Chevrolet Bolt On Track For Q4 2016 Production


Chevrolet Bolt PPD Car Testing

Chevrolet Bolt PPD Car Testing

According to Automotive News, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt remains on track for production to begin in Q4 of 2016:

“Bolt: GM recently moved up its production target for the EV, to the fourth quarter of 2016. GM has said the 2017 Bolt will go 200 miles on a single charge and be priced at around $30,000 after federal tax credits.”

This is in line with previous reports, which indicate the Bolt could enter production as early as October 2016.

Automotive News assembled this nifty graphic showing General Motors’ future product plans:

Future Product Timeline

Future Product Timeline

Category: Chevrolet

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85 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt On Track For Q4 2016 Production"
  1. Mint says:

    If GM isn’t gonna put in the ~$100M needed for a ~100kW nationwide charging network, then the Bolt isn’t going to gain much momentum before the Model 3 arrives.

    Moreover, LG isn’t going to start building vastly more capacity until it sees that kind of commitment.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      I think it is a pretty safe bet GM is not going to put in a SC network.

      If you want the Tesla 3 and its SC network you are going to have to pay for it.

      What IS a safe bet is that the Tesla 3 with SC access will be at least 10,000$ more than the Bolt so as Clint Eastwood said:

      “You gotta ask yourself” is it worth it to YOU to pay 10000$ more??

      1. JakeY says:

        “What IS a safe bet is that the Tesla 3 with SC access will be at least 10,000$ more than the Bolt so as Clint Eastwood said:”
        Not according to any of the recent announcements. The Bolt is starting at minimum at $37500 (tax credit excluded), while Tesla has been adamant they will release a $35000 base model. The supercharger option on the 60kWh Model S was $2000, so potentially, you can get a Model 3 with supercharger access for $37000.

        And given the Bolt volume is planned for 20k-30k annual volume and Model 3 is planned for ~100k annual volume during the initial years (ramping up to 300-400k by 2020) that will help Tesla on costs (esp. given Tesla’s gigafactory).

      2. Viktor says:

        Why would it cost 10000 more? Tesla have said that the Model III will cost $35000 and GM Bolt will cost $37500. Why will tesla take $12500 for SuperChargecapability?

        1. Joe says:

          Why? See Model S and its price history!

          1. Robb Stark says:

            The History of the Model S is you get more stuff for less money as time goes on.

            Model S60 $70k

            Model S70 $70k plus you get an extra 10 kWh,Supercharger access, autopilot, better noise reduction and navigation as standard equipment.

            Model 3 will cost no more than Bolt and offer a much superior value.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Tesla’s Model ≡ could indeed cost $5-10 thousand more, because Tesla actually has to (gasp!) make a profit on the car, whereas GM just needs to lose as little as possible. GM can afford to let its dozens (hundreds?) of gasmobile models subsidize one single BEV, but Tesla has to make a profit on the Model ≡ to stay in business.

          Also, GM benefits from its long-term, high-volume contracts with suppliers, which gives them a lower per-unit cost.

          But those facts aside, I think it’s rather absurd to talk about the two cars as if they will be exactly the same. Tesla strives for very high quality; that’s why the Model S has gotten such rave reviews from auto reviewers and Consumer Reports. The Model ≡ will be more downscale, but still I expect it to be better in many ways than the Bolt. And if it’s better, then it deserves a higher price.

          1. viktor says:

            Elon Musk have said that if it’s necessary, they wouldn’t have big profit on Model III, so they can get down the price as much as possible. Tesla is right now building the gigafactory to get down the prices as much as possible, how will GM get the prices down for the battery? When Elon Musk started SpaceX he soon found out that it was cheaper to built components in house instead of buying them from others and that’s why SpaceX is much cheaper then Boing. According to you Boing should be able to buy everything much cheaper then SpaceX but even then Boing is three to four times as expensive for the same mission.

            1. przemo_li says:

              Boeing is expensive since they hold monopoly…

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Someone at Tesla, I don’t recall if it was Musk or someone else, said they aim for a 15% gross profit margin on the Model ≡, as compared to an approx. 25% gross profit margin on the Model S. But hopefully what they lose on per-unit profit will be more than made up for with a much higher volume of sales.

              Compare that with Nissan’s early statement, as the Leaf was going into production, that they planned to start making a profit in the third year of production… and that was before sales fell below expectations and Nissan had to build two more battery factories and two more auto assembly plants (in the USA and the UK) before sales came up to initial expectations. Do you think Nissan is currently showing an overall profit for the Leaf? I do not.

              Tesla can’t afford to do that. They can’t afford to lose money for five (or more) years on the Model ≡. In fact, they have to make a substantial profit, in order to pay back the loans they’ve taken out to pay for building the Gigafactory. (Sales of PowerCell stationary power storage units will also help Tesla pay back the loans.)

