Chevrolet Volt Continues Assault On Sales Records In February, While Bolt EV Slips

Chevy Bolt

MAR 1 2017 BY JAY COLE 149

In February, Maven added the Chevrolet Bolt EVs to LA car-sharing lineup (thankfully this is not a factory paint option)

In January, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Volt combined to own 26% of the US plug-in sales market, or putting it another way – one out of every 4 electrified sales in America has a Bowtie on the front.

For February, the Volt did all the heavy lifting, as the brand set a new all-time high for the month, and once again the best selling plug-in for the US in February!

General Motors moved 1,820 Chevy Volts, which was up 62% from the 1,126 sold a year ago.

The previous best result for the Volt in February was set waaaay back in 2013, when 1,626 copies were sold.  A year ago, GM sold 1,126 Volts.

February’s result gave the Volt a total of 3,431 cars sold so far in 2017, up 61.7% – good enough to maintain the first overall spot on the sales charts after two months.

Will the Chevrolet Volt contend for the 2017 “best selling plug-in” title in the US?

Meanwhile the Chevrolet Bolt EV expanded into 3 new states in February (past the original California and Oregon release), as the 238 mile EV arrived in very limited quantities in Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia.

The five states combined to sell 952 Bolt EVs, which brings the all-electric car’s 2017 total up to 2,114.

After selling 1,162 copies in January, February’s result is hard to understand, especially given the nearly 2,000 EVs in stock in the 5 states, but hopefully there is a reasonable explanation for the pullback, and we will see sales get back on track going forward.  (As a related point of interest in regards to February sales, the Toyota Prius Prime, which also arrived late in 2016 to the US market, sold 1,362 copies during the month).

In March, both New York and New Jersey are expected to get some volume of new Bolt EV inventory, which should help sales.

The Chevy EV goes nationwide when the 2018 MY kicks off in September.

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149 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt Continues Assault On Sales Records In February, While Bolt EV Slips"

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Could be another record month overall!

It would be even larger if GM offered good lease terms.
The worst in the industry.
Where did that Federal Tax Credit go?

at Quirk Chevy I was quoted $245/month for a fully loaded Volt. that is amazing!

Any geography on these Volt sales? Are people coming in to ask about the Bolt and then buying the Volt instead?

I am sorry sir/miss we have not received our Bolt allotment, could I put you in Volt? We car salesmen are always looking for new ways to…help.

That would be an improvement over when I bought my Volt in 2012, then it was no, we don’t have any of those but let me show you a Tahoe…

Dealer: “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”
Me: “I am interested in buying a Chevy Bolt.”
Dealer: “Let me transfer you to parts.”
Me: “Wait…!”

True story

That happened to me repeatedly – especially at dealerships who are not going to carry the BOLT ev. Their salesmen have never even heard of the model.

I was kinda thinking that too. They get excited about the Bolt EV, then do some reflection and what it means to own a BEV. After a bit decide it’s a good thing to have a gas engine backup.

I think the Bolt EV has actually helped Volt sales, whereas many felt it would hurt them.

It was the brilliant naming by GM (that I am still eating shoe for). The scene at the dealer goes something like this: [Prospective buyer walks into showroom] Buyer: I heard you had a new Motor Trend award winning electric car, the Bolt or something like that. Salesman: I think you mean the Volt, yeah I think we have a couple of those. Want a test drive? Buyer: Sure [A few minutes into the test drive] Buyer: This is fun to drive. It goes 200 something miles on a charge right. Salesman: I’m not sure, I though it was more like 50 miles. But if you fill up the gas tank, you can drive it wherever you want. Buyer: Cool. Do you have any good lease deals? Salesman: Sure do. I’ll talk to my manager. [Back at the dealer] Salesman: We got a killer deal! We will knock $7500 off the lease, just for you. Buyer: Awesome! Salesman: You will have to buy the optional underbody protection, nitrogen tire air, extended warranty, VIN etching, and use our branded license plate holder. Buyer: Really, on a lease? Salesman: Yeah, part of the package, but you will still save 3 or 4… Read more »

😀 😀 😀

Josh, thanks for the best belly-laugh I’ve had in weeks!

Sadly, your scenario is likely to be far too close to the truth for comfort in many cases.

This will only change when the other car manufacturers will make more EVs….

I would like to know if Bolt numbers are supply or demand constrained?

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

Yes exactly, I hope it is supply constrained. Seen from Europe with our high gas prices we see a better case for the affordable EV. In the USA not so obvious. Do people in the US buy Tesla mostly because they are electric or because of looks, performances & cool factor ?? Maybe there is no real (material) market yet after all in the US for an affordable but otherwise somewhat boring EV.

I think it is supply constrained to some extent. I keep an eye on Cars dot com and the total number of Bolts in North American inventory has VERY slowly been rising. It has been at 1400’some for a couple weeks and today is the first time I have seen it reach 1500.

