            I have a 30A unit at home. My Bolt actually charges at ~7.4 kW because the power coming into our house is ~248 volts (30 * 248 = 7440 watts). If I were to replace it with a 32A unit, the car would pull the maximum 7.7 kW it is capable of utilizing.

            Remember, the ratings of the L2 EVSEs is based on a nominal voltage of 240V. If your service is 220V or 208V, you’ll get less kW into the car on a 30A unit.

          4. Malevolence says:

            If the ac charger takes up to 32 amps (or maybe only 31.8 per your observations), I wouldn’t be surprised to see up to 8000 watts in just the right conditions. I’m pretty sure the on-board charger is current limited not power limited. 250V is still in spec for split phase residential power in the U.S. and 32A x 250V = 8kW.

            About 10 years ago, when I had my S-10 conversion, I would regularly measure right around 250V at my charger. Granted, that was due to very favorable circumstances. I was the first house of about 30 being served from a single ground mount transformer (in a place with a lot of A/C load) at the street (technically in an easement in my yard) and my 50A receptacle was literally 8 inches from my panel on the other side of the wall. You aren’t going to find much higher voltage than that. Then, when the solar on my roof was humming, it would push that voltage up even a little more (and did occasionally cut out for a few minutes from time to time due to sensing an over-voltage of greater than 252V when the conditions were right and I was exporting power). I didn’t keep track, but I’m sure my incandescent light bulbs didn’t last as long in that house!

            It’s interesting that they advertise it as basically 30A at 240V. Maybe GM figures that many customers will see voltage sag and it’s better to advertise the 7.2kW rate so that people with much worse conditions than above don’t complain and try to get repairs when they only get 7.2kW on 225V after accounting for lots of sag in the line up to the EVSE.

            1. unlucky says:

              I was using a current clamp. The 0.2A could just be measuring error. We can way 32A, I don’t mind.

              I didn’t measure the voltage at the time, I just presumed it was 230VAC. I actually had the breaker panel open (no other easy way to clamp just one conductor) so I could have measured the voltage but I just didn’t bother.

              If you say home voltage can be as high as 250VAC sometimes then I guess you’re right, it could be 8kW under optimal conditions.

              GM doesn’t advertise amps, just 7.2kW. And I believe the standard for charge rate advertisement is that 3.3kW means 15A, 6.6kW means 30A, 7.2kW means 32A and 10kW (Tesla) and 9.6kW means 40A. Tesla changed up and now uses Amps for AC charging, and calls theirs 48A and 72A (and their EVSE 40A).

              So I believe GM is saying effectively their charger is 32A and that’s what it appears to be.

              1. devbolt says:

                GM is advertising a max charge rate of 7.7 kW using
                a 32A (or more) capable EVSE on 240V service. As someone else said, the Bolt is probably current limited to 32A and not voltage (other than to a max of probably ~250 – 260V).

                I have EngineLink (Torque Pro for iOS) screen shots showing my Bolt pulling 30A at 244V. I know I’ve taken some measurements showing 30A @ 248V, but I neglected to get a screen shot of that charging session.

                My plan is to replace the 30A Aerovironment EVSE with the GM-branded 32A Aerovironment unit because it has a longer cord than the 30A unit I have now. And then take measurements showing what the max draw is. If I can find a 40A unit in the wild that is publically accessible, I’ll happily pull data for that charging session.

            2. Bill Howland says:

              Please don’t call 120/240 single phase power “SPLIT PHASE” – it means something totally different to electrical people.

              The ratings of the BOLT ev charger are 7200 watts maximum and 32 amperes, maximum. I doubt anyone is getting much more under any circumstances.

              Its rather like the ‘100 watt’ power pack for your laptop – the current limited ones, in any event. It will draw less current from the power line at a higher voltage.

              1. devbolt says:

                I’ve heard split phase and single-phase used interchangeably to describe 120/240v power in a house. This is by my own electrician, as well as other electricians.

                https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/split-phase-power.544/

                has a good explanation as to why they can be used interchangeably.

                The rating of the Bolt’s internal charger is 7.7 kW according to GM’s published specs. This presumes 32A @ 240V being supplied by the EVSE. I have personally seen over 7.3 kW being pulled from from my 30A EVSE (incoming voltage from the street is around 248V).

    2. Scramjett says:

      I don’t think GM really wants to sell them in volume. I seriously think they look at plug-ins like the Volt and Bolt as a charity to the “enviro fanboi’s” and EV enthusiasts. They’ve even said as much when one of their former executives said the Volt was a “niche” vehicle. Their vetting the 2nd gen with previous Volt owners rather than the general public (or other non-Volt customers) is evidence of this thought process.

      If GM were really serious about making appealing plug-ins for the general population, they would have upscaled the 2nd gen Volt to a mid-size like Toyota did with the 2nd Gen Prius and build a ground up plug-in Equinox AND Traverse sized SUV with both Bolt and Voltec power trains. The fact that they haven’t – and won’t (based on lack of rumors) – says a lot about there real approach.

      Remember, what companies DON’T talk about can say a LOT more than what they DO talk about.

    3. unlucky says:

      I understand that GM made the Bolt small because it makes it more efficient and thus requires a smaller battery to go the same distance.

      1. CCIE says:

        Aerodynamics are part of the reason. Mass doesn’t really matter since it’s largely recovered via regen.

        Jay has very eloquently explained in previous threads why GM has financial reasons not to make a desirable PHEV or EV. It boils down to the fact that they have extreme profit margins on their popular cars (mostly SUVs). Making an EV or PHEV version of those cars would cut into profits.

        I just hope GM realizes that at some point Tesla will eat their lunch if they don’t start making compelling EVs.

        1. unlucky says:

          Mass matters a lot. It directly relates to rolling frication. And if you have lighter car you need a smaller motor to go the same speed. That reduces the weight more. You need less torque to accelerate the same, that means smaller driveshafts and gears. That reduce the weight even more.

          And regen isn’t 100% efficient.

          Lighter is more efficient. Plus smaller is better for aerodynamics too.

          Forget Jay. Jay can be the nth person to claim GM would rather sell you an oil car than a battery car. It doesn’t mean a thing, it’s just speculation. Who is he to claim that one of the car companies that is actually pushing EVs forward doesn’t want to try to grab a first mover piece of this growing market?

          1. CCIE says:

            I’ve been reading Jay’s stuff since he was “Statik” on gm-volt.com. Long enough that I know he’s a smart guy and not prone to idle speculation. So, his views carry some weight with me, especially when they make sense.