            3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              viktor said:

              “According to you Boing should be able to buy everything much cheaper then SpaceX but even then Boing is three to four times as expensive for the same mission.”

              No company makes rocketships in sufficient quantity to get large volume discounts. And even that aside, comparing a Boeing rocketship to a SpaceX rocketship is like comparing a Cadillac to a classic VW Beetle. Both will carry four passengers at highway speed adequately, but one is considerably simpler and less costly to build and operate than the other.

              viktor, if you’re really interested in what can be done to build and launch rocketships at a considerably less expensive cost, I highly recommend LEO on the Cheap, which you can find free online in .pdf form (link below). You may note that some of its recommendations align closely with some of what SpaceX is doing.


            4. JeremyK says:

              “Tesla is right now building the gigafactory to get down the prices as much as possible, how will GM get the prices down for the battery?”

              GM drives down battery prices the same way every other auto maker does. They send out quotes to all competent suppliers and pick the lowest cost that meets the engineering requirements. Battery cells are a commodity and Panasonic doesn’t have any magic dust that LG and others done have.

              1. Omar Sultan says:

                No magic involved, but basic math and Business 101. When its at full production, the GF will manufacture more batteries than everyone else combined, so at the very least, Tesla will have the same volume benefits as companies like LG Chem. However, because Tesla is vertically integrated, their component cost is limited to the direct costs of materials and manufacture. Because they are an independent business, when LG Chem makes battery, they will then add their profit margin on top of their costs when they sell it GM. GM will then take that cost+profit margin price from LG Chem and add their own profit margin on top of that. It will likely put GM at a price disadvantage of the single most expensive component in the car. The downside of vertical integration is upfront investment and risk, but the upside is cost efficiency and flexibility.

    2. JakeY says:

      I don’t think GM cares that much. They are only planning volume at the level of a Leaf (maybe less if you compare to global volume). Given the rush by GM and the use of an existing platform (others have pointed out it’s basically a Chevy Trax with a slightly tweaked fascia), it seems this is mostly a move so they can claim “first” over the second gen Leaf and Model 3.

      It’ll still be a huge PR win for them in terms of being able to claim releasing the first 200 mile EV for the masses, even if the actual sales numbers don’t support that.

      Of course it remains to be seen if it’ll be a repeat of the Insight (which was the first to the market, but people quickly forgot given the Prius was the one that was the one to sell in significant volume and popularize hybrids).

      1. no comment says:

        it’s easy for commenters on this forum to be critical since most of the critics aren’t actual buyers of electric vehicles. but businesses have to be concerned with selling product – that’s how they *stay* in business.

        the assertion that GM doesn’t “care that much” seems ridiculous to me. GM is going to have both a Volt and a Bolt, with the Volt being several thousand dollars less expensive. the question that i imagine GM is asking themselves is: assuming that you could get the general public to start buying electric vehicles, how many of them are going to choose to pay more to get a Bolt when they can buy a Volt for less money?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Of course GM doesn’t care that much about plug-in EVs. The only follow-up to the Volt was the Cadillac ELR, which has sold only in compliance numbers. Similarly, for BEVs they currently have only the Spark compliance car, and now they’re planning to sell the Bolt, which almost certainly won’t sell in more than moderate volumes worldwide, like the Leaf.

          GM’s core product is gasmobiles. They view PEVs as at best a distraction, at worst something that will steal sales from their core product. Just like every other legacy auto maker. The primary reason GM has developed the Volt and now the Bolt is because they want to have some experience with the tech if and when the market for PEVs really takes off. They’re certainly not going to be trying to push the automobile market in that direction, as Tesla and (to a lesser extent) BYD are.

          1. przemo_li says:

            While I would agree about past GM performance…

            Volt is very nice tech. Good engineering. Wholly not like compliance!

            Spark on the other hand is cheap! $/mile come very close to Tesla. (Yes Tesla is cheapest BEV when dividing price of car per miles on full charge).

            So its one company comming from small car and small battery pack to small car and big battery pack. While other come from big car and big battery pack.

            My moneys are still on Tesla though. They know how to handle big battery packs, and have plenty of feedback from superchargers. So battery pack & fast charging will be better for Tesla.

        2. Mint says:

          The Volt is a solid product, and variants of its powertrain have great potential to extend across GM’s product line. GM is serious about that (though I still think they’re holding back wrt performance).

          The Bolt, however, needs a high speed charging network to be a volume seller. Otherwise its sales ceiling is maybe 50k/yr in the US.

          1. przemo_li says:

            Too big.

            If fast charging is significantly slower then Tesla. Model 3 will steal sales. After all that is 35k car right there. If one can have better one for same price peope will switch. Its not like Chevrolet have established brand and loyal EV customers already 😉

        3. JakeY says:

          I’m only commenting on whether they care about matching or beating the Model 3 in volume, and I don’t think they do care that much. I think given their planned volume, they will be really happy at a sales level around the same as the Leaf in the US (~30k annually).

