Chevrolet Bolt U.S. Sales Rise For February While Volt Sales Keep Sinking

Chevrolet Bolt EV


Chevrolet Bolt sales

Chevrolet Bolt sales show some promise for 2018

After finishing 2017 with a bang, we can only hope that U.S. Chevrolet Bolt sales maintain a healthy rise through 2018, and February’s numbers provide some promise.

We were a bit surprised that the Chevrolet Bolt didn’t fare so well in January, though it did come in third overall for the month. It barely surpassed last January’s numbers even though it has been on sale for over a year and is available in all 50 U.S. states. Inventory is strong, but it seems that interest may have dropped off following the strong fourth quarter of 2017. Did everyone that really yearned for a Bolt buy theirs at the end of last year and take advantage of that quick federal EV rebate?

More Sales – February 2018 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

Despite a surprisingly weak February and March of 2017, Bolt sales increased every month last year to culminate in a December that eclipsed the 3,000 mark by a healthy margin (3,227). We couldn’t expect January to continue that climb, but the fact that February is up from last month and last year’s numbers is refreshing (even though last February wasn’t a hard number to beat).

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF should give the Chevrolet Bolt a decent run for its money now that it has finally arrived. However, sadly, we may have to wait another month or two to see the impact in all of its glory.

January is a rough month for EV sales, the Bolt was in the midst of a model-year changeover, and buying early in the year means no EV tax rebate for a long, long time. So, the hope is that the Bolt’s numbers grow monthly again as the year moves on. The good news is that February’s Chevrolet Bolt sales are a small indication that this may be the case. However, with the all-new Nissan LEAF just starting to put up numbers, and the Tesla Model 3 beginning to see increased production and deliveries, it will get increasingly interesting watching how the Bolt competes.

For February, 1,424 Bolts were delivered, which is up 49.6% from last February’s 952. And, up considerably from last month’s 1,177.

In October, GM publicized its future electrification plans, which will include up to 20 electric vehicles. Inside of the next two years, GM will offer two new all-electric vehicles.

As we previously reported, the first is a Bolt-based Buick utility vehicle. We received exclusive information back in July from a source who attended a GM focus group. During the event, GM accidentally included the upcoming information in a presentation given by CEO Mary Barra (check out that photo below).

An InsideEVs anonymous source was at a focus group this summer and confidently states THIS is GM’s next all-electric vehicle – a compact utility offering under the Buick badge

While Chevrolet Bolt sales continue to remain promising, its stablemate, the Chevrolet Volt, not only has to compete with the Bolt, but also a growing range of plug-in hybrid competitors.

Chevrolet Volt Sales

Chevrolet Volt: An ever-growing field of plug-in hybrid competitors has cut into the Chevrolet Bolt’s stablemate

November welcomed the Honda Clarity PHEV – which has been priced strongly ($33,400 for a mid-size car with 47 miles of range) and is likely to become one of the Volt’s toughest rivals to date. In December, the Clarity PHEV kicked it up a notch, selling 898 copies. However, only 594 were moved in January. So, it’s yet to pass the Volt for monthly sales. We’ll have to wait and see how the two compare for February.

In addition to the Clarity, Hyundai just released outstanding pricing for its IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid, which starts at $24,950. It joined the mix in January, along with its corporate cousin, the Kia Niro PHEV. This new pair arrives ahead of multiple upcoming PHEVs with plenty of sales potential. We’ll soon see how they performed in their first full month of sales.

Moreover, the Toyota Prius Prime has proven to be the Volt’s strongest contender thus far, having placed narrowly ahead of the Volt for five straight months. The December came, and the Prime surged ahead with a solid 2,420 copies sold, making it boss to the Volt for a full six months. It came as no surprise when the Prime topped the Volt once again in January and was the second-best selling plug-in overall.

With the growing mix of PHEVs and aggressive pricing, the Volt may continue to see declining sales through 2018.

For February, GM sold 983 Volts (against a total of ~28 other plug-in offerings in the U.S. market). This is down 46% from the 1,820 sold in February of 2017. However, it’s up significantly from January’s 713 moved.

Nonetheless, the news still continues to be promising for GM on the EV front as a whole, and it can only get better as the automaker brings more EVs to market. The automaker sold 2,431 (count includes a respectable 24 CT6 PHEVs sold) plug-ins for February, compared to last year’s 2,772.

Category: Chevrolet, Sales

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156 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt U.S. Sales Rise For February While Volt Sales Keep Sinking"
  1. bro1999 says:

    Interesting to see how Bolt sales fare this year, and whether they climb month after month like last year.

    Model 3 sales should surpass all other EVs this year, but it’ll only take a small % of 3 reservation holders “Bolting” to inflate the sales numbers of other EVs (Bolt/Leaf 1.75/etc).

    1. WARREN says:

      I wonder what the % of electrified vehicles are of GM’s total? BMW was over 7% last month.

      1. SJC says:

        In France PHEV sales have gone up while EV sales have gone down.

    2. Mint says:

      Still peddling your nonsense of the Leaf not being a real second generation?

      It has 40% more power, self-driving tech, the innovative ePedal, and a drastically different exterior.

      Just try naming three models from the last decade with a bigger generational change in power, let alone the other huge changes.

      The new Leaf is entirely different from the outside and entirely different behind the wheel. Who cares if the skeleton is the same or some parts are carried over?

      As for the Bolt, GM will sell every one, whether in the US or Canada or Korea. They’ve decided to produce only ~30k, so monthly sales figures are rather pointless.

      1. VFanRJ says:

        I predict that next year that the Leaf will have a TMS and capable of much higher charging rates. It’s those capabilities will mark the arrival of the Gen II Leaf.

  2. jelloslug says:

    It’s interesting to see how the Bolt is poaching the Volt sales. If Toyota would release a 200+ mile EV, I bet the Prius Prime sales would drop like a rock also.

