Chevrolet Says Bolt Is “Ultimately A Vehicle” For Everyone



No compliance car here. That’s the word we keep hearing from General Motors in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt.

Kathy Belsic, advertising and marketing manager for Chevrolet electric vehicles, stated:

“With the price and range (of) this vehicle, this vehicle is ultimately a vehicle anyone can drive.

“It’s not just a great electric car, it’s a great car.”

Chevy Bolt Interior

Chevrolet strongly believes that the Bolt can be a mainstream vehicles and proudly touts it as the first long-range, affordable electric car. Belsic added:

“I think EV is going more mainstream now and I think more people are finally realizing, ‘I think I can go purely electric especially now with the 238-mile range and affordable price.”

One more point of interest from Belsic is that she says at least 40% of Chevrolet dealers nationwide have signed up to sell and service the Bolt. That’s far short of the 100% we’d like to see, but considering that Chevrolet has some 3,100 dealers in the U.S., 40% still works out to 1,240 dealerships eventually set up to sell the Bolt when it goes on sale nationwide later this year.

Turning it over to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who spoke on the Bolt’s aggressive design-to-delivery timeline:

“We said ‘That’s great, we want to shoot for the 200 mile range, but do it in the time line of the 100.”

“So the team took a breath. But again, that’s where I again go back to the men and women of General Motors. That’s where when once they get a challenge, they accept it and look what they did.”

Barra’s comment was in response to a question along the lines of why didn’t GM just produce a longer range Spark first and a 200 miler later? GM made the right move here though by getting the 238-mile Bolt out there as quickly as possible. In doing so, the automaker goes down is history as the first to deliver a 200-plus mile EV at what we’ll call a somewhat affordable price point.

Source: Detroit News

Categories: Chevrolet


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93 Comments on "Chevrolet Says Bolt Is “Ultimately A Vehicle” For Everyone"

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Everyone except those millions who live in a RHD country.


They’re production constrained at the moment, and it’d take a few years to remove that constraint by building cell and battery manufacturing.

So, given the production constraints and given that the only RHD market that could deliver reasonable sales right now is the UK, and given the expected advances in the technology (including fast charging), why bother?

Sorry, yes they should have qualified it as “everyone that matters” 😀

When you stop driving on the wrong side of the road, you too can drive a Bolt.

I think the Bolt will be the best seller this year. Already with just California and Oregon it placed itself in third place. With more states coming the sales number will rapidly increase.
The model 3 will also sell really well but I don’t think there is enough time to overtake the Bolt this year but it’s very likely it will outsell everyone else in 2018.
With all the great cars coming this year I would be surprised if 2017 doesn’t end in at least 300k US sales and then there are even more cars coming in 2018. The future looks really bright for EVs.

My guess is 290k

One dollar!

Made in Michigan Baby!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone = 10,000 people

(or however many Bolts they are actually producing yearly)

The car sold about 1,700 in 5 weeks. Only available in 1 state at the time (Starting in february it is available in several more states… the state/country availability will be growing every month until this summer). Four weeks of which were during the lowest selling month for EVS.

Do you honestly think they are going to only sell 10,000 a year? They are going to produce way more than that yearly.

Not sure that Mil is referencing anything other than his imagination, Wade Tyhon. GM sold 25,000 Bolts in 2016, and are on track for 30k.

Still a Niche car right now in terms of sales numbers, considering that the Corvette still sells better.

However the car’s capabilities and price make it a potential mass-market car, as long as GM is willing to continue to invest in the product.

Maybe you are thinking of the Volt. Bolt sales were around 600 hundred in 2016. They only were on sale for a month. At a rate of 1500 on average a month they should sell around 20k this year.

keep in mind that that “1 state” (namely, california) accounts for most of the market for electric vehicles. everything that i am seeing suggests that the GM forecast of 25,000 to 30,000 per year looks reasonable.

