General Motors Can Make 50,000 Chevrolet Bolts Per Year

JAN 19 2016 BY MARK KANE 146

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors is confident in the success of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

GM stressed that Bolt EV is not a compliance car and that annual sales could eventually exceed 50,000.

According to, GM and LG Chem will be ready to deliver more than the anticipated 20,000-30,000 Bolt EVs, provided demand exists:

“Since last year rumors have perpetuated a notion that GM and supply partner LG Chem have production capacity of only 20,000-30,000 Bolt EVs per year, but this is not true, said Kevin Kelly, manager, Electrification and Fuel Cell Technology Communications.”

“There is nothing constraining us from doing that,” said Kelly when asked how Chevrolet might handle a potential deluge of 50,000 orders that would far surpass conservative analyst projections for the Bolt’s first year of sales.”

The “rumors” of course were via the same source (2 of GM’s own parts suppliers) that first confirmed the Bolt EV into production (before GM), named the location of the production (Orion facility-before GM), when it would go into production (~October of 2016) and that a European version would be built alongside (Opel-before GM did)…all of which turned out to be valid.  The only remaining forecast not yet confirmed?  The 25,000-30,000 planned capacity run.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt At NAIAS: (InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney)

2017 Chevrolet Bolt At NAIAS: (InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney)

Our take on this is that it is still good news (via Kevin Kelly’s statement) that GM is willing to expand capacity to fill demand of 50,000 Bolt EVs should it reach that high.

However by reading between the lines of the statement, our take is that GM will test initial demand before allocating a 50,000 vehicle run rate, and that initial production capacity will still be set at about 2,000-2,500 units per month out of the gate.  You do have to start somewhere right?

With managerial decision on whether or not to up capacity out of the way, the only major thing GM would need to do to fill those excess orders would be to wait out the lead time to accommodate more parts from suppliers, and of course more e-drivetrain components from LG Chem (including battery cells).

Those lead times, in “EV-speak”, generally take about 6-8 months to significantly upwardly adjust production once a decision is made to do so.

Chevrolet Volt Interior (InsideEVs/Paul Raszewski)

Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior (InsideEVs/Paul Raszewski)

The 60 kWh battery pack for 200 miles range translates to 1.5 GWh of batteries at 25,000 and 3 GWh at 50,000 sales. That’s a lot of cells.

Many of us are curious about how well the Bolt EV will sell. It’s a solid car with long range and a high power motor, so at around $30,000 after tax credit, we think sales could exceed the current Nissan LEAF.  25,000 or more in the first full year would not surprise us, provided that GM markets it and actually tries to sell it.


Categories: Chevrolet


Leave a Reply

146 Comments on "General Motors Can Make 50,000 Chevrolet Bolts Per Year"

newest oldest most voted

Why so so few?

$1.75 gasoline and most car buyers lack vision.

Sad, but true!

And don’t forget it’s currently 5,75$ in NL and most of the EU, because taxes.

Don’t forget electricity is also something like 0.30 EUR/kWh in Western Europe, and most people in cities don’t have their own garages or personal parking places with outlet access. Not every country their have as generous gifts from taxpayer money for electric cars as Norway. It should sell well in Norway though if price tag will be on par with US version.

But if I’m paying the bills I judge the difference not by proportion, but by how much money I have remaining afterward. Since I’m paying 15 cents kw/h now in Houston, and regular gas is $1.69 a gallon, I expect a Bolt-sized gas car to cost 6 cents a mile to power in the city and the Bolt itself to cost 3 cents (emphasis on in the city). But with the European prices you’re talking about, I’m looking at 20 cents for gas and 6 for an electric. A gap of 14 cents a mile is a lot more than 3 cents. If I drove 14,000 miles a year (which I don’t) that would be $2000.