            We all know that a reasonably priced PHEV or EV SUV would sell like crazy. So, what’s keeping GM from making one? Concerns about cannibalizing high-profit ICE SUV sales makes the most sense to me. What did ever happen to that PHEV Saturn Vue that GM announced around the same time they announced the Volt?

            I know mass matters somewhat since regen isn’t 100% efficient. But, the power requirements of a small SUV could probably be met by the powertrain in my Spark EV. No need to make the thing a race car.

            1. Jay Cole says:

              Appreciate the love CCIE,

              Just to wade in a bit:

              What we have been saying for a long time (here and at GMV in the “old days”) is that OEMs are very hesitant to give away sales in the “sweet spot”, especially knowing the amount of future-tense compliance necessary. So they tend to start offering plug-ins for those segments that are unprofitable, or that they under perform their peers in.

              By doing this, sales are more likely to be “new” sales rather than conversions from elsewhere in their lineup, while at the same time enjoying whatever “halo” value those cars bring.

              For GM, they have always been the dog’s breakfast at small/compact cars (relatively to company’s like Toyota and Honda)…so its not surprising to see them attempt to maximize plug-in sales and stick to this segment while they can (as plug-ins notoriously have had poor margins).

              It isn’t a personal comment specific to GM, but to the dynamics of the traditional auto industry as a whole.

              As we have (finally) made it to 2018 (and it is not 2008 at GM-Volt anymore, lol), the ZEV requirements triple (to ~2%), then go to 4% in 2019, 6% in 2020, etc…now all the OEMs now have no choice but to permit this “EV product creep” into their mainstream offerings.

              Nutshell: like a magical rain, the plug-in utility vehicles, midsize cars, SUVS, vans…and yes,trucks, will now materialize like Hot Cakes at McDonald’s on a Saturday morning for the ~2019/2020 model year

              …and we are totally ok with that, (=

              /hugs to CARB

            2. unlucky says:

              > We all know that a reasonably priced PHEV or EV SUV would sell like crazy. So, what’s keeping GM from making one?

              If you just read up to the post you’re responding too you’ll see the problem.

              Weight matters. Aerodynamics matter. Smaller is cheaper and SUVs aren’t small or light. So making a reasonably priced PHEV or EV SUV would be difficult to impossible, unless you include making a minimum-range PHEV.

              The batteries in electric cars aren’t cheap, even now. And in the past they were even more expensive. So making an EV requires you maximize efficiency so you can minimize the battery. And that means you can’t really make an SUV. Heck, look at the Model X. It has a worse cargo area than their own Model S. It’s certainly not a true SUV, it’s not even a Toyota Venza.

              It isn’t just GM who hasn’t made an affordable plug-in (including PHEV) SUV. It’s everyone. Literally no company has done it. Does this not suggest to you there might be a reason for this other than just that GM doesn’t want to sell PHEVs?

              We will have them soon. We’ll have them from many companies simply because batteries are dropping in price. Making an affordable plug-in SUV now is now no more difficult than it was making an affordable plug-in sedan/hatchback was 3-4 years ago. So, knowing that are you ready for the Ford C-Max Energi of SUVs? Or the 75 mile Nissan LEAF of SUVs? Do you think companies would be wise to offer an 85 mile range affordable EV SUV? Or a nearly minimum range PHEV SUV with no trunk?

              One step at a time. For all companies, including GM. They do want money, even your PHEV (including EV) money. They do have to deal with the limitations of the time though.

              1. vdiv says:

                “Uh-huh!” said the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the RAV4 EV, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid…

                1. unlucky says:

                  RAV4EV isn’t sold anymore. Toyota dropped it (twice) because it lots them too much money. Even if you call it affordable, it wasn’t affordable to make, just sold as a compliance car.

                  Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV isn’t sold in the US and never has been. It’s over 3 years late. And it’s a minimum-range vehicle anyway.

                  The Pacifica isn’t an SUV.

                  1. vdiv says:

                    Point is we already have them, maybe not many, maybe not exactly the type we want, or where we want them (vehicles can be moved), but we already have larger EVs available.

              2. CCIE says:

                I’ve been reading about EVs & PHEVs almost daily for ten years, with a concentration on GMs offerings. And, I’ve read every post up to this one. You should read Jay’s post right above yours.

                You’re right that aerodynamics matter and it’s hard to achieve a low CD in an SUV platform. But, mass is much less important than you think as far as efficiency is concerned since regen will get you 70-80% of kinetic energy back into the battery. You do need a somewhat more powerful motor to achieve acceptable acceleration, but nothing crazy. Most people buying Equinoxs these days get them with underpowered 4 cylinder engines. So, performance clearly isn’t a big concern.

                If GM put the Bolt’s drivetrain and battery into an Equinox, with a little tweaking to the body to minimize CD, I bet it would have reasonable performance and get 180-200 miles of range. They haven’t done it because it’ll canabalize existing sales and be low profit.

                As I said in my original post, I’m a GM guy. So I hope they have some offerings that normal people like soon.

                1. unlucky says:

                  Mass matters. Again it directly relates to rolling friction. And size matters too, for aero and price.

                  Look at the Cadillac CT6 PHEV. It has the same electric drivetrain as the Volt but yet it only goes 60% the distance and does not remain in all-electric mode when producing heavy acceleration.

                  How can you look at these things and pretend mass doesn’t matter?

                  The Equinox can’t take the Bolt battery. The Bolt battery runs under the entire length of the car. It would require a redesign, you just can’t jam it in.

                  Many families right now look at EVs as a 2nd car. You have the family hauler and the EV. Why would it make sense to have the family hauler be the one which can’t go long distances or refuel anywhere?

                  You again assert from nowhere that GM wouldn’t make an electric SUV because it would hurt profits. I’m done here. You can’t argue with a person who says it must be so because they believe it is so.

                  1. CCIE says:

                    Obviously the Equinox can’t take a Bolt battery. I meant that a 60kwh battery and similar motors in an Equinox-size EV would be practical. GM hasn’t built one even though the main thing people want from American car companies are SUVs. You say they haven’t done if because it’s impossible. I say they haven’t done it because it’ll cannibalize existing sales. Some day we’ll know who was right.

                    As for having two cars, you may be right that having a large vehicle for long distance & capacity and a small EV for commuting makes sense for some. I’d prefer to have that large vehicle be a PHEV SUV, if a good one existed.

                2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  unlucky said:

                  “Look at the Cadillac CT6 PHEV. It has the same electric drivetrain as the Volt but yet it only goes 60% the distance and does not remain in all-electric mode when producing heavy acceleration.

