Chevy Bolt Was #1 Selling Electric Car In California In 2017, Beating Tesla Model S

Chevy Bolt EVs

MAR 4 2018 BY MARK KANE 173

Top Selling All-Electric Cars in California in 2017

The Tesla Model S is no longer the top selling all-electric car in California. That title now belongs to an electric car from General Motors.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV grabbed that crown from the Model S for 2017, but 2018 could see Tesla return to the number 1 spot with the Model 3.

Electric Car

Chevrolet Bolt EV

According to the latest sales data for California, in 2017 the most popular BEV model was the Chevrolet Bolt EV with 13,487 registrations.

That’s more than Tesla Model S, which is very popular in California, but if we included the Model X, then Tesla would still remain as the top BEV supplier in California..

We think the Bolt’s #1 spot will be short-lived though as we fully expect the  Tesla Model 3 to take a lead for 2018.

Overall, sales in California grew in 2017:

  • BEVs: 51,225 (up 30.4%) at 2.5% market share
  • PHEVs: 44,962 (up 29.5%) at 2.2% market share

Combined share of 4.7% is higher than the 4.6% noted for conventional hybrids.

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

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Categories: Chevrolet, Sales

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173 Comments on "Chevy Bolt Was #1 Selling Electric Car In California In 2017, Beating Tesla Model S"

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Why is there vaporware in the number 6 slot?

The e-Golf isn’t vaporware, VW just refuses to deliver it outside of CARB states. Which is just as well since they’re already facing waiting lists in other markets.

The e-Golf is easy to buy in California and is in no way vaporware in the context of this article. According to there are 161 cars on dealer lots within 100 miles of San Francisco. As stated above, they are very motivated to make these cars available in California, purely because of the ZEV mandate. VW America put in the orders for the number of cars they needed for compliance and they get them regardless of how long the wait is for customers in Germany, Norway, UK, or Canada.

I think you guys need a tune up for your sarcasm meter.

I think your understanding of sarcasm is …zero.

There are plenty of them here in Boston.

e-Golf, an EV as an afterthought. Motor mounted up high above the axle in the front to mimic the ICE dynamics, destabilize the CG and more GBH during crashes. Measly range when Bolt is out there. Nein Danke!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 brings…

Definitely a combined plug-in market share of over 10%.

2019 Bolt will be interesting…

I don’t think GM will refresh the Bolt until 2020. That is when the 2nd part of their contract takes effect for lower battery prices and increased capacity.

Typically the 2nd year of a GM model is for silent updates. The 1st gen Volt was updated in 2013 with extra range and a slew of fixes for “bugs.”

Conservatively we could expect an EPA confirmed 250 mile range, improved seats, and winshield reflectance fixes. I’ve heard about quite a bit more from GM insiders but whether that’s for 2019 or 2021 is hard to say.

Do you have contract information that the rest of us don’t?

The fact that GM was the EV leader, with the Bolt in 2017, in Tesla territory (Cali.), is saying a lot for the Bolts overall success and market appeal.

Let’s hope that the old GM/Toyota Numi factory in Freemont can change that 2017 #1 GM sales statistic, back in Teslas favor for 2018, with a significant Model 3 Q2 production ramp!

Come on Elon, Model 3 waiters are loosing patience, and they’re “Bolting”, here in The Golden State!

Or, “Losing Patience”.

Given the price gap between the two, GM should be selling 5 or 10 times as many Bolts as Tesla sells Model 3’s. That’s the kind of ratios you would see in the ICE car market between those price ranges. Look at Cadillac sedan sales vs. something like a Malibu. The ratios are huge.

I’m not sure why anybody would brag about comparing Bolt numbers to Model 3 numbers unless it were a complete blowout. It just brings the inevitable price comparison which just shows how low Bolt sales are for their price range, that a car so much more expensive is so close in numbers. Do people actually think this through?

“GM should be selling 5 or 10 times as many Bolts as Tesla sells Model 3’s”

I assume you mean Model S 😛

Agreed, if the Bolt was a better car with better charging network and dealers who want to sell it. Couple that with GM limiting production, and it’s pretty clear why it isn’t selling that well…

The Bolt is a superior city car than the Model S. Better maneuverability, easier to park. Higher seating position helps to ease entry/exit and all around visibility.

That is very true. Ask Steve Wozniack, the co-founder and “brains” behind Apple, who has a Tesla Model S, than bought a Chevy Bolt EV and uses it as his daily driver.

Nix, you are correct! GM did sell 10 times as many Bolts as Tesla sells Model 3’s!

Bolt selling 10% more than cars that cost almost twice as much with similar range isn’t all that impressive. But I agree more Tesla 3 reservations holders should cancel, Bolt or otherwise.

Cancel to buy what? The Bolt can easily sell its production even if nobody switches, as GM is limiting it’s availability in many markets that want it.

Clearly Model 3 reservation holders want 200+ mile EVs, and nothing else is out there for a while beyond the limited production Bolt. The Kona and Niro will take time to ramp up.

It says more about its compliance status rather than anything else.

Tesla loses money on every car, sells them at a high price in relatively low numbers, prefers to sell them in California, then auctions their ZEV credits to polluters. That’s the textbook definition of a compliance car.

If you look at it impartially, Tesla is the king of EV compliance in every way except one: they don’t actually make the polluting cars they enable people to drive. Instead, they give their ZEV credits to third parties, which allows them to pollute—but the net result is the same.

Tesla is one of the best things to ever happen to Big Auto, in that it ensures a cheap ZEV credit supply.

“Tesla … auctions their ZEV credits to polluters.”

Of course they do. Why wouldn’t they? They cannot apply them to their own ICE division of the company because they don’t have an ICE division.

Should they just eat the credits and increase their losses? You can’t criticize them for losing money during their growth phase and then find fault in selling credits.

Talk about deceptive. Tesla has a healthy gross profit margin on their cars.

And Tesla selling ZEV credits does not “allow others” to pollute. If they don’t buy it from Tesla, they can just pay the penalty like they did in the past. Buying from Tesla just lets them reduce their penalty, that is all.