    1. mx says:

      People with kids buying the Bolt

      But, Single Guys who want to find Smart Women should be buying the Volt. It’s a Smart Chick Magnet.

      1. God/Tesla says:

        Even if one can somehow can attract a smart girl with a Volt or (Bolt EV) they shouldn’t be surprised if that woman cheats on them with an ICE vehicle owner…

        Moral of the story, there’s no better women attractant than getting and maintaining rock hard abs…

        1. Terawatt says:

          I thought you’d say it was that ICE is cool!

          1. Elo says:

            Cold as ICE

        2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          “there’s no better women attractant than getting and maintaining rock hard abs…”

          I’m out………….LMAO

      2. Marvin says:

        Yeah, chicks are drawn to men who can’t figure out if they want a gas car or an electric car.

        Chevy Volt, the worst of both worlds. A car for people with such bad range anxiety they buy a car with 45 miles of range instead of 238 miles.

        A car most commonly found sitting at public L2 chargers all day long despite only needing 1 hour of charge.

        Chick magnet, ROTFLMAO

        1. menorman says:

          A car most commonly found sitting at public L2 chargers all day long despite only needing 1 hour of charge.

          A thousand times this. It’s so annoying to find a Volt sitting not charging because it’s full, exceeded only by having a Volt show up and obliviously split the charge rate at a shared station.

          Also, great name.

          1. TwoVolts says:

            “It’s so annoying…having a Volt show up and obliviously split the charge rate at a shared station.”

            If you are on a typical 240V, 32A split charger and a Bolt or Leaf show up instead, your power delivery rate is going to drop to 3.8 kW. With the Volt, it will drop to 3.3 kW. Hardly a ‘Volt’ issue.

      3. Jeff says:

        It’s a good looking car. I just like the 90% electric driving I do, yet still can go coast to coast in the thing on gas. We have two 2013 Volts we bought off-lease. Dependable.

    2. philip d says:

      Also uninformed consumers that don’t understand how the Volt is different from the flood of all the new PHEVs like the Prius Prime and Clarity PHEV.

      They will go with brand recognition and get the Prime or look at the more conventional 5 seat more roomy layout of the Clarity and pick those. They won’t get the nuance or maybe even care that in EV mode these other PHEVs will have less than full power without the help of the gas engine. And some don’t even have the ability to lock it into an EV only mode.

      1. Rennie Allen says:

        Agreed. The stupidity is strong. Given that the Volt has been around since 2011 it is stunning how dense the average person is. It isn’t difficult to understand. As long as you drive less than 50 miles per day the Volt is a BEV, if you drive more, it’s a hybrid.

        1. JayTee says:

          Or, maybe consumers are buying the product that best meets their unique needs.

          1. says:

            Not buying your theory. I have seen to many trucks with flatbeds brand new after years of use. Also seen and know people with convertibles that take the top of once a year…maybe. Car buying is emotional before anything else.

            1. says:


              1. jimjfox says:

                *off*, too! As well… besides… in addition… also

          2. Asak says:

            Simple observation reveals that most people aren’t that smart.

          3. Mark E says:

            No.. people’s buy based on propaganda..

            1. jimjfox says:

              No. ‘People[s]’ buy on price. The ‘best’ they can afford, or the cheapest pile of crap.

        2. John Duprey says:

          Each has it’s strengths and weakness. The Volt has a slow onboard charger. In my opinion, a fatal flaw for any EV. The mechanical clutch between motor and engine of the Clarity seems a weaker design for it’s part.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Perhaps you don’t know that the Volt also has a mechanical clutch between its gas engine/generator and its mechanical drivetrain?

            The Volt may not engage its gas engine directly to the Voltec drivetrain very often, but it’s engineered to do just that when necessary.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Perhaps you don’t know that the GEN 2 VOLT has the wheels DIRECTLY GEARED TO THE ENGINE 100% OF THE TIME (i.e. not through a clutch), even when in totally EV mode.

              In fairness, many people don’t realize this.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                Technically, there is one way clutch.

                On top of it, the “geared” description needs slightly more elaboration since it is the ring gear of the planetary gearset which doesn’t really move when engine is off…

                But the connection to the wheel is completely the same as Gen 1 thru the ring gear as well.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  First time I ever heard of a shaft lock being called a ‘clutch’. Both ends of the shaft entering and leaving the contraption are in perfect spacial synchronism at all times and its essentially a solid shaft, if not in fact.

                2. Bill Howland says:

                  Nope, MMF, not the same at all.

                  Weren’t you the guy who didn’t understand how the 110 year old ICE ‘self starter’, which almost every car except hybrids and evs has had works?

                  The GEN 1 voltec has a real clutch which will allow the drive end to completely separate from the driven end, just what you’d expect a clutch to do. The ‘driven’ end in this case is the frame, and it defacto functions as a lock when engaged, since the ‘driven’ end is connected to a brick-wall, so to speak.

                  The shaft lock that the GEN 2 has they call a ‘clutch’, but it has no actuator as the GEN 1 clutch did, nor is there at anytime when the drive and driven end are not solidly bolted to each other.

                  As mentioned the engine is 100% of the time geared to the drive wheels, albeit through differential gearing, which makes ev operation possible.

                  The sole purpose of the shaft lock is to prevent the ICE from spinning backwards during EV operation, since it is connected 100% of the time.

          2. TwoVolts says:

            “The Volt has a slow onboard charger. In my opinion, a fatal flaw for any EV. ”

            If the Volt were a pure EV, I would agree. The Volt has 53 miles of AER and a range extender. These two features make slow onboard charging a minor annoyance – not a fatal flaw. If you can charge at home or at work, the 3.3 kW charger is more than adequate.

            1. Asak says:

              It’s not a “fatal” flaw, but it is a large annoyance.