                  “How can you look at these things and pretend mass doesn’t matter?”

                  Well of course mass matters. The points you’ve made here, while mostly true, are largely superficial; they don’t get to the heart of the situation.

                  GM did a great job with engineering Voltec. The Volt was, and so far as I know still is even after 6+ years, the only PHEV that is a true “switch-hitter”, switching from all-EV mode to extended-range mode, without sacrificing performance in either mode.

                  Yes, the Cadillac CT6 PHEV has the same electric drivetrain as the Volt. And that’s the problem! You can’t stick a powertrain designed for a small car into a larger one, and expect it to perform as well. That’s like being surprised if someone stuck a 4-cylinder ICE into a luxury car, and was disappointed that it didn’t perform like a V6.

                  The larger and heavier CT6 PHEV needs more powerful electric motors, and likely a more robust gearing system, to be able to perform as well as the Volt does. And of course, it will need a substantially larger battery pack. If there isn’t sufficient room for that in the car, well that just shows why car makers should never take a car designed as a gasmobile and try to shoehorn an EV powertrain into it.

                  Compelling EVs, and that includes PHEVs, are designed from the ground up. That includes designing it to hold a large battery pack.

                  If GM wanted to design a larger, more luxurious PHEV which would sell well within its price segment, then they could certainly do so. Yes, it would need a large battery pack. Yes, it would be expensive. Because of that additional expense, it would need to be aimed at roughly the same market as the Tesla Model S and/or Model X.

                  But as Jay Cole pointed out (as have many others), GM has no motive to do so. PEVs (Plug-in EVs) currently have a lower profit margin than gasmobiles, so GM has a strong disincentive to offer compelling PEVs which would compete directly with their more popular, and more profitable, gasmobiles. That is why, again as Jay has correctly pointed out, legacy auto makers are mostly or entirely offering PEVs only in market segments where they don’t offer any gasmobiles which sell well.

                  You can of course continue to do what you’ve been doing, Unlucky — ignoring all of these facts and Truths, and remaining willfully ignorant. However: Denying reality does not actually change reality.

                  Your arguments would be more persuasive if based on how the world really works, rather than on how you merely wished it does.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            unlucky said:

            “Forget Jay… Who is he to claim that one of the car companies that is actually pushing EVs forward doesn’t want to try to grab a first mover piece of this growing market?”

            Jay Cole is someone who is far more informed about the auto industry than either you or I are, that’s who.

            Refusing to pay attention when Jay takes the time to do one of his “deep dives” into how the automotive industry works, and how it handles financial matters, is being willfully ignorant.

            1. SparkEV says:

              Just because Jay is EIC of IEV doesn’t make him the guru of everything auto. You can tell by his lack of knowledge about how revolutionary SparkEV was, and not singing the praise of such messianic car in every article he posts (and pray to it before going to bed). 🙂

  7. Going to be hard for GM to make a profit selling Electric Cars, if they are not selling! Or, they make a profit on EV Sales, by NOT Selling Them?

    1. bro1999 says:

      That’s what Sergio said when he begged people not to buy the 500e.

  8. Warren says:

    Like I said earlier: We have about six months to fantasize about the EV tsunami. The real horror show will be when Elon finds out that most Americans want 300 mile range SUV’s and pickup trucks, at $35K, not sport sedans. Lots of those reservation will evaporate when they find out they are not getting a slightly smaller Model S for $35K. We will buy a Bolt, just like we bought Datsun 510’s, a Sentra, and Corolla. It’s just a car, the smaller, and the less of it, the better!

    1. Stimpy says:

      If Tesla had come out with the Model Y first, the reservations would have been 1M instead of a “mere” 400k.

      400k is already going to take a while to fill, so I think they are doing this in the right order.

    2. Someone out there says:

      “most Americans want 300 mile range SUV’s and pickup trucks”

      Those two segments together is less than half of car sales so “most Americans” are actually NOT buying SUVs or pickups. But it’s fairly close to 50%, I’ll give you that. That still leaves a huge market for other cars though.

      1. Scramjett says:

        I beg to differ. Turns out that Trucks and SUVs made up 53% of sales in Q1 2016 and an eye popping 58% in Q1 2017!

        http://www.autocarpro.in/news-international/us-vehicle-sales-fall-19-q1-2017-suvs-pickups-grow-market-share-24281

    3. Nice Fantasy! Waiting for the final Model 3 Reveal, before going to the Dealer (Chevy), and asking, can I get that Bolt Now? I don’t want to wait for a Tesla Pickup, or Model Y!

    4. Warren says:

      Six months to fantasize.

  9. floydboy says:

    There you go Ben(Someone out there)!

  10. philip d says:

    Well it finally happened. GM half-ass markets the Volt and the Prius Prime passed it in sales. Marketing makes a difference and is actually critical for a new drivetrain technology.

    Prius is an established brand and people know about it and the Volt is not established so it needs to be marketed. Totally predictable and avoidable by GM if they cared. Now we’ll watch Volt sales flatten while Prime sales rise for the rest of the year.

    And GM already announced that the 2018 model basically only changes paint options and gives a few options, of course for more cost added to the base price, for the LT trim.

    If they wanted to salvage the situation they would have dropped the price by another $2000 and included at least the driver confidence package and ACC as standard to compete with the cheaper Prime that comes standard with Safety Sense P.

    Then with the Volt’s larger tax incentive the base model would come out to about the same price as the Prime and have similar tech specs but with superior performance and EV range. Even then they would be fighting uphill against the established Prius brand name.

    Without these changes the Volt will probably not sell more than they did last year in an ever growing crowd of other options.

    1. BenG says:

      I wonder if GM is planning at least a mild update of the Volt for its 3rd year, 2018? A little bump in range and performance like we saw in 2013? That and a bit of a price drop could goose sales if they want to do so.

      1. Neromanceres says:

        Volt is due for an MCE for the 2019MY. 2018 order guide is out already. No major changes. Some new colours and options on the LT model.

  11. Dave S. says:

    Here in Utah our dealer is bringing in 4 Bolts this week. I had a chat with the salesman. He acknowledged a list of people here so they are getting them from west coast dealers. GM isn’t going to change their plans, but this feels a lot like the Volt promise of 60,000 by year 2 that never happened.

  12. Jerico says:

    Although there’s this healthy competition Bolt vs Model 3, all EV fans regardless of being tesla fans/owners/reservation holders wanted the Bolt to succeed but this is discouraging. It’s the Volt-case again, a great product poorly publiziced.