Not to mention most Tesla cars are sold outside of California (even if you limit to US).

WRONG. Manufacturers can’t just pay the penalty. They still need to acquire the minimum ZEV credits as well, or else they can no longer sell cars in CA. So YES, Tesla definitely helps other manufacturers sell gas guzzlers by selling ZEV credits.

Tesla does well with each car sold, they lose as a company due to capital investments and interest on debt.

Credits are a pretty small part of their income these days. Yes, they used those to get started, but they don’t need those much anymore.

So Simple – New Rule: The ICE Players – ‘Must Buy Credits’ – but – it does not allow them to offset those credits against Vehicles they never Made, Only Against Vehicles Made – but not yet Sold (IE: On Dealers Lots, ready to be sold – as in Bolt EV, particularly, but I suppose the Volt & CT6 PHEV also count for them)!

New Rule Part 2: For Each EV Sold, they must deposit $1,500 into a Level 2 Infrastructure Fund, and for Each 50 Sold, they must Deposit $$25,000 into a DC QC Infrastructure Fund, that either they use for the build out of said Infrastructure, or provide to The Sate or other Infrastructure Build Out Companies for Public, Workplace, and Condo / Apartment EV Charging Installs!

New Rule Part 3: For Each ICE Sold, They must Advertise an EV/PHEV in the Same Category in their own Fleet, or a Competitors Fleet, if they have no relevant product to Advertise!

First of all, Tesla is not losing money with every car they sell. On the contrary, they are reducing their losses with every car they sell. At the moment, their problem is that they aren’t (can’t) make enough to sell.

What is “impartial” about your strong implication that there is something wrong with a growing company with a reputation based on technological innovation tolerating losses due to large capital investment? If their ICE-based competitors want to subsidize those capital investments by purchasing Tesla’s ZEV credits, my view is that the ICE-builders are endangering their long run competitiveness by doing so.

Perhaps my view is not impartial, but neither is yours.

That must be why Tesla sold almost all their cars in California last year…oh wait, they didn’t.

The ZEV sales forces additiinal cost for ice manufacturers. So you think the other ice manufacturers will have the same incentive to build and EV without the cost incurred for the credits?

Makes no sense and is just dumb to NOT sell the credits. Just a brainless thought.

For someone who “claims” to own two Tesla, your constant criticism, obvious bias, and twisted facts about Tesla is hilarious.

You don’t own Tesla if you hate them so much.

I know, it is getting old to hear 7 Pretend Electrics constant unimaginative, mindlessly repetitive regurgitation of Seeking Liars FUD here.

I wish he would just stay over at Seeking Liars where he belongs and stop plaguing us with his lies that he owns Teslas which is almost as laughable as Trump’s mentally ill tweets.

You are 100% wrong! The Chevy Bolt EV sells everywhere, including ALL non-compliance states. Or were you writing about the Model 3 only sold in California?

Even better, let’s hope that Tesla finally churnes out tens of thousands of M3s this year, but are STILL outsold by the Bolt.

What? Maybe you did not get the memo.
Model 3 sales are ramping up, they crushed the Bolt in January & February, and will continue to do so from now on accelerating perhaps to an order of magnitude compared to the numbers of Bolts.

I want both cars to do well, unlike the Tesla fanbois who want Tesla to sell millions while other auto companies release flop after flop of EV competitors.

Yes, your unbiased enthusiasm was obvious to, well, the unbiased. Sadly the minority. 😉

I personally want all companies to sell lots of EV’s.

I also want them to build out EV charging infrastructure that is sufficient for real world road trip charging.

And build cars so compelling to drive compared to ICE cars in the same price range that buying the EV is the clear best choice.

Instead major car makers are STILL trying to fight tooth and nail every pro-EV pro-green car regulation in the United States, and funnel money into lobbying groups that fight everything that needs to change.

The Model 3 is a different type of vehicle, and can never “crush” the Chevy Bolt EV which is a small CUV. However the Bolt EV is “crushing” the Model X if you look it that way.

So – the Bolt EV, at 13,487 sold in 2017, equals Monthly sales average for the year, of just 1,124 (Actually – it is exactly 1,123.916667, but – close enough!), while Tesla – having TWO BEV’s, each Averaging 3 to 5 times the Price of the Bolt EV, sold 18,723, or a Monthly Sales Average of 1,560.25 units! And – since this list DID NOT even COUNT in Model 3’s Sold Which were pretty much just in California for at least 3 months, We KNOW that the BOLT EV will have a hard time beating that Tesla Product, without a SERIOUS CHANGE of GM Top Brass EV Attitudes, DEALER ATTITUDES, and Advertising, as well as Manufacturing Rates! But – Hey – IF YOU THINK GM CAN Do it – Well – Great! BUT – if you think they WILL do it, I have my doubts, based on their own facts, and realities! Separate comparisons: Tesla Sold 18,723 BEV Units; Chevy + Fiat Sold 18,430 BEV Units; Chevy + Nissan Sold 17,905 BEV Units, and Chevy + VW Sold 16,689 BEV Units! Also – Tesla + Nissan Sold 23,141 BEV Units; while Chevy + Fiat + VW Sold 21,632 BEV Units!… Read more »

GM could scale up to 70K Bolts per year but realistically I don’t believe they even want to sell that many because it wouldn’t be profitable.

Basically GM want just enough Bolts in the wild to be able to collect real world data. The Bolt is part of their EV R&D for when they finally can sell them profitably in 2022 or so.

Tesla must sell over a hundred thousand M3s at over $50K if they want to become profitable, and even then it’s not clear they will be.

Jack if GM scaled to 70k a year they would have 50k sitting on dealers lots going nowhere.

Considering that GM loses money on the Bolt and even Marry Barra the CEO of GM said “General Motors Won’t Be Making Profitable Electric Cars Until 2021.”

Right now Tesla is making profitable electric cars.

The Model S and X are not “profitable” since Tesla owes billions to investors and never had a “profit”. And the Model 3 will follow in more losses. Gm makes money on every vehicle they make.

