When GM first introduced the Bolt EV in late 2016, it stood out in the field of available electric vehicles. No other manufacturer besides Tesla had an EV that could even close to 200 miles of driving range, and the Bolt EV smashed past the 200-mile mark with an EPA range rating of 238 miles.
However, it's three and a half years later now, and the industry has caught up to the Bolt EV, and long-range, 200+ mile EVs like the Tesla Model 3, the Nissan LEAF Plus, the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric all compete in roughly the same price category as the Bolt EV.
To make matters worse, in 2019 GM reached the 200,000 EVs-sold mark and the federal tax credit that GM customers got for leasing or purchasing an EV has ended. Losing the federal tax credit really hurt Bolt EV sales, and in order to keep the Bolt EV competitive, GM has been offering "cash on the hood", factory to dealer incentives to make the Bolt more attractive.
The amount of the incentive has fluctuated month to month, and currently, at least through the end of May, GM is offering $8,500 off a cash purchase of any 2020 Bolt EV. If the customer wants to finance the vehicle, they will get 0% financing for 72 months with a $4,700 cash allowance.
But the savings don't end there. Many states also offer incentives on electric vehicles, and when you stack those on top of the generous offering from GM, fantastic deals on Bolt EVs can be had.
I live in New Jersey, and in January the state passed legislation that offers up to $5,000 off of an electric vehicle, depending on how far the driving range is. The Bolt EV qualifies for the full $5,000 because its range exceeds 200 miles. Additionally, there zero sales tax on all-electric vehicles.
Let's do the math and see just how inexpensive a new Bolt EV currently is in New Jersey. With the destination and freight charge, a Bolt EV starts at $37,495. Once you deduct the GM and state incentives, it nets out at $23,995, and that's before you negotiate a deal with your dealer.
Most dealers are willing to knock off at least $1,000, so you're driving a brand new 2020 Bolt EV, with 259 miles of range, off of the dealer's lot for less than $23,000!
Gallery: Chevrolet Bolt EV 2020
While New Jersey may currently have the most aggressive state EV rebate program, there's plenty of other states that have cash rebates ranging from $4,000 to $1,000 per vehicle. Once those incentives are added to the factory rebate you're still saving over $10,000.
The Bolt EV is a really good electric vehicle. It could use a faster DC fast charge rate, and an upgraded interior (which it will get in 2021), but even with its shortcomings, it's a fine vehicle. GM also increased the battery from 60 kWh to 66 kWh for 2020, which added 21 miles of range to the original Bolt EV's 238-mile EPA range rating, upping it to 259 miles.
The Bolt EV has arguably the best regenerative braking system of any electric vehicle available today and it's a good performer. All this adds up to a great car that can currently be had for an outstanding price. If you're currently in the market for an EV, the Bolt EV should definitely be on your list to, at the very least, check out.