Chevy Volt and Bolt Estimates: Sales Skyrocket In November

2019 Chevy Volt

DEC 4 2018 BY WADE MALONE 61

Chevy Volt and Chevy Bolt EV make up for lost time

Because General Motors now withholds monthly sales reports in favor of a Tesla-like quarterly reporting system, the following InsideEVs Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Volt sales numbers are estimates.

We consider this information important to our readers and have decided to provide the best estimates we can. Our numbers are primarily based upon daily inventory tracking, as well as accounts from buyers, dealers and other sources. At the end of each quarter we revisit our estimates once we receive final quarterly numbers from General Motors. Any updates to sales numbers will be made at that time.

If you have been following this sales report for the past few months, you know that Bolt inventories in the U.S. were weak throughout the entire 2018 model year. GM had been prioritizing exports of the popular electric hatchback, particularly to South Korea. So much so that 2018 international GM plug-in sales eclipsed domestic for the first time ever.

Thankfully for buyers in the states, sales began recovering in Q3. Chevrolet reported deliveries of 3,949 the Chevy Bolt EVs and 5,429 for the Chevy Volts between July and September. For the month of October, InsideEVs estimated 2,075 Chevy Bolt EVs and 1,475 Chevy Volts were delivered to customers. With only 2 months remaining in the year, we were wondering just how the Chevy hatchbacks would perform at years end.

Turns out, quite well. For the month of November, we estimate 3,025 Chevy Bolt EVs and 3,930 Chevy Volts were delivered to customers. 

Chevy Bolt EV and Volt deliveries are strong in November

These sales estimates are consistent with General Motors confirming to InsideEVs several months ago that they will be crossing the 200,000 threshold in Q4 of this year. They likely passed that milestone in November or very early December. Chevy buyers should have access to the full $7,500 tax credit until at least April 1st, 2019. Hopefully.

The good news: after months of low inventories, the Chevy Bolt settled above 4,700 units at or in transit to dealers in October. Not surprisingly, sales have been much stronger since then. Fittingly, Bolt EV production will be increased 20% in Q4. According to GM:

U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.

Now for the bad news: inventories of both models plummeted this month as a result of high sales. By November 30th, the Bolt had fallen to just over 3,200 available units. The Volt dropped even more heavily to a mere 2,296 examples.

But the most unfortunate news came near the end of last month. The much beloved Chevy Volt is nearing the end of production. Several writers at InsideEVs own and love their Chevy Volt. It is truly an excellent, no compromise plug-in hybrid.

The Volt will be missed but never forgotten. Even as the plug-in market moves more heavily towards BEVs, the Volt has earned its place on the plug-in pantheon.

RIP CHEVY VOLT

2017 Chevrolet Volt
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61 Comments on "Chevy Volt and Bolt Estimates: Sales Skyrocket In November"

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Scott

Wow. That’s a blowout month for bolt and volt.

bro1999

Best ever combined month of Volt/Bolt sales if I’m not mistaken.

Steven Loveday

Yep!

BillT

Word of mouth advertising seems to be working for the Volt. If one needs a vehicle that can operate on electricity for city driving yet offer 300+ miles of range on the highway and one is unwilling or unable to pony up $55K+ for a Model 3 LR the Volt is hard to beat. Hopefully the Voltec power train lives on because it is a great solution until BEVs with 300+ miles of highway range become available at mainstream ($25K – $35K) prices.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

No.
It’s just that this is the end of the tax and compliance years.

Jaimie

just wondering , is the Hyundai Inoniq plug in hybrid / or kia optima plug in hybrid available in the us as a model to buy?
I know hyundai is not in every state for sale. In Europe this car sells quite well.
apparantly us market is well protected. on the other hand the Bolt / E ampera = EU is in most countries not availeble since GM sould OPEL / VAUXHALL has been sold to PSA group (Renault / Nissan)

Mike

I have a feeling they’ll take that drivetrain and put it into a crossover since folks are way more interested in CUVs than sporty sedans.

