Chevrolet Bolt Teardown Analysis Explained – Video


Under the hood look and into the wallets of the Chevrolet Bolt and what is costs GM to make each car.

Recently, UBS did a complete teardown and cost analysis on the Chevrolet Bolt. The findings include that the Bolt’s electric powertrain is $4,600 cheaper to produce than it was previously estimated. UBS says that there’s “much cost reduction potential left.” Something General Motors is actively working on right now.

UBS still believes that General Motors is selling each Bolt at a loss though:

“We estimate that GM loses $7,400 in earnings before interest and tax on every Bolt sold today, mainly due to a lack of scale.” 

In this video, Colin Langan, a UBS analyst, discusses the Bolt, as well as the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which he says will be less of a earnings loser for Tesla than the Bolt is for GM.

Video description:

“Colin Langan, a UBS analyst, discusses his cost analysis of the Chevy Bolt and the outlook for the electric-vehicle market with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology.”

Category: Chevrolet, Videos

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21 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt Teardown Analysis Explained – Video"
  1. Scott Franco says:

    “the Tesla M3 sells for $35k and the Bolt, once you get the $7500 credit is more like $30k”

    WHO….. IS…. THIS….. MORON!!!

    1. Leeper says:

      I’ve heard this same line over and over again. I don’t know how this narrative was started, but it is beyond irritating. Either put the cost before incentives for both or after.

      1. James G says:

        It was started by Chevy and Tesla. Chevy advertised their price after the credit and Tesla advertised their price before the credit.

        This is probably a more accurate comparison of what people will pay because the Tesla credits will run out soon(ish) and the GM ones have a bit longer.

        But yes, this is annoying.

        1. Taylor S Marks says:

          As of the end of May, 2017, GM has sold 138,568 EVs in the US. They’re on track to cross the 200K mark in Q1 of next year.

          Tesla, meanwhile, has only sold 127,014 EVs in the US in the same timeframe. Without the Model 3, they’d only be on track to cross the 200K mark in Q2 of next year. With the Model 3, it seems more likely they’ll cross it in Q1 of next year, just like GM.

          So there’s no reason for including credits in one but not the other.

          1. R.S says:

            The way the Bolt and Volt are selling right now, I don’t think they will be crossing the 200k mark before Q2 2018.

            Tesla on the other hand might cross that mark this year, especially if Elon plans to sell 80k Model 3s really works out.

            So while I agree that calling the Bolt a 30k vehicle, while calling the Model 3 a 35k vehicle is misleading, we really don’t know if you will even be able to buy a base model 3, while the full credit still exists. (Probably yes, because even if they break the 200k in Q4, it will still continue for two more quarters, so about one year after launch)

        2. DJ says:

          Tesla is even worse because they factor in the whole gas savings BS.

          I mean hell, maybe fuel efficient cars should factor in gas savings over what someone would spend in an Expedition for a 100k miles to make their cars look even cheaper!

          1. Djoni says:

            Annoying for sure, but BS not totally.
            There is gas saving in TCO to factor in and it’s an easy calculation for educated people.

            But it vary with every individual and region, or if you want to trade your actual EV for a Tesla.
            So giving a fixed toll for gas saving like an assurance is wrong but they should mention that there is additional saving with gas and let people do their work.

        3. unlucky says:

          Tesla advertised their pretend price.

          That’s not an actual price. Tesla hasn’t released pricing.

    2. DonC says:

      Relax. I’d say the moron is the person who looks at MSRP. That you might say is “moronic”. Look at transaction prices. Given that you can get $4K off the price of a Bolt EV, and that the Model 3 will likely sell upwards of $42K, the price difference he mentions is likely accurate, though how he gets there isn’t.

      1. Tom says:

        If people actually watched the video and took his whole statement in context he says he expects the average price point for the Model 3 to be about 42 or so and thus that’s how he’s getting to 35. He didn’t say it all exactly in that order but quoting a dynamic conversation with snips is a bit deceiving sometimes. It was obvious to me he had a firm grasp of what is going on.

  2. toyotomi says:

    On the other hand, Nissan will most likely carry over the current chassis and body for 2nd gen Leaf.

    Also Leaf’s EV power train is being diverted to Versa Note’ series hybrid variation in Japan which could reach 100,000 units a year.

  3. Mdstj says:

    UBS says GM is losing $7400 in profits with each bolt they sell. It doesn’t say GM is losing money on each bowl they sell they’re just not making as much profit.

    1. DonC says:

      They’re starting with factory variable costs and then, to get to a break even for all costs, are adding a percentage. So in this sense it’s likely true that GM is losing money on every Bolt EV it sells.