“…let’s hope that Tesla finally churnes out tens of thousands of M3s this year, but are STILL outsold by the Bolt.”

Maybe on that Bizarro Tesla-hating FUDster planet where you live. Here on Planet Earth, GM is gonna continue to crank out only ~30,000 Bolt EVs per year.

Even with Tesla’s production problems, it’s easily going to outsell the Bolt EV, in California and everywhere else that Tesla chooses to sell the car. Plus, in another year or two, the Model 3 will be vastly outselling the Bolt EV overseas.

Douche1999 says GM is ‘selling every one they make’. If that’s true then it would be smart to make more……..but nooooooo.

Where did you get the idea that I hate Tesla? In your fevered fanboi brain?

Basically my point is that I want both the M3 and Bolt to do well. There is no reason why they cannot since they don’t even compete in the same market segment.

I agree with your sentiment but all EVs still compete.

I have a Leaf and an S. Wife wants more range, my choices are Leaf, Bolt, 3, S – in my non Carb state. So with 4 choices, they all compete.

Regardless of what you think of GM or Tesla, I think the impartial answer is that GM has no intent on making a lot of Bolts. As the CEO said, they aren’t making money. So why would they? So we can hope that GM builds 100k Bolts this year, but it isn’t going to happen.

GM was not the EV leader with the Bolt. Tesla Model S + Model X outsold all of GM’s EVs in CA. The Bolt is just a new car so they focused a majority of their deliveries to CA for obvious reasons.

Obviously the Model 3 will quickly overtake that number.

True, but as a single Model the Bolt out sold them both individually.

Maybe We need a New Metric on this?

I have a couple Suggestions:
1) How Many kWh were delivered in BEV’s per Mfg in the Time Period?

2) How many BEV Miles were Driven by their Respective EV Products, replacing ICE Miles?
(That would give GM the extra Boost of EV Miles Driven by the Volt 1 & 2, as well as the Bolt EV!)

Really – it is item 2 that counts the most, how many Miles were NOT Driven by an ICE Vehicle, because of these PEV’s!

EV miles is a good measure, but many here never see that. They only see physical vehicles. At “GM-Volt” you can read about “Sparky” the Chevy Volt with the most EV miles ever driven.

Bolt is a very nice utilitarian small hatchback that punches above its exterior size because of its good interior volume with a really excellent drivetrain and cheap interior and somewhat polarizing exterior looks.

What happened was dealers had to start discounting them to move them because they are very expensive compared to other small hatchbacks and these affordable lease prices have really drove sales and soaked up a lot of the inventory that was sitting on lots at MSRP.

You’re getting lots of excuses and rationalizations from the Tesla fanbois, but the Bolt is a hell of a car, period. I drove one and while the M3 is undoubtedly a quicker and better handling car, the Bolt isn’t any slouch and it surpasses Tesla in instruments/controls, winter adaptations like a heated steering wheel and FWD, and of course a hatchback configuration for easy cargo transport.

Maybe RWD is fine with a battery pack distributing weight over both axles, but I’m skeptical it’s as good as FWD for MI winters. I like how FWD can pull a car in the direction you need to go.

Of course in CA there’s no such thing as winter, so you lucky bastards don’t need FWD.

I’m a model 3 res holder since day 1. I also decided to lease a loaded premier Bolt last year that cost me less than $7k for 3 years 45k miles. I wasn’t to thrilled with it at first. I hated the seats and didn’t think it was very spacious inside. I fixed the seats by just adding more foam cushioning. But deep down I had wished I’d just waited for a model 3. So I finally decided to rent one a few weeks ago. I got to drive then both back to back in the same roads and doing my daily commute and I couldn’t believe it, but I came away liking the Bolt so much more than the model 3. The Bolt’s interior is slightly more spacious. The Regen in the Bolt is so much better than the model 3. I prefer Android auto in the Bolt to the sh** you get from Tesla. Yes the model 3 is faster and handles better, but little sh** that annoys me adds up quickly when you’re talking about a $50k car, when my cheap little Bolt does many things better and annoys me much less.

Very interesting to hear. I do think that the M3s unconventional (to be kind?) controls and displays will turn off a lot of regular car buyers.

@Mark, “The Bolt’s interior is slightly more spacious.”

According to EPA Tesla Model 3 with 97 cu-ft has more passenger room than Chevy Bolt at 95 cu-ft.

Front Head Room, Bolt 39.7″ Model 3(Glass Roof) 40.3″
Rear Head Room, Bolt 37.9″ Model 3 37.7″
Front Leg Room, Bolt 41.6″ Model 3 42.7″
Rear Leg Room, Bolt 36.5″ Model 3 35.2″
Total Leg Room, Bolt 78.1″ Model 3 77.9″
Front Shoulder Room, Bolt 54.6″ Model 3 56.3″
Rear Shoulder Room, Bolt 52.8″ Model 3 54.0″
Front Heap Room, Bolt 51.6″ Model 3 53.4″
Rear Heap Room, Bolt 50.8″ Model 3 52.4″

Of all individual measurements Head and Leg room are similar, but Model 3 has much more Shoulder and Hip room. Therefore Model 3 EPA passenger volume is 2 cu-ft more than Bolt.

May be because you seat higher in the Bolt therefore you feel you have more room.

The only dimension the Model 3 beats the Bolt in is width. Unless you’re a larger person you might not care about having more width in your car. But headroom and legroom are noticeable to most people.

Do you need more “Heap Room” for your belly?

BTW, a measurable difference in dimensions does not make them similar. You either have more or less. Similar is only when the is no difference!

“I fixed the seats by just adding more foam cushioning.”

I’ve been expecting that some aftermarket company might pick up on something like this to fix the Bolt. But is it just so easy that anybody could DIY it? Do you have a write up or a link to what it takes to do?

Some guys have taken their Bolts into automotive upholstry shops to have the seats fixed, but that will cost serious money. Supposedly, if you’re handy it’s easy to add foam, but I’ve yet to find a DIY guide.

They should force whoever is responsible for those seats to install one in every car he owns from now until the day he dies.