          Obviously Tesla would not be happy with that kind of sales volume for the Model 3 (their target would be closer to 100k annual volume for their investments to make sense).

          As far as matching the Volt (~20k sales), as I put above, GM would care about that, as that’s a relatively low volume of sales.

    3. Clif J says:

      “LG isn’t going to start building vastly more capacity until it sees that kind of commitment”

      LG (in the form of LG Chem) is making more than sufficient commitment to sign on as the supplier to more brands than anyone, and the Korean Government stands behind them as well. GM and LG touted the Holland, MI facility as sufficient to support 200,000 Volts per year (3.2GW, more or less). Assume the Volt manages 25,000 sales in 2017, along with a decent run of Malibu and other strong hybrids. Holland alone will be able to power 50,000 Bolts (with >45kwh batteries) in the first year of production.

      The whole automotive world is not Tesla and Panasonic. Tesla gets all its net cash from borrowing, and Panasonic is only a couple of years out from a very brutal restructuring, showing all the resultant caution and prudence.

      You may not like GM or the fact that LG is a huge chaebol, but they have serious money and plenty of capability.

      1. Mister G says:

        Tesla borrows and pays back early…GM (government moochers) takes $50 billion without paying it back.

      2. przemo_li says:

        GM will make 30k Bolts a year, so maybe You are right that Holland plant would suffice…

        If only LG Chem did not had deals with plenty other EV OEMs.

        They may split that capacity between many buyers till next plants get expanded/built.

        IIRC LG Chem do plan production capacity expansion.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Mint said:

      “…LG isn’t going to start building vastly more capacity until it sees that kind of commitment.”

      LG Chem already has contracts with GM for both the Volt and the Bolt, as well as with Nissan for the Leaf 2.0. Furthermore, they’re attracting a number of smaller customers; see recent news reports.

      If you think LG Chem is not building out more factory capacity right now, then go to Google News, type in “LG Chem”, and read for yourself what they’re doing.

    5. JeremyK says:

      “If GM isn’t gonna put in the ~$100M needed for a ~100kW nationwide charging network, then the Bolt isn’t going to gain much momentum before the Model 3 arrives.

      Moreover, LG isn’t going to start building vastly more capacity until it sees that kind of commitment.”

      Hmmm, Nissan doesn’t have a nationwide SC network and they are the #1 selling EV..and that’s with a range of well under 100 miles.

      LG has already been sourced for the Bolt program (they’ve probably know for a year or so). So, that’s how capacity build out works. They get the business, they install capacity to support (if needed)….THEN production of the vehicle begins. LG is going to have plenty of capacity for the initial launch year and can always install more if sales warrant. Tesla/Panasonic have the cart WAY ahead of the horse.

    6. Bret says:

      I disagree on both points.

      With 200 miles of range, charging infrastructure will be less of an issue than with the current 75-80 mile EVs. There will be plenty of third party combo chargers, as EV sales accelerate.

      LG Chem has lots of customers coming online, including GM. I’ll bet they will be ramping up like crazy to take advantage of their new chemistry, before other suppliers can catch up. They may even pick up Nissan for the new LEAF.

    7. Raymondjram says:

      Smart service station owners will see the gas-to-electric conversions and put up SAE J1772 DCFC (DC Fast Charger) to keep those customers who are converting. And since DC charging is slower than gas refueling, thise customers will stay longer to consume the station services.

      1. no comment says:

        what’s more likely to happen is that drivers realize that it takes longer to recharge a BEV than it does to refill an ICE vehicle, so they stay with their ICE vehicles and don’t buy the BEV in the first place.

  2. Pete says:

    I think battery will get around 38 kWh usable, so there is no real advantage > 50 kW charging. And for Europe it could sell better than a Model 3 because of size (if Model 3 will get a bigger sedan like 3 serie).

    1. Jeff N says:

      I think 38 kWh is unrealistically low for an EPA 200 mile car. The usable energy will probably be closer to 45+ kWh that takes 50+ kWh to charge with a nominal battery pack size of 53+ kWh.

      I’m guessing the Bolt will draw at least 80 kW or a little less than a 60 kWh Tesla Model S.

      That means a 80-100 kW capable CCS station will be able to do a full charge noticeably quicker than a 50 kW CCS station but 50 kW will still be adequate in many cases.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I, too, am guessing at around 45-48 kWh for these nominally “200 mile” EVs, which probably will have an EPA-rated range of around 150-160 miles.

        1. tknelson says:

          Hmmm… my Spark EV (with a 20.5 kW-h battery) routinely get about 4.2 mi/kW-h. I don’t think the Bolt will be a significantly less efficient car, so I think your numbers are pessimistic by quite a fair margin.