    1. Vexar says:

      The Bolt is a modest hatchback. I’ve ridden in their best. The comparison to the Model III from Tesla is price and range. There on out, it ends. Bolt isn’t a luxury sedan. It is, however, quite tall and nobody has explained to me why so tall on the inside.

      As a Tesla owner, fan, and EV enthusiast, I want the Bolt to succeed. Because GM has been bank-rolling the anti-Tesla state-by-state legislation, I won’t reward them with a sale. It’s my hope that LG makes their own car soon based off the Bolt platform, and that they sell it in the US, direct-to-consumers or through something bizarre like at Best Buy.
      We all know S. Korea is two brands deep with EV-experience. Make it three, I’m fine with that.
      All told, I’m disappointed that the Bolt isn’t selling better, but I’m not terribly surprised. I do hope the one that’s at the dealer in Roseville, MN (bought off a CA dealer, of course. Such weirdness) sells and sells soon. However, I think Minnesotans interested in EVs are rather savvy and everyone I know at this price point stood in the cold rain March 31, 2016 to get their Model III reservation. If a person at a GM dealer in Minnesota wasn’t thinking about buying an EV, but did want, say a Chevrolet, what would amaze me utterly would be the dealer actually converting an ICE customer. I’d be amazed because that is utter fantasy out here.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Jerico said:

      “…all EV fans regardless of being tesla fans/owners/reservation holders wanted the Bolt to succeed…”

      I wish that was true, but it’s not. There are some EV advocates — and not all just Tesla fans, either — who are actively hoping GM will fail, because of its political activism and lobbying to roll back CAFE standards and to support various State Automobile Dealer Associations’ attempts to push thru State laws to block Tesla sales.

      Personally, I really wanted the Bolt EV to succeed beyond GM’s hopes, and I’m quite disappointed that corporate GM and/or Chevy dealers seem to be actively discouraging sales. Legacy auto makers are only going to be persuaded to quit trying to slow the EV revolution when PEVs start outselling gasmobiles in their market segment. Of course that’s already happening with the Tesla Model S in the USA and some other regions, but it’s going to have to happen a lot more before legacy auto makers will be willing to “go all in” on making and selling PEVs.

  13. GrokGrok says:

    Auto sales generally in April were down (including 6% at GM), with SUVs and trucks still doing OK, and sedans really slumping. GM’s also put the Bolt in a niche which will make it much harder to compete against either the Model 3 or ICE vehicles (big battery EV not meant for long distance travel, without both a very fast DC charging capability and a supercharger network). Looked at in that light, increased sales of any magnitude for the Bolt is swimming against the tide.

  14. Nelson says:

    I was interested in a BoltEV after reading about CA Dealers putting $3K+ on the hood, but found NJ Dealers aren’t so motivated to sell the BoltEV. I test drove an LT and liked it a lot but the sales guy didn’t mention discounts so for now I’m waiting.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

    1. BenG says:

      Discounts will be coming, probably sooner than later given the ballooning inventory and tepid sales.

    2. Bacardi says:

      SoCal is always been fairly competitive for all vehicles…While we can see reports of discounts and even advertised specials (applies to VIN XXX only, show up that vehicle was sold yesterday!), you may later discover that it’s only a small handful of dealers and often you can’t just show up and get that discount without major haggling…

  15. ffbj says:

    Right in line with my expectations.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Ditto!

    2. georgeS says:

      ffbj,
      Not mine. I thought they could at least do a consistent 2000 or so a month.

      They will sweeten the lease deals at some point. It’s pretty pricey.

      1. ffbj says:

        I know what you mean.
        It’s expectation vs. reality.

  16. Alan says:

    The leaf in it’s 7th year and with probably less inventory could get close to this sales number !

  17. Warren says:

    Reality check. Americans want to save the planet, if it doesn’t inconvenience them, or cost more, or they don’t believe it anyway. As to the gee whiz tech of electric, see the above. Cars are not an affordable/sensible proposition, if you include the externalities, so we don’t, because…see the above.

    1. Scramjett says:

      This. Frankly if we are serious about addressing climate change in any meaningful way, then we need to Denmark and Netherlands the hell out of this country yesterday, at least where transportation is concerned.

      Personally, I think that, one way or another, we’re headed that way. Our choice is will we choose to do it consciously and relatively painlessly, or will we just keep going full speed into the brick wall where it becomes extremely painful. Unfortunately, I suspect the latter.

  18. BenG says:

    Not a great result, but I am psyched to see the inventory climbing so fast. They must have really cranked up the production line.

    Next will come widespread discounting outside of California after the new inventory sits on the lots for a month or two.

    Late in the year after the nationwide roll-out, inventory and discounting is widespread, and the federal tax credit is closer to being cash in pocket Bolt sales will be much higher.

    For now the high price is an impediment for a small car with a low-end name-plate and trim.

    1. fred says:

      I think you’ve hit it. Once the rollout goes nationwide, we’ll all know what kind of demand is out there. Until then, it doesn’t make much sense for GM to start any deep discounting.

  19. Doggydogworld says:

    I’ve said for a year Bolt was designed to be a Robotaxi. That market is zero today but could explode next year. GM is ready if it does.

    Until then, they’ll sell a few Bolts here and there to EV nuts. It has no chance with mainstream buyers. They won’t even consider a $40k compact that can’t make a 500 mile trip.

  20. CLIVE says:

    No $7500

    Only $2500 in Cali

    Over 500/mo on a lease

    1. Bacardi says:

      Leasing in CA which is usually just under 10% tax is usually under LT $400/mo with a zero out of pocket without a lot of work and that’s before the $2500 incentive…If you shop around and really haggle, you could easily get a top optioned Premier at around $500/mo especially if you “deduct” the $2500 from the payment…

      Yet it’s still fairly high…

    2. Woochifer says:

      A local dealer in the Bay Area had a $250/month lease special on the Bolt a couple of weeks ago. Looks like the discounting has started. Good news for consumers, but not a great sign for demand moving forward after the initial wave of interest.

  21. BenG says:

    Very solid result for the Prius Prime to sell 1,800 despite never breaking 1000 copies inventory. Looks like Toyota found the right balance point of price/performance … pricing after the tax credit where the plug-in version undercuts the regular hybrid made rapid sales a near lock.

    It’s no surprise that people shopping for utilitarian small cars are price sensitive. GM will be taking notes for the Bolt I assume.