I’d almost forgotten about the Bolt’s awesome regen. I have almost the same on my Volt so I kind of take it for granted. I’ve never driven a Tesla but I understand the regen is quite mild and barely existant until the battery warms up.

I have a AWD and live in a relatively warm area. The regen is fantastic.

The 3 may have less because of RWD. FWD is better for regen because of the weight transfer.

But yes – Tesla limits regen in the cold. Unless you let it warm the battery – ie range mode.

It snows in CA. Don’t forget that. It has a far more diverse climate than MI for example.

The fundamentals of the Bolt are fine. The looks are not – to my eyes at least. It looks like a tiny car. Mini’s look fine, even Smarts look fine. I think it is trying to look like a bigger vehicle that makes it off putting to me. My wife who has driven an original Leaf for 3 years immediately said “NO!” when we saw one on the road.

“Bolting” Good one.

‘Chevy Bolted ahead of the Model S for 2017!’

‘Chevy’s BEV Sales Bolted, in response to Model 3 Sales in 2018!’

‘As Tesla Ramps up Model 3 Deliveries, Chevy’s BEV Sales seem to be Bolted at the Starting Gate, in Comparison!’

Interesting Headlines, free for the Taking!

Headlines you’ll never see:
“Chevy continues to struggle with Bolt production”
“Misalligned body panels irk Bolt customers”
“Chevy promises $35K Bolt will go on sale in a few quarters”

The ones you do see for GM are….

GM killed the EV.

GM killed owners with ignition problem.

GM in BK.

GM bailed out by tax payers.

GM in Burger King?? What? They’re in the burger business now?

Still nursing that grudge against GM for discontinuing a car 20 years ago, I see.

“GM bailed out by tax payers.”

And a good thing, too, because they’re now the leader in affordable EV offerings and by 2023 they intend to release over 20 different EV models.

Tesla also accepted federal subsidies, and they have yet to be profitable, so one could argue that GM gave taxpayers a better ROI. I guess you’re pretty upset at Tesla for having taken federal money?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Tesla’s approach to cars far more than GM’s. Musk is like our generation’s Edison and if his automotive moonshot succeeds then he’ll have changed the world. Bob Lutz even admits that his idea for the Volt originated from his reaction to the Tesla Roadster, so Musk is indirectly responsible for GM’s renewed EV endeavors.

The fact is that the world will be better off if both Tesla’s and GM’s EVs are wildly successful.

“Tesla also accepted federal subsidies, and they have yet to be profitable, so one could argue that GM gave taxpayers a better ROI.”

Do you even know what ROI means? The govt lost money on what it bailed out GM with, and profited on what it lent to Tesla.

The free market is valuing Tesla at over $59B for a reason. There’s a pretty low expectation for it to collapse tomorrow.

You say we’ll never see the headline, “Chevy continues to struggle with Bolt production”

How hard is that when you set production at only 30k per year, and LG supplies you the battery and entire electric powertrain?

If the Model 3 doesn’t sell well, Tesla will be the next bankrupt car company.

… Tesla Model S killed drivers in Autopilot mode.

If GM has killed people , so did Tesla!!

I view this as more mainstream buyers are purchasing EVs which is very much a good thing. The Bolt is a very practical car and if one looks at the top 10 vehicles by US sales overall that is what sells. Car enthusiasts may not like that “sexy” or “driver’s” cars like the Mazda 6 aren’t in the top 10 but consumers vote with their wallets. We need more EVs playing in that space.

Thank you!

It’s disheartening to see so many InsideEVs articles written as if selling PEVs (Plug-in EVs) is a zero-sum game for PEV makers.

Most of the sales of the Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3 are coming from former gasmobile drivers, not former PEV drivers!

No, not completely true!

Many Chevy Bolt EV buyers are present Chevy Volt owners, and now have a two-EV home.

It’s because ‘Woz’ gave his endorsement.

I bought a Bolt seven months ago after waiting seven months to get it. It is fantastic. But Chevy needs to get rid of the Volt that compliance car is through. The only reason any are sold is people come in to buy a Bolt and one is not available. Chevy wake up to what you have. A terrific EV. Just mass produce them. People are standing in line but can not get them. I realize they make the rest of your line up look ridiculous. Where are the new EVs you promised. Where is an Electric pickup. You had the VIA. Now go full EV

Although the Bolt has aspects of greatness and was a worthy COTY recipient, it still has shortcomings. Even with the $750 DCFC option, the car is practically unusable as a road trip vehicle. That is a big mark against it.

I have no idea where you are, but I certainly don’t see any shortage of available Bolts for sale near me. There are still 2017 models on lots near me. Where are people “standing in line but can not get them”?

Even with the $750 DCFC option, the car is practically unusable as a road trip vehicle.

This is nonsense, especially in California.

Considering that you’ll most likely wait at single handle CCS for free charging Leaf, i3, Bolt, “practically unusable” is correct terminology in CA.

So, after all these Supercharger Sites that Tela Built, with mostly 6, or 8, and even 10, or 12, until recently when they went to 16, 20, and even 40, the CCS/CHAdeMO Crowd still put up 1, or maybe 2 at a single charging Point, in California?

Talk about Slow Learning, Blindness, and inability to figure things out! Maybe it is a bit of Greed, Arrogance, and Ignorance, as well mixed in?

SparkEV, with the many times you have waited for a DC QC because of other ‘Free Charging’ EV’s, have you noticed any other BEV Also waiting at the same location, before you finished your Charge Session? How often? And – was that because there was only the one DC QC on site there, or were there more, but also Occupied DC QC’s on the same location, or site?

Often pull up and wait for someone to finish. And during charging 2 more EVS will show up. Just as common as BMWs, I am now seeing a bunch of LYFT drivers hogging up the chargers. They rent the cars with unlimited charging and mileage, and are constantly charging/driving.

Often times, there would be one or two show up to wait for me to finish. Unbeknown to them, I only charge about 15 minutes, so their wait is about 7 minutes on average. Even so, some see me plugged in and just leave, thinking that they’ll wait 30 minutes or an hour, which is typical of my waits.