      2. przemo_li says:

        Spark is well Spark.
        Bolt is Sonic though.

        Model 3 is … smaller then S, but no absolutes where given yet.

        Both cars may end up same size!

  3. no comment says:

    i can see that introducing the Bolt is a good move from a PR and EV-cred and positioning standpoint, but as a practical matter, i am wondering how many people will choose to buy a Bolt when they can buy a Volt for less money?

    1. philip d says:

      In a 2 car household the Volt and Bolt is a great combination. My wife has a long commute with no plug at work so none of the ~80 mile EVs work especially in the winter. But a Bolt would work great for her commute with some charge left over to go off her commute to do other stuff if needed. Then my Volt covers my driving and we can use it on out of town excursions.

      Of course if the Model 3 has a long enough range to reach from supercharger to supercharger then we might just dump the Volt altogether one of these days.

      1. no comment says:

        i get that EV enthusiasts would be game to buy a Bolt; my question is why would the general public want to buy a Bolt over a Volt? in the scenario that you described, you could also be a 2 Volt household. however, for an EV enthusiast, a Volt/Bolt combination, such as that which you described, seems quite sensible.

        the Bolt is more expensive than the Volt, but the Volt is more versatile than the Bolt. to the EV enthusiast, the decision is a no-brainer: you go for the Bolt; but to the non-EV enthusiast general public that is more likely to compare product attributes between the Volt and Bolt, it hard for me to see how most people would be willing to pay more for a less versatile automobile.

        1. Alonso Perez says:

          The versatility has no value if you don’t use it, and the Bolt will be cheaper to run and to maintain. Bolt TCO will almost certainly be lower than a Volt. It also has more export potential, and it should be possible to make a very quick “hot hatch” variant, given the power available.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “…why would the general public want to buy a Bolt over a Volt?”

          Because a driver won’t need to stop to recharge a Bolt nearly as often as a Volt, to get electric miles instead of gas-powered miles. For many of those who choose to buy a plug-in EV, that’s an important consideration. This is demonstrated by the fact that, at least according to one study, Volt owners stop to recharge en route more often than Leaf owners:

          1. james says:

            +1, now imagine you only have a 20 mile range and plan around that… luckily in Austin, there are some 220 city owned chargers I get to use 6 months for $25.

    2. Stimpy says:

      There are significant advantages to a car that drops the ICE engine. I would guess the vast majority of PHEV owners (including current Volt owners) would easily choose the Bolt over a Volt. It’s ALL about the EV range, everything else is secondary.

      I agree it might be different for first time PHEV owners, but I think you’ll be surprised. 200 mi range is 4 times more than 50 and there’s no getting around the fact that gas is multiple times as expensive as electricity.

      1. no comment says:

        i have taken only one (1) long distance trip in my Volt, but when i did, the Volt was great. even though i am not a regular long distance driver, i would not buy a car on the premise that i would *never* take a longer than expected trip. i think that if you asked most non-EV enthusiasts, they would have a similar sentiment. that’s what makes the BEV such a hard sell outside of the relatively small community of EV enthusiasts.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Meanwhile, in the real world, BEV sales are roughly equivalent to PHEV sales, both worldwide and in North America.

          The problem with PHEVs is they all have such short ranges. Even the Volt 2.0 has only ~50 miles of all-electric range. Just looking at the real-world statistics for Volts being driven today, it’s clear that if you want to approach 90% or more electric miles (instead of gas-powered miles) then the average Volt owner needs about 60-70 miles of range. (See graph linked below.) 38 or 40 or even 50 miles just isn’t adequate, and that’s why Volt owners have to stop to recharge in route more often than Leaf owners do.

          1. Chops says:

            “and that’s why Volt owners have to stop to recharge in route more often than Leaf owners do.”

            It’s not that Volt owners have to stop to recharge, it is that they choose to. Big difference.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Good point.

              And similarly, car buyers will not “have to” choose a Bolt over a Volt, but many will choose to.

          2. no comment says:

            the sales volumes for *all* *EVs are small within the context of the overall automobile industry. if you’re looking for an economically successful *EV, there isn’t one right now.

            i believe that the BEVs being offered are a lot closer to reaching their maximum market size than is the case with the Volt. if you’re currently driving an ICE, you can drive a Volt without missing a beat; i know because i drive one and i have driving my Volt with no problem in scenarios in which a BEV would have been a big problem.

            that’s why most *EV offerings are PHEV. there is little doubt in my mind that the EREV approach as implemented in the Volt is the best thought out PHEV of any on the market…that includes the BMW i3 ReX.

            i believe the problems that limit the Volt are twofold: first, i think that the general public does not distinguish between an EREV like the Volt and a BEV, like the Nissan Leaf. second, is the price, but the price has come down considerable, and when you include tax credits and rebates, the Volt should be able to achieve reasonable sales volumes. but this gets back to the fact that the public doesn’t understand the difference between the Volt and BEVs.

            on this point, i think that GM just has to keep hammering away with the message. i also think that going “more mainstream” with the design of the Gen2 Volt is a good idea. i personally prefer the design of the Gen1 Volt, but the Gen1 Volt does look different, and “different” can scare off a lot of people.