              1. Ziv says:

                I agree, Asak, it is annoying as he**. I don’t NEED to charge faster, but I sure would like to do so. Most of the time I don’t even change my 2013 Volts charge rate from 8 amps to 12 amps because I am charging overnight. But at least 2 or 3 times a month I drive 50 or 60 miles in a day, I plug in to a fast charger over lunch and get a measly 10 additional miles of AER. Then once I hit 50 miles for the day the genset kicks on with me 5 or 10 miles from home.
                Being able to charge at 6.6 kW or 10 kW would mean that I would be able to completely re-charge my half drained pack in a lunch hour. And it would also mean that I am not getting “ripped off” when public chargers charge me by the hour.
                Does my Volt NEED faster charging? No, but it would make it a better car and GM wouldn’t incur much cost to fix this issue. Make it an option, charge me twice the amount it costs to upgrade the onboard charger.
                But GM has pretty much proven that they don’t really care about electric cars. My next electric car will probably be a Tesla.

                1. TwoVolts says:

                  You have a good point, and it would certainly be nice if it were at least an option. Given the Volt’s design, faster charging was not made a priority. Instead, I think GM was more interested in preserving battery life. Despite the frustration, you are probably still ahead financially doing what you do now. If you are burning gasoline for your extra 5 or 10 miles at 2 or 3 times per month, it works out to less than a gallon of gas per month – about $2 per month. Would you pay $250 for a faster charging option knowing the payback period is ten years or more? I’m not sure I would.

                  Of course upgrading to the new Volt – with additional AER – would solve your problem also.

                  1. Ziv says:

                    Logically, you are absolutely correct. That doesn’t keep me from growling when the genset kicks on. I may end up keeping my gen 1 Volt a while though. It is paid off and looks/runs like a brand new car. No car payment is sweet.

            2. menorman says:

              If you can charge at home or at work, the 3.3 kW charger is more than adequate.

              But beyond it not being optimal even for home charging, the 3.3 kW is downright rude in public, especially on stations that split the charge rate between two plugs. When someone obliviously plugs in their Volt, they don’t realize (or don’t care) that anyone else charging now has to wait twice as long.

              1. TwoVolts says:

                The Volt …“not being optimal even for home charging…”
                My Volt has a full charge every morning- even when I have it programmed to start charging after 11pm. That is optimal in my book.

                “When someone obliviously plugs in their Volt, they don’t realize (or don’t care) that anyone else charging now has to wait twice as long.”
                That is primarily a problem with design of split chargers. If you are charging on a public ‘split power’ 240V 32A unit, it will deliver only up to a max power output of 7.7 kW. If another car with a higher capacity onboard charger is plugged in next to you, you will get half of the 7.7 kW, or about 3.8 kW. And if it is a pure EV, it will likely have much more battery to charge – making for a longer time you need to share the split charge.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  “GM being RUDE”.

                  In case people don’t notice, but lately GM has been INCREASING the size of its car chargers (from 3.3 to 3.6 kw in the volt (15-16 amps) and at least 7.2 (some say 7.7) kw in the Bolt ev (32 amps).

                  Meanwhile Tesla has gone DOWN several ways:

                  1). New S’s and X’s can only go 72 amperes maximum. Down from 80.

                  2). Charging cord provided with new Tesla S and X’s are the same as for the ‘3’, hence only 32 amperes max where the old cord would do 40. The very first Tesla could do 70 and 40, respectively.

                  3). 3SR can only do 32 amps. 3LR only 48.

                  1. Bill Howland says:

                    I was being a bit ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and was waiting for someone to call me out that I was a bit unfair to Tesla here.

                    In fairness, the plain jane “S” and “X” now have INCREASED size chargers, the base going from 40 to 48 amperes.

        3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          You don’t live where I live, obviously.

      2. Robb Stark says:

        The average consumer doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the ideological battles of EREV vs PHEV.

        What does it cost to run per mile?

        What is the acceleration?

        How nice is the interior?

        What is the monthly payment with X down?

      3. menorman says:

        All the user reports coming in are confirming that for the average person, the Clarity PHEV reverts to EV nearly as much as the Volt does. Since the Clarity is usable by actual adults, that means that it’s realistically better than the Volt for many people.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I’ve been impressed with all the reports from actual Clarity PHEV owners, over on the InsideEVs Forum site, talking about how little gas they use.

          I have often been impressed with GM’s Voltec engineering, for the Chevy Volt. Perhaps Honda deserves as much praise for the Clarity PHEV’s powertrain, altho we will have to wait to see if it’s as reliable as the Volt. Or at least, the first generation Volt and Voltec. I understand that Voltec 2.0 is, sadly, not as reliable. 🙁

          Now if Honda would just crank up production on the Clarity PHEV, and perhaps even *gasp* actually advertise it, then they might have a genuine plug-in EV hit on their hands!

          1. theflew says:

            Well if this story is true it might explain why the Clarity PHEV is so close to the Volt.


            It would be like GM using the full Voltec system in a Malibu. Just image if Honda would have see the CRV instead – that would have been the game charger. Hopefully GM will do it to one of their CUV’s.

    3. Ziv says:

      GM would be well served to get the Buick CUV prototype they teased last year to market. It looked a bit like the Buick Encore and appeared to have been built on the Bolt platform. It was a bit more conventional than the Bolt and probably would appeal to soccer Mom’s and Dad’s a bit more, despite probably having slightly less AER than a Bolt.
      Or not, if it came with a slightly larger pack. Who knows what will happen.
      But it needs to happen this year or early next or the competition will eat GM’s lunch. GM builds outstanding vehicles then overprices them or refuses to stock them. Then after the sales disappoint, they drop the price to the point that would have made a difference just a couple quarters earlier.

      1. Shoot says:

        Never mind soccer moms! I would buy one as soon as they put it out, if it has AWD and I can tow a small trailer.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          It won’t be AWD and it won’t have a tow rating.