WTF are you talking about? You always come in these threads and complain about free charging Bolt’s. There is no such program for Bolt’s. Show me where you got this idea? I lease a bolt and would love to know.

Apparently, you don’t use DCFC in SoCal. Google Maven.

Maven offers free charging – but only to Maven fleet vehicles in dedicated Maven charging spots. At least that’s the way it works in Ann Arbor, Michigan. How does referring Maven to an EV lease owner helpful?

The point wasn’t to help him but to let him know that there are free charging Bolts clogging up DCFC all over SoCal.

“The point wasn’t to help him but to let him know that there are free charging Bolts clogging up DCFC all over SoCal.”

Maven chargers in ‘Maven only’ spots are essentially private chargers. Whether there are one or twenty free charging Bolts clogging up private DCFC (off limits to EV owners) is irrelevant.

The real issue – at least in AA – is that Maven did not add their own chargers. They simply ‘privatized’ existing spots that used to be public spots – leaving fewer chargers for public use. Is that what has happened in SoCal as well?

As for Maven dedicated charging spots, those are public DCFC like eVgo. This is why most of my waiting at DCFC is for free charging Maven Bolts.

Maven is coming to Texas with a fleet of Bolt EVs… we should have listened to SparkEV when we had the chance! :O Oh no!

There’s no mention of free charging, so there’s some hope that Austin won’t get clogged with free charging Bolts. But if they have free charging, be prepared to wait an hour for Bolts that plug in at 90% state of charge.

Free charging SUCKS!!!

Interesting. That sucks.

Had actually never heard of Maven till now. So the company rents out Bolt’s to people to use for Lyft/Uber? And they include the cost of DC Fast charging? That’s crazy and can imagine it would be frustrating that they’re using public charging stations and not their own fleet private chargers. That is some ridiculous sh**. Learn something new every day I guess.

Maven also rents directly for personal use. In Ann Arbor, they have their own private chargers – but they merely usurped formerly public chargers for Maven use only. They apparently have a different ‘free charging’ model in CA – but they are both bad news for EV owners that rely on public charger availability.

Why the phuk don’t you bother searching the web?!?!?

Why do you come on these threads and not bother to fact check?

Ask yourself that, clueless troll. Lol

Doesn’t slow DCQC on limited and poorly positioned infrastructure make for a bad road trip experience?

Having JUST 1 DC QC at a particular location or site, pretty Much Assures at least Someone will have a Bad Experience with Waiting on some other EV, at some point in their Experience, Possibly more than once, and maybe even frequently! However – if all DC QC Sites had a Minimum of 2 Completely Separate Units, no matter if they were Dual CCS/CHAdeMO Service Units, but could only service 1 vehicle at a time, IF they were Co Located with AT LEAST 2 Level 2 Charging Stations at at least 6.6 kW, SOME of the Issues would be dealt with, and could be solved a bit easier, along with a bit of QC Etiquette! Simple – you do a Charge to 75-80% SOC on the QC, then – move to the Level 2 to ‘Top off to 100%’ if that is what you want, EVEN IF you don’t see another EV Waiting yet at that point! Having 4 L2’s in conjunction with the 2 QC’s would even help with those waiting, as they could initially plug into the L2 to start to get some charge, wile you were ‘In Line’ Obviously – in and around Cities (within 50 Miles… Read more »

“you do a Charge to 75-80% SOC on the QC, then – move to the Level 2”

If everyone did that, I wouldn’t complain so much if at all. Majority of cars I encounter at DCFC have way over 80%, some even plug in even if they already have 90% and wait full 30 minutes. One guy had 99% on his i3, and wanted a second 30 minute session!

Probably an i3 REx, just checking to see if you were actually paying attention.

Just shows that except for Tesla, or if you are willing to put up with a lot of grief, electric cars are currently really limited to being local runabouts of varying ability.

I’m going to replace a leased PHEV in Q219 and would like to go EV but may stay PHEV because of this. Or accept the locality and get a base leaf w/out fast charging if available at a gooood deal.

I think most reasonable people would agree with that. But for obvious reasons, a lot of the comments posted here are from diehard EV enthusiasts willing to go far out of their way and put up with some pretty significant delays and inconveniences to charge their non-Tesla PEVs (Plug-in EVs).

While I cheer them on, it’s not rational to think that the PEV market is ever going to expand very far if charging a PEV on the road is more of an “adventure” than a routine occurrence.

Yep. Spot on.

Yeah it’s spotty. Some routes are covered with plenty of redundant charging. Others have literally nothing.

I’ve already been to Austin and San Antonio and we’re visiting OKC this year in the Bolt. On our trip we stopped only for 15 – 30 minutes charges to grab a bite to eat or stretch our legs.

But I’d *never* expect the average Dallas EV owner to drive a Bolt to places like El Paso, Denver, Chicago, or any coastal or mid-western city.

Technically it would be do-able with RV Park or L2 charging. But my vacation time is more valuable than making the point that it is possible lol.

If you want to believe that the Bolt’s DCFC capability offers a practical road tripping option for owners, then go ahead. Even a dedicated and experienced Bolt road tripper like News Coulomb (YouTube) has his share of long waits, unplanned detours, broken chargers, and ‘range anxiety’ moments. The Bolt – as a road trip vehicle – is simply impractical, even in EV friendly California.

@menorman “Even with the $750 DCFC option, the car is practically unusable as a road trip vehicle.

This is nonsense, especially in California.”

Try to drive a Chevy Bolt from Bay Area to San Diego on PCH(Pacific Cost Highway), or on US-101 then I-5.

Most drivers rarely go over 200 miles a day. And if you do, move closer to your work. Living that far is a huge waste of life and money!! I live only six miles from my workplace and I NEVER drive over 40 miles in any day.

There isn’t much GM could do. GM’s attempt at batteries all failed forcing them to jump to LG. With the deal they made with LG in hopes of beating Tesla to the market, they are capacity limited by the batteries. And LG has a ton of other manufacturers waiting as well.