QCO

That’s quite likely. The Volt is really being killed because it is a car (based on a platform that is being killed), not because it is a PHEV. Most of GM’s competitors will have compact PHEV CUV/SUVs by 2020, so GM can economically compete by reusing the Voltec drivetrain in a CUV/SUV configuration.

Paul

Shame the volt is being killed

Michael Will

Too successful

mustang_sallad

Makes perfect sense for an automaker to stall on sales (and focus on markets outside the US) just before hitting the 200k threshold, and then accelerate like crazy once it’s been hit to get as many customers through before the phase out actually kicks in. That certainly seems to be how things have panned out for Tesla.

ElonsBestFriend

Nice job, GM! Can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!

Paul Stoller

They have a great diesel to sell you. If you’re wanting EVs go elsewhere.

Dimitrij

Quoting from memory and speaking of the “US car/SUV/light truck market”: GM offers only one diesel version of only one truck, and only one diesel version of only one car, which is being discontinued in 2019. Is this the way to “sell a great diesel”?

Paul Stoller

Anytime plug-ins with utility are brought up GM mentions diesels or hydrogen not EVs.

Jim

with Volt getting axed and Bolt facing headwinds next year due to the credit phaseout (though I guess it will steal some Volt sales) I don’t see any progress from GM until their next vehicle launch. Which we have not heard about recently. They’ll probably focus on Asia in the next few years as long as other manufacturers still have the EV credit.

MoMac

There is the Buick Enspire (EV) prototype that is expected to be released in late 2019 or early 2020.

There is also some rumor that Chevy may actually produce the FNR-X, a plug-in hybrid crossover that was revealed mid-2017 (not to be confused with FNR, a futuristic looking coupe). If they do produce a vehicle based on the FNR-X, they should make it a BEV.

Bonaire

Are you doing this high-estimate in order to “estimate-up” the competition in preparation for the Tesla numbers release after the low-volume short-squeeze has run its course? People I know are pooh-poohing the Volt as “they cancelled the Volt”. So who’s running off to buy them?

Steven Loveday

Announcement came after most sales were in for the month. We don’t “estimate up” or pad anything. We do our homework and honestly report what we see.

Mark.ca

I was in the market for one too but could hot find a dealer in SoCal that had any 2018’s left…so yes, people are actually buying them.

Ron M

Well with those numbers we may get close to 40,000 total EV Us sales for November. Hopefully over 50,000 for December.

Ziv

Great. GM sells a ton of Volts in the very month they announce they are cancelling the Volt. Argh!
I think they sold 3600+ Volts one month in 2016 but 3930 is the best month ever for the Volt, I believe. And the inventory is so low it will be hard for them to have a good December…

Eric Cote

Sure wish they’d find a way to keep the Volt churning out beyond March. The 2019 model year improvements (faster charging and power driver seat) just about perfect the offering. And that new Pacific Blue Metallic color, nice!

Make Hamtramck their main EV production facility and keep the line open! Sigh.

Ziv

Charging my 2013 Volt over my lunch hour has been kind of frustrating. Getting just 5 miles per hour of charging on a 120 volt outlet or 10 miles on a 220 charger is so slow. When I have to pay for charging it just irritates even more. I have the gen set so it isn’t a huge problem, but it is irritating that they didn’t increase the charge speed until relatively recently.

Null

And even so Gen 2 is 3.6kw, though for a chunk of change on top of loaded you can get 7.2kw for 2019…

Neromanceres

For the 2019 MY Volt the 7.2KW charger is standard on Premier and optional on the base LT model.

Get Real

But for only until they stop production.

Spider-Dan

The 7.2kW charger won’t increase the 5 miles/hour you get on a 120v outlet.

Ziv

Good point. I was on a roll and didn’t think my rant through. Ignore the 120 part. 😉
I am still irritated about only getting 10 miles in an hour of charging on a ‘fast’ charger.

Tom

The Volt 2.0 also has substantially more range than your 2013, and was targeted based on gen 1 usage patterns, so Chevy might argue the 7.2kw charger was less an issue due to the fact that a much higher percentage of people can now do their entire commute on EV miles. Certainly the 7.2 is a welcome change though. Much greater use of ‘opportunity charging’.