    I was glad to hear that GM is working hard to squeeze cost out of the Bolt and I hope that some of the efforts will bear fruit with the 2018 model, though I guess it’s more likely that significant tweaks will wait for a mid-cycle refresh in 2019 or 2020.

    1. Bacardi says:

      It’s two way different segments, despite the Bolt EV having more space than other subcompacts, it’s still a subcompact…The Prime is midsize…

      1. BenG says:

        Yep, they are different cars with different markets, but I think the story is still about the pricing. $37500 for a small wagon like the Bolt is just too high of a sticker price for a small car with a non-premium name-plate and trim level. The Bolt has a lot of good characteristics: good interior passenger space, good acceleration and handling, but even IF you can use the full $7500 federal tax credit you are still paying a price premium of about $5000 compared to other “hot hatches”.

        Some of this is on purpose by GM, I’d assume. They had no intention of pushing the Bolt to truly mass sales this year, instead they wanted to get the car out there in relatively low numbers so they can make sure they iron out any problems without breaking the bank in the event of a significant recall. Pricing the car on the high side serves a dual purpose of bringing more money in per car sold and also limiting demand.

        I just hope that the quality and reliability results from the first year come back good and that GM and LG can then make some minor tweaks for the 2018 model and cut the price to increase volume.

        The Prime on the other hand is more of a known commodity: it’s based heavily on the existing Prius so there’s less worry than introducing an all-new car. Toyota priced it aggressively for mass sales from the get go and we’re seeing the results.

  22. AlphaEdge says:

    A sub-compact with a luxury car price. The general public is not going to pay that price.

    Model 3 will bring them to their senses, and they will have to drop the price big time, in order to compete.

    1. BenG says:

      Yep, yep you got it: at this price the Bolt is a niche vehicle.

      Though I wouldn’t call it a subcompact given the amount of passenger space it has. The EPA classifies it as a small wagon and that’s what I call it.

  23. Bacardi says:

    Hopefully GM smartens up and lowers United States bound production and increases production Bolts bound for South Korea and Canada…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      GM needs to send a much greater percentage of Bolt EV production to Europe, where this style of car is significantly more popular than it is here in the USA.

      And hopefully GM won’t sabotage European sales of the Bolt EV/Ampera-e the way they did with Volt/Ampera sales, by giving it a price tag about twice what it is here in the USA.

  24. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    It’s an econo box car, GM doesn’t advertise and the rollout is as limited a someones pee stream with a very enlarged prostate.

    Funny how when new Trucks or SUV’s are out they rollout everywhere and it’s always “Truck Month” and GM has massive ad campaign for their trucks.

    They don’t want to sell, just look at Clive’s post above!

    I say vote with your wallets. GM is not interested in selling the Bolt.
    Just look at their efforts trying to fight CARB/EPA…
    http://insideevs.com/ceos-of-gm-ford-and-fca-call-again-to-review-emission-regulations/

    All financial efforts paying their lawyers could’ve been better used to advertise the Volt and Bolt better.

    They even try and fight the Tesla sales model.
    http://insideevs.com/general-motors-sends-anti-tesla-letter-ohio-governor/

    1. CLIVE says:

      I drove the hell out of it

      The cloth seats suck

      The car is great

      Bad lease

    2. JeremyK says:

      If gas was cheap and profits on trucks were greater than small EVs, which vehicle would you advertise? If you take the emotion out of it, the answer is simple. Sell trucks while gas is cheap, be ready with BEVs and PHEVs when prices go back up or EPA regulations dictate. Sadly, it’s that simple. I’ll be buying a Bolt eventually, but waiting till the 2018s are out and the $7500 credit is close to expiration.

      1. BenG says:

        True. And smart strategy on the purchase. I might be looking at a used 2018 Bolt in about 2021 I’d guess. 🙂

    3. ffbj says:

      I think that is pretty much correct. A while back, in December, I was trying to throw cold water on peoples expectations of Bolt sales, by saying GM will sell as many as they want, which is not that many.

      Why advertise a car that people can’t buy, as in it’s not available in your state, yet?

      1. Kdawg says:

        My prediction has been 22K for 2017. GM said a max target of 30K, but if needed they could go higher.

        These predictions seems to attainable/accurate.

        1. fbj says:

          I pointed out before that, that was mine too.
          Which I thought amusing since we are coming at it from different angles. Still doable, as the current rate of sales should rise into the Summer, as the Bolt is available in wider distribution.

          Practicality dictates the other much higher estimates were pie in the sky.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        ffbj said:

        “A while back, in December, I was trying to throw cold water on peoples expectations of Bolt sales, by saying GM will sell as many as they want, which is not that many.”

        It hasn’t been that long since several people argued with me rather fiercely when I said that GM wasn’t prepared to make and sell many more than 30,000 Bolts in the first year of production.

        Funny thing: In the currently 164 comments in this thread, nobody seems to be arguing for 50,000+ units now! 😉

    4. Kdawg says:

      More Bolt EVs were sold than Leaf or Model S. That clearly shows that Tesla and Nissan have no desire to sell EVs. So vote with your wallet and don’t buy from them.

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        You forgot to mention how GM is a member of the Alliance that is fighting the EPA and CARB…
        https://autoalliance.org/connected-cars/automotive-privacy-2/participating-members/

        And how GM spends their money on lawyers to fight Tesla…
        http://gm-volt.com/2016/03/02/gm-has-lobbied-against-teslas-direct-sales-model-in-at-least-five-states/

        So yeah, vote with your wallets for which company is mostly for selling EV to help our environment as the “others” want to keep selling goo spewing OPEC swallowers to you.

        Buying any GM product helps fund GM’s fight against EPA/CARB/Tesla sales method. All so they can keep America addicted to OPEC junk.

        Vote with your wallets!!!!

      2. fred says:

        LOL

        Funny how that works.

      3. Bacardi says:

        You’re the reason Tesla cannot report monthly sales…

    5. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Funny how when new Trucks or SUV’s are out they rollout everywhere and it’s always “Truck Month” and GM has massive ad campaign for their trucks.
      They don’t want to sell, just look at Clive’s post above!
      I say vote with your wallets. GM is not interested in selling the Bolt”

      It is funny how your crap stinks the same each time you post it.

      GM just had the BEST Bolt Sales EVER. In fact, it is highest selling BEV in April. Yet, its truck sales went down more than 5% for April.

      So, I guess your claim of “truck months” is really a Bolt months. LOL.

      GM build things that people are willing to buy. The hottest selling things at GM today are Chevy Trax and Buick Encore which is basically the ICE twins of the Bolt EV.