The only way GM is going to up their Bolt production is if other manufacturers get tired of waiting and find another supplier with similar energy density (which is becoming easier). In that way LG would have more spare production for GM.

What does “GM’s attempt at batteries all failed” mean? GM has never made battery cells. They give direction on the cells and then buy from suppliers and assemble the packs. They have the largest testing lab in the US and test cells from several different sources. LG was the winner. LG has a plant on Holland MI which is expanding. LG also built the largest battery plant in Europe in Poland. They also built a plant in China.

LG has more production capacity available right here in MI. GM are going slow because they need $/KWh to drop further.

GM has a battery engineering unit at their Warren tech center. They work with LG on design, so you’re wrong about them failing to do batteries themselves, they never even tried.

Tesla didn’t try, either. They work WITH Panasonic to manufacture their battery packs, and so far they haven’t met their production goals. I hope they do, and a lot of Tesla stockholders have bet on them doing so.

LG has a pretty kickass battery chemistry used in the bolt. I don’t think they will go anywhere else for batteries.

GM owns the battery chemistry for the Bolt.

Tesla doesn’t make batteries or cells, either, so they are as much (or more) as a failure than GM is.

People buy the Volt because it is an electric car without range anxiety.

I offset maybe 15,000 or 20,000 miles of gas annually between my two PHEVs with 35 mile and 47 mile range, yet can still drive on my highway trips without charging issues.

And – THAT is why they are Still Relevant, for People making an early Adopter step (Since we are still below 10% Sales – I still consider any EV Buyer or PHEV Buyer today, to be an Early Adopter!

Also – that is why I THINK that GM could expand the Bolt EV – with a Bolt EREV Variant – using the Bolt Chassis, a Volt Drivetrain, and 40 kWh of the Bolt Battery, with a Custom Fuel Tank of about 8-10 Gallons in the Battery Vacated Space, creating the First 150 Mile Range EREV – with another 300-400 Miles Range on Gas, would be quite the Combo!

And – since they are unlikely to do a 150 Mile Only Small Battery Bolt EV to match the New Leaf, such an EREV would give buyers Leaf Like 150 Miles range – but – again – with ‘No Range Anxiety!’

Exactly. Even after I buy a Bolt, I plan to keep my Volt for longer trips.

Charging along the way doesn’t interest me, and even Tesla superchargers aren’t always where you would need them. I’ve looked here in MI and they currently wouldn’t work for me, though that will hopefully change.

I like the Bolt, but the quick charging infrastructure isn’t even close to being adequate to make it a replacement for the Volt for road trips. I’m seriously considering getting a Bolt as a second car, but that would be possible only because I already have a Volt. The Bolt simply would not be able to take me where I usually go when I go on road trips. Maybe in a few years, but not now.

I tested both the Bolt and the Volt and ended up with the 2018 Volt for one reason: the Bolt can’t drive from Colorado to L.A with the current infrastructure. I love using only electric for in city driving and hate when I have to burn any gas but until the infrastructure changes I can’t make the long drive to L.A without using some gas.

Who is crazy to drive that far? It is safer to rent a hybrid or a Volt EREV for that distance. Buy a Chevy Bolt EV for everyday driving and save money. You can buy both for less than a Model S! Most EV owners recharge at night in their homes while asleep.

The Model 3 may outsell the Bolt in 2018. What a joke. It will totally crush Bolt sales, surpassing all time sales of the Bolt this Summer.
Yeah the sold about 70% of the Bolts in CA, last year and it’s half the price of the Model S.
The Bolt is a decent car, but it’s not a mass market vehicle.

The $60K Model 3 isn’t a mass market vehicle, either. Hopefully within five years battery prices fall enough for that to be possible.

Exactly, so the $60k car with no discount (other than tax credits) will outsell a vehicle regularly selling for 10% or more off MSRP (low $30k’s or even lower looking at lease deals eligible for the same credits).

This really shows Tesla’s domination in the EV market. The fact that Tesla sells about as many $100k average cars as GM sells maybe $36k average cars with heavy incentive spending doesn’t reflect well on GM.

I think it’s mostly the Bolt’s styling and seats that are the problem. Sometimes I wonder if GM intentionally made the seats bad so that sales wouldn’t be “too high,” but they’ve effed up seats in other vehicles so it’s probably just incompetence.

What pisses me off about the seats is that there is an easy and cheap solution. Why couldn’t GM just use a little more foam to keep your ass from being pinched by the side bolsters. I’ve taken my seat completely apart and am just dumbfounded by their design decisions. I understand the need to keep it light and thin, but what they did could have still worked if they’d just put a thin layer of foam in there.

Rumor is that it’s coming. Soon. 2019 Bolt coming out with the other ’19s and will have the better seats and a larger battery.

There’s variability in the seat’s foam, either in it’s density or thickness. One site has a series of pics of the same dude sitting in different Bolts and he reports a big difference in comfort, and the seats with foam that sinks in the most are the least comfy.

Probably a supplier QC issue, but GM should have held them accountable. In any event, the 2019 Bolt will feature improved seats, though they may be a silent update without any obvious visual differences. Greater range is also planned along with an updated motor. It’s unclear whether the motor’s improved efficiency will be used for range, performance, or some combination thereof.

There was article where GM was targeting changes to lower the price on the Bolt. And the GM rep was saying the main path to that was putting less battery in. So for example taking weight out, which would mean more efficiency. So if they are putting a more efficient motor in, they would probably keep similar range, and take some batteries out. So they can lower the price. The end game for the Bolt is likely a below $30k MSRP.

Do you remember when the article was published?

GM rely heavily on focus groups and GM vehicle owner opinion research and normally will try to respond to complaints. This is great for existing models but tends to result in new models that follow market trends instead of setting new ones.

I suspect the number one complaint during the winter is reduced range. On a cold day, Bolt drivers report as little as 120 miles on a full charge, and since GM’s Bolt team is located in MI they are intimately familiar with how winter challenges an EV owner. So I’d predict they would add battery capacity similarly to how the Volt was upgraded in 2013: by using LG’s latest cells in essentially the same battery design.