      2. bukweet says:

        If Nissan can bring out the 2019 60kW version of the Leaf for not more than $35k (the base model), it will eat the Bolt for lunch.

        1. ziv says:

          If Nissan sells the long range Leaf for $34k you will still be able to get a Bolt for $2k less. I think the long range Leaf and the Bolt will sell in similar amounts (don’t grammar naz* me on that) and that the mid-range Leaf will sell as man or more than the LR Leaf.

          1. Adoreizi says:

            IMO it’s not really worth to talk about which car will best the other. In the end, each car has a unique set of offerings (I.e. range, styling, brand reputation, price, etc). No two cars are truly comparable. A car buyer considers so many factors so it is pointless to say if this car had this or that then it’s a done deal.

            Personally, I don’t care about AWD, I want range (I live in costal CA and want to take my car 200-300 freeway miles to my relatives. Others want AWD or just 150 mi range. I believe both the Bolt and Leaf will sell well together—they both offer a lot to buyers.

            Don’t forget the slew of other offerings coming within the next three years (I.e. Kona ev, Niro ev, Ford sub ev, Ioniq ev long range, Nissan suv ev, Crozz, etc).

          2. TwoVolts says:

            “If Nissan sells the long range Leaf for $34k you will still be able to get a Bolt for $2k less.”

            Not after GM’s EV tax credit is phased out. Nissan has about a 9-month window over GM. Nissan’s EV tax credit advantage window opens up right around the time the LR Leaf arrives.

    4. God/Bacardi says:

      As stated there’s now massive competition to the Volt, Prime, Clarity, Outlander, Pacific, etc…

    5. Confused says:

      That is bad for those hoping new EVs would expand the market and not cannibalize other EVs.

      1. VFanRJ says:

        That is the kicker isn’t it. All these additional EV/PHEV models competing for a market segment that isn’t getting much bigger. Quite concerning indeed.

    6. Nix says:

      Actually, I think it is the Toyota Prius Prime that looks like it is cutting into Volt sales. Volt buyers were notoriously a very high rate of conquest customers from other brands. Many are likely going back to their previous preferred brands, not becoming GM lifers

      1. ffbj says:

        I think so. No one wants a brand that’s gonna go away in a few years.
        Plus the Toyota looks like a better car.

    7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Well, a lot of the sales trends are driven by incentives. GM gets more bang* for the buck selling the Bolt.

      But there’s also the household shift…

      HEV ICEV
      [HEV HEV]

      * bang = credits

  3. leafowner says:

    I do not think too many Model 3 reservation holders will “Bolt” — that would have happened already. Sure, if delays continue there will be some — but the Model 3 is a completely different class of car….

    1. Big Show says:

      Still, I appreciate Bro’s attempt at humor. Should we consider it “revolting” when some reservation holders cancel and go back to the Volt brand?

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        A friend of mine got to sit in a Model 3 recently. He said it was TINY. He stated it felt smaller than a VOLT, and absolutely much smaller than a BOLT. I think the reservation holders that stay on are doing so because it’s all aobut the “cool” factor of owning a Tesla. It’s the iPhone of vehicles.

        1. Domenick Yoney says:

          I’ve sat in, and driven, the 3. It is not tiny by any stretch, front seat or back.
          I’m about 6’2″ had plenty of headroom in front and back as well.

        2. Scott says:

          Your friend was lying to you. I’m a two Volt family, and I’ve sat in a Model 3 on several occasions. By no means does the Volt feel more spacious.

        3. Nix says:

          Is this one of those quote “friends” unquote, like when politicians say the phrase “some people say”?

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Nope, see response below. Nice to know any Tesla observation that may be negative continues to be met with fans trying to denounce the observation though. Sheesh.

        4. Magnus H says:

          You shouldnt believe your friend, but instead trust anonumous strangers on the net!

        5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “A friend of mine got to sit in a Model 3 recently. He said it was TINY. He stated it felt smaller than a VOLT…”

          Maybe he was pulling your leg?

          I was shocked the first time I saw how tiny the Volt is in real life.

          Contrariwise, by some measurements the Tesla Model 3 actually has a larger passenger cabin than the Model S, which is a big luxury car!

          1. theflew says:

            Depends on what his friend means by small. In the model 3 you sit low so your knees go up. It doesn’t mean there isn’t enough leg room, your just in a different sitting style.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              That may be the case. I wish I had been able to see it myself but didn’t know about the event (he thought I knew).

              He’s certainly not anti-Tesla so I take his statement at face value. Something about it is smaller, probably what you note here.

    2. William says:

      Tesla Model 3 reservation holders have made it this far, so their waiting game is almost over, trying “Bolt” now, will be kind of pointless, unless they want to drive today.

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Only a small percentage will. But sometimes you do indeed need a car “right now”.

        We would like a short range Model 3 under 40k. But depending on how long it takes, we may go with a Gen 2 Volt. After all deductions I paid just under 9,000 in taxes for 2017. If we cannot get the base Model 3 before the tax credit is gone, the car makes a lot less sense.

        We would be losing a potential 7,500 in addition to the 2,500 Texas rebate that I don’t believe Tesla purchases are qualified for. Plus the Volt can be found considerably cheaper.

        Yes, the Model 3 is the better looking, better driving, and larger car. For some people it’s absolutely worth the extra even without the credit.
        But for my wife’s commute and for the odd road trip a few times a year, it wouldn’t be worth it for us.

        1. TwoVolts says:

          Road trips with a BEV with 200 miles of AER (at highway speed) does not appeal to me. Despite the superior Tesla SC network, road tripping requires inconvenient charging detours and requires good planning and extra time. The biggest drawback to the Volt is the roominess for backseat passengers. With the kids grown, we seldom have backseat riders. Even the M3 backseat is no bargain as Consumer Reports points out.

          I abandoned my M3 reservation as soon as they moved my delivery date to ‘early 2019’ – which of course means mid to late 2019 with Tesla – and a reduced or zero tax credit. The Volt can be had for a little more than half the price of the M3 – after tax credit(s). For me, switching to the Volt was an easy decision.