Neromanceres

GM’s Orion facility is also severely underutilized and I think it will be one of the primary EV production facilities going forward (also I think Lansing Grand River might get there too). I still think GM will do a C segment Voltec CUV (build it in Ingersoll). This segment gets much higher average transaction prices and it would be easier for GM to sell a vehicle in this segment after their tax credit has been slashed.

Get Real

And their is no evidence of that whatsoever. In fact GM has staunchly resisted migrating their Voltec system into any other vehicles like CUVs/SUVs/Trucks that would sell in much greater numbers.

Eric Cote

No evidence whatsoever? That’s too much hyperbole.

Per GM’s press release as quote in https://insideevs.com/general-motors-shut-down-chevy-volt-factory/
“GM now intends to prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures. As the current vehicle portfolio is optimized, it is expected that more than 75 percent of GM’s global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by early next decade.”

If they’re abandoning sedans but planning to prioritize next-generation battery-electric architectures, it can only mean development in one or more of the categories of CUVs, SUVs, and Trucks.

Bill Howland

HA! Don’t hold your breath. It will be the very best that Mexico and China can provide. As far as GM providing “Electrified Vehicles”, I thought they were that way since cars were Electrified in 1913 with the Cadillac Self-Starter.

Neromanceres

There is very strong evidence of this. Below is a link to an interview with GM’s VP of global propulsion (August of this year) where he states that Voltec will live on in other applications and that it was very much so part of GM’s future technology portfolio (video link starts at 15:45 which is the start of the Voltec discussion). Also to add both the Volt and Equinox are based off the same D2XX architecture family. So it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to do so. https://youtu.be/iBtl7cbQcJc?t=945

Eric Cote

This article suggests that Volt and Bolt sales continue to be constrained by supply, not demand. (Not a topic of your post but bear with me, as everyone points to sales and says nobody wants them). But as inventory goes up, sales numbers clearly follow, as shown here. I think GM (and Ford, for that matter) are making some big mistakes by completely abandoning most of their sedans. The Volt is the number 1 conquest sale vehicle for GM, bringing people from other brands. It’s a shame they’re choosing to get rid of it as part of this product refocusing.

I agree with you that a Voltec CUV or other electric CUV variants will do well, but Volt is their flagship offering. It is “the” poster boy for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It should continue to be made and available, as it would only help their other entries into the plug-in market. My opinion, anyway.

I would envision Orion as their BEV facility and Hamtramck as their PHEV facility, but that’s simply an outside the box perspective ignoring any real data on what the best move for GM may be.

Neromanceres

There is some truth to that but GM has run Volt production unconstrained in the past and has seen where the demand limit its. At one point DHAM was only producing the Volt alone. And at times the factory did need to be idled for inventory alignment. The fact is GM simply doesn’t have enough volume to keep DHAM busy and GM has a number of other underutilized factories. I’ve personally toured the DHAM factory twice. Voltec was designed to be integrated into existing flexible production processes. Another Voltec vehicle could be built on another assembly line with only a minor investment required.

BoltUp

Maybe an AWD sport version would keep sales rolling? A Voltz

William

I was thinking of keeping GM sales rolling along, with the Premium fully loaded extended range “AWD sport version”, called the Volt-e-MoreT.

https://goo.gl/images/wwS2np

MoMac

“are making some big mistakes by completely abandoning most of their sedans.”

It is not “most”. For cars (sedans and coupes), it is 6 out of 17 unique models that they are cancelling. So a little over a third. I think 2 of the models that I counted were coupes and the rest sedans.

Eric Cote

Fair point, but how many of the 17 unique models are US models? Maybe it’s “most” US-made-and-sold sedans? Or I’m wrong there too, in which case I recant.

QCO

They are not, really, because both Ford & GM are still developing cars for other markets. They have simply stopped selling them in the US because not enough people want them here to make it profitable. If things change, both are able to respond by bringing back the global car platforms/models.