California is around half of the US EV market.
So if they only sold 1700 when everybody was waiting ready to buy, I wouldn’t hold my breath for huge sales numbers. In around mid 2017 it should be available in all states, Norway too. So they may sell 30k as planned, maybe 50k optimistically. But not anything like Camry numbers.

@no comment and @zzzzzzzzzz

I think that is pretty much exactly how many I expect for it’s first year.

I think they will produce ~35k Bolts/Ampera-e’s between Dec 2016 and Dec 2017.

Depending on demand/incentives/release dates both here and abroad… my guess is somewhere between 28k and 32k for US sales.

Combined with Chevy’s other Plug-Ins, that should mean 50-55k Plug-Ins for the year pretty easily. Hopefully more for 2018.

I have a half dozen friends who are Prius owners. One bought a Leaf in 2011. None of the others are even considering an EV.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Going from a bigaass’d gas hog, Truck or SUV or Minivan, gives you the best bang for your buck.

Going from a 53mpg (or whatever it gets) Prius to an EV, not so much.

Exactly. What SUV or pickup driver do they think would consider a Bolt, if the perfect demographic for such a car won’t? Most people are not excited about the tech (unless it costs no more, and doesn’t require any inconvenience/new habits), and don’t give a damned about an environmental threat, that they don’t see as threatening them personally.

SUVs are about 35% of the market and pickups are 15%. There are plenty of market left for the Bolt.

Not at 50% higher price than other cars in that segment.
I suspect that, in many parts of the world, EVs will take off soon, thanks to government efforts to reduce smog, and climate effects. Unfortunately, that effect has been pushed back years in the US. Possibly long enough to make future development irrelevant.

Buying gas is an inconvenience when you can charge at home. There is no reason to think an EV has to be a worse experience than a gas car.

The word “ultimately” in the quote means over time. It doesn’t mean right now. Just because your friends won’t consider an EV right now doesn’t mean they never will.

A long range EV, like the Bolt, would definitely be more convenient for us. Many of our neighbors do not have a garage, making home charging less ideal. And then you have all those who live in apartments. For many, a 15 minute DCFC at lunch each day would work great. All we need is the infrastructure. That still doesn’t address the greater price, which will be the show stopper for some years yet.

I’d like to see sales numbers. Because it is obviously doing poorly.

25k sales in 2016

16% YOY growth for January 2017

For comparison, the Chevy Cruze sold 189k in 2016.

It’s still selling like a Niche car. For example, the Corvette sold better in 2016 (30k) than the Bolt.

Still very good numbers for GM all things considered. 25k / yr. isn’t where it needs to be, but it’s an achievment nonetheless

Are you talking about the Volt sales? The Volt sold about 25K in 2016.

Unfortunately neither the Volt or the Bolt is ever going to sell in the same numbers as a cheap car like the Chevy Cruze that sells for $17k – $20k anytime soon.

But in the EV/PHEV realm I think the Bolt and Volt will continue to be top sellers. Combined with Volt sales, we are looking at pretty significant numbers.

Although we can expect the model 3 to take the entire market to the next level by 2018. If GM lives up to their statements about expanding the Bolt’s platform to other types of vehicles (In addition to the Volt and CT6 Plug-In) then they can put other traditional automakers to shame sales wise.

Lm, GM publishes their sales numbers one or two days after the end of the month, every month. If you want to see the sales, keep watching this site. In January the sales of 1600+ were the highest “official” numbers of any plug-in in the US (Tesla of course not publishing actual numbers, but registration data indicates that neither the S nor the X Models exceeded the Bolt count). As Bart points out, EVs are niche products for now. But the Bolt appears to be headed to the higher end of the niche players. “Doing poorly?” Compared to an Altima or a Rogue or any number of manistream cars, yes. Compared to its peers, it’s looking pretty hot. So unless you’re being sarcastic, your post isn’t well-thought out. You also need to put yourself into Mary Barra’s shoes. The market has very high expectations for GMs continued earnings growth and reliable dividend performance. She is genuinely obligated to go out there and sell the investors on the idea that this is a risk worth taking. These are not “anti-EV” constituents (largely they don’t care: the cars could be steam- or rubber band-powered), but they are “I want my money so… Read more »

The Volt sold 1611 in January. The Bolt sold 1162.

