General Motors Anticipates 1,200 Chevrolet Bolt Sales For January


Chvey Bolts In Portland - Image Via WRVoltec

Chevy Bolts In Portland – Image Via WRVoltec

In its first partial month on the market, Chevrolet Bolt sales hit 579 units, a strong showing if you consider it was only available in California in December and there were only a few selling days of availability that month.

Chevrolet Bolt Rollout Schedule For U.S.

Chevrolet Bolt Rollout Schedule For U.S. – Click To Enlarge

A few weeks back, the Bolt began arriving in Oregon and, even more recently, some Bolts were actually in stock at dealerships in California.

Piece it all together and it’s obvious January sales of the Bolt will be higher than December, but how much higher was anyone’s guess until now.

During the recent Bolt test drive event in California, GM spokespeople actually tossed around a projected sales figure for January.

The number 1,200 was passed around at the Bolt drive event. It’s perhaps a bit lower than we anticipated, but still a healthy step up from December.  Given that January is usually a weak sales month for plug-ins, the Bolt could very well become the #1 selling plug-in electric vehicle this month – facing off against another relative newcomer, the Toyota Prius Prime.

We’ll know for sure where the Bolt falls on the chart on Wednesday, February 1 when automakers report sales for January (and we cover the results as they come arrive in real-time). Fingers crossed the Bolt takes the sales crown.

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173 Comments on "General Motors Anticipates 1,200 Chevrolet Bolt Sales For January"

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Considering the still new Gen II Volt was the best selling plug in in January 2016 with less than 1,000 units… I’d say 1,200 is a pretty good number.

Although the higher the better of course. 🙂


True. 1200 sounds a bit low, but that would be higher than what any other plug-in sold in January 2016, and yet the Bolt EV is only available in 2ish states right now.

I’d be happy with 1200, but would still love to see more.


Yeah, only the leaf has ever eclipsed 1,200 in January. I would not be surprised if Chevy ended up selling significantly more than 1,200. 1,500 maybe?

Whatever it might be – Chevy should hopefully set a new high.

philip d

I wonder how well the 17 Volt will do for its first real January.


Just a guess – I think Volt sales will actually be a little weaker for January and February than last year. But for the year overall I think sales will be flat or up over 2017.

I have talked to two dealers in my area at least who had much higher than expected demand in December and completely sold out of their stock!

They’re apparently having to do dealer trades in order to get Volts this month.

Bill Howland

Yeah, I’ve been pleasantly surprised after calling the larger dealers in my area that they mostly intend to sell the BOLT, (but then again, Chevrolet branded cars are disproportionally sold in my area, one of the dealerships being at times the largest in the US). – but just now I got a call while I’m typing this that the 2 allocated to a fairly big dealership was TWO FOR THE YEAR.

So maybe this is the wrong time for me to buy a BOLT after all.

I know that all the large dealerships are getting 2. But if it is 2 for all of the 2017 run then that is pretty disappointing.

Texas FFE

Some dealerships on Autotrader are advertising over forty Bolt EVs. I think any dealership with a history of strong Volt sales will get a bunch of Bolts. Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, TX has ten Volts for sale right now, I’m sure Classic will have plenty of Bolts to sell come August.

no comment

GM has been roundly criticized by the “who killed the EV1” crowd as introducing the Bolt with the intention of somehow “suppressing” sales of the car. but it looks like the GM forecast of 25,000-30,000 might have been an accurate assessment of the market for this car.

1,200 units in january is basically sales to the state of california. california is half of the market for electric vehicles. so the national figure is probably more like 2,000 to 2,500 per month, which corresponds to about 25,000 to 30,000 on an annual basis.

Don’t forget, this is only in two states. They comprise(d) of about 50% of EV sales, so nationwide could mean about 2500. That’ll put it right around 30K cars/yr.

Of course, EV market is growing and at the moment, there’s nothing like Bolt at that price. Sales could sky-rocket. I talked to an acquaintance who has solar, and while he never considered EV before, he is seriously considering Bolt due to “free gas”.


Yep . . . anyone that gets a nice solar system can immediately see how awesome the EV/PV combo is.

Also, when I talk to anyone thinking about doing solar my advice always is “Go big”. If you are going to pull the permits, pull the wiring install the conduits, install the shut-off disconnect, add the breaker to the main box, install an inverter, etc. . . . you might as well build a system big enough to handle future growth such an EV, heat pump, etc. The panels and racking are cheap . . . it is the permits and installation that are expensive.

no comment

i didn’t see your comment and ended up writing a reply to the comment by clarksoncote, which said the same thing that you did.


The sales numbers will be interesting when it’s available in more states. Will it ever crest 3000/mo in 2017???

I”m sticking w/my prediction of 22K for 2017.


Only 22? I think Chevy could eclipse 25K very easily with the Bolt.

I’m thinking 28K – 32K for 2017. 36K – 40K for 2018.


Personally, I don’t think the limiting factor will be demand. It will be supply. Chevy won’t be able to build these fast enough to meet demand. Available batteries is almost certainly a bottleneck but it could be other factors too. I think that’s the main reason why it’s not coming to the UK because in doing so, it would need to create a RHD version which would be unnecessary cost given they can’t meet the demand in LHD regions as it is.


Fair enough, although I don’t think it will limit them to only 22,000 personally.

If the Bolt sells only 22K then I would think other factors would likely be involved. Aka economic downturn, sudden removal of tax credits, or unexpectedly low demand.

Although to be fair I’m sure Chevy will be sending at least a few thousand to other countries by the end of the year so that may cut into US sales.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

Mil said:
“Available batteries is almost certainly a bottleneck. . .”

I believe LG Chem has a mostly idle, brand new, battery factory in China that could easily supply batteries if Bolt sales went gangbusters.


Yeh Mil,
I keep hearing this battery constraint business for so long i’m sick of it. So far i haven’t heard any substantiation of it. It sounds like anti GM troll crapola.

Scott Franco

The batteries are demand limited.


So are the tires, radio, hell even the windshield wipers. Maybe it’s time to start harping on those things 😀

Scott Franco

What the hell are you talking about? Did you understand what I said?