Here in Virginia two dealers I have spoken to have said that their deliveries have been delayed. Ted Britt said they were supposed to have 8 as of 10 days ago and they had just 1 delivered. Sterling was supposed to have 8 as well and only had 2.

Interestingly, the Chevy website and the Cars dot com website did not note if the car is equipped with DCFC or not, as of 10 days ago. Hopefully they will add that info in the future. Ted Britt said they had no idea if that was going to be a popular option so they ordered 4 with and 4 without.

Some of the Bolt production went to buyers in Ontario. Anecdotally this was about 9 units per Volt dealer.

In Ottawa people are on 5 month waiting lists to buy the 3rd or 4th Bolt allocated to dealers. Chevy just doesn’t want to sell them in Ontario yet.

Myer’s on Baseline Road in Ottawa has taken 12 orders and will receive 8 cars. Only one has arrived, and has been taken from the lot by the purchaser. This was told me last week.

I’m number 12… guess I’d better start planning for a plan B since my current lease expires in July

I’ve tried to buy a bolt from four different dealers, “well sir we’ve sold our two allotments for the year, would you like to be on the list for one of three allotted bolts next year”

My guess is that they are supply constraint. I think the biggest issue is having enough battery supply.

according to the article, there were 2,000 Bolts in in-stock inventory. that doesn’t prove or disprove that the february Bolt sales were either demand or supply constrained because you could have some Bolts that were unsold in one area of the country while the Bolt was completely sold out in another. in that case, it would have been a matter of where the inventory was located.

Its both – demand & supply constrained.

Supply constrained in states where it is not available and demand constrained in states like CA where it is available.

Bolt is expensive with really bad lease rates. I can get a Leaf SV on lease for $250 or so, zero down. I’ll probably have to pay $500+ for Bolt. Double the price for double the range ? People will start feeling this range thing is overrated at these prices.

Completely supply constrained, I’ve comfirmed it. No conspiracy, just ramping up. Almost all the supply in New England right now are demo test drive cars not even available for sale, yet. The real inventory is still being built or in transit. Aside, this is a seriously awesome EV!

It’s not supply constrained in California and given that is already being sold below invoice in California does not bode well for enthusiasm. Sure, as more States come online, the early adopters will cause a one month bump, but Bolt will live and die by mainstream acceptance, not early adopters.

Pinewold asked:

“I would like to know if Bolt numbers are supply or demand constrained?”

Jay Cole seems to be suggesting that it’s demand constrained. He wrote:

“Bolt EV sales fell to 952 moved during the month.

“And the sales slump didn’t have anything to do with inventory, as it steadily grew over the course of the month, ending several hundred units higher than the month prior…”

(Quoted from this month’s Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard; link below.)

As an EV advocate I’d like to think this is just an aberration. I’ve written a lot of posts with the assumption that demand for a 200+ mile range “semi-affordable” BEV is going to be a lot higher than it has been for the Volt, and more than the “more than 30,000” which GM has planned to produce during the first year of production.

But that may be wishful thinking on my part. Perhaps I need to pay more attention when Americans say they find the style to be off-putting. Perhaps GM should re-think its plan to send only a small percentage of Bolt EVs to Europe for sale. We Americans have been told that cars with a body style similar to the Bolt are a lot more popular there.

It seems that distribution has a lot to do with it. A friend just bought a Bolt here in the SF Bay Area, but had to go to a dealer ~20 miles away rather than locally because of allotments. She was told Chevy planned allotments based on how well the Volt sold at a specific dealer. So the dealer 20 miles away was one of the few who actually tried to sell Volts, so now they have over a hundred Bolts allotted to sell where the local guy only had a few.

In February, we learned that Tesla began test production of the Model 3, and they intend to start delivering this July. I wonder if that affected Bolt sales. Could it be that people saw that the Model 3 was closer than they thought, and worth waiting for?

Frankly, 6 months ago I expected Nissan to have released information on the Leaf 2.0 by now. And I had expected them to try and make just that case – the Leaf 2 is coming very soon, and it’s worth waiting for. Boy was I wrong.

The new LEAF should unvail (at the latest) at the next Tokyo Auto Show.

Yeah, I keep hearing “The Leaf will be reveals at the Show”. I just don’t trust any of these predictions any more. I’m not exactly sitting on the edge of my seat for it, anyway. Much more likely to end up in either a Bolt or a Model 3 (yes, I’m one of the crazies cross-shopping them). I’m open to the Leaf, but I doubt it will deliver what I’m looking for, which is more than range. I want a reasonable looking car that is truly fun to drive. The Bolt, although hampered by FWD, was at least designed by an autocross enthusiast. That counts for something!

Heh. The comments did not like my use of brackets, so let me try again:

“The Leaf will be revealed at the CityXYZ Auto/Electronics Show”

Brian, I think Tesla is going to start production in July, not “delivering”.
Or so I believe.