Right, I guess GM was right about people not confusing Bolt with Volt.

Ben, I certainly know the difference between the two cars but I guess I don’t know the difference between my consonants. Big error there.

I try to make a habit of saying/typing “Bolt EV” and “Volt” to help distinguish the two.

maybe you don’t consider the Volt to be an electric vehicle, but GM certainly does.

The names on Chevy’s website & on the cars themselves is “Volt” and “Bolt EV”. So that is what I’m calling them.

I was at the DC Autoshow presentation of the Bolt concept a couple years back. Pam Fletcher, Pablo, some other GM bigwigs all came up and spoke about how great the Bolt was and how it was great in a complementary way to the Volt.

The people at my table had no idea when they were talking about the Bolt and when they were saying Volt. None. I mentioned it to Pam and she smiled and ignored me. LOL!

The loudest questions at my table at the end of the talk:

“So the new Volt is going to 200 miles of range? That is more than now, right?”
“I thought the Bolt was going to be an EV, why are they putting a gasoline genset in it?”

The difficulty in telling the two names apart is only occasionally important, but it is relatively frequently irritating.

Wow 40% dealer participation and no “real” advertising campaign. I wonder if we will look back in 5 years and think “GM really missed an opportunity with the Bolt”. I guess it is better than what Ford and FC have to offer.

GM is most aggressive EV seller in the U.S. market besides Tesla.

LOL you have got to be kidding.

Drop in to a dealer, see if you still feel that way.

They are aggressive alright but not to sell evs. In fact in most dealerships it’s just the opposite. Magical thinking.

Yeah, I feel that way. I see President’s Day Sale TV ads for a local dealer where the Volt (not an EV, but for the purposes of this we can say it is) is the first car named.

They don’t list the Bolt because they are currently selling quickly enough they don’t need to put on sale prices or advertise them.

So yeah, I feel that way.

Volt dealers also started out as small numbers, but as time passed, more dealers became certified.

This will happen with the Bolt as well as the car availability expands to other states and countries.

I must be lucky, in my metro area of 1 million plus people, we have eight Chevy dealers and all are certified for Volt and Bolt EV sales/service.

At the Toronto Auto Show this week I spent a good amount of time with the Bolt and did a test drive. By any measure it is a really good car.

The problem is that the GM folks were saying that new orders were looking at at least an 8 month wait time for delivery. If they can’t bring that time down the lost sales are going to be tragic.

That’s weird. You can’t even order a car 8 months out. Dealers place orders about 5-6 weeks out. They have allocated slots.

I hope GM can find more slots for your local dealers. Or your local dealers stop snowing you, whichever is the issue.

That is pretty awesome! Imagine what that will do to energy storage! That is the coal industry definitely gone and the fracking in serious trouble!

The Bolt is a great car. I was skeptical at first, but it has three primary things going for it that make it a winner. Form factor: it’s a useful car, and handsome, too. I had a Honda Fit for several years and it was the most useful car I ever owned, able to haul loads of stuff from IKEA! The Bolt is essentially a repackaged Fit, and that’s just fine. The Volt has turned into a fleet car for Gen2, so I’m more than satisfied with the Bolt design. Great touchscreen: OMG, Chevy got it right. Having driven a Volt for 4 years, I had absolutely no hope that Chevy would make even a half decent screen and even less that it would be a functional user interface, but they nailed it. I can’t overstate how important this is to me, and my friend with an i3 was overjoyed after dealing with that stupid puck. Range: this is the least important to me because I understand the range I need and I no longer have anxiety over it, but this will be huge selling point for the general public. Really, the only negative is having to go to a… Read more »

Haggling is definitely no fun. While it is no replacement for a direct sale from the manufacturer, I have read that a lot of headaches with the dealer can be avoided with their Shop.Click.Drive. service. Probably a good suggestion for people looking for as little dealer interaction as possible. (Basically you just test drive and sign the final paperwork.)