Hey sven,
I thought the chinese government was putting the brakes on other companies than byd..

Only the subsidies. However, China has special contempt for South Korea due to THAAD anti-missile defense system. With North Korea threatening with nuke missiles, SK + US put anti-missile system in South Korea which the China sees as threat against China.

Of course, China could clamp down on NK, but they won’t due to their fear of influx of NK refugees under more unstable government.


GM with Bolt might get into trouble relative to Tesla, if D.T. really imposes a 35% import tax. Either cost / price for the Bolt would explode or production of batteries and powertrains (I believe are imported as well), would need to be produced in the U.S. leading to limited supply for some time and higher production cost. Could mean Bolt becomes uncompetitive and unsustainable for GM at least in the US. Go D.T, go (away).

Ray Cardona

I am not worried as to the tax by DT. He is in deep trouble already and my ESP tells me the GOP is gathering evidence to force him to resign or to impeach his sorry yellow head. As more Bolts hit the road and reports fall in at to over 200 + miles of range the EV illuminati shall buy it. Past “dream team” of a Leaf and a Volt in the garage shall change to Bolt/Volt combo. Two excellent EV’s for the price of the less expensive Tesla.


I believe that Trump’s proposed 35% import tariff applies only to Mexico. He can do this more or less unilaterally because of odd tariff laws from what I understand.

For the Bolt, the battery production is currently done in South Korea. And the vehicle itself is produced in the US. So I don’t *think* it would be subject to a significant tariff or border tax. But who knows when Trump will get bored with picking on Mexico and want to lash out at someone else.

If the tax laws change significantly, LG Chem could move their battery production to their Michigan plant at least. Spark EV, Pacifica Hybrid and Volt battery manufacturing happens there.

He has discussed a “border tax” for any other imported goods as well. But not in detail. He has also discussed a 20% tax on all mexican goods in order to pay for his wall. He has also said he wants to tax specific American brands and/or products that were previously produced in the US but no longer are. Talk about the government “picking and choosing” winners. But from what I have read he does not have the authority to do any of this.

no comment

trump can impose a 35% import tariff on mexico unilaterally, you state? oh really?!?! is that before or after the US pulls out of NAFTA?

trump is about making provocative statements. he doesn’t think any of this stuff through to determine whether it’s legal or not. it is *really* dangerous to have a president who doesn’t care about the law.


I imagine that if Trump did decide to put a 35% Tariff on Mexico, it would be *before* killing NAFTA. But only because leaving NAFTA requires a 6 month waiting period.

You are right that it’s dangerous to have a President with no disregard for the law. But even more dangerous is the fact that many of the things he does want to do *are* within the bounds of the law.

“But Trump has significant authority to unilaterally hit any country with a tariff. He doesn’t need a green light from Congress, according to the Peterson Institute of International Economics.

“A president who wants to restrict trade enjoys almost carte blanche authority,” says Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a trade expert at Peterson.”

“Would he even have the power to scrap it on his own? Turns out presidents do have that power and don’t need Congress. NAFTA’s Article 2205, which Trump cited in his speech last week in Pittsburgh, is only 34 words and simply says that a party may withdraw from the agreement six months after it provides written notice.”

no comment

keep in mind that under the US constitution, ratified treaties become the law of the land. so NAFTA is the law of the land in the US. furthermore, there are dispute resolution provisions in NAFTA, so if trump were to flout the terms of NAFTA, it would trigger a court that would be heard by a tribunal empowered to resolve such disputes. that’s why i stated the question of whether trump intended to impose these tariffs *before* or *after* exiting NAFTA.

i did watch a bit of the video on NAFTA in one of the articles that you cited. the video missed the real point of NAFTA. the most important provisions of NAFTA were not those related to tariffs. the most important aspects were related to investments; that’s what made it easier for companies to move factories from the US to mexico.

trade agreements are always sold to the “hoi poloi” on the basis of tariff benefits, but the actors who are behind the scenes lobbying for this stuff are invariably more concerned about what the agreements do for mobility of capital (i.e. making it easier to move factories) and intellectual property rights.


“no comment” said:

“keep in mind that under the US constitution, ratified treaties become the law of the land. so NAFTA is the law of the land in the US.”

Well, that’s the theory. Just as the Constitution specifies that:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…

There’s nothing in the Constitution granting the President power over those things. Yet, as noted in articles linked in comments above, the courts have granted the President to unilaterally impose tariffs “during time of war”… without requiring that the country having such tariffs imposed be involved the war in question.

Since the U.S. is now permanently making “war on terror”, this means a tariff can be imposed any time the President wants.

Now, whether or not a ratified treaty would prevent the President from imposing such a tariff on one of the treaty signatories… well, I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t have an informed opinion on the subject. But I doubt that most people expressing opinions on this subject, on this forum, are much better informed.

no comment


there are *seven* articles in the US constitution. you apparently stopped reading at article 1.


@no comment
You’re right that if he did so before officially withdrawing, it would be a huge legal mess. But as you said, Donald Trump does not care much about the law. Just look at what happened with the Attorney General yesterday.

The way I read the article was that as long as he withdrew from NAFTA he could impose his pet tariff. And that because the legal process takes so long, by the time any progress was made the US would be officially out of NAFTA.

But you may be correct that no tariff could go into effect until after the 6th month period.

Also, the video on that article actually has very little to do with the article itself. CNN has a bad habit of posting videos only loosely related to the topic at hand.


“Since the U.S. is now permanently making “war on terror”, this means a tariff can be imposed any time the President wants.”

Ummm… Calling something a “war” and a declaration of war are two very different things. We haven’t had a real war (by constitutional standards) in quite a long time.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

I’m predicting 36,000 sales for the Bolt with fleet sales to municipalities, corporations, and car sharing services giving a big bump to the final sales figure.

I’m also predicting that sometime today General Motors and Honda will announce that they are building a joint fuel cell factory in Michigan.


Why are you predicting that? Based on what?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

That was quick! For the record, I made my prediction minutes before the announcement. LOL!


Haha, should I have cited the articles that discussed the pending release of this news instead? 😉

philip d

This is the real question.

“Officials from GM and Honda declined to say whether the Michigan-made stacks will be on a fully automated line or largely made by hand in small batches.”