            1. Nate says:

              I agree with a lot of what you said, other than the where it says most *EV’s are PHEVs. That is, if you’re talking about U.S. model choices. I counted 11 BEV’s and 10 PHEV’s (counted the i3 in both categories for rex vs. non rex). I went ahead and counted the Accord PHV in there, but it really shouldn’t count anymore since it is discontinued.

              The i8 is in the supercar price range, and anything from Porsche is a bit of a fringe vehicle. Of the mainsteam PHEV’s, you have a group of small/mid sizers that have low cargo volume. For more cargo, your sub $78k choice is the 6 mile PIP.

              1. no comment says:

                there are very few automakers who are mostly committed to BEVs. among major auto makers, the only ones that come to mind are tesla and nissan (i suppose fiat could also go into that list as well). by contrast, GM, BMW, ford, toyota, honda, mercedes-benz, vw/porsche/audi and hyundai all offer more PHEVs than they do BEVs.

                i think that most auto makers realize that BEVs are a niche and the primary value is for publicity and as a testbed for better learning about the technology. but when the rubber meets the road, most of them are putting their money into PHEVs.

                1. Nate says:

                  Hynduai doesn’t have a PHEV here helping sales numbers, but Kia has an BEV. Mercedes/Daimler has 2 BEV’s here, but no PHEV. Honda’s ‘commitment’ to PHEV’s with the discontinued Accord Hybrid isn’t much different than what it is for BEV’s with the discontinued Fit EV. The people’s car, VW, has a BEV and no PHEV. VW/Porsche/Audi’s do not have a reasonably priced PHEV for sale here. Audi’s e-tron page doesn’t even show the price yet. Porsche’s most affordable PHEV starts more than a Model S, has less of a tax credit, and costs about the same to fuel as an AWD Mazda CX-5 if driven 12 k per year / 35 miles a day. I can’t consider Porsche being serious about any kind of plug-in with its current offerings. Nevertheless, I went ahead and counted them for 2 PHEV’s. On BMWUSAdotCOM –> i Vehicles page, BMW markets the i3 as their electric car and the i8 as a PHEV. But, the 2 gallon tank and inability to drive in extended range mode over a mountain pass at highway speed make it a better BEV than PHEV. Their true PHEV is the i8 which approaches supercar price range. Nevertheless, I counted them in for 2 PHEV’s as well.

                  1. no comment says:

                    today’s *EV sales are so small, and they are heavily loaded toward tesla and Leaf sales, so i don’t think that they are very predictive of where auto makers are going with *EVs. the reason why new product introductions are mostly PHEVs is because the major automakers realize that you need a PHEV to have any hope of penetrating the general auto market.

                    hyundai will offer a sonata PHEV in the fall.

                    mercedes-benz currently offers the b-class (BEV) and the s-class (PHEV). they will add a c-class PHEV in the fall.

                    as far as vw/porsche/audi: if tesla counts as “affordable” then the porsche cayenne and panamera should as well. the same should be true for the audi a3 e-tron (which is supposed to be in the $50,000 price range). that’s 3 PHEVs to the 1 vw e-golf. i agree that the porsche 918 would not count as “affordable”.

                    1. Nate says:

                      I mentioned before I’m talking about the cars that have been out long enough to actually show up on the sales list and accumulate some sales totals over time that move the needle. You just mentioned another example (s-class phev) that like the e-tron is hot off the press.

                      I know a lot more PHEV models are coming thanks to EU regs and congestion charge rule changes. I’ve commented a couple times on that. That’s great, but that is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about what has been available the last few years, particularly in the U.S. The context of the conversation is Pushmi saying PHEV’s problem is they (including gen II Volt) don’t have enough range. I strongly disagree with that statement. I think there are other reasons why sales aren’t higher. The sub $78k offerings available over the last few years have been low on passenger and/or cargo space, other than the 6 mile PIP. I was willing to downsize to go with the Volt because I liked other aspects enough, but not everyone is. More variety is needed.

                    2. no comment says:

                      the problem with attempting to use sales data from “years” of electric vehicle sales is that those figures are heavily skewed by early adopter sales; early adopter sales are meaningless as a trend predictor going forward. if the “trend” data that you are attempting to use were so valuable, you would see auto makers expanding their offerings of BEVs. there is a reason why you don’t see that in any company other than tesla.

                      what auto makers are trying to do is to get beyond the early adopters; that’s why the trend is increasingly toward PHEVs. i don’t think that there is anything in EU rules that would prevent a company from offering a BEV if the company believed that that was the best strategic product direction. for EU rules, you pretty much just need a reasonable amount of range and a hold mode to preserve that range for when you have to use it.

                      tesla, on the other hand, can’t compete in the PHEV area against entrenched auto makers, so their only hope is to convince people to adopt BEVs. that’s why tesla, unlike other companies, does seek to expand its offerings of BEVs.