Another reason for adding range is that the Bolt’s key differentiator is range. If they don’t improve range for the 2019 model then they’ll lose their lead in the sub-$40K EV market. Maybe that GM rep is being honest and GM executives applied the traditional GM motto, “that’s good enough,” but post-bankruptcy GM has strived to put those days behind them.

Not only are the seats on the bolt the problem but the lack of styling, plastic interior, it is small and options. The bolt doesn’t come with a garage door opener. You can’t get ACC, autopilot, awd, longer range batteries, panoramic roofs and the most damning is no access to a network of chargers that allow for consistent long range travel.

“The fact that Tesla sells about as many $100k average cars as GM sells maybe $36k average cars with heavy incentive spending doesn’t reflect well on GM.”


In price, but in sales it will be, and eventually the price will drop. You want the premier Bolt 44k. So I think you can a decent Model 3 for that.

In numbers produced the Model 3 is a mass market vehicle, something the Bolt will never be, when 85% of their sales are in CARB states. The same cannot be said of Tesla’s which are sold all over the world.

Anyone actually paying $44k for a Bolt is getting ripped off.

Probably, though the same could not be said of the Model 3.

Has anyone paid that little for a Model 3? AFAIK the versions sold have all been well over $50K, and next up for sale will be the even more expensive dual motor model.

It’s a great car but then it’s not as challenging to build a $50K EV as it is a $40K EV like the Bolt. Not excusing GM for the Bolt’s shortcomings, but a comfy interior could have been done for under $50K in the Bolt.

It seems to me that when Tesla Says the 220 Mile OR 310 Mile Dual Motor Model 3 will be Available in Mid 2018 in Canada, that – unless the Dual Motor Costs ALSO $9,000 Like the Long Range Version, that it will be Less Expensive, in the 220 Mile Dual Motor Option!

Sure the 310 Mile Range, Dual Motor + Premium + EAP + Color – will be the Most Expensive equation, I am not sure that is what they will be offering or Requiring, come Mid 2018 – at least for us in Canada, when they switch on sales here!

A dual motor LR M3 is unquestionably the better car for most people (unless a hatchback is required). But a dual motor short range M3 would have less range than a Bolt, so the Bolt still represents the better value. Which is what Chevy does: make cars for those on a budget. So far Tesla hasn’t beat them on that particular metric.

When you consider charging infrastructure, Tesla 3 is a better value.

Only if that matters to you. Like you can’t charge at home, or you are a rare person that regularly drive over 200miles in a day every week.

No sane driver will charge remotely. Just charge at home for everyday driving and rent a hybrid or EVER for longer distances. It is much cheaper!

And not only that, but what people never bring up about the non-existent $35k SR Model 3 is the fact that it gets less range than they Bolt. Sure the Bolt has a slightly higher MSRP than this non-existent $35k Model 3, but you will never pay less than the MSRP for a new Tesla, but you can easily pay way under MSRP for the Bolt. I was able to get nearly $10k in incentives from Chevy last year when I leased my loaded Premier Bolt. My total out of pocket was less than $7k for a3 year 45k mile lease, and my residual is $24k if I decide to buy it at the end of lease. That’s for a $44k MSRP.

Buyer A can go in a dirtbag dealer amd buy the bolt.

Buyer B (Female) can go in a dirtbag dealer for tbe same trim and pay more than Buyer A.

But sure, that’a a more fair way to sell to customers.

Wait you think $31k out-of-pocket plus three years of lease payments and depreciation is a good deal for a $44k car?

The highway range is pretty much the same between the two cars, which is the one range that really matters.

Figure on Chevy Bolt being overtaken by Tesla Model 3 in Cali. in 2018 by Q2 or at latest Q3.

Then it’s all rear view mirror in Q4 2018 for GM and the Bolt in California, with Tesla Model 3 sales taking out the 2018 Nissan Leaf as well.

The 2019 Cali. EV sales battle may be a lot more interesting for Tesla and the Model 3 in Cali., “IF” the ICE OEMs get their non-compliance Tesla vaporware EV contenders into actual showrooms.

Seems likely, and the Jag is coming and they will sell some, plus Kia, and the up-gunned Leaf. Vaporware like Farady, Lucid, Fisker, say they will do something, doubtful.
The OEM’s, I take it you mean established companies, well the PHEV Prius Prime is a big hit, but pure bevs? KIA has the Niro.

It will be watershed year for evs as we can finally kill that argument that there is no demand for electric cars, though I think it will be 2019, calendar year, before we see any real competitors to Tesla, excluding the Jaguar iPace.

“Yeah the sold about 70% of the Bolts in CA, last year and it’s half the price of the Model S.”

Might wanna check your math.

About 58% of sales were in CA last year. And the only CARB state worth selling in was Cali for 2017. Since the travel provision means any cali sale would also count as equivalent ZEV credit in all other states.

Considering the car was only available nationwide around August or September, 58% in California isn’t a particularly high number.

That’s registered, plus you don’t know how many were sold in CA or in the CARB states, but be that as it may, it’s mainly being sold in those states despite the nationwide roll-out.

If GM were merely making enough Bolt’s to meet compliance, they would need to sell only about 3,000 Bolt EVs in 2018 in order to receive enough credits for that year.

That number was significantly less for 2017.

13,500 is vastly higher than they needed to produce.

See VW? With 3,202 eGolf sales in California and 3,500 sales for 2017?

THAT is what a compliance car is.

Wade, Isn’t that VW’s EV Range about HALF of the Bolt EV’s Range? (~120 Miles Vs 238?)

Would that not also be a factor in buyer selection?

It will be interesting to see what the 120 Mile Range e-Golf Sales are versus the new 150 Mile Rated Range 2018 Nissan LEAF! As well – the 2018 Kia Soul – with about 107 Miles Range!