Until they are no longer hand crafted they won’t be affordable as a drivetrain.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

Other companies have automated their fuel cell production lines. Ceres Power has automated their fuel cell production and its production line can make a new cell every 3 seconds (as stated @0:57 seconds into the video below). IIRC, these steel solid oxide fuel cells are what powers Nissan’s ethanol fuel-cell vehicle concept that it’s planning to introduce in Brazil.


Maybe you should move to Brazil.

no comment

fuel cell technology has been progressing a lot faster than i thought it would. i was shocked to learn that it is already the case that, on a cost per mile basis, a kg of hydrogen is already competitive with gasoline.


“on a cost per mile basis, a kg of hydrogen is already competitive with gasoline.”

Do you have a citation for this claim?

no comment

The Prius has annual fuel cost of $650 vs the Mirai’s $1,250. So I’d say hydrogen costs right around twice as much as gas in these two very comparable cars.


“no comment” said:

“…i was shocked to learn that it is already the case that, on a cost per mile basis, a kg of hydrogen is already competitive with gasoline.”

Then you shouldn’t at all be shocked to learn that’s complete B.S.

A footnote on the website you linked to says “Annual fuel cost calculated assuming a hydrogen cost of $5.55/kg…”

That’s a substantially subsidized cost. A real-world cost would be between 2x and 3x that cost. Only “hydrogen economy” proponents, blissfully handwaving away practical considerations (including the laws of physics) and real-world economics, claim that the cost of H2 fuel at the dispensing station — and sold at a profit — would ever get as low as $5-6 per kg, or even close to that.

no comment


as is too often the case, you spout off comments without being informed. very good progress is being made in reducing the cost of hydrogen. the $5/kg figure for hydrogen can be found on numerous government websites including and the $5/kg figure includes $2/kg for storage and dispensing.

if by “subsidized” you are referring to tax credits for wind power projects for hydrogen generation, well, the reality is that zero emission automobiles are subsidized in general. for there to be a national network of fast charging stations for BEVs, they will have to be “subsidized”. you can’t condemn the subsidies that you don’t like while ignoring the subsidies that you do like.


That is not news. It’s just another boondoggle at the taxpayers expense.

Mother Nature offers up the best “battery” power.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

GM, Honda, and Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor are holding a news conference today to announce “an important advanced technology announcement” with regards to fuel cells. Last year, GM and Honda announced that they will build a joint fuel cell plant in the future, as reported in the InsideEVs story in the link below.


I assume GM will be using this for their military focused Colorado ZH2?

Unlike Honda, they haven’t given much indication they will be releasing a consumer H2 vehicle anytime soon.


Not a full production one. But they had a number of fuel cell Equinoxes around the same time BMW had the fuel cell 7 series.

Honestly, they’ve made a lot of fuel cell test vehicles over the years. First one was in the 70s I think.


I was not aware of that. Thanks for the links!

Bill Howland

Hi Brian!

NY State residents may be interested in my conversation with a NYSERDA official this afternoon – they are looking at a NON-RETROACTIVE release in April, 2017 of the $2,000 rebate program for EV’s and PHEV’s.

I was told that although APRIL might be ‘missed’, they HAVE to do it and make the program functional BEFORE the next budget since funds were allocated for this program in 2016.


Wow. The article I read last year stated that NYSERDA had until April 2017 to implement the rebate.

They’ve had a whole year, and they’re going to use that up and possibly more? Why is it so hard for them to implement this?


Just in time to be completely irrelevant!

philip d

We will all be waiting for the reply to this question.

“Officials from GM and Honda declined to say whether the Michigan-made stacks will be on a fully automated line or largely made by hand in small batches.”

Someone out there

Nah, they can easily sell way more. I say 44k.


Yes, that was mine too. Seems about right.


That’s all?

I guess it is limited to a few states.

GM is known for “underpromise, over-deliver”, so we’ll see about the final tally.

FWIW, the all-time EV sales record for January is around 1,200 (Leaf from a couple of years ago). If it is above 1,200, that would be enough to set an all-time sales record for January.


No, actually you’re known for saying that about GM.

Really? When the Gen 2 Volt was unveiled, GM said it had a 50 mile EV range….ended up with 53 EPA rated miles.

When the production Bolt was unveiled, GM said it had “200+” miles of range….ended up with 238 EPA rated miles.

But I’m making stuff up. Oooook, Tesla fanboi. Lol


A few occurences does not make a trend.


bro1999 said:

“When the Gen 2 Volt was unveiled, GM said it had a 50 mile EV range….ended up with 53 EPA rated miles.”

When the Gen 1 Volt was unveiled, GM said it had “up to 50 miles” of EV range… ended up with 35 EPA rated miles.

“When the production Bolt was unveiled, GM said it had “200+” miles of range….ended up with 238 EPA rated miles.”

When the production Volt 1.0 was unveiled, GM advertised the absurd claim of “230 MPG”*… in actuality, it got an EPA-estimated 37 miles per gallon of gas.

“But I’m making stuff up. Oooook, Tesla fanboi.”

You certainly are very carefully cherry-picking your facts, and ignoring the “inconvenient” facts. And dude, you’re the only one talking about Tesla here. The conversation is about the Bolt, remember? Hmmm? So you need to get over your obsession with Tesla Motors.

*See photo linked here:

Bill Howland

Will you stop it with the same silly blather all the time? My used 2002 volt for the past 18 months (I’ve owned it 4) was 228 mpg at the time I purchased it (14 months of data), and now at 18 it is at 230 mpg.

I’ve told you this repeatedly, yet you still promote silly lies.

GM has lied in the past over an unrelated issue, but this fact of the amount of gasoline used in typical driving has been proven over and over again to be totally truthful – you just make yourself look like more of a creep by repeating it ad nauseam.

Bill Howland

All you are doing is proving that with certain people, Chevy can’t even advertise a concept with just the slightest complexity to it.
I’ve run into the same thing here when talking about a simple emergency shut off – or any number of subjects where there is the slightest bit of a confluence of issues – those subjects now apparently are off limits here at IEV’s since people like you cannot fathom them, and it cheapens the discussion.