      People don’t want to buy BEVs.

      People would still put money down on Model 3 even if it is powered by a V-8!

  25. Mark says:

    What’s amazing about the Prius plug-in is that the first one was dreadful. The new one is better (certainly the Prime looks better than the hybrid, but it is still weird looking). The Volt is a better car, but Toyota has a loyal following.

    1. BenG says:

      The first Prius plug-in sold pretty strongly compared to most other first gen plug-ins and from what I’ve seen people generally liked them. Sure they were far from a pure EV but they worked great with almost no sacrifice (on price or utility) even if only as a straight hybrid. A lot of people could and did displace 50% or more of their gasoline use with the plug-in Prius.

      The Volt is better in some ways but the Prime is better in others. The appliance-like nature, affordable price, and high expected reliability of the Prime will appeal to a lot of people.

      The Volt’s performance and EV range are much better, but a lot of people will be scared off by reliability questions and the somewhat constricted passenger and cargo volume of the Volt.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Restricted passenger space? Volt has 5 seats, PP only has 4.

        The Prime will sell because of Toyota lemmings, where a badge means more than quality/value.

        1. BenG says:

          Volt has less passenger volume than the Prime. 90.3 cuft vs 91.5 cuft. Probably not too noticeable of a difference but the Prime is bigger, and has significantly more cargo volume to boot.

          True the Volt has the 5th jump seat in the middle in back. It’s not a real full seat, but they get credit for a spot to put a baby seat or to squeeze a small kid.

  26. VS says:

    Dear GM.
    You should ship every single car You produce to Futureland (Norway) and skip Backwardsland until Futureland is filled.
    Futureland has since long passed 4000 signed orders, but Your response is 18 month waitinglists.

    1. Steve Grinwis says:

      Same with Canada. I put my order in for February. I’m told it might get built next month…

      1. Larry says:

        You were smart to make your purchase in February. By March Ontario buyers were told they would have to wait for the 2018 Bolt.

  27. Texas FFE says:

    I’m disappointed by the April sales on the Bolt EV also but the Bolt still sold better than any other BEV in April. The Bolt appears to be taking significant market share from the Model S and the Leaf. I’m still encouraged by the fact that the Bolt still hasn’t rolled out to all states and in many states, like Texas, there’s still a long waiting list for the Bolt.

    I think that many dealers are still playing bait and switch games with the Bolt advertising large incentives and then making it very difficult to qualify for them. There is a long ways to go before the Bolt market is mature. Once the Bolt market matures and the Bolt makes it out to all 50 states we should see much higher Bolt sales numbers.

    It makes you wonder though what happened to all the Maven sales. From what we read before the Bolt came out I thought Maven was going to snatch up the first couple of thousand Bolts but from their website it looks like they only picked up book a handful of them. I guess you can’t believe everything you read.

    1. ffbj says:

      Always good to read your points.

  28. Lou Grinzo says:

    I think this sales figure for the Bolt is pretty good, considering [1] zero advertising support, [2] new model, [3] small car size, [4] still limited availability (some fairly large states still don’t have it).

    GM will fix [4] in time, and can fix [1] and therefore [2] with ad buys, if they really want to. And if they would get off their butt and make a Volt/Bolt-based small/mid-size SUV, they could address [3].

  29. CLIVE says:

    They are basically pocketing the $7500 cash on the bolt.

    Greedy

    1. Nix says:

      Greedy? Yes and no.

      The used car EV market currently has the full $7500 incentive priced into lease return resale prices. So GM isn’t actually able to pocket that incentive at lease end. They are having to pass that incentive on to their CPO lease return customers.

      So they aren’t greedy as much as they are simply trying to keep from losing money on reselling lease returns.

  30. Chris O says:

    It’s almost as if given the choice between buying an offering that’s basically a $20K compact hatch with an $20K EV premium that doesn’t come with much quick charge support but can be bought now and having to wait a while for a car that does look like its price tag and does come with proper quick charge support many people have decided to wait it out a bit.

    I think Model 3 is the fly in GM’s ointment and I can’t say I’m completely surprised. Adjusting the price to better reflect relative value should fix GM’s problem.

    1. Steve Grinwis says:

      Or GM is conservatively running out a few copies to enthusiasts, and when the model 3 drops, they cut the price.

  31. Terawatt says:

    A disappointing and surprising result, but it need not matter much. If GM wants to sell the car they will have no problems selling all they can make this year and next in Europe – under the Opel badge now owned by PSA.

    If GM prefers to build inventory in the US rather than sell cars in Canada and Europe (where the waiting lists​are long) I reckon that’s a pretty good hint.

    Although I’ve no idea if GM wants the Opel Ampera-e to succeed. It’s a competitor now, after all. PSA must have got some sort of rights (minimum production numbers, something regulating the price, and so on) to the car, but AFAIK no details are known.

    Even so I think the Bolt is an important car. It’s raised the bar for range/price and I still think as the owners introduce others to the car its sales will climb slowly but steadily. The rollout to more states can’t hurt either, and should happen faster now that inventory is presumably climbing more than anticipated. If sales go up by twenty percent a month they double in four. Of course that might fail to happen, but it’s too soon to conclude it’s flopping in America.

    1. CLIVE says:

      If they continue the current trend they are going to seriously regret it.

      1. ffbj says:

        I am hoping for a seat refresh in the 2018 model. The thing is, is that reality is a harsh mistress, and while GM & Ford will probably be fine with the huge money they make on SUV’s & Trucks, that is a well that is going to run dry, or at least get muddy, soon.

        Every single inside auto’s sort of web site, predicted lower sales for the legacy makers this month, but were off by large margins, on the downside.

        Naturally GM & Ford stock got hammered. The stock market is like a glimpse into the supposed future, or what people think it will be, and they could be wrong, but GM,Ford,Chrysler, are looking like the ugly babies at the cute baby contest.

  32. KevinZ says:

    I’m not going to run right out and buy a Bolt when there are other options to consider right around the corner (Next gen Leaf & Model 3). Once all three are in front of me, then I will make a decision.

    1. CLIVE says:

      I think ypu are being smart.

      Good comes to those…

    2. JasonMc says:

      Thank you. I am always surprised that anyone is surprised that Bolt sales are weak. Who would buy one before the other announcements? Tesla is using g standard marketing and keep details minimal as long as possible. Once everything is known, Bolt sales will jump because of the Model 3 noise and because people can make an informed comparison.