Tom McRae

Own a 2017 volt, 55,000 miles, incredible car, incredible engineering. Can’t believe their stellar efforts will be tossed completely in favor of solely BEV’s. Hope that some type of hybrid SUV is still being considered, at least until a more robust infrastructure and or high speed solid state battery is realized.

agzand

I agree, Volt drive train is the best overall solution in the market now. It just needs to be in a bit larger body.

Bill Howland

“….Can’t believe their stellar efforts will be tossed completely in favor of solely BEV’s….”.

If GM is true to form this is only a temporary reprieve unil they also discontinue the BOLT ev. Then they’ll have nothing for sale in the States.

Seems very wrong to discontinue the all-time electric sales leader in the States – especially in this area where the car is extremely popular.

Barra must figure that by basically pissing everyone else off (me included), she’ll increase her overall compensation and to hell with the company. That will be a future executive’s problem.

Luca Bartolozzi

YES MARY BARRA is so clever and smart that prefers to quit production of a car GM can export everywhere and invest BILLIONS in self-driving stupid stuff. A nobel Prize for Worst economic choose? FIRE MARY BARRA B!TCH

agzand

I think it all depends on subsidies. They can’t sell the Volt w/o the $7,500 credit. If the credit is extended, they will probably continue making them. Maybe it is a pressure tactic to force congress to extend subsidies.

Eric Cote

Why can’t they sell it without a tax credit though? I mean, maybe they’d have a harder time, sure. But the Gen 1 Volt first year sold for $40k and had only 38 miles of range. We’ve since had lots of improvements and a $7500 price reduction. So it “could” sell without the credit perhaps, if other manufacturers also don’t have the benefit of the credit.

There may also be some room for additional price reduction there, as they held the price fairly steady for the Gen 2, unlike the incremental price cuts/range increases for the Gen 1.

agzand

Other manufacturers do have the benefit of the credit. Personally I would buy a Volt in a heartbeat if I am in the market today. If the credit is expired there is no way in hell I pay $30k+ for that car. $7500 is a big incentive that makes the car competitive with other cars from two classes down. I am pretty sure even Tesla will be hit hard with the end of tax credits, even though it is much smaller component of their purchase price comparing to Volt and Bolt.

ModernMarvelFan

Gen 1 Volt had full $7500 and almost no competition. Today, Volt2.0 is better in every way but facing a market that is fractures with hard core fan bois of every kind.

Paul Stoller

How about you lay off the mysogyny dude. I’ve very disappointed in her performance, but let’s not make it about her gender.

QCO

Totally uncalled for personal insult. Worthy of being banned…

Spider-Dan

I’d like to think the popularity of the Model 3 is opening eyes to some of the offerings in the lower price brackets, but it seems a little late for that…?

Maybe the Volt will come back as a CUV. If not, hopefully Volt can close out on a positive run.

Cypress

Volt continues on as the Buick Velite in China.

George Beier

I have seen a zillion adds for the Chevy Silverado, the Chevy Cruze, etc. Never a single ad for the Volt. They put no marketing muscle behind that car.

Paul Stoller

They only pretend to want to build EVs, I’m done with them.

William

Get your Volt on, before they’re GONE…

…as in Gone for good. (Not so “good” after all)

DDRtrabi

The Volt allowed me to drive >12k EV miles since I purchased it in late 2017 after cancelling my M3 reservation. And for half the price of the M3 after tax incentives ! But the regular Chevy customer cannot do math and favors the big steel boxes they sell. GM should have created an independent brand for the Volt, Bolt and their future EVs. I keep my fingers crossed that my Volt will last for the next 8 years or so, no problems so far.

Eric Cote

I’ve loved the idea of a separate EV branding for quite a while. If a dealership is an all-EV dealership, it’s hard to steer people interested in a Volt to a Cruze instead.

Paul Stoller

It’s going to be real hard to steer them to a Cruze shortly, but how about this Equinox diesel.

Dudamus

I hope they enjoy their new EVs. Excellent choices. Lots of excellent new and used choices now.