The GM advertisement of the GEN 1 volt’s 230 mpg was accurately meant to advertise to people like me – people who will want to take an educated risk on their products, and will fork over hard earned money for them.

Which of course does NOT apply to you- therefore, such ads are not addressed to you and you are just noise in the way of their corporate communication to potential customers – who are their only real audience.

Bill Howland
Another thing: GM never made a hard promise of a 50 mile GEN 1 volt. They released a concept car years earlier that MAY have had some ideas transfer over to a future (2010) production volt, such as turbo charged 3 cyl, 1000 cc engine, 500 mile combined range, posibility of after market faster charging, etc. The car as it turned out in actuality was just fine. 1). The ‘old fashioned’ 1400 cc engine was in production, and helped solve an Austrian Labor Union issue at the time. Its very reliable, only requires an oil/filter every 2 years (the turbo would have had to have maintenance at least TWICE as often), and it is so diminutive anyway that I’m glad they used it. 2). The production car (2010) had a dinky gas tank so that the car only has a combined range of a bit over 300 miles. 3). The final production car was rated at 35 epa ‘charge depleting’ miles. It is what it was. It is not the ‘camero esque’ concept. It is a very well executed production car which is markedly different from a concept to just showcase ideas. No one is picking on VW for not… Read more »

GM never claimed 50 miles range for the first Volt. They targeted 40 miles and IIRC they didn’t make it, instead settling for 37 miles for a while. They didn’t make their goal of 50mpg (on gas) either. But they never promised those other figures, they were only listed as goals for the concept car.

The 230mpg thing indeed happened. That was probably a dumb claim to make but under the then-existing EPA measurement system that would have been the rating. The EPA wisely changed their measurement system for PHEVs before the car came out, so the Volt never got that rating. Europe still uses a similarly bad system to the old EPA system.

GM stated that Volt customers would likely find themselves getting about 230mpg. That isn’t counting any electricity use. Misleading as it may be it turned out to be almost correct. Volt gen 1 owners frequently see around 200 miles driven per gallon of gas burned.


These gradual roll outs for Volt and now Bolt are “crap” when a redesigned Cruse, Malibu, Impala etc. come to market they are available nation wide from “Day One”.

Just sell the darned things everywhere, the market will decide where you ship the most cars because that’s where the most orders will come from.

I feel this kind of “kid gloves” approach can fuel public perceptions that BEV’s are somehow “not normal” cars,and the buyer need beware, or that the manufacturer is reluctant to get them in the market because of the limited availability and the total lack of ANY advertising.



LG probably need time & demand estimates to ramp up Battery production ?

Toyota tried to do that with the Prius Prime launch.

Have you seen the debacle that has been?


So GM shouldn’t try that then? Maybe it won’t be a debacle!


As someone in Texas, I too would prefer if the Bolt was available here immediately. After all, in pure number of plug ins on the road, Texas is still in the top 5 I believe.

But all EV manufacturers do exactly what you are criticizing Chevy for doing. Including Tesla who has already stated they will start on the West Coast for the Model 3 and make their way eastward over the course of a few months.

It makes good business sense to sell the cars first in the locations where A) Demand is highest and B) Chevy/Tesla can make the most money. Bonus points for EV adoption – it rewards the states which have adopted CARB standards. These states should be rewarded and encouraged to continue their efforts.


Knock that off Wade! Tesla’s NOT doing the same thing as GM and you know it! It’s ‘ad nauseum’ at this point why Tesla’s rolling out the way they are! GM’s rolling out so far from the point of manufacture for quite different reasons. Which makes sense on their part, as they receive quite a hefty replenishment of cost on the car in the states they’re rolling out to first.


Please let me know what exactly I said that you think was incorrect?


You’re very carefully ignoring certain realities in making your argument. Such as the fact that Tesla located its auto assembly plant in California precisely because that’s where the market for EVs is strongest, by far. Like about 50% of the market or even more is in California alone.

Now, that’s not to say that overall you have a bad argument. But pointing out that Tesla Motors does a rollout of every new model almost exactly the same way GM is doing, is an entirely valid point. Your attempt to handwave that away, your refusal to acknowledge a valid and entirely relevant point, doesn’t at all strengthen your argument. In fact, refusing to acknowledge that point merely makes your argument appear to be much weaker, as you’ve switched from argument based on facts to one based on your emotions and your wishes.

I suggest you try again, as you really did have a good argument before you got sidetracked.


Oh is that what he was trying to say? That Tesla only has that roll out because the cars are manufactured in California?

I honestly was having trouble figuring out what he was disagreeing with me on. The rest of his comment was a different way of saying exactly what I said.

In that case, my response to floydboy would have been basically been the same thing you said, so I will let your comment stand in for mine regarding Tesla choosing the Fremont factory.


“These gradual roll outs for Volt and now Bolt are “crap” when a redesigned Cruse, Malibu, Impala etc. come to market they are available nation wide from “Day One”.”

1. It is Cruze.

2. People all over the country buys Cruze, Malibu and Impala. People don’t buy PEVs all over the country. In fact, only about 1/3 of the Chevy Dealers even carry the Bolt.

3. GM is introducing the Bolt to the market that buys 50% of the EVs. So, it is geared toward the place where it sells. Just like Cruze/Malibu/Impala. If there is a market that 50% of those cars are sold, GM would shift to that market first as well on those cars (like releasing pickup trucks in Texas first).


Once it’s nationwide, it could sell 5k a month in H2 assuming battery production not limited !

philip d

I assume you mean Q2. I can’t imagine they would sell hardly any if they made the Bolt run on H2.


I assume he means 2nd half of the year.


H2 = 2nd half of year when it’s available in all states !


Sounds like you all are missing the point.

What will upper managent do if all of a sudden there is more demand than their comfort zone allows? It seems obvious to me management doesnt want to sell too many.

And dont misunderstand me. Im not an anti gm troll. I just have a bone to pick with upper management. Engineering guys are top notch. Unfortunately management calls the shots.


Buyers call the shots do they not ?


Buyers set the demand. Gm management decides on how hard they try to meet the demand

If demand is there, GM will build it. Their main objective is to move as much steel off the lots as possible, be it a BEV or gas guzzling SUV.