                    3. Nate says:

                      Yep, I agree with everything in your last comment, particularly the first sentence and early adopters. A couple days back, I said “Overall, both PHEV and BEV’s are such a small part of the car market it is hard to draw conclusions about what the masses want”

                      Also, I think that PHEV’s would have moved farther past the early adopter crowd if there were choices along the lines of the Outlander PHEV in the U.S.

                2. Nate says:

                  Not sure, but I think I may be thinking of what is available recently in terms of PHEV choices that would count toward the sales to date, and maybe you’re thinking about what is coming? Pushmi-Pullyu’s comment we both replied to above mentioned the PHEV vs. BEV sales split, so models that aren’t on the ground yet (or aren’t often not in the US yet) don’t affect the balance to the US numbers I pay more attention to. I’m most familiar and interested in what I can buy in the U.S. But other than the Outlander PHEV, I don’t think there have been any big sales successes in other markets for PHEV’s not available here. I could be missing something.

                  In the next couple years the available PHEV’s will expand to some key segments, and as I mentioned to Pushmi-Pullyu, I think this will really help sales.

            2. ffbj says:

              ” i personally prefer the design of the Gen1 Volt, but the Gen1 Volt does look different, and “different” can scare off a lot of people.”
              This sentence makes no sense unless you meant Gen2 looks different. Anyway I think there will be demand for the Bolt, especially if they are only going to build a limited number.

          3. Nate says:


            Talking about sales number’s being even and then claiming “The Problem with PHEV’s is they have short ranges” doesn’t quite add up. Do you have marketing analysis that backs up what you are claiming — that the main reason that people don’t buy PHEV’s is because they want one that provides x% of their total lifetime mileage to be EV?

            Keep in mind:

            1. Overall, both PHEV and BEV’s are such a small part of the car market it is hard to draw conclusions about what the masses want.

            2. There are more available BEV models to choose form compared to PHEV’s. Don’t dismiss CARB compliances at making a difference in your numbers — This year the Spark EV and 500e together outsold the BMW i3 rex and non rex together in the US.

            3. The variety of BEV models is greater the longer range PHEV/EREV models. In EV’s, you have everything from the small Smart ED to the mainstream Leaf to the large model S. Less variety for PHEV / EREV types for the USA. The compact Volt and subcompact i3rex are significantly smaller than the Soul EV, Leaf, and Model S. The Leaf has more cargo room than not just the Volt, but also both Energi models.

            The majority of the car sales are in other classes outside the compact/sub-compact classes, so having limited PHEV’s to this segment limits their chances of selling. What is going to happen next is the variety of PHEV’s is going to substantially increase. SUV’s and/or mid sized cars from BMW, Audi, Volvo and Mercedes are coming. Possibly a plug-in minivan from Chrysler. The range these PHEV’s offer will be LESS than gen I Volt, however, the size of the vehicle will increase. So will the sales.

          4. Nate says:

            Pushmi-Pullyu, I disagree where you say “Just looking at the real-world statistics for Volts being driven today, it’s clear that if you want to approach 90% or more electric mile”. Your graph does not back up what you are saying..

            My Volt has over 90% EV usage. Yet, if I go to my car’s Voltstats page and then to the daily driving tab to see my car’s chart, I also see blue bars everywhere from under 20 miles to a couple hundred. However, it would show the EXACT same thing even if the car had 70 miles of range like you keep saying is needed. When I’ve take a little 100-200 mile trip I might be going somewhere fairly remote where I won’t charge. Where we stay at (or camp at) may not have convenient charging. So I spend a few days there and do a little driving and the car has not charged since leaving my house and it ends up driving 15 miles on gas. So, that day shows up with a blue bar at the 15 mark. The scenario graphs out EXACTLY the same if the car has 70 miles AER.

            In very cold conditions folks run the ICE as it provides faster/better cabin heating. This makes for blue bars at the sub 40 mark on that graph. The scenario graphs out EXACTLY the same if the car has 70 miles AER.

            There have been some people who have bought former fleet Volts that have extremely low EV%, because the employees didn’t bother to plug them in. The scenario graphs out EXACTLY the same if the car has 70 miles AER.