      2. Tim Miser says:

        How many of those M3 owners signed up for the $55k version or the $35k version? If the $35k version is still likely a year away or maybe never, I think there will be a slow and steady surge of cancellations as it becomes more and more apparent that Tesla has no interest in selling a $35k M3.

        1. It is not that Tesla has not interest in Selling a $35,000 Model 3, it is just that they need to get their Act together as to Profitability – as one of the Keys to Elon Staying On Track, and Getting Profitable by the 2nd half of 2018! The Model 3 at $35,000 is not expected to be able to be profitable until they have a much higher production volume capability!

          As I Get it – even the current $60,000 Model 3’s don’t quite Reach Profitability until they get volume up to over 5,000 Per Week, base on their pricing structure. So – until Tesla can push past 7,500 Per Week – in Model 3 Production, I don’t think they will be making the $35,000 Model 3 Available! Maybe Not until they actually hit 10,000 Per week in Production!

          At that Rate – they are also going to need a whole new sales process, to handle some 35,000 – 40,000 Cars – of the Model 3 Variety only, to be delivered, and sold, in addition to Tesla’s Model S & Model X Sales (About 8,000 Per Month, as it ended the last year)!

          1. Asak says:

            If the $60K Model 3 isn’t profitable until they hit 5000 per week then the company is going out of business. That’s basically the same as saying the car is not profitable, full stop.

            However, I’m skeptical of that number anyway. Even if Tesla is horribly inefficient, they should be able to make money off a $50K+ car.

        2. Nix says:

          There is actually a website that answered that question by getting an obnoxiously large sample set of reservation holders to put in what they plan on buying:

          Based on their results, reservation holders very much expect to spend more than the base price — exactly like BMW and Audi buyers very much expect to spend more that the base price for a BMW 3-Series or Audi A4.

          I’m not sure where this idea came from that Model 3 buyers would behave more like Nissan Versa Note buyers than BMW/Audi buyers.

    3. Seven Electrics says:

      I own both, and there are things the Bolt offers that I wish were on the 3, and vice versa. In sport mode, there are many similarities when city driving.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Nobody cares what cars you pretend to have, Mr. FUDster. And car buyers don’t plunk down thousands of dollars for imaginary cars.

    4. Dean says:

      Enjoy waiting for car nobody has any idea if it will ever make the road. Never catch me in it!

    5. Mark says:

      I’m one of the few weirdo’s to have a Model 3 day 1 reservation (non-Tesla owner). I’m a huge Tesla fanboy, but an even bigger EV fanboy overall. My previous cars include the 2012 Honda Fit EV, 2014 RAV4 EV, 2015 E-Golf, and in November I decided to go ahead and get a Bolt EV. I got sick of waiting for Tesla to actually deliver an affordable EV. To me, there’s no way I’m going to spend $50k on a car with that kind of risk. My total out of pocket on the Bolt for a 3 year lease (45k mileage allowance) was under $7k in total or about $190/mo. I figured I’d just drive the Bolt till the affordable Model 3 becomes available. But even with my day 1 reservation for the Model 3 (made in a tesla store in the bay area after waiting hours in line), I figured I’d ditch the Bolt as soon as the Model 3 arrives. But after driving the Model 3 LR rental on Turo, I’ve realized the Bolt is a better car for me and my situation. It has the larger back seat for me and my two car seats. It gives the driver more legroom for having a car seat behind them. It has Android Auto. It has true 1-pedal driving which makes city street commuting a breeze and makes driving overall more relaxing. I wish it had Autopilot for the highway parts of my commute, but other than that I really prefer the Bolt over what the Model 3 offers.

      1. David says:

        Let’s hope you dont get into an accident and either you hit my car or the self driver does because I don’t want me car catching on fire from a telesa and that was already proven.

      2. William says:

        So you did “Bolt” from your Tesla Model 3 Reservation, after your Turo rental? By the way, your Bolt Lease deal price negotiation was well done. Around $7k, total out of pocket, is reasonable and hard to pass up on a Chevy Bolt 3yr/45k mi. Lease deal.

    6. EJCT says:

      I actually VOLTed from the M3 reservation in 10/17 when my ICE clunker needed more repairs I didn’t want to pay for. I simply couldn’t wait any longer and the Chevy dealer had a deeply discounted LT model. I would only go for the $35k M3 that may only be sold in a year from now, or never. I didn’t like the Bolt’s front seats, too narrow for me, sorry. The Volt fits my 28 miles per day commute perfectly and I often get >60 miles per charge. Don’t regret the decision at all, Volt is a great car.

      1. Asak says:


  4. WadeTyhon says:

    That’s basically what I expected for both cars this month. 🙂 Respectable sales from both but room to improve.

    It is going to be hard for the Volt to top its early numbers from last year… they were boosted by good incentives and low availability of the Bolt nationwide.

    But in the back half of the year, both cars should have sales at or above last years.

    1. Steven Loveday says:

      Nice. We anticipated the same results. At least Bolt sales are on the up, as expected! For early in the year, this is nice to see.

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Agreed, while I would prefer higher, I’m good with a 50% increase YOY while inventory was still tight. 😉

      2. ffbj says:

        I take exception with phraseology and spin that sales are increasing. How? YoY? Sure, because last year they sold a pittance with their slow-rollout.
        Sales were around 3k in December so how are they increasing certainly not month over month unless you just start counting in January 2018.
        Bottom Line: They will sell around 23k Bolts again this year, because that’s all they want to sell.

        1. Steven Loveday says:

          Agreed. We’ve always quoted year-over-year. That’s also what the automaker quotes in the reports. Sales are never as high at the beginning of the year as they are at the end. I try to stress the month-over-month and year-over-year throughout the various posts, but it begins to become redundant and annoying to continuously say that. I also mentioned sales compared to last year during the same month, as well as sales compared to last month.