I can understand that but in my opinion Nissan absolutely have to show the new LEAF before Tesla shows the final version of the 3 otherwise Tesla will steal the thunder from the LEAF. Nissan really can’t afford to wait much longer.

The new Leaf is vaporware at this point.

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

On the contrary I fear the new Leaf is a bit too real for my liking. I mean looking that the recent spy shots it seems little more than a refreshed old leaf with a somewhat longer nose and redesigned back end. I fear I will be presented very soon and that we may be disappointed.

I had lunch today with several former colleagues, and the conversation quickly changed to EVs once one of them pointed to her new Bolt. (Background: Silicon Valley, 4 people, all mechanical engineers, 2 women, 2 men – A geek’s lunch gathering).

The new Bolt owner specifically stated that she was very interested in a TeslaM3, but wasn’t willing to buy the top end model to get to the front of the production line. Since that meant either get a Bolt or wait another year and a half, she went with the Bolt.

The other gal is a Volt driver (loves it), and absolutely will NOT do 100%EV. Range anxiety is a huge issue for her. She finds that she’ll forget to plug in, or have to take her kid to a competition far away on short notice. Not having the gas backup is a deal breaker for her. (Conversation went on about having a backup gasser, but she wasn’t convinced that was for her).

So there’s 2 completely honest responses (without prompting) about EVs and PHEVs. It was interesting to hear.

There have been repeated reports on FB that Bolt deliveries took place in Pennsylvania, as well.
Can anyone verify? Thanks!

So PA’ers bought Bolts out of state and trucked them in, if that’s what you’re talking about.

PA shares a (long) border with MD. I personally know of a few people who live in southern PA but work in northern MD. If the car is available in MD, why not buy it now? It certainly has the range to make it home.

I’m curious if a lot of people are going into dealerships interested in a Bolt, get presented the lease/purchase numbers, go “OMG! That’s expensive!”, then the dealer goes “Well, we can offer a much better deal on a VOLT” and people end up getting Volts instead.

A base VOLT lease is 1/3 to 1/2 cheaper than a base BOLT lease, after factoring in incentives and dealer discounts which don’t really exists for the Bolt right now.

I’m sure the Bolt haters will point to the sales number and go “HAHAHA, no one’s buying that ugly piece of crap Bolt anymore!”

Hey bro,
Re the price you definitely have a point. Those that have not bot think 30k$ but when they see a 600$+ monthly payment they are shocked.

We know how gm works. When they want to move cars they will put some incentives in the deal.

But i tend to agree with jays statement that the numbers don’t make sense….and as jeremyk said further down gm has been cranking them out so they are just accumulating somewhere…perhaps on a railroad siding (lol sound familier?).

Anyway i think its too early to really tell how sales will finally end up. One month does not a trend make.

It will taKe model 3 to really unleash Ev sales IMO.


What?! You asked, Bolt EV “hater” delivered.

Chevy? Not so much.

Also have to remember that even though the Bolt was introduced into 3 additional states, none of those states got Bolts on lots till late in February….literally those 3 states may have added only a handful of sales for Feb.

Here in Virginia, dealers are definitely pushing Volts, and dissing the Bolt. I talked to a sales manager on the phone last month. I told her we were interested in the Bolt. She said, “Great, so you will be coming in to check out the Volt, and the Bolt.” I said, “No, just the Bolt. No interest whatsoever in the Volt. Will it be charged and ready for a test drive?” She said it would be ready for our 10:30 am test drive, in two days. We arrived and she basically laughed in our faces, saying it was just being unloaded off the truck, but we could hang around until 3 pm, and it might be read to test. In the meantime we could check out the Volt. Another dealer told us that the Volt was what we wanted, because it would still work, “when you run out of electricity, and not be a 3000 pound boat anchor, like the Bolt.” A third dealer said that all the Bolts they had listed were pre-sold, and just a few LTs were still available. When I asked about test driving one of those. They said it might be weeks before one was… Read more »

“Another dealer told us that the Volt was what we wanted, because it would still work, ‘when you run out of electricity, and not be a 3000 pound boat anchor, like the Bolt.'”

GM, you still have a huge problem with dealers…

is that salesman’s statement untrue?

it is worth noting that it is important that dealers inform customers of the difference between a Bolt and a Volt. the Bolt is a more limited use vehicle compared to the Volt. i do agree that the particular wording that the dealer used in making the comparison is a bit problematic. 🙂

I know why dealers want to push Volts over Bolts (aside from them having more Volts in stock): once a Bolt customer purchases their Bolt, that dealer will probably never see them again! Except for recalls.

With the Volt, there are still oil changes and ICE-associated services that the customer will need to take care of.

Bolt owners literally don’t need to stop back into a dealership until 150k miles. They can rotate tires, replace air filters, etc…by themselves or anywhere else.