Only issue would be if some components are supply limited, like the HV battery. But GM has already stated if 50k people wanted Bolts in 2017, they could produce 50k no problem. And that statement did not even limit production to 50k, merely that 50k orders could be filled if 50k were received.


Well they want to sell as many high margin cars as they can and the bolt is not a high margin car.


But if GM doesn’t fulfill the EV demand, then those customers will just go to a competitor. It’s in GM’s interest to sell the Bolt EV.


Exactly, brand loyalty counts for lot of future sales

I bought my first Chevy (Volt) in 2012.

Since then, I’ve leased or bought 6 more Chevys. All since late 2015 actually.

Yeah, I think that first conquest sale of the Gen 1 Volt to me worked out quite nicely for GM. And I’m far from the only one.

Scott Franco

Yes, but the Bolt currently has no competitor. No other car exists at 50 kWh+ at that price point. Many others promised, but you know what they say about vaporware.


But not too many. They will sell as many as they want in the places they want.


“Their main objective is to move as much steel off the lots as possible, be it a BEV or gas guzzling SUV. ”

Like all companies, GM actually wants to push as many of their high profit margin vehicles as possible. That’s trucks and SUV’s. Not all steel is equal in the eyes of the bean counters who decide what ads to fund. That’s why you see tons of Silverado special edition ads on TV, and not a ton of Bolt ads.

bro1999 said: “If demand is there, GM will build it. Their main objective is to move as much steel off the lots as possible, be it a BEV or gas guzzling SUV.” No, GM’s main objective is to make as much profit as possible on the cars they sell. Since EV currently produce a smaller profit margin than gasmobiles, and likely will for at least a few more years, GM has a strong disincentive to make and sell the Bolt in large numbers. An estimated 30,000-33,000 sales for 2017 is actually pretty high numbers for an EV sold almost entirely in the U.S./Canadian market only. That will almost certainly put it into the top 3 on InsidEVs’ sales charts for 2017; possibly even the very best seller in the North American market, altho the Prius Prime will be hard to beat. But some gasmobiles sell several times that number every year. I personally think, and predict, that there will be higher demand for the Bolt than GM will to produce. We will know that’s true if most of the dealers authorized to carry the Bolt are sold out much or most of the time during the year. That’s the easy… Read more »

That’s very true, but GM won’t be the only game in town for long ?

no comment

unlike you, GM has actual experience in trying to sell an electric vehicle. sales of the Volt were short of what they had forecast. so there seems to be little evidence to support your assertion that GM is somehow trying to “suppress” sales.

gradual roll out as a well known marketing approach with product introductions that incorporate new attributes. it is used to ease the burdens when new demands are placed on manufacturing and support. if the demand is there, it will not likely disappear in a few months. if it did, the demand would be so unstable as to make market forecasting very difficult.


Why would management be uncomfortable with selling more cars?

You may not think you’re an anti-GM troll but you talk like one.

GM already said they can produce more than the planned 30,000 if demand would support it. And I can’t see how GM would be afraid to try to get a strong lead in the affordable EV market before Tesla can get their offering ready.


“You may not think you’re an anti-GM troll but you talk like one.”

You don’t have clue my friend. Ive spent more time and money promoting gm’s volt than you know.


It doesn’t matter how much time you spend promoting the Volt.

I said you talk like an anti-GM troll and you do. You assume something no one at GM has said and then you act upon that assumption to condemn the company.

no comment

i think that it is incorrect to refer to georges as a “GM troll”. i think that it’s more the case that he has a perspective; one that seems a bit more “technology aware” and a bit less “business aware”.


“Ive spent more time and money promoting gm’s volt than you know”

Because you owned one at the time… But you have been a constant critic of GM’s Bolt and its release since you owned a Model S now…

I think that is a bit unfair in many of your so called “bashing” of the Bolt.


@GeorgeS. It’s pointless to argue, but you will find that out for yourself, I’m sure.


unlucky said:

“You may not think you’re an anti-GM troll but you talk like one.”

No, definitely not. The problem here, Unlucky, is your unfortunate tendency toward complete intolerance, and all too often contempt, toward anyone expressing opinions which happen to be different than yours. That makes you the troll, dude.

Try being a bit more open-minded. Who knows? You might actually learn something.


I don’t need lectures on open mindedness from the guy who only knows the River Rouge method of production and will hear nothing else.

He is talking like an anti-GM troll, even if he doesn’t consider himself one.

Someone out there

What kind of management would not like to recoup their investments? That management should be fired on the spot!

Damocles Axe

The disturbing thing is that GM has not made Batteries, Motors, and Drive Electronics part of their “core competency”; they buy from LG Chem instead.

I can see why a CEO would rather sell cars with engines made in their own engine plants using their own patents rather than buying from a vendor.

At this point it may be easier for LG to build the rest of the car than for GM to build motors and batteries!


I don’t know if that is true or not. I think maybe final assembly and delivery is harder than you think.

But interesting note, the instructions under the hood for emergency responders on how to disconnect the power are written in 4 languages. And one of them is Korean.

So maybe GM will build some at the Daewoo plants in Korea or maybe they’ll ship some over. But either way they seem to have some ideas to test that market.

instant tq

whoa that’s such a bloat talk. GM developes electric motors for more than 20 years already starting from EV1, and the motor they put in the Bolt is a pinnacle of their experience.
Same goes for battery tech which they started developing for the Volt in 2006. LG Chem can only be credited for the technology of mass production of cells, but not for how the battery should perform in the vehicle and what specs it should have. For the latter, GM created a special battery lab when they started with Volt program, and that impressive battery we see right now in Bolt is a result of GM research work for last 10 years.
It insults me everytime I see “its LG Bolt”. You simply can’t appreciate what GM have done.