          Sales did “Rise” for February in comparison to last month, and also in comparison to last year. But, of course, they’re nothing like 2017 Q4 numbers. Also referenced was that Bolt sales are a “small” indication that sales will be on the rise throughout this year, as they were last year.

          I apologize if there was any lack of clarity, and I intend to be abundantly clear concerning these specifics as we move forward. Thanks for pointing it out!

  5. Roy_H says:

    The Bolt-based Buick utility vehicle is ugly! Sometimes I think GM purposely builds EVs with features or appearance designed to alienate potential buyers so they can claim that EVs are not what the public wants.

    1. nuclearboy says:

      Great looking IMO. If priced right, this will be my next vehicle after Bolt lease is up.

    2. bro1999 says:

      Some Tesla owners have said they would consider buying a Bolt if it looked like the upcoming Buick Bolt.

    3. David says:

      If you don’t like it then go buy a car that is even worse and save your opinion for someone else

    4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      I assume you aren’t Chinese so GM won’t care what you think.
      The Buick Boncore (or whatever they call it) will be built to sell in China.

  6. Warren says:

    Bolt sales are as good as I could hope for.

    I think the new Kona

    is less ugly than the and Buick Bolt,×432.jpg

    so GM could loss some sales there.

    1. Warren says:

      “lose” How much could an edit button cost? 🙂

      1. I am Pretty sure it costs at least Twice as much as a ‘Reply’ Button!

        And since the Cost of that ‘Reply’ Button is close to Infinity – It seems Inside EV’s don’t have the budget for an ‘Edit’ Button! 😉

      2. Tim Miser says:

        Apparently about $60k in order to be profitable.

    2. CopperRoad says:

      I am curious to see how Hyundai deals with the Kona EV (if & when it reaches North America). I hope by virtue of its purported long range they’ll treat it better than have the IONIQ EV, which to date has been horrible.

    3. David says:

      Your opinion only

    4. EVShopper says:

      If they were sold in the same markets. It’s not clear when, if, the Kona EV will be sold in North America. And the Bolt is pretty much absent from anywhere but the US.

      And depends a lot on pricing for the Kona.

  7. Taylor S Marks says:

    Are the numbers in this article all US only or global? It doesn’t seem to specify anywhere, although the prior year and prior month numbers are all the US only numbers…

    1. Steven Loveday says:

      U.S. yes, always. Sorry! Fixed

  8. bro1999 says:

    “Re-Volting” is when a Volt owner upgrades to a newer Volt. 🙂

    1. What Happens, or, more specifically, what is it called if a Volt Owner – Buys a Prius Prime? 😉

      1. Neromanceres says:

        I would call that being Lobotomized

        1. Re-Volted says:


  9. menorman says:

    And the regular Prius sales would be in the toilet.

    1. john1701a says:

      That use of “would be” is interesting. Not sure what it actually means.

      The real story is how Toyota is successfully transitioning sales of the regular hybrid to the plug-in model.

      Just think what would be possible doing the same for RAV4.

  10. Daniel Watkins says:

    The Chevy Bolt needs a Limited Slip Differential.. FWD will let loose if u floor it at 40MPH on wet pavement.. and the torque steer, which a (gen 1 anyway) Volt has none of, tho has less power. A LSD equipped Bolt sport model would be great, official hot hatch.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Ford handles this problem on the FFE with torque vectoring.

  11. Texas FFE says:

    Ford has stated that it will offer 16 BEVs by 2022 and GM is saying that it will offer 20 BEVs by 2023. A few of these will be on dedicated BEV platforms but I think we have to assume that most will be BEV variants on multi-propulsion platforms. Is the Volt going to get a BEV variant?

    1. yogurt says:

      How many of those promised is Ford bringing to the US??

      China is most likely number one in their plans now just like with VW and GM…

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Volt will get nothing. It’ll be canned in the early 2020s. There will be no reason for it to exist.

  12. Bill says:

    I was a previous Nissan LEAF driver who switched to a Chevy Bolt last November. I was a aware of the forthcoming new LEAF, however I didn’t see the new LEAF’s gain in range as enough to cover extended trips in the region I live where a gas powered car is necessary. There are very few fast chargers outside of major metro areas here in Ohio (Tesla being the exception), The Bolt does have enough range to meet my needs enough to dismiss driving a gas car. I need to be able to drive out and back about a hundred miles without counting on fast recharging along the way. I know Nissan promises a longer range new LEAF, but for now it is vapor ware.

    Having said that and recognizing the numbers of Bolts on the road is growing, Bolt still feels like a compliance car. Outside of CARB regions, Bolts are pretty scarce on dealer lots. We really didn’t see any Bolts here until September 2017, and the dealer where I found mine had two. It is hard to evaluate how much is lack of supply and how much is dealers gun shy about selling a new all EV model. If the dealer was telling the truth, it claimed to be easily selling all the few Bolts it could get – mostly to prior EV and hybrid drivers.

    I think GM designed the Bolt pretty smartly in that it doesn’t scream, “I’m an EV!,” and it drives and acts pretty much like a familiar gas car, the exceptions being it is very quiet running and it plugs in at night.

    I considered the Tesla Model 3, of course, but the lack of availability nixed the deal. Also the effective real cost of the Model 3 is much higher than the Bolt because Tesla isn’t manufacturing it in inexpensive configurations.

  13. Anthony says:

    Worked for me. Bought a Volt in 2012, got a GF in 2013. Now we’re married with children and the Volt needs an upgrade to a family car.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Get an iPace…… 🙂

      1. Scott says:

        Better yet get a Tesla X 70D for $7,500 less than the I-Pace.

  14. Brian says:

    Nissan sold 895 Leafs for the month of February.

    1. William says:

      Hardly any Leaves in the pile, for Nissan to move with the Leaf Blower!