      1. fred says:

        Same here. I really don’t understand the surprise. EV demand is weak (as a percentage of total sales). Many EV enthusiasts are a) waiting to see what happens with the Model 3, and b) projecting their own enthusiasm on the car market as a whole.

  33. Jessie says:

    Where I live in California, I see 143 Bolts in the new inventory of my local Chevy dealer. I don’t know if that means anything other than there are a lot available at the moment. If these are just sitting there, Chevy needs to start thinking about either drastically increasing awareness of the Bolt, or provide enticing incentives/deep discounts.

  34. larry4pyro says:

    If I was planning to buy a BEV right now, I would hold off to see what Tesla offers with the Model 3.

    This might be a good time for GM to later to take the Bolt platform and propulsion system and offer a more sporty and better looking BEV.

    1. BenG says:

      I think the winning move would be to take the Bolt platform and build a small SUV on it. Bump up the ride height, add some length to the rear cargo area to increase storage volume and to allow room for a small electric motor to drive the rear wheels.

      But that will be down the road … for now we can just look forward to sales in all 50 states, introduction of widespread sales incentives, minor tweaks for the 2018 model and the federal tax incentive becoming more appealing toward the end of the year.

      I expect strong sales of the Bolt at the end of the year as these factors come together.

  35. tom911 says:

    It all comes down to the monthly payment for many folks. The Bolt leases are just too damn high right now. I really wanted a Bolt when my 2nd Volt lease ended but considering I got a e-Golf for essentially 1/4 the price of the Bolt at the time it was a no brainer ($89 per month vs $400/Bolt).

    Maybe when my e-Golf lease is up the prices will be reasonable.

    1. Woochifer says:

      Yep. Our Spark EV lease is $79/month — basically a free car when factoring in the gas savings.

      A local dealer in the Bay Area ran a $250/month lease special or $2,500 off MSRP on the Bolt a couple of weeks ago. If this takes hold, then I would expect the volume in the early launch states to pick up alongside the increases that go with the national expansion.

      Not having a national launch sort of put the Bolt under the radar. In the states where the Bolt is now available, some marketing support seems in order. But, GM’s not going to do much on a large scale with a car that’s only available in select markets.

  36. Mark C says:

    The thing that suprises me is that most of the people who read the article thought GM actually wanted to sell as many as possible. I’ll bet the Leaf sales numbers would look pitiful if you only counted the 8 states that the Bolt is also sold in.

    Chevrolet is dribbling them out to compliance states for now. Sure, they may have increased the production & distribution rate, but the narrow group of potential customers who are aware of the Bolt are most likely also aware that the Model 3 is coming soon. They may not buy a Model 3, but since the prices are so close, they will at least compare them.

    1. unlucky says:

      If you counted LEAF sales in only the 8 states the Bolt is available in then LEAF sales would be barely affected. Those states are where EVs sell.

  37. Dan says:

    I leased a Bolt after my LEAF lease expired in January. Some of my thoughts on this are:
    * The lease is expensive – mine is 480 for a fully loaded Premier.
    * Initial quality on the seats have turned away a lot of potential buyers. Three people in my office have expressed interest and when I let them sit in the car they immediately comment about how uncomfortable the seats are. My wife has told me the same about a couple of co-workers of hers. Potential buyers are interested, but the car was designed by committee and it shows.

    I like the car, but I will not be buying a Bolt at the end of my lease unless they significantly upgrade the interior. I will be purchasing my next EV and almost certainly it will not be a Bolt.

  38. DL says:

    This is Model 3 weighing in, for sure. In 2014, I might have jumped all over the Bolt. But now, no way. The car for that much money has to be a real car. Has to be able to get me to LA and back and charge at 150kw. M3 will do that, and more (AWD).

  39. MarkT says:

    Is that 4000 inventory genuine? I see many listing of available Bolts, including a dealer in IL, however they only illustrate stock photos. I called the dealer and they said that GM updates their website on inbound inventory however they don’t have an arrival date.

    Seems to me that about 1/2 the 4000 bolts have “Stock” photos listed and are not on dealer lots to be purchased.

  40. Spider-Dan says:

    People are going to continue to be disappointed if they expect EV sales to explode.

    This is the second market-leading, multi-award winning EV GM has produced (following the Volt) and both have received tepid receptions (relative to the ICE market).

    It’s all well and good to have a startup that isn’t required to be profitable and has Apple levels of hype driving sales (without spending a single dollar on advertisement). But the rest of the automakers have to justify their investments, and the sales of the EV market indicate that it’s still not ready to go prime-time.

    1. fred says:

      Now, now. Let’s not get all rational and logical here.

    2. Get Real says:

      A response to Sider Dan’s consistent anti-Tesla FUD here on InsideEvs:

      The Tesla Model 3 will be the car that finally changes EVs into truly mass-market cars by being both compelling and affordable (what you euphemistically refer to as “hype”).

      This because it will rapidly start to sell in the tens of thousands and be seen everywhere as both a sexy and cool car as well as a relatively affordable EV you can have as your only car because of Tesla’s ecosystem approach (something the other laggard OEMs have not figured out yet).

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Let us take your proposition as granted: Tesla EVs “sell in the tens of thousands” and everyone loves them.

        As I recall, there were 17.5 million cars sold in the US last year. Tesla isn’t going to sell 17.5 million cars. So if no one wants to buy an EV that doesn’t have a Tesla badge on it – even EVs that multiple review outlets agree are amazingly great cars – then where does that leave us?

        Companies that aren’t startups flush with VC cash (and are required to actually be profitable) are going to have a hard time justifying paying for a national charging network that is a loss leader, especially when not a single one of them has ever needed to own a gas station.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Get Real said:

        “A response to Sider Dan’s consistent anti-Tesla FUD here on InsideEvs:”

        Hmmm, no. Just because Spider-Dan isn’t a fervent Tesla fanboy like you are, doesn’t mean he’s posting FUD, nor does it mean he doesn’t believe what he posts. I disagree with him sometimes, but we should be careful to make a sharp distinction between having a difference of opinion and accusing someone of a deliberate strategy of disinformation… which is what FUD is.

        “…(what you euphemistically refer to as ‘hype’).”

        It’s not a euphemism. Even as a Tesla fan, I have to admit Tesla does produce a very large amount of hype. In fact, sometimes Tesla’s hype is such a deep pile of B.S. that I’m embarrassed to be a Tesla fan. Other than Faraday Future, I can’t think of any auto maker which produces more hype than Tesla does.

  41. David Lane says:

    One piece of good news about May: (as the article alludes to) The Bolt should be widely available this month in the following new states: CT, ME, VT, RI, NH and CO.