+1 on all your points.

As for dealers, they vary. I have found a few that have a no-haggle pricing and/or don’t pay direct commission per sale. Those are a little better. Still a time waster though, and the typical salesperson personality drives me nuts. They just can’t stop talking. Ugh.

My local dealer doesn’t give commission by sale price and that’s the key thing. I did get the salesman to sort of admit they get paid to sell more cars, but not on the price haggle.

My sales process was far, far better than I expected. No pressure outside the finance office and very little in there.

I am not saying the experience is like this for everyone, I certainly didn’t expect it to be this way even for me.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Just remember, every Bolt or Volt that is purchased is funding gor GM to fight against the EPA and CARB as well as the Tesla Sales model.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Vote with your wallet and buy Plug-Ins and Plug-Ins alone. Whatever one works for you, regardless of manufacturer. (But preferably GM, BMW, Tesla, Nissan or other large volume EV manufacturer.)

Force automakers to recognize our demand for EVs.

Your money is not going to directly fund lawyers to fight against EVs. Certainly no more than Tesla selling ZEV credits it does not need – that allows ICE automakers who haven’t invested in electrification to save money on heftier fees.

Also by that same logic, you telling someone to not buy an EV from a traditional manufacturer means you are directly providing support to anti-EV elements within these organizations. 😉 Anyone who does this must be a secret Big Oil double agent!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Your money is not going to directly fund lawyers to fight against EVs.”

Then those funds come from Butterfly Pee and Unicorn Farts?

More ridiculous notions!

Everyone knows that unicorns do not fart! 🙂

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


LMAO…..good one.

Don’t forget about Nissan, Ford, etc. in that “don’t buy from them!” statement as well.

Or, alternatively, resolve to the fact that GM is the only main leader in plug-ins among traditional manufacturers, and buying a Volt or Bolt from them proves market viability.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Don’t forget about Nissan, Ford, etc. in that “don’t buy from them!” statement as well.”

Well, yeah the group “The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers” encompasses them.

Do you know that the majority of Tesla purchases also indirectly aid all the manufacturers listed in the above links?

Each Tesla sold in a ZEV state nets ZEV credits. Guess what Tesla does with those ZEV credits? Sells them to the highest bidder (some of those manufacturers listed above such as FCA, Ford, etc…). Each ZEV credit those manufacturers purchase from Tesla allows them to delay developing their own ZEVs, because paying Tesla “pennies on the dollar” is much cheaper than spending hundreds of millions developing an in-house ZEV!

Tesla is no saint either.

Oh come on- this is a reach. Tesla is clearly playing a different game than the others. Totally different motivations. And even this indirect effect you mention is mitigated by the fact that Tesla has released patents as part of an effort to get the industry producing more electric vehicles.

“Just remember, every Bolt or Volt that is purchased is funding gor GM to fight against the EPA and CARB as well as the Tesla Sales model.”

This is just as much of a reach. It’s the exact opposite thing that should be done. We should be encouraging anyone who might be interested in an EV to get out and buy one already!

Not sit on the sidelines in their gas car and whine about how GM sucks and “I’ll get a Model 3 eventually!” keeping them from getting out there and buying one of the dozens of models that are already available and are perfectly capable.

These are all businesses and they all have their own business model. They need to make money and see demand for Plug-Ins if we ever want EVs to succeed. Once you buy a Volt, you have done a whole lot more as a customer of GM to influence their continued Plug-In development.