  15. Dirk says:

    No sunroof equals no sale to me.

  16. Josetony says:

    In order to increase the sagging GM Volt sales , the 2019 model should come with at least 5kw more of battery capacity. This could give the car at least 70 electric miles instead of the actual 53miles. Sales will start picking up again.

    1. Ziv says:

      I don’t know about the Volt needing more AER, Jose. You are reaching a point of diminishing returns for an EREV when you get to 50 miles of AER. You have to carry a bulky Genset, so getting much more AER won’t be worth it to enough potential buyers. Would it appeal to some? Yeah, but I don’t think it would be enough. EREV had a time and it is just about over. As battery pack prices continue to drop and fast chargers become more common, having a gas genset is less useful.
      I love my Volt, but my next car will be a BEV.

      1. john1701a says:

        That message is easy to see most people saying.

        The fact that GM went from anti-EV to we used to sell an EREV is a head-scratcher for many.

        It’s really unfortunate a Trax or Equinox never got Voltec.

        1. CCIE says:

          What’s you even talking about? GM has been leading the EREV/EV charge along with Nissan and Tesla since 2010. If anyone is anti-EV, it’s Toyota.

      2. Tom says:

        I agree. It’s stuck in some kind of awkward place. Let’s assume updating the battery pack on the next update would give you the same electric range with 10% less mass. Then cut back the range by 30% through cutting the KwH on the battery. This would leave a 35 miles electric range and 40% less battery. That would save a few hundred pounds and likely a few thousand in battery cost. Meanwhile the performance would go up with the weight loss. And you’d still be at greater range than Prius Prime amongst others.

      3. Re-Volted says:

        Me too, on my 2nd Volt and happy with the car but used less than 20 gal a year so didn’t really need the ICE with just a little more battery. They want yearly oil change even though I’ll have about 800 gas miles!

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I don’t know about the Volt needing more AER, Jose. You are reaching a point of diminishing returns for an EREV when you get to 50 miles of AER. You have to carry a bulky Genset, so getting much more AER won’t be worth it to enough potential buyers. Would it appeal to some? Yeah, but I don’t think it would be enough.”

        Reality check: The overwhelming majority of BMW i3 buyers choose the REx option. I think it’s about 75%?

        Looks to me like your opinion is in the minority, by quite a sizable margin.

      5. TwoVolts says:

        I agree with your ‘diminishing returns’ assessment, but think the age of EREVs is far from over. I suspect we will see many more EREVs in the near future. When we have a real charging infrastructure, EREVs will begin to go away. That is not likely any time soon.

    2. Ken L. says:

      Or a 6.6KW on-board charger, or a more functional 5th seat, or more passenger leg room; really they could do so much to improve it.

    3. BenG says:

      I wouldn’t worry about adding more electric range to the Volt. It’s already a leader among plug-ins.

      Instead I’d focus on three crucial items: price, utility and reliability.

      Price needs to come down, that is an obvious way to increase sales.

      The Volt suffers from lack of utility: i.e. doesn’t have a real 5th seat, has poor rear leg-room, has mediocre storage space, all because of the T-shaped battery that intrudes into the cabin. That battery design won’t change until an all-new design comes along, but GM could address the issue by offering a hatchback version, like the Cruze hatchback. That will give you more rear seat headroom and more storage space.

      Below average reliability for second generation Volts continues to be a problem. Consumer Reports survey gives it a 2/5, below average, rating for both 2016 and 2017. GM has got to pull that up to minimum of average reliability in order to have a chance at Toyota Prius owners and former owners, which is a huge market that GM would love to penetrate more deeply.

    4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      They aren’t going to do that.

      The Gen 2 Volt has just enough range to get it the maximum 1.3 TZEV credits. So GM has no reason to add more range.

  17. speculawyer says:


    That’s driving me nuts. We need Voltec pick-ups, SUVs, and minivans!

    1. Scott says:

      GM doesn’t have the battery supply to support those platforms.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        And by making absolutely no move toward building out a high-volume battery supply it controls, GM is very clearly signalling that it has no intention of building a lot more plug-in EVs, at least not in the next two years.

        1. theflew says:

          You must not know about LG expanding their plant in Michigan to build Bolt style batteries.

    2. Treedom says:

      Right? I just drove a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and it’s a great package: the answer to the question “what if a first-gen Volt were an AWD SUV.” I hope they sell loads of them in North America so GM finally sees the light and builds us the long-rumored, never-seen Voltec-powered SUV.

  18. Bloggin says:

    If GM wants the Volt sales to increase, give it the 230+ mile EV drivetrain from the Bolt. Or will they wait until the 160+ mile range Leaf start pulling sales.

    PHEV is really a more complicated, more maintenance dependent, more expensive to run, step away from a 200+ mile EV. We just need more 200+ mile EV options.

    1. Scott says:

      The problem is that they would need to put 4X the battery in each vehicle and they simply can’t make that many.

  19. Larry Sawallish says:

    I drive to my family’s home in northern WI, a 500 mile trip one way. None of the all electric vehicles will get me there without a lengthy charge. Only the my Volt can do it. Until I can buy an electric that’ll recharge in 10 or 15 minutes, I’m sticking with the Volt.

    1. Scott says:

      A Tesla is the only EV that could do it assuming there are Superchargers along your route, but it would take 30-60 minutes of charging depending upon exactly where they are placed. Wisconsin is pretty well supplied with Superchargers, so there’s a decent chance you’d be covered. No other pure BEV is even remotely practical for that requirement.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Thanks, Larry.

      This is precisely why there will continue to be a market for PHEVs even with 200+ mile EVs on sale. It’s also why we need to see PHEVs with longer AER ranges; perhaps 100 miles or more.

      And, it’s why there will continue to be a market for PHEVs until BEVs can be charged in 10-12 minutes or less.