Well, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy may have that high cost, pricey electricity, discouraging electric car sales, but France is somewhere around 16 – 17 cents ($USD) / kwh. (The added cost of the majority Nuclear Powered Generation is subsidized to the rate payer – whereas in the ‘states’ areas with large Nuclear Power percentages are the more pricey). Nobody admits it, but over in Southern Ontario, Canada, which used to have dirt-cheap electricity (about 1/2 to 1/3 what Buffalo NY used to have), now has increasingly pricey electricity, around $CDN 17 cents/kwh and I’d guess its due to their huge, very expensive CANDU Nuclear Installations. Of course, they’ve shut down their most inexpensive plants. The downside of this policy, (besides incredibly lucrative solar electricity buy-backs – first 80 cents/kwh, and now in the 30’s – at my house my utility gives me 3 1/2 cents/ kwh for the solar by comparison), is that more and more Industries are closing up shop in Ontario, a big cause being the now pricey electricity. So Renault should continue to do well with their ZOE in France. They tell me a substantial percentage of French households heat electrically, so since each individual household has… Read more »

I live in Norway and electricity is 4 (summer) to 8 (winter) cents/kWh and gas is around $6 per gallon.
Gas cars are taxed around 100% (doubling their price) and electric cars are not taxed.
No wonder why electric cars have been popular in Norway..

Bobakka, thanks for the information.

How does your very cheap electricity price compare with the price for Natural Gas (substantially Methane)?
(I mean in a comparison with price per kwh of heat content – a fair comparison since watts and time are both Metric measurements).

In my area of the states, the marginal delivered cost of the gas to my home has of late been $US 0,015 per kwh, or as we’d say here 1 1/2 cents versus 11-12 cents for the electricity.

Since you are in Houston you should contact Energy Ogre. I’m paying 4 cents per kWh.

Because GM doesn’t have a factory for its own batteries.

I think they could sell 200k cars in 2017 if they market it well. Easy!

Sadly most people don’t even know this car exists, don’t understand what an accomplishment a 200mile EV for $30K is, don’t grasp the meaning of refueling in your garage/driveway every night, don’t realize that in many areas there is already public charging if you need to exceed your range (not often!), don’t get that these cars are almost zero maintenance. It’s just so radically different than ICE.

Most people just don’t care about accomplishments whatever great they may look to fans. Why should they? 200 miles? OK, but any gas car can do 300-500 and why should it matter if you can refuel in 3 minutes on every corner? Many charging places? Try to compare it to gas stations and how long does it take and how much your time costs :/ Maintenance? I know some EV advocates didn’t changed their talking points since EV1 times and still talk about “cleaning carburetor”, but please try to get an idea how current cars work. You rotate tires every 6 months for few dollars until you get bored of it, change synthetic oil every 12 months (or a more frequently if you make a lot of miles) for $30 maybe, or for free if your automakers pays for initial maintenance. Filters may need change some years later and cost few dollars. Platinum or iridium spark plugs may not require change for 100,000 miles, forget it.

It’s true that maintenance isn’t a big issue on gas cars that get replaced with new cars every few years.

However try maintaining a 10+ year old gas car. There is no magic bullet to stop all those various rubber seals in the engine from wearing out. How long does an automatic transmission last?

Recharging overnight in a private garage is definitely better than any gas station experience. Add in that half the country has to refuel in bitter cold for ~4 months per year at home charging it looks even better.

My 2008 Focus has a range of only 200 miles in the city. The old Cadillac I had before that only had a 17 gallon tank, for some reason, and it wasn’t much better. I suspect that in the real world many gas cars often fall well short of EPA figures, but we owners adapt.

Right — they need another 0 at the end like Tesla has for the Model III

not a compliance car
I have heard that phrase posted often by people who do not know what they are talking about.

Yeah SJC the Clowns here provide the comic relief.
I’ve confirmed from my source that the base level BOLT will have the 7.2 KW charger, and CCS will be optional.

Whether by trim-level or stand-alone option wasn’t specified.

It seems like every time an EV does not sell like a LEAF, the comment is “just a compliance car” with NO substantiation what so ever.

If they sell it everywhere, and that includes all other states in the US and more then 3 countries in the EU i’d reckon it isn’t a compliance car.

You can buy a Nissan Leaf at any dealer in NL, but you can’t buy a Kia Soul EV at any dealer in NL.

The choices these car makers make, I have no idea.

I don’t even know what compliance car means

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) has mandated that, for all auto makers who want to sell new cars in the State of California, they must offer a zero-emission or low-emission vehicle. A few other States of the USA have also adopted the CARB standard, so it’s not just for California anymore. Strictly speaking, a “California compliance car”, or just “compliance car”, is a car which, at least supposedly, is designed and sold merely to satisfy, or comply with, the CARB mandate for a low-emission car. However, the term “compliance car” is often used in a looser sense, to mean any electric vehicle (or zero-emission vehicle) sold in very low numbers; perhaps a good cutoff would be less than 500 per month. You’ll see some argument over what is or isn’t a compliance car, because different people use the term to mean different things. For example, some argue that if a car is offered outside the few CARB States, then it’s not a compliance car. (I don’t agree; just because an auto maker decides to offer a small number of compliance cars outside the CARB States, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t designed to be a compliance car. But obviously no… Read more »

In my blog, I describe compliance car. As you stated long ago, it’s because they cost more to build than sell, and limiting sales is a good thing.