There isn’t much money to be made on the Volt either. I had my 2011 Volt at the dealership for some recall work and decided to have them change the oil and rotate the tires (since they already had it and it was cold outside). They did the tire rotation, oil change, and car wash for free. Haven’t been to the dealership in over year. This was the only service work in 5 years that they had a chance to charge me for and they didn’t.

True. There’s not much difference maintenance.

My take is that the cost of Volts sitting on the lot is mounting up. High levels of inventory, in general, sitting on dealer lots. They would rather move old inventory than the new, in demand Bolt, which is costing them nothing, in terms of inventory.

Tesla owners plagued by service delays

Can you please stop trying to spread this false myth that BEVs are somehow magical chariots immune from service? Tesla charges over $500/year for a service plan that you claim is unnecessary.

WTF are you talking about? When did I say anything about Tesla in here?

Read the Bolt owner’s manual. The first service that requires a dealer visit isn’t until 150k miles (some fluid flush).

Am I saying that no one ever will need to take a Bolt to a dealer until 150k miles? Of course not, as there will be recalls and other warranty issues. But no REQUIRED schedule maintenance that has to be performed by a dealer until your Bolt has 100k miles on it.

“[O]nce a Bolt customer purchases their Bolt, that dealer will probably never see them again! Except for recalls.”

Why won’t a dealer see a Bolt again? What is different about the Bolt that stops, say, the infotainment center from having a problem? Or the power steering system? Or the rear hatch struts? Or the battery cooling system? Or the wireless antenna for the keyfob?

These are all problems that I’ve personally seen other EV owners have to take their cars in for service, and none of them have anything to do with an ICE powertrain.

Stop spreading the myth that Bolts (or any other BEV) will not need service. It simply isn’t true.

Come back to me when you gain a decent understanding of the English language. I’m not sure how to simplify what I said in my previous post.

Having little evidence to go on, not many Bolts are out there, perhaps the dealers think that this is the case. It may not be true, as you suggest, but if they believe it to be true…That would explain a tepid reaction to pushing the vehicle.

Excluding tire rotation (which applies equally to a Bolt), the Volt’s first scheduled maintenance is the oil change at 70k miles.

If service was really the secret sales motivation, Chevy dealers would be pushing Bolt buyers to a Cruze, not a Volt.

Even if you’re running gas engine every single time by never plugging in like some public employees do, first oil change at 70K? That seems incredible.

ffbj is probably correct. There’s a perception that Volt will result in more dealer visits than Bolt, and dealers are pushing Volt. If they pushed Cruze, customer would simply walk; I would. People shopping for Volt/Bolt are not interested in gas cars. If they were, they’d be at Honda/Toyota dealership instead of Chevy.

It would be easier to accept that argument if I hadn’t heard 5+ years of people claiming that the reason why Volt sales aren’t through the roof is because Chevy dealerships take anyone coming in looking for a Volt and steer them into a Cruze (after all, they’re the same car, right?).

The goalposts just keep moving.

Yes, but you seem unwilling to consider the possibility that it’s the dealership sales people who are moving those goal posts, and not us EV advocates.

Do you actually dispute the claim that most (not all, but most) legacy dealerships actively anti-sell plug-in EVs, and try to steer potential customers into buying a gasmobile instead?

If you’re saying that dealers will try to steer you from a Bolt to a Silverado HD, sure, I believe that.

If you’re telling me that they will try steer you from a Bolt to a Volt, that just doesn’t make any sense. If it’s really an issue of bigger profit margins on ICE compact sedans, why wouldn’t they be steering you to a Cruze instead? The only “logic” I can assign to upselling the Volt over the Bolt is a kind of dastardly we must increase gas usage for it’s own sake attitude, which is a bit too conspiratorial for my tastes.

I do not buy the idea that some/most dealers actively want to destroy the EV market; I think they simply don’t care either way, outside of the basic issue of “which car is more profitable to sell?

Where others see malice, I see indifference.

Technically, the first oil change is at 2 years or XX miles. It’s taken me 5 years to accumulate 70K miles on mine.

Don’t have access to a Bolt owner’s manual, so not doubting you, just curious:
What about replacing brake fluid? On all cars (& motorcycles) I’m familiar with, there’s a manufacturer requirement to replace hydraulic fluid at least once every 2 years, regardless of mileage.

Bro1999 you’re not reading the footnotes in your owner’s manual…. Coolant must be replaced every 5 years – same as the volts, and there are multiple coolant loops to be changed. Brakes also must have their fluid changed out.

There is ‘somewhat less’ maintenance supposedly with our Bolts, but ‘somewhat’ is the operative word here.

Why IEV’s promotes the misleading statement that 150,000 mile service is only needed on the coolant loops is just as true in both GEN Volts.

Its rather like saying the VOLT doesn’t need its fan belt changed ever, only it needs to be inspected every 100,000 miles, and ignoring all the other things you have to do – especially if you drive less than 30,000 miles per year, which is almost certain to be the vast majority of Bolt buyers.