  42. Nix says:

    In my opinion the hand wringing is premature. Typical days on lot is around 60 days in the automotive industry. Inventory is a leading indicator on sales because of this.

    15 days on lot is actually too short. It hurts sales because dealers don’t have enough inventory to give customers choices.

    If we reach a point where days on lot reach past 60 days, then and only then will there be a problem. We aren’t there yet.

    It is too early to gauge the full impact of the increase in inventory. It will take another month to really know where sales are vs. inventory, and to know how roll-outs to more states, etc are affecting sales.

    The true measure of Bolt nationwide sales won’t be available until October sales numbers and days on lot numbers are reported.

    Yes, lots of folks have very good points on how GM could increase sales if they were actually tanking vs. supply, and if there were actually 60+ days of Bolts on lots. But it is premature for all of that.

  43. agzand says:

    I think it will take some time until it will catch on with buyers. Most car buyers don’t read magazines and websites. They just see the car on the road and become interested. I expect Bolt sales to gradually increase to double or triple current levels.

  44. Tim Miser says:

    Actually, Bolt was the highest selling EV in April passing Model S, X, and Leaf.

  45. James says:

    Model 3 is just too close. That’s been my personal dilemma, so I’m guessing I’m not alone. I don’t even have a reservation, but I keep asking myself: do I lock myself into a Bolt for 3 years? It’s a great little car, and I do LOVE the Chevy implementation of Apple Play, but I could potentially have a Tesla for a few bucks more?

    I just think Chevy needed something amazing to dazzle us, and instead they gave us something very practical, and amazingly practical, but just not amazing. Even a hot hatch version of the car would’ve been great. Give it a 0-60 time of 4 seconds. Anything. It’s just not an exciting car, and we know Chevy can make exciting cars, but it just seems they don’t want to make an electric one that might steal thunder from the Corvette and Camaro, and that’s a shame.

    1. BenG says:

      I would love to see a sport version of the Bolt. I mean it already has the acceleration of a “hot hatch” at 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds, but if they put out a higher output version with sticky tires that came in under 5 seconds it would command a little more respect from the gear-heads. Front wheel drive is not ideal for acceleration performance, but it’s doable and would be fun as long as they keep torque steer under control.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Because Bolt is FWD and unable to load down the front due to batteries bottom and back, it’s unlikely to get below 5 seconds. But it may touch below 6 seconds with lot stickier tires IF Chevy tweaks the torque profile.

        When they announced Bolt long ago, I compared to “hot hatch” of the time, and Bolt ranked about low to middle of the pack while costing the most. The price for what you get was (still is) my gripe against Bolt. Unlike Bolt, SparkEV was the leader in its price range which raised my expectation from Chevy (ie. demolish all gas cars in price range). Hopefully, stiff competition from Tesla and others will bring out the better from Chevy.

    2. unlucky says:

      It already is the hot hatch version. It has 200HP and piles of torque where you actually drive it.

      I do agree with BenG, the tires just can’t take it. They’re rather slick (although they do get a little better as they break in). Changing to stickier tires would improve performance. GM changing to stickier tires and then changing the torque curve some to come on a bit sooner would then make it get off a line like a Spark EV.

    3. Brave Lil Toaster says:

      That could be it too. A competently built charging network probably makes all the difference.

  46. Rayjon says:

    You are all missing it, GM looses money on every one of these they sell. They did it just to show they could, they know its a limited market not profitable but at some point it may become profitable and they want to be in the mix when it does. Reality the batteries are expensive and even given a reasonable life expectancy do not make financial sense today. It is strictly a want item. Now if we have a quantum leap in battery technology (hasnt happened ever) electric vehicles may become economicly viable. Untill then they are a toy/ big golf cart..

    Long term financially a prius C has the lowest cost of operation currently.

    Even today unless you are charging with solar, electric cars use more fossil fuel than hybrids. Power generation isnt that efficent and line loss to get it to your house/charging station. Then converting electric back to motion energy loss. Even the best electric motors arn’t that efficent.

    Best solution for the tech we have today are diesel hybrids or natural gas hybrids.. energy loss is less and overall much more efficent. 15 to 20% look it up,

    1. Brave Lil Toaster says:

      Trying to troll by trying to pi** in everyone’s cornflakes?

      That’s nice. Go away troll.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Rayjon exposed his ignorance of a subject:

      “Now if we have a quantum leap in battery technology (hasnt happened ever) electric vehicles may become economicly viable. Untill then they are a toy/ big golf cart..”

      Dude! The 1970s are calling. They want their anti-EV FUD back!

      I guess you’ve never heard of NiCad batteries, or NiMH, or lithium ion, or lithium ion polymer, and you certainly haven’t heard of solid state batteries!

    3. BenG says:

      I’d bet a Leaf with the $10k rebate and $7.5k federal tax credit would beat the Prius C for long term operating expense. $14k net purchase price for the Leaf vs $20k for the Prius C, then the Leaf will be cheaper to fuel and maintain too.

  47. Brave Lil Toaster says:

    So apparently, “more range” isn’t the answer to mainstreaming EVs either.

    It seems that Norway still has the answer to our question: just as cheap as gas powered cars or nothing.

  48. ModernMarvelFan says:

    People will always find a reason to hate.

    Bolt sales is the BEST BEV sales in April but it isn’t good enough despite only 14 states in offering.

    April is a traditional low dip month for auto sales and especially EV sales. It shows.

    I would be more worried if Bolt sales tanks in August and September. Then again, it is possible with the release of LEAF2.0 and Model 3.

  49. hpver says:

    People aren’t always rational or well informed. It’s a very good car though probably overpriced and under-advertised.

    Where I live I can get $13,500 in rebates and tax credits if I buy a Bolt. And some dealers are discounting it by $3,000 before I even buy. So potentially $16K plus below retail.

    Worth it or not?

    1. BenG says:

      So that gets you down to about $21k net purchase price. I’d say the Bolt is definitely worth that!

  50. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “I’m disappointed by the April sales on the Bolt EV also but the Bolt still sold better than any other BEV in April.”

    For U.S. sales, yeah. But if you compared worldwide sales, I’m pretty sure both the Leaf and the Tesla Model S would beat the Bolt EV hands down. Perhaps the Model X would edge out the Bolt EV too.

  51. Four Electrics says:

    The Bolt is an everyperson’s car and thus subject to everyperson trends. US auto sales are down this year and the trend continues in April. US growth data for the quarter is languid.

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