      Those who think the average first-world driver is going to put up with waiting 30+ minutes for the battery to charge, on a long trip, are living in a world of wishful thinking. BEVs will never make gasmobiles obsolete until fast-charging times get down to less than 15 minutes.

      Contrary to what all too many EV “purists” say, PHEVs are actually better competition for gasmobiles than BEVs are.

  20. James says:

    I’ve seriously considered the Bolt, but I’m not passionate about it, it’s just a cute utilitarian hauler. Had a Volt for 5 years. Always hated it, will never buy another.

    1. David Cary says:

      Not a Volt fan (or unfan) but your opinion is unusual. Without elaboration, your statement loses value especially in today’s world where everyone rightly is skeptical of the motivations of every poster.

      I drove a Volt as my first EV on a test drive. I liked it but it was just too darn small and too expensive at the time.

      The Volt doesn’t need more battery, it needs more form factors. It is shaped and sized like a cheap young person’s car.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I agree that the Volt is shaped and (small) sized like it’s aimed at the market for young first-time car buyers, or those on a very limited budget.

        Unfortunately, it’s not priced that way.

      2. TwoVolts says:

        I am a Volt fan but agree. A mid-size sedan or CUV with the Voltec powertrain is long overdue. GM needs to unveil something that can directly compete with the Clarity PHEV – preferably something that is more attractive.

  21. Martin T. says:

    I wonder why GM cannot get both Volt & Bolt to work for them sales wise.

    If it was Toyota they always some how manage to cater to every market segment and stick it out. Here end the lesson for Chevrolet /GM.

    Maybe it is the dealers and the whole customer support structure for the USA.

    Here in Australia it is the lack of dealers able to service the Volt and lack of support spares to do so.

    Pity as I thought they could support extended range plugins for longer than this at the right price point.

  22. BillT says:

    I love my Gen1 Volt but I am not at all surprised to see the low sales of Gen2.
    I think GM really missed an opportunity to broaden the appeal of the Volt with Gen2 by making it more spacious. A Volt with Civic like space and 38 miles of AER would sell a lot better than the current version. Voltec is a great power train trapped in compromised (space wise) car.
    Clarity PHEV is presently the only no-compromise replacement for a US top 10 selling ICE vehicle (Accord)

    1. BenG says:

      Yep. Space is a problem, more specifically price vs space. Volt is priced like a mid-full size car, but has less room than a typical compact-mid size hatchback.

      They try to make up for that with some decent performance and the all-electric experience, but that is appealing to a niche audience … and the performance isn’t really so great compared to similarly priced gas-mobiles.

      Chevy needs to cut the price: $3,000 on both trims should be enough to prop up sales. $5,000 would probably make sales increase.

      They can also address the space issue by offering a hatchback form like the Cruze hatchback.

      Boost reliability.

      I’d like to see a performance version offered, too.

      Assuming we’re stuck with the current design and options for at least another year, Chevy really only has the price-drop option to boost sales for now.

      A CUV version would be good, but I’m not sure I’d put the money into developing it unless I were doing an all-new design. They need to put the battery into the floor: the T-shaped battery intruding into the cabin is an impediment to a competitive vehicle. It was an okay compromise back in 2010, but we know better now.

      1. Re-Volted says:

        Completely disagree, gen 2 is an awesome car with haters who don’t know what they’re talking about. Performance is better than competition and size is normal for the segment. As this article clearly states, GM has no reason to push these lower profit cars right now and it’s understandable. Skate along learning and preparing for a big push when batteries are plentiful, cheaper, and profits are higher. There’s very little competition right now and a lot of us know the price may stay high now and lower in ’20, about the time my lease ends……

      2. TwoVolts says:

        “Chevy needs to cut the price: $3,000 on both trims should be enough to prop up sales. $5,000 would probably make sales increase.”

        Cutting the price would certainly increase sales – for a short period of time. But it will also hasten the phaseout of GM’s EV tax credits. That phaseout will cause a precipitous drop in sales for both the Bolt and Volt. Why would GM drop prices to do that?

  23. Scott says:

    I was just reviewing past year’s sales and noticed that the Tesla Model 3 has set back-to-back records for the highest sales for any model in the month for January and February.

    Honestly, it’s even more surprising that InsideEVs hasn’t mentioned either record. In this article Model 3 sales don’t even rate an entire sentence to themselves, let alone acknowledge the second time in a row that it has set the record monthly sales record.

    I wonder why.

    1. Steven Loveday says:

      It’s all in the recap information, which comes out when all sales are in. The article you’re commenting on is for the Bolt and Volt, and the sales report card/sale scorecard still has the prewritten estimates information. Once that’s updated it will also have the Model 3 information in it. Good point, though. Thank you!

    2. Steven Loveday says:

      Last month’s final report card stated:

      One of the biggest variables is the Tesla Model 3. According to Tesla, the automaker could clear the “multiple hundreds of thousands” mark on its own, but that potential has yet to be proven. This month, Model 3 sales were up again and should continue to be, taking the total to an estimated 1,875 deliveries, which sets a new all-time record for January. We should be able to validate this estimate next week when Tesla discloses earnings.

    3. Steven Loveday says:

      Last month’s recap intro paragraph:

      Historically, January is not a good month for EV sales. Way back in 2014, the Nissan LEAF set a January EV sales record with an impressive 1,252 deliveries. In 2017, GM and Toyota were able to break that record with Prius Prime sales at 1,366, and Volt sales hitting a whopping 1,611. Not to mention Bolt sales, which didn’t quite break January EV sales records, but were very close behind the old LEAF record, with an impressive 1,162 deliveries. This year, a new January record was set by the Tesla Model 3.

  24. Re-Volted says:

    Can we also mention that just like Tesla is nearing and probably postponing as much as possible that 200k delivery, GM is also getting closer and maybe reluctant to hit it sooner rather than later. Just good business.
    We have no patience, but big corporations think years ahead.

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