By the way Tesla does the same thing, they develop the battery back and cells, while Panasonic is responsible just for stamping sufficient amount of copies.

instant tq said: “LG Chem can only be credited for the technology of mass production of cells, but not for how the battery should perform in the vehicle and what specs it should have… “It insults me everytime I see ‘its LG Bolt’. You simply can’t appreciate what GM have done.” You’ve gone just as far, equally too far, in the other direction as those who claim it’s the “LG Bolt”. You give LG Electronics far too little credit for developing the Bolt powertrain. I find it strange, very strange, so see so many posts (not just in this one discussion thread, by any means) claiming that either LG developed the entire powertrain for the Bolt with little or no input from GM, or that GM issued such detailed instructions to LG for building the Bolt powertrain that it’s like LG is using a paint-by-numbers kit, with very little or no creative input at all. The reality, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with much common sense, is that the Bolt powertrain was developed as a collaboration between GM and LG Electronics: In South Korea, LG Electronics is investing more than $250 million in a Korean facility to… Read more »
Texas FFE

If GM continues to produce 100 Bolts a day then that’s only about 2,000 Bolts a month or about 25,000 Bolts a year. considering California only has a 40% market share on EVs then 1,200 Bolts would correlate to full country wide sales of 3,000 a month or 36,000 per year. It’s still too early to make any realistic demand projections but it already looks like GM is going to have to increase production to keep up with demand.

The goal for 2017 was previously stated to be 30 per hour/240 per day/5,200 per month. That is assuming one 8 hour shift. That also includes Canadian and Europe sales. But the bulk will still be for the US.

Last report I saw from a month or 2 ago was the Orion factory was pumping out about 13 Bolts per hour. The production rate could easily be higher than that now.

Then the question is why not make that many? Are they not sold out? From the level of interest of people, I thought Bolt would be sold for many months even if GM pump out at full capacity. It doesn’t seem that’s the case, so the demand may not be there.


There’s a reason it’s called “ramping up” production.

Tesla made less than 30 Model Xs in their first month of production. And that wasn’t even their first car.

When beginning production you have to get you and all your suppliers to ramp up. It takes time. Don’t sweat it.

We’ll see if demand is there or not. I’m starting to wonder myself if perhaps demand is softer than I thought. Although people seem to love the car. I sold one friend one already (he already got his too) and today I had another friend express interest and even begin considering the logistics of charging it at his apartment so maybe he’ll think of getting one also. So perhaps demand will begin to increase, even from unexpected places.


Jan/Feb aren’t prime car sales months, especially with limited markets. I would expect numbers to increase as spring/summer comes with more markets opening up.


Exactly. We need to wait at least until March sales figures are in, before we can make a realistic estimation of what the annual sales will be for the Bolt.

And remember, the bottleneck in production isn’t GM’s assembly line. It may be LG Chem’s battery cell production, or it may be the ability of LG Electronics’ brand-new automotive division to crank out drivetrains. Likely that brand new division is going to have some problems with cranking production up to meet GM’s needs.

More FUD by PuPu regarding LG unable to keep up. If it’s supply constrained, Bolt would be sold out. As many others have mentioned, there are roughly 1200 available that are not yet sold. That means only 2/3 of production have been sold.

With all the hoopla surrounding Bolt, I would’ve thought the demand would be far stronger like SparkEV. When GM announced $1000 cut in SparkEV price mid 2015, which the mainstream media picked up, they promptly sold out of their stock for the rest of the year.

Not selling out Bolt, COTY in many publications, seems underwhelming especially since 1200 is only about half the Volt sales of past several months.


Looks like they are in trouble if they are barely cracking the 1k mark in USA.


Which means counter to your previous loud and continuous claims they have not been making 100 a day.

Texas FFE

What??? GM has been producing 100 Bolts a day since day one. The Bolts didn’t start coming out of QC until the middle of December. So six weeks at 500 a week is 3,000 Bolts delivered so far.

There have been 1800 sold so far and according to Autotrader there are another 1200+ available for sale. The numbers seem to add up pretty good. Why are you so down on the numbers?


I agree with Kdawg and others regarding modest sales for 2017. Indeed, I actually see a repeat of the Volt 2.0 sales curve. We EV nerds are all excited, but most folks are either oblivious or just “meh”. Baby steps still even after years of Volt and Leaf sales…


There is an “S” curve for adoption of new things- it starts out slowly, then really starts to accelerate.

Perhaps the Bolt will be a turning point car, maybe not.

For EVs, people don’t know how great they are, and the long term differences are still unknown.

That’s why I think adoption is going slowly.

For example, we think that maintenance costs will be sharply lower, but will they really? Will the electronics hold up? If not, that will be expensive, and your local dealer will be the only place that can fix them.

A friend went for a ride with me and was happily surprised that after the rebates that the car price was about US$30K for what you get.


January is a tough month, I don’t think this will be “full-speed GM” measurements until April/May. I also believe the Bolt demand is in the 1%-10% range of the Model III demand, so 4,000 to 40,000 pre-orders.
Glad to see the Bolt is getting up on the scorecard like this.


The difference is GM is selling Bolt EV’s – not preorders. This is very important and can not be understated. Each positive review of the Bolt EV increases the likelihood someone buys a Bolt and holds their Model 3 reservation. Now imagine GM announces a Buick Electra, Cadillac X or GMC Y with availability in a couple of years. That purchase of a Model 3 might never happen.

Damocles Axe

The Bolt seems to be a solid car. It seems likely, however, that they will advertise it as little as they have the Volt.

I don’t believe Detroit will get serious about producing EVs in 100K+ quantities unless/until they build their own Battery GigaFactory.

Scott Franco

The Bolt is a very different car and will, in the long run, have a sales curve unique to it. It is a Tesla copy, but it isn’t. They clearly gave up on their approach to batteries (Volt center pack, Spark rear pack) to embrace the Telsa underbody model. But from there it is very different. Minimal weight cuts/aluminum (from their standard cars), a continuation/refinement of the front wheel drive transaxle with unitary planetary gears, and finally a simple mainstream hatchback design.

This is why the Bolt will be unique even after the M3 arrives. Perhaps more importantly, GM has a clear road with the Bolt to manufacturing cost reductions.


GM made much of their weight cuts (what there are of them) using high strength steel instead of aluminum. So not having aluminum everywhere isn’t necessarily an issue.