But a car that sells for less in non-compliance area (eg. SparkEV in Mexico) wouldn’t cost more to build than sell. As such, I wouldn’t call all limited availability cars as compliance cars.

There’s only one EV that’s strictly compliance, and that’s Fiat 500e. Expanding to few other states that have CARB co-op, it could include eGolf. But SparkEV, SoulEV, and such are sold in areas that do not require compliance, such as Canada, Korea, Europe.

Now those non-compliance, limited availability cars are typically sold in areas that provide government incentives (except SparkEV in Mexico). But lumping them in with true compliance car like 500e is wrong.

It’s like calling Plugin Prius an EV; yes, insideevs does it in sales report, but calling 11 miles electric range with 400 miles gas range an EV is just wrong. A different term should be used to distinguish true compliance cars from limited availability cars.

SparkEV said: “In my blog, I describe compliance car. As you stated long ago, it’s because they cost more to build than sell, and limiting sales is a good thing.” I think you’re mis-characterizing what I said, and you’ve got the tail wagging the dog. The fact that such cars cost more to make than they can be sold for, is a consequence of them being compliance cars; that’s not why the label “compliance car” is applied to them. “But a car that sells for less in non-compliance area (eg. SparkEV in Mexico) wouldn’t cost more to build than sell. As such, I wouldn’t call all limited availability cars as compliance cars.” We’ve been thru this before, Sparky. I realize you’re so in love with your Spark EV that you refuse to believe it’s a compliance car, but I doubt you’ve managed to convince anyone else of that. “It’s like calling Plugin Prius an EV… A different term should be used to distinguish true compliance cars from limited availability cars.” Yeah, in the same way that we shouldn’t call a Chihuahua a “dog” because it’s so much smaller than a Great Dane. Some people posting to InsideEVs have the strange… Read more »

Thanks for the info 🙂

How much extra is GM charging for CCS?

For a reference point -> Adding CSS Fast Charging Provision to The 2016 Spark EV cost $750

The Spark was a test / compliance vehicle. I would never gauge policy nor price against the Spark Program with the current Bolt EV.

Will CCS DCFC be a single optional extra (as you quote), or will it be (more likely?) tied to a “Higher Trim Level”, like the Nissan Leaf?

These are questions no one (the public) has the answers to.

I clearly state reference point. Not stating that this is how the Bolt CSS will be offered.

Also, CHAdeMO is not tied to a higher Leaf trim. It’s offered as an option in the S level trim. It’s bundled with the 6.6 kW On-board Charger.

Could Nissan not do 300.000 Leaf? Than 50.000 look tiny.

I most Leaf’s sold in a year is around 60,000, but now you want 300,000 manufactured in a year?

Tesla wants to do 500.000 EVs a year with the same (at least) 200 miles of range in the not so distant future.

“in the not so distant future.”
Remember.. that’s Tesla talking.

Tesla just cranked out >50k Model S last year.

Three years ago no one thought they could do it.

You’re defending Tesla’s ability to hit schedules?

They didn’t started from 50,000 per year from year one. The 500,000 is also some dream about distant future, not first year production number. Who knows how a new car will sell, you need to try with small number and expand later once you know demand. Then it may go all the way to 500,000/year or whatever, but not on the very first year – it is the same for GM or for Tesla. Except that GM has much better track record of being able to plan accurately in advance.

I don’t think Tesla could reach 500.000 Model 3 per year because every market needs other models. Only if Tesla offers a SUV Model 3 for Europe and US, a sedan for US, small cars for Japan and for CHina spacious backseat, than they can reach 500.000 Model S. Need also some cheaper electric cars, a 26.000 Dollar car with 150 miles.
Toyota sells 1.200.000 Hybrids per year, but they offer the hybrid in around 20 different models.