I continue to be puzzled by various commenters’ insistence that dealers are going to lose so much money on service visits for BEVs… especially since Tesla only sells BEVs and they frequently have extended backlogs of service appointments.

“With the Volt, there are still oil changes and ICE-associated services that the customer will need to take care of.”

My Volt has 70K miles on it and has ONLY been to the dealers for recalls.

The 2 oil changes that I had were done at non-dealers.

So, No money made on Volt either.

Can some folks record their interactions with these dealers and forward them to CEO Mary B.? These “employees” should not be in the customer service business. “Fries with that?” should be as close to a customer they should get.

“Virginia” and “last month”…That solves that, dealer wants to sell you car RIGHT MEOW, not two months later…

Depending on how many Bolts the factory produced I know they’re now available here in Ontario and Quebec, so part of the production allotment went north and maybe that resulted in tighter inventory? Of course if I was looking for a plug-in I’d get another Volt as it’s just more useful for long excursions where the charging infrastructure is non-existent which is, to be frank, most of Canada — even the inhabited areas :-). Personally, I think that other than as an in-city car both the Bolt and Teslas in general are not that useful in Canada if you drive outside of the main corridors. If I need to go to the Soo or North Bay or Noranda with a Tesla I’m SOL. And it’s worse than that since not every MAJOR city has a supercharger yet and the perfect example of that is the fact Tesla hasn’t even installed a supercharger in Ottawa yet! It’s the nation’s capital! And there are dozens of the cars around, so they’re obviously just in-city cars. GM could make things a lot easier for those who want to drive the Bolt long distances if it simply subsidized rapid charging stations at every one… Read more »

There is a big difference between “in-city” cars and 300 mile cars even if there are no superchargers around. Most of my car trips in the last decade have been less than 300 miles. Actually – all of my car trips. Several states were visited including my own rather large state end to end.

Destination is all you really need. Destination is easy. I once went to Myrtle Beach (in another state) 220 miles away or so and used 120V at a rental house. I did VA – 250 miles or so. Parked overnight at a J1772. And I have a 70D

Haven’t done the other end of NC in the Tesla yet – and for that – it is a little tricky. No lie. But that still makes it far more than a “in-city” car.

Now I was mentioning trips where I did not use superchargers but I do use them at times. Generally destination is more convenient if you can make it work.

I will state something probably obvious. The vast majority of road trips (outside the city) are less than 300 miles.

Yes, most trips are less than 300 miles. Hell, most commutes are less than 60 miles each day, GM showed that years ago.

But if I want to go to Algonquin Park or Noranda or the Soo I can’t do that efficiently/effectively because there are no rapid chargers between here and there. God forbid I want to go to Winnipeg from here through Thunder Bay. Ain’t happening.

That’s just the reality in Canada.

So my point stands as I’m not going to stop in Parc de la Verandrye for a week so I can get to Noranda, for example. 110v charging would take WAY too long. And I’m not well off enough to have 2 cars when a Volt would do and get me there in 7-8 hours, no problem.

So rent a car for those few times you need something a little more.
Still cheaper.

A friend of mine called a GM dealer in Ottawa asking about the Bolt in January. They said they weren’t getting it for a few months, and were only getting one for the whole year, and if my friend wanted to buy he’d have to put money down before seeing it.

None of the Chevy dealers in Ottawa have it listed on their websites.

Personally, I’m waiting to see about the Ioniq. Shorter range, yes, but much better cargo space, and much better fast charger, and much cheaper. Nissan apparently has deals on the LEAF, but the Ioniq looks like a much better car for the same price as the LEAF.

“much better cargo space, and much better fast charger, and much cheaper”

Incorrect on 2 out of 3 points.

As some of you stated already, it is possible some people are convinced into buying a Volt instead of a Bolt EV, for whatever reason.

How would you explain that LEAF also bested BOLT then? The people who wanted BOLT preferred LEAf because it was cheaper? They also preferred Prius Prime because it was a Toyota?

Maybe because the Leaf is sold in all 50 states (vs 5) and is significantly cheaper.

If so, then you wouldn’t be getting email solicitations like this which shows that BOLT is also trending towards firesale. 3 months in and 3k discount already.
Hello my name in Mustafa i am the internet director here at Dublin Chevrolet i am contacting you either because your sales person has not contacted you or has followed up with you with our new promotions. if you would still consider a bolt ev

we are now doing $3000 off MSRP on all Bolts in stock for the month of march.If you would like a quote on a lease or purchase please let me know the amount down you would be comfortable putting down also the term your interested in along with amount of miles if interested in Leasing. the bolts i have below are all in stock.…lts?search=new1

Read the story. Just proves GM isn’t losing $9K on every sale. LOL

Good for the consumer. GM will have a lot of latitude to play with pricing in the period leading up to other 200 mile EV launches. I doubt we’ll see those types of discounts in markets (like Michigan) where there isn’t as much competition for EV/PHEV/Hybrid market share.