            Current fleet ev% average is lower than the median, and both of those are well lower than the % of trips where no gas is used. All of these numbers are skewed toward the earliest cars that have been on the road longest (and have a little less AER) and the cars that drive way more than the average number of miles in a year. The numbers get skewed by longer trips, not the car not meeting daily driving for most folks. There’s people who have former fleet cars second hand that had very low EV% as they evidently must not have been plugged in much. Personally, we drove a stretch over 1000 miles over a couple months without using gas at all. Then every so often there is a longer trip of 150-400 miles. 70 AER doesn’t really change the EV% for us.

            Average commute in the US is lower than the current AER. Gen II improves the original 35 it started with up to 50. That is 42+%. They should not gear PHEV’s and EREV’s toward mega commuters instead of average commuters. Sure more is always good but there are diminishing returns on what you pay vs what you get back. Instead, it would be better to bring the same drivetrain to more models.

            Best thing they could do to replace people’s gas miles with ev miles is bring the same drivetrain to more models, not try to make the current model work for the minority of mega commuters. Case in point — Look at the popularity of the Outlander PHEV where it was sold. It was supply constrained not demand constrained, and they couldn’t make enough to bring it the US.

            1. Nate says:


              They said 50 but got us 53. So, that makes for a 50% improvement since the 2012 model year.

          5. DonC says:

            I’m assuming you know that the average Volt gets the same number of electric miles a year as the average Leaf. Increasing the electric range of the Volt won’t change that significantly. There are very few days when people drive between 40 and 70 miles. There are a lot more days when they drive less than forty miles or more than a hundred miles.

          6. Bret says:

            “Meanwhile in the real world, BEV sales are roughly equivalent to PHEV sales …”

            Thanks for saying this Pushmi-Pullyu. I get so tired of people trying to extrapolate their own purchasing decisions onto everyone else. Everyone has different needs, wants and desires. That’s why there are both BEVs and PHEVs being produced and that will continue for a long time.

            I personally want a pure BEV and am waiting for an affordable 200 mile model. Not only do I want to avoid using gas, I want the lower maintenance of a BEV. I may buy the Bolt or the Model 3, depending on price and performance. But, I can always fire up my F-150 if I want to drive to Alaska. If I only had one vehicle, it would probably be a PHEV.

            One size doesn’t fit all.

  4. Taser54 says:

    As we saw in Europe,CCS can easily catch up to other charging networks.

    1. JakeY says:

      I wish Europe is actually reflective of the US, but unfortunately it is not. In the EU there is a law that requires CCS (at minimum) to be installed at every public DC charger station, which has helped CCS adoption drastically. We have no such law in the US, thus our CCS adoption has been pathetic (GM and the others have done little to change this).

      Also having CCS alone is not sufficient for a 200 mile EV. They need to push high power charging (in the 100kW range or more). Right now all the chargers being installed are 50kW units (max), which is sufficient for the 80 mile EVs, but not for the 200 mile EVs.

  5. JakeY says:

    I thought the plan was always late 2016 production and a launch as a 2017 model year? I don’t see how this a moving up of the production date, as the quote claims.

    1. ffbj says:

      I think that’s true too, as I recall.

  6. Mister G says:

    I don’t believe anything GM (government moochers) says until I see it at the dealership.

  7. John says:

    I consider this good news. I’ll withhold judgement until I see some reviews of the production vehicle, but I’m hopeful this can be the replacement for our Leaf after our lease is up. Watching and waiting.

  8. Will GM (Bolt) from Toyota Mirai launch last week that releasing a 200+ mile EV without supporting infrastructure leads to low reservations?

    The good news is GM has 18 months to partner with BMW and VW to address these issues and demonstrate they are fully committed. The best way to demonstrate commitment is deploying core DCFC infrastructure around key launch markets so it’s in place prior to start of Bolt production, and outlining a DCFC strategy to keep up with the demand as the market grows and matures.

    1. correction: “Will GM ‘learn’ from Toyota” …

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The Bolt already has an excellent “supporting infrastructure” for charging; it can be charged at any location within extension-cord reach of an electrical outlet.

        Let’s remember that when Tesla launched the Model S, there were no Superchargers at all. Tesla’s Supercharger network has certainly helped it sell cars, but it’s not a requirement for BEV sales.

        Now, if you want to argue that there’s no way GM will sell Bolts in the quantity that Tesla plans to sell the Model ≡, then you’re almost certainly right. But I very seriously doubt GM wants to sell that many Bolts. They don’t want to seriously impact their own gasmobile sales, because that’s where they get their income.

        1. Nate says:

          How would it take profit away from where it is at?

          People don’t cross shop small cars like this with the mid size SUV/crossover, large SUV’s, light and heavy duty truck segments. That is the most profitable segment for the major players. Building those allows the Volt and Leaf to exist, thankfully, because I can’t afford a Tesla and I’m not holding my breath for that to change. Seems like I keep hearing more and more about how the Model 3 will be a 3 series competitor.