Cavaron said: “Tesla wants to do 500.000 EVs a year with the same (at least) 200 miles of range in the not so distant future.” Yes, but… (a) Tesla merely hopes to be able to sell 500,000 BEVs per year, of which most would be Model ≡’s. They certainly won’t sell that many the first year of Model ≡ production, and you can be sure Tesla will be watching demand closely to make sure they don’t make more than they can sell. (b) Tesla’s plan is to ramp up production of the Model ≡ from 2017 to 2020. A more realistic outcome, given Tesla’s history, is that they’ll ramp it up over the years 2019-2022. (c) GM’s business model isn’t dependent on making plug-in EVs; it’s dependent on making gasmobiles. GM actually has a strong disincentive to make and sell compelling EVs in large numbers, because their gasmobiles make them more profit per unit. Making PEVs in large numbers would cut into their own profit margin. (d) Tesla is building Gigafactory 1 to ensure a very high volume of kWh of batteries, to supply its BEVs. GM has no such factories, nor any current plans to build any. It is… Read more »

“GM actually has a strong disincentive to make and sell compelling EVs in large numbers, because their gasmobiles make them more profit per unit. Making PEVs in large numbers would cut into their own profit margin”

Well, the problem is that GM doesn’t corner the ICE market. So, GM doesn’t necessarily “lose profits” when it sells EVs since its EV sales don’t always directly correlates to its ICE sales.

For example, Volt was known to be a “conquest sales leader” for GM as many of the brands of trade ins were not GM cars. So, in a way, it is a potential market that GM would never had if it didn’t offer an EV.

I believe the same goes for Bolt. So, GM doesn’t really lose by selling more Bolt. Unless of course Bolt is a “loss leader”, then it really has no reason to sell more as in the case of Spark EV.

Lastly, in order to sell more EVs, GM has to see demand. So far, the entire industry is still weary of potential low gas price impact of EV purchase regardless what some EV supporters have claimed (that gas price don’t impact EV sales).

Interesting. That “provided that GM markets it and actually tries to sell it.” Sounds like GM needs to do more than just make the cars, but put some decent effort out there to expand their darling – CCS!

GM could market the crap out of it.
And they might.

But if their dealers don’t get on board…then…well…it’s over before it started.

I have 3 local Chevy Dealers. ALL OF THEM hate the Volt and have tried to discourage me from owning it, keeping it, and buying another.


The attitude of most Nissan dealers towards the Leaf is probably the same.

What are the dealers afraid of? My guess: losing the lucrative repair work on ICEs.

They (the car dealers) need to start installing solar power, and home power systems to replace the lost income from ICE’s. It would be a nice complementary revenue stream.

GM Dealership Fast car Chargers should be “GRATIS” , This would make things very interesting if GM really wants to Seriously get into the EV business for keeps.

Free charging at Nissan dealers didn’t noticeably help their sales. Many dealers also let the chargers fall in to disrepair which probably does a lot of damage in the eyes of someone going in to purchase a LEAF. One of the ones near me has had a broken handle for something like two years so people think it’s broken but it actually works if you know the “trick”. It’s all part of the dealership foot dragging campaign.

If Chevy or Nissan want to avoid the problems with stealerships maybe they should open direct EV sales locations like Tesla does.

“If Chevy or Nissan want to avoid the problems with stealerships maybe they should open direct EV sales locations like Tesla does.”

They can’t. Unless we change the laws.

Yup, this is a misunderstanding I’ve seen frequently, GM, Ford FCA, etc would absolutely love to do direct sales, but they are expressly forbid from doing so by my states franchise laws.

I’m very interested to see how this all plays out as if Tesla is allowed to get around the franchise laws then it’s only fair that GM and other manufacturers also be allowed to offer direct sales.

It will be very interesting – however, most of those franchise laws originally had language specific to automakers who already had franchise dealerships. Those versions did not apply to Tesla until NADA shelled out to get the laws changed to bar any automaker, regardless of circumstances, from selling direct.

You make a valid point about how most of these laws only addressed manufacturers with preexisting dealer networks, but from a market competitiveness standpoint I’m not sure you can allow one set of rules for one automaker and another set of rules for the others.

Some sort of compromise I believe is necessary in order for the other manufacturers to compete.

Quite frankly in my opinion the franchise laws are about 100 years out of date and put too much power in the hands of the dealer associations.

Lack of dealer enthusiasm and no real plan to invest in charging infrastructure is what will kill Bolt sales.