Do you think the Model 3 will use a lot of aluminum? Tesla hasn’t said so and they are trying to keep costs down so I think it won’t. It won’t have an aluminum unibody I expect. I don’t really see any reason to think the Model 3 won’t actually be heavier than the Bolt. It’s a much bigger car and even with aluminum Tesla has only made porkers so far.


They are already said it will be mostly steel, not aluminum.


I’ve heard steel unibody, with aluminum body panels, and aluminum suspension arms. But I don’t have an authoritative source to confirm. We’ll see.

Scott Franco

Sure, but I am guessing that HSS [1] is generally deployed in GM cars by now. The steel industry responded to the growing trend in AL and plastics by pushing reformulated steels (this was a WSJ story some time back).

[1] Yes, HSS works, but is a very unfortunate acronym, since it formerly meant “High Speed Steel” in metalworking circles.

Scott Franco

I guess I should add for some of the IQ challenged folks here (not you of course) that the reason HSS reduces weight is that you can use less steel if it is stronger [1].

[1] Or alternately stupid people can just stop jumping on my posts. Not holding my breath. Flame on kids, of course.


GM has been using HSS and UHSS since at least 2010. The first generation Volt even had UHSS.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

Note that for the doors, hood, and trunk Tesla can use a combination of aluminum for the inner portion and steel for the outer portion.

To keep costs down (material and assembly) while still reducing weight, the upcoming next generation JL Jeep Wrangler will use aluminum inners and steel outers for the doors, while the hood will have aluminum for both the inner and outer portions. The rest of the body will apparently be made of steel.


In 2002 GM publicly released the skateboard design as prat of its Hy-Wire concept. So Tesla borrowed from GM, not the other way around.

Also GM did not abandon its approach to adopt Tesla’s design. Placement of the battery depends on several factors including the chemistry and what other power train components need to be packaged. AFAIK GM has put the battery in a tunnel in the middle of the car, under the back seat, behind the back seat, and on the floor (skateboard). It just uses what makes the most sense for a given power train, and the skateboard design won’t work if you also have a generator that requires an exhaust system.

John Norris

DonC, I remember a Wired article in 2002 talking about the skateboard concept.

GM let the water slip through their fingers until 2016?


re: GM battery pack development. For the Gen 1 Volt, GM borrowed as much of their existing in-house design as possible. The Tee-shaped pack with tunnel was already well-understood from their EV1 project. Volt also used the existing GM Delta II platform for a lot of other parts and sub-systems.

The Spark EV was an retail test EV to explore design concepts that were refined for the Bolt project. It was expedient to use Volt-style battery modules from LG which could share a lot of parts with the Volt packs.

Bolt EV was a clean-sheet design with an all-new platform and allowed GM to optimize pack design to work with an EV-specific platform.

no comment

i’m not sure that a skateboard approach works very well with a PHEV because you would have to design around a gas tank and fuel lines running from back to front.


The i3 REx combines a floor-mounted battery with a small range extender and gas tank, so it’s been done.

no comment

there are some *big* differences between the chevy Volt and the BMW i3 Rex. in the Volt, the gas tank is 4 times larger, and the engine is larger also. in the Volt, the engine is in the front and the gas tank is in the rear. in the i3 Rex both the engine and gas tank are in the rear *behind* the battery.

so while you are correct, BMW did live with the limitations of trying to design a range extender along with a skateboard battery layout. the result was a car that is less flexible than is the Volt. the i3 Rex is pretty much of a metro area (or “radius”) car, where the Volt is a car that allows you to go where you want to go, when you want to go there. i know this because i have taken a trip where i drove 750 each way in the Volt.


The Outback PHEV has a flat battery pack under the floor; see image linked below.

GM could have done the same for the Volt from the start, if GM had designed it from the ground up. But the Volt was cobbled together, a mashup of part ICEV and part EV, with that awkward compromise of the hump in the middle of the floor. Built to a design that saved development costs, at the expense of an awkward interior layout.

GM’s design of the Voltec drivetrain was brilliant. The overall layout of the car… far less so. The tunnel/hump in the floor restricts rear seating room, which is one of the reasons the car has not sold better.

no comment
just out of curiosity: what is the height of the outlander versus the height of the Volt? what is the size of the battery in the outlander versus the size of the battery in the Volt? it seems to me if you are going to put the engine in front and the gas tank in the rear, there has to be room for the fuel line to get from the rear to the front. if i were designing a car, i don’t think that i would want to put a fuel line on top of a bank of batteries, so i would have to make room for the fuel line to go around the batteries. so if i am going to put the batteries in the floor, the arrangement can’t go all the way across the car chassis. so, i either have to reduce battery capacity or stack the batteries higher, meaning that the car will have to be higher. alternatively, i could put the batteries in a center tunnel. that’s not to say that what i am describing is the only way to lay out a battery pack, or even the best or “right” way to do it. this… Read more »
MTN Ranger

I agree. The Outlander PHEV is much taller (and wider and longer) than the Volt. If the Volt had a flat battery pack it would be much different. It would be a CUV-like, as is the Bolt EV.

Putting the battery in the floor raises the floor by many inches. This hurts interior space, especially in the back. You can see this in action in the enormous Teslas with limited interior space. You can see it in the i3 and the Bolt also, where the bolt opens up a lot of interior space by lowering the floor about 1.5″ versus the i3 even though it has the same roof height. I’m not saying the Volt layout couldn’t be improved. But same as you I think that putting the batteries in the T made a lot of sense because of the ability to share so much design with the Cruze. Putting the batteries under the floor would have shattered that and maybe killed the whole project. The T might have been the only realistic option for GM’s first mainstream PHEV/EV. And if someone wants to point to that as GM being unwilling to commit to the car then you’re probably right. But also realize it’s not really different than anyone else. The Model S was the first from the ground up EV or PHEV (barring the earlier generation of the EV1) and the BMW i3 was the 2nd. The… Read more »

Yes, the REx has limitations, but in it’s latest iteration, with 97 mile electric range and 83 mile gas range, you can go almost anywhere with it. While stopping every 45-60 minutes for a gas fill-up isn’t ideal, it doesn’t slow the trip down all that much and it’s actually recommended to stop and stretch your legs every hour for health anyway.