BTW – Prius Prime is a competitor to the Volt, not the Bolt. See how that match-up turned out last month?

I suspect the recent Tesla announcements have had at least “some” effect on slowing the pace of potential Model 3 defectors.

Honestly, I think Musk’s production dates and volumes are going to be WAY WAY off, but the hope of significant 2017 deliveries will possibly keep people holding on long enough to put a dent in 2017 Bolt sales.

IF GM is comfortable with the initial build quality of the Bolt, they should speed up their releases to get better penetration into more states. The longer they wait to roll the Bolt out to the nation, the more potential sales they could be losing to Model 3 and even Ionic/Leaf II buyers.

This doesn’t make sense around my area. Bolt sales are up. I saw 3 on the road in a single trip and that didn’t happen in January. Wonder what is up?

Colts are definitely moving like crazy. Dealers are pushing them, people are demanding them. I think the Prius Prime finally showing its face and letting people down freed up buyers to make their moves and they moved towards Volts.

Maybe I’m just unlucky, but have yet to see a Bolt in the wild.

Lack of inventory is what’s limiting Bolt sales, simple as that. Look at a dealer website to see what they say they have (ex. 37), then call and ask what is on the lot you can actually test drive (ex. 2 or 3). Then ask how long an order will take (ex. 6-8 weeks).

Not so in California, my friend. Dealers are email blasting customers

Hello my name in Mustafa i am the internet director here at Dublin Chevrolet i am contacting you either because your sales person has not contacted you or has followed up with you with our new promotions. if you would still consider a bolt ev

we are now doing $3000 off MSRP on all Bolts in stock for the month of march.If you would like a quote on a lease or purchase please let me know the amount down you would be comfortable putting down also the term your interested in along with amount of miles if interested in Leasing. the bolts i have below are all in stock.…lts?search=new1

We gave a moments thought to waiting for a Model 3 but really… Tesla has a 370,000 car reserve list. If they get deliveries started up in July, how long before there will be surplus Model 3’s in showrooms to sell? I can’t imagine anyone starting to look to buy an EV now is thinking they will wait for the Model 3 to come out in July and buy one instead of a Bolt. Musk says that someone today putting their name on the reserve list would probably see their car delivered in 2019.

Tesla is more like how Dell Computers were originally sold. Go into a Service Center for a bit of information, test drive an S or X, and someday a 3. Decide what options you want and place your order.

Then you can go out to eat and go home. In a few {days / weeks / etc} you get your vehicle delivered, built to your specifications. You don’t typically walk in and then drive your new Tesla out on the same day.

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

I hope for GM that this is not a demand problem as right from the beginning I had my doubts about selling for $37K a car that has the looks of a $16K car.

On the contrary the Model 3 looks like a $45K car but is announced at $35K.

Maybe it is urgent for GM to put this EV drive train into something looking a bit more posh.

I would not even use the Chevy brand name if I were them. Like Toyota uses Lexus for posher cars I would invent a new name and badge for their EV’s.

Let’s face it, so far EV’s do not sell very well with average Joe’s, still a bit too expensive so why insisting. There will be a time (2020-…) when that will take place but so far best market niche for EV’s is bragging right/green wash credentials purchase, west coast well to do people. And those probably won’t buy that many EV’s that have the looks of a $16K car.

I guess the looks of the Model 3 are subjective as I find it looks like a $25k car. And the interior looks like a cost-cutters dream. But I’ve long believed GM made a mistake with the Volt in not having a special brand just for it. Or just originally sell it as a Buick as the “Electra” line. Plus, the fact GM hasn’t sold a small crossover with Voltec is stupid beyond imagining. I know so many people that passed on a Volt simply because it was too small but a crossover variant would have sold in a flash to them. I do believe part of the problem is the tentative nature of most manufacturers. Imagine if GM built a Voltec-based Buick Enclave. There’s no way they wouldn’t sell boatloads of those even if the original variant only got 30 miles to a charge. Especially since Americans in particular like their crossovers and small sedans are always looked at as “cheap” whether or not they are. Plus, you can easily hide/justify higher prices in a Buick and the increase in mileage would be a huge marketing win. But GM tends to be overly cautious so I might see crossover… Read more »

Speaking of records…here in Virginia, we will break the record high for this date, before noon. We have had an unprecedented number of record highs all year, so far. But hey, it’s just weather. Back to talking about cars.

Several auto manufacturers like Nissan and Ford are deep discounting their EVs to reduce inventory. I can understand people not wanting to buy a Bolt EV for $30k when you can buy a new Leaf for $10. Once the inventory of competitors is reduced Bolt sales growth should resume.