I think Direct Sales are good! The 0nly 0ne that Suffers is the would Be Owner Of the would be Stealership.THEY WOULD NOT BE THERE TO TAKE ALL THE “PROFITS & ALL THE BOWS” WHILE THE SAME EMPLYEES DO ALL THE HEAVY LIFTING…FOR THE SAME WAGE…

John, I live in Northern Virginia and went to 3 nearby Chevy dealers to try to get a good deal on the Volt lease. None of them would deal.
Went to Criswell in Maryland and had the deal I wanted in 10 minutes.
But I have been servicing my Volt at Koons Tysons and they have been great. Complimentary reduced profile air dam, great service, the car is plugged in and charging when I pick it up. If I do end up getting another GM electric car, I will give Koons a try before I go back to Criswell. Who knows. Maybe formerly bad Chevy dealers are seeing the hand writing on the wall.

Your first mistake was … NOVA.

What I’m worried about the dealers playing markup shenanigans ……. that’s the one thing Tesla still has going for it on the Model III.

I am pretty sure that is against the Law.. They should close the loopholes & make that law Iron Clad!

The other thing Tesla has going for it is nationwide fast charging. Good luck going cross country east or west on 20mph chargers with the Bolt. Even the CCS east and west coast “fast” chargers are half the speed of Tesla’s.

Tesla also has fixed pricing (no markup or hidden charges at the last minute) and legendary customer service.

Oh and Tesla supercharging is free with the price of the car while the east/west coast ChargePoint CSS chargers are $.25/kwh plus $0.14/minute which means for an 80% charge on Bolt’s 60kw battery it would cost .25*48 + .14*60 = $20.40. That’s based on GM’s assertion that you can charge to 80% in an hour which I actually don’t believe because Tesla advertises 40 min to 80% but in the real world it’s around 54 mins to 80% starting at 90kw so I suspect Chargepoint’s 50kw chargers in the real world will take 1:10 to 1:20 to reach 80%.

BTW, Certified Pre Owned Model S have been seen as low as $42,900 on the web site.


I expect Model S to keep dropping in the used market, particularly for those models built pre-dual motor and pre-autopilot hardware. And probably anything with a 60kWh pack will be bargain-basement soon.

Bargain basement? With a 208 mile range? If I could find one at $40k with 2 years left on warranty or CPO, I’d have 2 Teslas in the family. The Leaf is a tad small and I would love to have my wife in a safer car.

60 KWH is fine for everything except long roadtrips. We have a 70D for that and it works fine.

Let’s be honest. Tesla didn’t start with a charging network and there are a lot of routes that aren’t covered. Also what percentage of the population even drives out of state let alone cross country? It’s great the Model S can do that, but I would be a lot more comfortable in my Chevy Traverse when driving from Ohio to Florida.

Building a charging network isn’t difficult. But if the demand is there someone will build it. Hint: GM doesn’t build gas stations either.

Provided demand exists… that’s an easy one. GM will see it’s stay at the lowest possible.

Are you going to buy a plug-in?

I dream of a Model 3, but maybe I will get a used Leaf in Spring along with the Prius.. Money money money, here money…

At current Canadian dollar exchange rates plus sales tax $37,500 comes out to a little over $60,000 Cdn, before any incentives. That’s going to be a tough pill to swallow.

…that is terrible math, (=

Not that the actual number of $54,900 on the straight exchange is that much better than a little over 60,000 – but it is better. Currency swaps are just something automakers have to eat if they do not build where they sell.

The Volt is $40,090 in Canada, but in USD that equals $27,400, almost $6,000 less than the $33,170 US MSRP, or about a 18% eat.

Putting those percentage to the Bolt and you would be looking at a Canadian pricepoint on the Bolt EV of $45,300.

That being said, and even if GM is “eating it” on every copy sold, that will still be a tough sell alongside the new Sonic which retails at $16k

Perhaps you overlooked the sales tax I mentioned,
$37,500 / 0.69 * 1.13 = $61,413
That’s at a 69 cent loonie and NB or Ontario HST, the sales tax will vary between other provinces.

Your point that Canadian prices are not just American prices at the exchange rate is well taken, but the flip side of the automakers “eating” some of the difference is the amount of interest they have in selling in Canada and the resulting availability.

I haven’t done any research but the Canadian mythology has always been that Canadian costs are higher than American costs adjusted for the exchange rate, I’ve certainly seen no end of news stories to that effect. It could be that the Cdn $ is currently falling too fast for prices to be kept adjusted, and so the current Canadian Volt price is a bargain, but I wouldn’t bet on that holding true for long.