Certainly that would be true if supply were not an issue, but it’s kind of an irrelevant point since on a good month you can expect only 300-400 e-Golfs at US dealerships and only in CARB states. Compare that to the 3,000-5,000 inventories you will see with the Prime, Clarity, Bolt, Volt, and Leaf nationwide. The reason is not as simple as VW not wanting to sell the car here. This is partially because of the fact that demand for the e-Golf abroad is quite high. Allocating more to the US is difficult when they can’t fulfill orders quickly enough in Europe! So they sell the car in numbers just high enough to meet compliance. Because an e-Golf has a shorter range than a Bolt EV, it actually brings VW fewer ZEV credits per sale than the Bolt EV brings GM. I believe a 120 mile range EV nets a little over 2 ZEV credits while a 200+ mile EV range is worth 3 credits or more. So if overall vehicle sales of VW brands and GM brands were equal in California and other CARB states, VW would actually need to sell *more* eGolfs than the Bolt in order to… Read more »

On the subject of automotive marketing and sales, you should pay attention to what WadeTyhon says, rather than arguing with him. He has ably demonstrated his expertise in this subject.

Travel provision ended with 2017.

2017 was the last year that it was active.

So any sale in any other CARB state wasn’t much more beneficial to GM than a sale in a non-CARB state last year.

“Considering the car was only available nationwide around August or September, 58% in California isn’t a particularly high number”

Correct. Anyone saying it is not does not understand the U.S. market.

Consider around half of U.S ev sales are in CA it should be no surprise. Besides having the highest population of people in the first place they have a high per capita adoption rate. With great incentives for both buyers and manufactures being in place for years, better infastructure, and large population centers in mild climates it is no surprise botg Tesla and others first start sales in the state with the best market for EVs. 58% is a pretty small % especually considering the Bolt is in its first years.

Good for the Bolt!

Is there a listing of the top PHEVs in california in 2017? I am assuming the Prius Prime toppled the Volt in Cali this past year. But the combination of Bolt and Volt (and stray ELR, Spark and CT6) may mean GM was the top selling plug-in manufacturer in the state last year.

GM sold 13,000 Bolts in California last year. OK; can anyone confirm that this was just over half of all Bolts produced last year?
Dies anyone know how many other cars (PHEV & LICE) GM sold in Cali last year?

For US sales this is about 58% for 2017.

For total production for the year of the Bolt and Ampera-e this is about 43.5%.

Kudos to the Bolt EV!

Of course, that will be only a one-year stint at the #1 spot. This year and for the foreseeable future, the Tesla Model 3 will easily outsell the Bolt EV, since GM is limiting production of the car.

However, let us please not view this as a zero-sum game for plug-in EV makers, despite the tone of this article. The real winner here is EVs replacing gasmobiles, and gas-powered miles replaced with electric-powered miles!

Up the EV revolution!

Yup! “EVs replacing gasmobiles, and gas-powered miles replaced with electric-powered miles!” Wee need a data point, Chart, or List to see how THAT is going, too!

Maybe with some help from the State, Service Centers, and User Websites, we could figure that out!

Thank you! There is plenty of room for both the Bolt and M3 to be successes. They’re not even in the same price range so I don’t get all the fanboi-ism.

If I had an extra $70K I’d be crazy not to buy a LR DM M3. Likewise, if I could only afford a $44K car, I’d be insane not to buy a Bolt. At least that’s how I look at it.

Haha if the Bolt EV somehow manages to outsell the Model 3 in 2018 I will be shocked beyond belief.

But no matter what, the success of both is great for EVs! 🙂

Exactly! The real story here is more and more EV adoption. So many commenters and sites stuck in fanboy bickering. It’s starting to be like those boring Ford v. Chevy truck guys.

By the time tesla sells its first $40k m3 I will have been driving my bolt for 1.5 years and 30,000 miles. Is the tm3 a better car, maybe, but it’s not available at $40k today and was not last year. Had the tm3 been available when I was looking for a new car I would have looked at them. I will certainly look at one next time I buy a car provided tesla is still here. Long range travel just isn’t as quick or easy with an ev, so I don’t do it. So the whole dcfc vs supercharger is a non issue. I just drive an ice when doing 800-1000 mile days. A 60kwh pack gives over 100 mile range even on the cold, windy, snowy days, so I generally don’t ever charge except at home. Until the charging networks are more complete and faster, long range travel won’t be as quick or easy as ice travel. The early adopters will accept this or say that they stop often anyway so it’s ok. General public won’t embrace the extra work required. IMHO we need bigger batteries and faster charging before ev’s truly become main stream. That has not… Read more »


Anecdotally, I’m seeing a ton of Bolts here in Santa Cruz. Only seen 3 Model 3 so far in town, but it’s early. I’m personally holding out for a 3, even though I like the Bolt’s practicality and styling.

To remember: Model S is a luxury car, an Bolt is a more affordable car. Just the possibility to Model S compete with bolt is already a enormous achievement for Tesla, and proves that Tesla is many years ahead any automaker.

The original source, CNCDA, reports BEV sales a bit higher, 53k, so the actual plug-in segment market share was 4.8% surpassing conventional hibriyds (4.6%) for the first time. These are other interesting California sales figures can be found here:

On the rumors are flying about the new Bolt coming out with the ’19s, maybe next month, with a bigger platform for a larger battery suv and problems fixed. Things could be changing for the better soon.
Just saying

I remember being criticized earlier that the BOLT ev MIGHT outsell the TESLA “S”, but I sure would *NOT* have thought that in California of all places Chevy would have outsold Tesla.


“Bolt outsells Tesla Model S at Chevy dealerships last month”

Is GM selling the Bolt all around the world? Thought not.

I guess anecdotes are OK for headlines once in a while, versus important stories

Well, they match my personal sighting sampling.

There are so many Bolts in SF Bay Area that you can’t drive more than few minutes without seeing one. Especially in the City of SF which is perfect for the Bolt. Easy to park and lots of useful room inside.

I expect Model 3 to win 2018 though.

Crazy prediction: the Bolt will outsell the S and X in 2018 too! As Tesla spends resources fixing Model 3 production issues. If the 3 doesn’t outsell the Bolt by a wide margin this year, that’ll be sad.
Elon said he was aiming for 200k 3’s last year. Whoops. Lol