It’s all a reach.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

If one can “Reach” the conclusion that the US purchase of Petroleum is funds sent to countries that want us dead, how is that one can’t make the conclusion/”Reach” that directly purchasing a product from a company helps fund other efforts like fight back on CARB, EPA and the Tesla Sales model??

You don’t know how the money is routed.

And it’s not like Tesla hasn’t fought CARB.

You’re starting from a conclusion and trying to work backwards. It’s a reach.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Right, so the money just appeared out of nowhere and not from sales revenue?


Were you thinking that a snarky comment was going to cover anything?

If the argument is that buying a car from them will go to more fighting, you don’t know this is the case. You don’t know where the money is routed.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Bro, if the legacy manufacturers are enabled by them ~purchasing ZEV creds~ from Tesla, that would AT THE LEAST incur a cost to them thus taking funds away from their lobbying efforts.

And also allow these manufacturers to delay development of their own ZEVs for as long as possible by paying a relatively tiny sum to Tesla for the ZEV credits they need to acquire to continue selling cars in California (and other CARB states), saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process by not having to invest in new ZEV platforms like GM did. All the while hoping the current administration will roll back ZEV/CAFÉ requirements so that they will not even need to build those “money losing” ZEVs at all?

Wait! That’s what’s happening in America right now!

Tesla whoring out ZEV credits for profit = more time bought by other manufacturers to work with the new administration to try and roll back the existing ZEV/CAFÉ mandates.

If you believe reports that GM is losing $9K on every one, then buying a Bolt is the best thing you can do to defeat GM. 🙂


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I’m not sure many believe that.
Myself included.

So what car manufacturer do you buy from? Matchbox Cars? They’re about the only one who would not be fighting the EPA/CARB requirements.

Tesla is just way out of sight for the average person. So basically don’t buy a car (because you are directly funding the fight or supporting big oil) or buy an EV/PHEV and show that you actually care.

Anyone saying different is just an idiot if they also claim to be supporting EV’s. You either buy an EV/PHEV, or you don’t. End of story, doesn’t matter what EV/PHEV your buy, it is sending a definite message that you now want that sort of vehicle.

Are the title quotes in the wrong spot?

I would say so, yes.

From the different reviews and comments I’ve seen about the Bolt it’s a great car with a few minor issues.
First is the panels that feels cheap. Maybe it would have been worth it to spend another $50 on better materials on those.
Second is the driver’s seat is too narrow. That should be easy to fix in an upcoming revision.
Third, the fast charger should come as standard and should do up to 90 kW. Charging the car to 100% in an hour or 80% in 30-40 minutes would be a huge improvement.

The owner’s manual states the charging supports up to an 80kW rate. I suspect that the limitations observed so far are from charging stations themselves, not the Bolt.

When you properly factor in voltage limitations to a “50kW” charging station, the Bolt is maxing out the current that those stations can provide.

I see, then maybe that will work out when higher capacity chargers are rolled out.

Why would you expect a Bolt to be able to complete a full charge in an hour, when a 60 kWh Tesla S can’t do it?

Because GM makes better cars than Tesla?

GM nor Tesla have invented any of the current battery technology. Current batteries are limited as to charge rate vs longevity, even with refrigeration, to the same extent. Future developments to limit the growth of dendrites, and the breakdown of electrolytes are in development, in labs all over the world. It will take a decade for the winners to sort out, and make their way into mass production.

This is simply not true. It is a tiny vehicle, basically the same as a Nissan Leaf. My dad has one. He loves it, and I’m sure it’s totally awesome, but it’s not big enough for my family of four, assuming I want the carseats to be installed correctly.

Our family of four did just fine with Datsun 510’s, car seats and all. If we banned large private vehicles, we wouldn’t need as much protection from poor drivers in, essentially, commercial vehicles clogging the roads.

Why do you think there is some impediment to installing car seats in the Bolt?

I’m certain you can get two child seats in the back.