      The big deal being missed is the ZEV credits. After factoring in ZEV credits GM is making not losing money on the Bolt EV. However, the price of a ZEV credit depends on the supply. This is a problem for Tesla. It earns ZEV credits on pretty much every vehicle it sells, but the more credits it sells the less per credit it gets.

      1. Neromanceres says:

        If you read the UBS report. The cost to make the Bolt EV is less than what GM sells the car for. However if you assume a volume of 30K per year in it’s first year and factor in R&D costs and other overhead GM will lose $7400 per Bolt EV (again in the first year).

        Now keep in mind this car will be in production for at least 5 years. And keep in mind this vehicle architecture will underpin other vehicles at GM so some of the R&D costs will be more spread out as well. And as mentioned in the video battery costs will continue to decrease.

    2. Nada says:

      They estimate GM is losing money just as they estimate Tesla will lose money on the model 3 even when Tesla says they will make money where GM has no official word just some anoumous source…
      Prices from GM online parts sites..
      Bolt battery pack 12k
      Bolt inverter 1k
      Bolt DC charger 1k
      Spark EV motor 2k as I did not see the Bolt motor…
      With GM selling parts at these prices for indivudal components you know they pay much less for… how could they lose money on the Bolt unless they or the estimator is basing on a highly limited production run…

      1. Tom says:

        Because it takes a couple billion bucks to design and execute to get to copy number uno of the machine. When I hear people talk of the component prices it reminds me of people who say McDonald’s only pays 5 cents for the coke in the glass and 3 cents for the cup and straw. Why can’t they sell it for 10 cents?!!!! That’s not how money or business works people. Building billion dollar factories and billion dollar development cycles adds materially to the price of vehicles. So the UBS report is using standard methods of accounting. When Elon Musk talks of profits and profit margins he is speaking from the position of never once having turned an actual profit of anything at all. Rather he speaks of unit margins. Unit margins are important and that is why this report is saying if volume goes up, then the math changes because you divide the development costs by a larger number of vehicles and it becomes less per vehicle sold.

    3. Someone out there says:

      At 1:50 he says they calculate that GM is only going to sell 30k cars so writing off the R&D costs on so few cars is what makes the GM loss. In other words the loss is not gross but net. That does explain how they arrived at a loss, however GM is most likely going to sell more cars over the coming years so it’s not really a correct calculation.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “. In other words the loss is not gross but net. That does explain how they arrived at a loss,”

        Exactly. Nobody is arguing that GM isn’t having a net loss. That is different from arguing that GM isn’t losing money on gross margins.

        Gross margin is possible which means that it will eventually make net profit over time once the initial R&D and tooling investment are paid off. That may or may not increase with volume if increasing volume doesn’t help with increasing margins.

  4. Bill Howland says:

    All these guys are guessing GM is losing money. I don’t believe that is the case simply because they are offering it for such a FURTHER reduced price in CANADA and it is more well equipped (free CCS, etc) as well.

    I’d agree they are not making much money on the CANADIAN customers – but besides them I’d say they must be making money on the US bound BOLT evs due to the discounts dealers are giving on them now.

    Other design items of the car show the car is built down to a price – very, very inexpensive interior, with a ‘cardboard and plastic’ cargo area. Heavy use of incandescent lighting. Combined display and sound system on the basic model.

    Simple as can be drive motor. There must have not been that much of a price penalty to put a larger gearbox and motor in than absolutely necessary – I’m sure if it were very costly to do, then there wouldn’t be a 200 hp drive train in the BOLT ev.

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is one big annoyance with the BOLT ev and the standard AM radio – the inverter system generates enough hash that the radio cannot receive marginal signals while driving. If I’m listening to a favorite station I find myself ‘coasting in N’ to listen to the station clearly. The Tesla roadster also had this problem, but AFAIK none of the Volts do. GM what happened? Tell LG to supply quieter inverters next time.

  5. QCO says:

    I continue to believe the Bolt is highly profitable at $30k, and likely even profitable at $25k. This becomes clear when looking at the main component replacement costs and the low end materials that make up the rest of the glider.

    Right now GM is milking the incentives and will continue to do so until they are exhausted.

    The R&D costs are a bit of a red herring since most of the drivetrain R&D is corporate and will be spread over many models going forward.

    The first gen Volt, on the other hand, probably wasn’t very profitable because it was much more complicated and a bit over engineered, which is why it had to be quickly cost reduced for the second gen model.

  6. Jose says:

    I think that GM paid these people to say that they come up with the conclusion that the company is losing money on every Bolt they build. We all know that TV commerials lie all the time about their products. So why GM will be the exception?