You can buy a new Leaf for $10?!? I’ll take a donzen! 😉

That would be a pile of leafs, for you to jump in.

Uh, $10k.

I’m surprised you didn’t fire back about me about my own “donzen” typo! You are too kind.

Muphry’s Law: “Any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror” 😉

Any estimate on how many Bolts have been produced since start of production? Seems like they might be piling up somewhere. Any evidence of this?

Maybe GM has started scrapping them, like they did the EV1 since they do not want to wean off ICE?

No, dealer websites may show dozens of Bolts, but those are often on order, weeks or even months out form arriving, and there in fact only a few demos on the lot. There’s no weak second month of the Bolt, I’ve fact checked this myself, only a lack of inventory restricting actual sales at this point. GM’s probably only producing around 1000 a month, but tey better ramp that up to meet demand!.

That’s perfect. The solution to falling sales is to crank out more production to win market share 🙂

If falling sales is due to lack of availability, it is the exact right solution.

GM–Everything is going to plan concerning the Bolt. The problem is people don’t know what the plan is, and it’s not what GM says it is.

So I just have to laugh, I saw the photograph, at all the speculation, maybe this is wrong, maybe that is wrong. Nothing is wrong this is exactly what they were planning to do imho.

I think the “plan” is that GM knows from experience that a lot of people flapping their gums about what they are looking for in an EV does not necessarily translate into sales.

Again, GM was pretty badly burned with the Volt. They made the most awarded car in their history that had enough electric range for most commutes AND didn’t have to worry about being stranded, and the sales were less than half what they projected.

When it comes to EVs, people do a lot more talking than buying. I’ve seen multiple people criticize GM for crushing the completely-impractical 2-seat EV1, and then in their next breath say that they’d never buy a Volt because it only has 4 seats.

That’s certainly true. There is that element which being advocates is sometimes difficult for us to understand. How can people be so backward, don’t they get it?
Yep, they don’t get it.

Another thing no one has mentioned which lies in your general point, is that those the car is aimed at, young city dwellers, are less enamored of cars than their parents, plus they have less money.
What is affordable to mom & dad, is not something they can afford.

So I would flesh out my comment by adding your points to the above. I’m not saying it’s wrong or bad. I agree that GM is proceeding with caution. Good plan as far as I’m concerned. It’s a good car and it will sell, just not as many or as fast as many people thought.

I think that this is a combination effect: (1) Low sales month February is generally a low month for PEV sales anyway. (2) Stopped out-of-state sales It’s mostly been limited to California and GM has stopped out-of-state sales. So keen buyers who might have shipped are now going to have to wait. (3) California Sales have mostly been limited to California. California is an affluent, well-developed market it’s Tesla country and it’s not a prime GM market. (4) “Fast” charging Early results for DC charging the Bolt have been pretty poor overall. We can hope that some of this is a conservative approach to battery management that could be fixed with a future software update. Slow DC charging is not going to help sell the car to the people who’d be most enthusiastic … (5) No marketing … and if you don’t have a lot of marketing you’re only going to reach the enthusiasts. (6) Deals and Leasing PEVs have a high lease take and some of the others have some great front-loaded deals. . In California in particular there are great deals on Volts and Leafs. The special lease deals make it easy for people to go into a… Read more »

There are some good points in there. You should add that GM is intentionally doing a slow roll-out too.
It’s like talking about all the plush toys in your room and ignoring the giant elephant one.

Mostly right, but this line about the lack of advertising…Tesla did a reveal of the alpha prototype of the Model 3 and had 370,00 people put down $1,000 reservations in a couple of days. They have done zero advertising. What does Tesla know and GM not know about what consumers want from an EV? 1) Range above 100 miles is pretty pointless for most buyers if recharging is slow, as it is for the Bolt. A forty minute stop to recharge your Model S on a road trip is tolerable, if you were in a hurry you would have flown, but ninety minutes for your Bolt is excessive and makes taking the Bolt out of town an emergency only last resort kind of thing. 2) Perception is important. Sure, the Bolt may have more cargo and interior space than the Model 3 but it is twenty inches shorter so it looks like a compact car, and not an upscale entry level luxury car, in every way. Size, styling, interior, they all say $20,000 starter car, but the price tag says otherwise. The Model 3 looks like you are getting your money’s worth. 3) Autonomous driving is a killer application and… Read more »

The first year that the North American grain crop fails, and we are importing grain for hamburgers, and millions starve in poor nations, car companies will wish they had pushed EVs sooner. Anybody want to guess if it will happen during the first Trump term…or the second?

You really expect a second Trump term? I don’t. In fact, I know many people who don’t expect him to last one!

Stranger things have happened. And if he was testing the Beta version of Trump last night it might sell better than the original version.
He is a bully and a boor. But he may end up doing more good than harm. Maybe.

It would happen in Ivanka’s 2nd term maybe?

Dear GM.

If You have a problem with Bolt sales in the US, please put the Opel badge on them and ship them to Norway.