The odds of you already having installed carseats in a Bolt are exactly 0.

Family of 4 with a Leaf reporting in.. Works just fine. Bolt has more space.
I agree we need an electric minivan, but your claim that small cars don’t work for families is patently false.

Automakers again crying about CAFE standards saying it’s to hard to achieve the new standards but they said it for years but once it was passed. Energy efficient cars came out immediately I have a Honda CRV that gets 30 mpg. Electric cars are getting cheaper and better distance. We need to keep the engineers working in this direction.
The new cars have saved consumers billions of dollars in fuel savings.


I know this won’t win any converts here, but I feel the need to say it anyway.

Over the last five and a half years, while waiting for the “affordable” EV to arrive, I have enjoyed the perfect vehicle for fun and health, not to mention an order of magnitude better efficiency. Thanks to all the car drivers, our winters have been unbelievable mild. Riding year round, I have racked up 37K electric assist miles…over 12K in the last year alone.

The answer to resource depletion, pollution, congestion, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, perhaps even stronger, safer communities will not be cars. Not the common conception of them at any rate.

The Bolt EV is better than I was expecting, and I had high expectations.

I had a brief test drive Monday, here in eastern Massachusetts. I am 6′-4″ ~225lbs, and my son (6′-6″ ~245) and my brother (6′-7″ ~265) and the salesman all fit comfortably. It is smaller looking from the outside than I was expecting. Acceleration (with 4 people) was strong, even for a seasoned EV driver.

My extended family already has 7 EV’s, and 3 of those will be Bolt EV’s by the end of this year, I am sure.


Have you shelved work on your design?

We got to sit in a Bolt. Unfortunately, still no test drive. I love our daughter’s Fit, and the Bolt just improves on that great design. We will be getting one, as I can’t imagine that anything coming after will be smaller, or less loaded with gadgets. If I was twenty years younger, I would hold out for an electric Miata.

First of the ‘more affordable’ long range BEVs out of the gate! Now lets see if she can pull away from the pack!

“Car for everyone!”. Although I tend to cringe when hearing those kinds of statements (sounds like the East German Trabant – that Soviet era 18-23 hp 500-600 cc two cycle smoke maker) – it does seem that it checks off many boxes. I’m buying one, but my initial impression of the thing was not so good. We’ll see. Everyone else seems to love the car. To me, they need to put that power train into a somewhat larger vehicle, or else put TWO of the power trains into some of the ‘family sized’ SUV’s. Differing from most of the comments here of people who like to piss on the ELR – I take the opposite tack: the car turns more heads than even my Roadster did, and the upcoming CT6 can’t even match the old ELR’s range; in other words the Chinese PHEV CT6 will be expensive, but won’t be as ‘electric’ as the old ELR is. Heck, GM may even decide not to even import it if it is socked with Trump’s new import tax scheme. I was semi interested in the car, but after seeing and sitting in a gas CT6 at the recent autoshow, I was underwhelmed.… Read more »

The ELR was just a blown opportunity for GM. It should have been released before the Volt or at least before Volt 2.0 with the 2.0 drivetrain. And also had a $59k or so MSPR before options.

It was just really hard for ELR to claim new ground of being an “advanced premium vehicle” when it came out so long after the Volt and didn’t have any big drivetrain advantages on the stat sheet.

The $70k+ MSRP was just an insult on top, when they knew they would offer $20k discounts a year after initial production.

The whole thing just didn’t do justice to the great machine that it is.

Got mine for $50K, plus a great trade in on my Roadster. The nearest offer was – get this – $30,500 more money. That was the NEAREST offer.

I admit I got lucky, but I’m not complaining about anything, other than there is not a new ELR to trade up to. The old-fashioned-ness of the car is alright with me. The car will last a long time – nothing unproven in it.
Old fashioned dinosaur engine, proven planetary gearbox, plain old gen1 VOLT battery. What’s not to like?