The REx accomplishes that with a sub-compact foot-print only 157″ long compared to the Volt’s 180″ length. The extra 2 feet of length could certainly accommodate a larger gas tank. It’s true that putting the batteries in the floor-board would probably raise the height of the Volt by a couple inches.

The REx has the electric motor and ICE in the rear of the car, but I see no reason you couldn’t split those up to put the electric motor in the front and the ICE and fuel tank in the rear – that way you don’t need to run fuel lines or exhaust from front to back, just electric.


The BMW i3 Rex is more expensive than the Bolt (by a hefty amount) and has less range (EV + Gas) than the Bolt EV has in all-electric range.

At that point, if you’re going to stop to fill a small gas tank every 80 miles, why not DCFC a Bolt EV instead?


Time to refill 2 gallons of gas vs a 40% recharge on the Bolt favors the gasoline by a long shot.


Not to mention that CCS fast chargers are pretty much non-existent in much of the country.

Scott Franco

I’ll be shocked if this does not generate a HFW (huge flame war).


GM didn’t avoid use of the skateboard design in the Volt because the mashup of part EV, part ICEV conversion worked better, in any sense.

GM used the cobbled-together, mashup design for the Volt so they could use the front end of the Cruze, and other existing parts, when building the Volt.

Yes, GM does deserve credit for developing the concept of the skateboard, drive-by-wire car. But then, Kodak invented the digital camera, too. They just didn’t do anything with it. And GM didn’t make any attempt to put a skateboard design into production until well after Tesla started producing the Model S.


Anyone looking to buy a Bolt, here’s one stealership that appears to not have the absurd markups others have…..
and no, i’m not a Bolt fan or GM fan!
Just hoping Model 3 line holders jumps out of line. 😛


Im only aware of 1 dealership that put a $5k adder on the Bolt EV. There was an article here about it. The rest were at MSRP or below.


Yeah but nobody posted any of them so how would anyone know where to go…….lol

Yeah, I’m trying to thin out the M3 line for my personal gain to get “Ups” in the line.

Go getem peeps!!!


I envision a cartoon with a guy hanging in the kitchen, with little strings around the necks of the little yellow chickens, hung up too.
Caption: ” Hanging with my peeps.”

Texas FFE

Well, they could always check on or There are over 1200 Chevrolet Bolt EVs listed on AutoTrader and most listings show MSRP in addition to the asking price. I used AutoTrader to help me with my last three car purchases.


Those are the two options worth having, at least for me.


Most dealers don’t have markups. Not sure what you’re trying to create here.

I paid no markup and two other dealers near me are actually dealing some.


Post a pic of the sticker or it didn’t happen.

I posted a pic and I don’t even want one.


It happened. No picture needed. Not everything is defined by whether Trollnonmous saw it or not.

The usual suspects (Rydell, Keyes, Dublin, Fremont) are currently advertising Bolt lease deals that are better than the factory lease deal. I suspect for folks that want to buy instead of lease, they shouldn’t have a problem negotiating something around $1K to $2K off MSRP.

Trollnonymous –

Just read your response to unlucky. I share your desire for facts and data. So, in that vein, I have links to these dealers’ offers here:


I would have expected 2000+ this month due to pent-up demand (heck they sold over 500 in a week in December!) 1200 would be very disappointing. I’m a M3 reservation holder – and I’m not considering the Bolt — and I would assume most others are in the same boat.

Texas FFE

Production, availability and delivery are still constrained. We should see numbers increase as availability occurs in addition states and GM ramps up production to meet demand. i agree GM is being very cautious with production but as EVs go the Bolt is doing very well.


895 for sale on as of this morning. I’ve been seeing this number increase as the more dealers receive their cars.

Ocean Railroader

I think the Bolt will sell anywhere from 1200 to 2500 in January.

I think the biggest factor is if the Bolts will be in stock on the lot. I also think something like the bolt needs to have a demo model for people to drive a little bit.


Agreed. I was lucky to be able to sit in one but I couldn’t drive it as it was already sold to a customer.

You can drive them at a test drive event but those are a pain to go to. I am sure they will have demo cars in the future, it’s just a matter of when.

Scott Franco

The local dealers in San Jose (Silicon Valley) are flooded with them.

Texas FFE

I think the Bolt EV is going to be a huge seller in Colorado. Colorado has a $6,000 income tax credit on EVs right now. We might see sales numbers double once the Bolt becomes available in Colorado.

no comment

i suspect that what colorado is doing is giving an up to $6,000 rebate, which is what most states do. i don’t know that a lot of people pay more than $6,000 in state income taxes.

Texas FFE

It’s an income tax credit, not a rebate. The Bolt EV is eligible for the full $6,000 but the catch is that you have to actually pay income tax to Colorado.

For 2017, the Colorado $6,000 dollar tax credit (refund) has been changed to a Point of Sale credit. That means instead of having to wait until you get your taxes back, you get to take the credit right off of the price right at the dealership when you buy the car. This cuts how much you pay in sales taxes on the car, and reduces the amount of interest you pay over the life of the car. Because of these savings, the incentive was reduced to $5000 for a purchase, and $2500 for a lease (lease must be at least 2 years). Depending on your credit rating, local tax district, and your cost of opportunity for tying up $5K in cash waiting for a refund, you may actually save more under the new system, even with the incentive being $1K less than it was before. It also has the major benefit of allowing more people to be able to qualify for buying an EV. Because the loan payments will start out lower right from the beginning. A lot of people who couldn’t afford to carry the $6K until they got a tax refund will now be able to afford to… Read more »
no comment

that sounds like a much better plan. you would have to have an income well over $100,000 to be able to get benefit of the full $6,000 amount as a tax credit. in fact, the new colorado plan sounds better than a rebate. with a rebate, you have to send in paperwork to the state and wait to receive your rebate check.


So as a California resident can I get the $5k off if I head out to CO to pick one up? 🙂

Texas FFE

I just called a dealer in Colorado, one that already sells a lot of Volts. I asked them about the assignable tax credit and they had no clue what I was talking about. If you know of a Chevrolet dealer in Colorado that knows something about the assignable tax credit please post the dealers name.


They expect to sell every one they make.