          In the Pacific Northwest, CHAdeMO is everywhere. I’ve yet to see CSS around. A 80 mile Leaf works about as well as a 200 mile car with CSS. A Volt would works better than either, but I’m not ruling out a used Leaf when the Volt lease ends because they are already cheap. They’ll get even cheaper after their range bump this year and as it gets closer for the 2nd gen.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I said some time back that GM would get its nominally “200 mile” BEV into production before Tesla did, but I admit I will be impressed if they can actually deliver it in late 2016.

    But I think all this talk of GM stealing the market from Tesla by getting the Bolt out sooner is looking at the situation wearing blinders. Tesla’s primary competition isn’t the less-than-1% of the car market which is plug-in EVs; Tesla’s primary competition is the 99% of the market which is gasmobiles. I doubt GM will sell the Bolt in large volumes, and there will be plenty of room in the market for the Model ≡, as well as other long-range BEVs, assuming the public perceives them as giving good value for the price.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    Hats off to GM for producing a long-range economical 200 mile range vehicle. I don’t even care if they put in a measly 3300 watt charger as they did the SparkEV. When this car comes out, I’ll trade in my then 6 year old Volt for this car, since I’ll have the ELR for long trips, and use the BOLT for basically an all-electric volt replacement and the ELR for longer trips. I expect they’ll put in a 50 kwh battery at least since the car is not micro-miniature, and they’ll need a 6 kw charger to give it an 8-9 hour recharge time to make it practical for people who have this as their only car, and it should make the people charging at 6kw public chargers finally happy that this existing infrastructure is finally being fully utilized. But if they stick with the 3.3 kw thing its still ok, I still want one. Hopefully, it will have a certain practicality as to load carrying capacity, perhaps even better than today’s Volt, which is not too bad as it is.

    1. JeremyK says:


      I’ve seen the new (camo’d) Bolt in person here at the GM Powertrain HQ. I think you’ll like the size and utility. It’s like a taller/longer Pontiac Vibe

      I’ll be in a position within the next year to two to make the decision between Volt 2.0 and Bolt. One thing that might sway me toward the Bolt is larger cargo area, though the Volt is SO damn practical and I still love my Gen I Volt. I actually hope GM comes out with a CUV based on the Voltec drivetrain. That would be better than either of the previous choices for me.

  11. przemo_li says:


    Its some unrelated folks claiming (most probably just copycating somebody else) something.

    And that proves exactly, what?

    1. przemo_li says:

      Never mind. Info graphic use GM statement.

  12. Steve says:

    It’s good that GM is putting this car out. They are gaining much-needed expertise in the BEV arena, which will stand them in good stead against the other manufacturers like Toyota that haven’t really gotten into it yet. (and they’re building on what they learned with the Volt, whose owners love it)

    However I wonder how many people will line up to buy the Bolt, when they could order the much sexier Model 3 (which will be cheaper, too).

    1. Fishhawk says:

      “However I wonder how many people will line up to buy the Bolt, when they could order the much sexier Model 3 (which will be cheaper, too).”

      I really hope the Model 3 will succeed, but I don’t know how I could say the Model 3 will be sexier since there are no official renderings of it yet. Tesla’s history suggests it will be late and more expensive than planned; hopefully they can overcome the birthing problems they’ve had in the past.

      1. DHouk says:

        Given Tesla’s track record, you could likely pick up a Bolt on a two year lease and still get one of the first Model 3’s out of the plant.

  13. JimSeko says:

    The best part of this story is how Elon Musk is succeeding in his stated goal of inspiring EV competition from established auto manufacturers. It looks like the Chevy Bolt will reach production a full year before the Model III. And Musk is probably pleased about it and wishes other auto companies will hurry the f##k up and produce more BEVs.

  14. Car Guy says:

    I would bet money that a Model 3 at $35k doesn’t include supercharging. I’m sure supercharging will be an option. How many more superchargers will have to be built if Tesla sells 10 times more cars every year? I would guess the Model 3 will start at $35k but when loaded up will go for $60k. Maybe the average selling price will be in the upper forty thousand dollar range. Still a great deal.

    1. JeremyK says:

      Exactly. And is this $35K number Tesla keeps throwing around based on gasoline savings? That’s what they do to arrive at the $70K number for the Model S.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        Wrong. The cash price of the 70 2WD is 70k. The 70D is 75k. The “gasoline savings numbers” are located above those prices, and are lower.

  15. arne-nl says:

    Will there be an Opel-badged European version available?

  16. Rick Danger says:

    Nate above brought up fleet Volts that had almost no EV miles as the drivers never plugged them in, and that leads to my question: Did those Volt batteries sit near empty for the whole time? What would that do to their projected remaining life?

    1. JeremyK says:

      “Empty” for a Volt battery is still about 20% SOC…so no damage to the battery if left uncharged for a period of time. All part of the grand design. Yes, it’s better to store a Li batter closer to 50% SOC, but long term storage at 20% is still safe.