Opel is approaching 4000 signed contracts, but as of today it seems only 1500 cars are planned for delivery in 2017.

You will get a firm sale on every car You ship.

Dear Norway

If you have too much snow, please send them to US, since we are having very warm February now lol

I don’t like GM, but Volt is a great car, there is nothing on the market that can match Volt’s EV range with a hybrid engine. GM deserves to sell a lot more Volt.

Bolt on the other hand is good, although I can’t say anything bad about Bolt, it’s just a boring car. Model 3 looks much better.

I have a gen one Volt. Last two road trips in the last six months were 233 and 277 miles with a time deadline to finish. I’d have range anxiety with the Bolt. With the Volt, I burn no gas for months but can go as far as I need to without charging. Plus the cargo opening is larger on the Volt. And the Volt seems more substantial. Thus my next car: another Volt.

I’m a gen 1 owner who test drove a Bolt last week. Objectively: The Bolt is a more substantial car than the Volt, in terms of performance, ride, handling, seating position, visibility, and interior space (both passenger and cargo, with the exception of a seats-down long object like a bookshelf or bicycle) The Bolt is a lot shorter. That’s about the only “negative” thing I can say. It is hands down a better vehicle…and I love my Volt and no way giving it up! 🙂

What does this statement near the end of this piece mean: “In March, both New York and New Jersey are expected to give some volume of new Bolt EV inventory which should help sales.”
Perhaps the writer was following the adage: It is better to write give than to write receive?

1527 Bolts listed on

GM needs to throw some cash on the hood and offer attractive lease deals for these great cars.

Or make a decent TV ad.

I hear polar bears are looking fur a gig 😉

Or Hire Katic Couric for a superbowl ad about the Bolt?

How is a TV Ad going to sell a car?

or anything for that matter. Why do we even still have TV ads, or even TVs? Or cars…

Since they’re not fully ramped, I’m sure GM is content keeping the price where it is and waiting until the next 200+ mile EV enters the market. At that point, they can make adjustments at will.

A simple check on Bolts of the dealer website inventory claims vs actual in stock numbers, and expecting delivering dates of 6-8 weeks shows that the Bolt is merely having low inventory limiting sales, particularly outside of CA.

IF the incentives/lease deals remain unfavorable, then the new administration lowers the MPG standard and then GM increases the incentives/deals, maybe:
“See the sales? Nobody wants an affordable long range crossover”…

Strictly speaking, the text in this article is a bit mistaken.

I purchased and took delivery of a BOLT 2/28/17 – so that is February, in Buffalo, NY.

How many had a T on the front?

Dealers in the Seattle area, where I seldom see a gen 2 Volt on the road – freely admit they’re not too motivated to sell them.

When I come into a dealership, they show me a Volt, but admit there’s no profit margin in it for them – so they’re not too excited to sell it.

Wait ’til April when Bolt EV arrives in Washington State. Probably EVEN LESS of a profit margin to get them out the door, and as others have commented – very little maintenance.

Why would dealers feel incentivized to push them?!

The difference between Bolt and LEAF are only 85 units.

LEAF is on fire sales across 50 states.

Bolt was available in only 2 states and just started in 3 additional states and lost by ONLY 85 units. That is somehow a “big news”?

Some people in the EV community is looking for ways for Bolt to fail somehow.

The shocker is that BOLT sold fewer in Feb than in Jan when they are supposed to have ramped up. So it means the novelty factor has already worn off.

Or the fact that Feb was one of the rainiest month in California in recent history. People might be holding off testing drive the cars in the rain.

Or it could be exactly what Bolt critics have said that “nobody wants the car”. The funny part is that it will counter exactly what other critics have claimed that GM don’t make enough of them and 30K/year was way too low.

I guess we will find out. But either way, the critics will bash the Bolt.

Are you all doofuses here or what??.. The Volt is available in all 50 states.. the Bolt is in only 2 states.. DO THE MATH!!!!

I just bought a Chevy Bolt and love it! It’s the best car I’ve ever had. It’s gorgeous, really solid and well-made, very roomy inside, peppy, and drives and handles like a sports car. I had test-driven a Tesla (Model 6) and ordered a Model 3, but after driving the Bolt liked it so much better. I didn’t like that the Tesla is rear-wheel drive, and the dashboard set-up on the prototype Model 3 is really hokey, with a computer screen just sticking out like some afterthought. The engineering on the Bolt is a real feat, I think. The front hood is very small, so the inside of the car was expanded forward to give lots of leg room. It’s much roomier inside than my 2010 Toyota Corolla was. Also, it’s higher. I love the visibility of sitting up higher and the extra head room. The trunk is also surprisingly roomy. The salesman said it’s actually considered a small crossover SUV. I have absolutely no regrets about buying it, especially since the rebates and tax credits may run out by the time the Model 3 comes out.