“That being said, and even if GM is “eating it” on every copy sold, that will still be a tough sell alongside the new Sonic which retails at $16k”

And never mind the Sonic, a GM dealer will want you to compare the $45,000 Bolt to the Buick Encore which is $37,000 including all the available options. Or perhaps even the Cadillac SRX Crossover they have on the lot that starts at $43,880.

If you don’t even want one (the self claimed BEV fan), then what are the chances others will “demand” GM to sell the Bolt?

Let’s remember that the international best-selling full-sized EV, the Leaf, had a maximum annual sales of about 60,000.

If GM is planning for sales in the first year of up to 50,000, then I for one won’t castigate them for that. GM overestimated the market for the Volt, and it’s prudent of them to be more cautious in marketing their first BEV.

On the other hand, we can’t expect GM to be able to really ramp up Bolt production to a volume equal to one of their more popular gasmobiles, the way Tesla plans to ramp up production of the Model ≡ to something over 400,000 per year. Not so long as GM is dependent on LG Chem to supply their batteries.

We will know that GM is serious about making and selling long-range, compelling EVs (both BEVs and PHEVs) in large numbers — numbers to challenge one of their more popular gasmobiles — only when they start building their own battery factories, as Nissan has done for the Leaf, and as Tesla is now doing with Gigafactory 1.

I don’t think a company owned battery factory is a requirement. Car manufacturers buy many of the components for even their most popular gasmobiles from 3rd party vendors. That doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about those cars.

GM did not over estimated the demand for the Volt. It just didn’t market it properly… on purpose. NONE of the ICE car maker has yet started the real competition on EVs. They are still protecting the profits from ICE cars and for their big brother : the Oil cartel.

Right. GM and the dealers made no effort to sell Volts.

I distinctly remember seeing Volt ads on television. TV ads are the highest-cost form of advertising, and certainly not all car models get TV ads.

I agree that there are a lot of reports that Chevy dealers don’t want to sell the Volt, but I think it’s unfair to blame GM for that. GM did try to market the Volt, at least when it was new.

I am pretty sure 2011/2012, Volt had plenty of “free coverage”.

It is not the fault of the company if EV supporters don’t buy it.

Did you buy one? No.

The Volt was originally expected to be “nicely under $30,000”. I thought it would sell quite well at that price. When it ended up over $40,000 I was amazed it sold as well as it did.

“The Volt was originally expected to be “nicely under $30,000””

Expected by whom? EV fans?

GM never claimed $30K figure…

I think Bob Lutz said that. As it was developed they discovered many things cost more than expected.

Agree with MMF here. I remember Lutz saying ev’s could get down to that price eventually, but the magpies were picking on the volt for the high price, just like the do the ELR, which, as mentioned I paid $4,000 more for my ELR than my Volt. That’s it.

Lutz did say:

“Hey! You’re getting an $80,000 car for 42,000 – what’s wrong with that?”

GM started marketing the Volt when it first came out, but it was a political bunching bag. So GM slid it to the back room. I think it was the right move at the time.

Remember the anti Volt rant from Fox news and the right wing . At that time that was like waste of time and money to try to go against it.

David Murray said:

“I don’t think a company owned battery factory is a requirement.”

How well did depending on an independent battery supplier work for Nissan and Tesla? Not very well, did it?

Why do you think Nissan built its own dedicated battery factories in Tennessee and the UK? Why do you think Tesla is building Gigafactory 1?

In neither case was it because the company really wanted to get into the business of battery cell manufacturing.

Neither Nissan nor Tesla built battery factories on their own. In both cases it was joint venture with NEC or Panasonic. GM has partnership with LG Chem, why should GM invest their own money if LG Chem agrees to invest their money building factory just for GM? It is how business works whatever you take – cars or airlines – their components come from all over the world. You don’t make everything in house as it makes no sense to do something that you are not the best at, if you can buy better for less. It may be the case with Nissan/NEC factory too, it may be that they can’t keep up with LG Chem competition and may need to switch to LG Chem.

Tesla tries to do more in house on their own, but it just shows their problem, not advantage. It shows that they are still in startup mode and 1st tier mass market OEM suppliers still don’t talk with them seriously and they have or had too much problems controlling supplier quality or timing.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Neither Nissan nor Tesla built battery factories on their own. In both cases it was joint venture with NEC or Panasonic.”

True, Nissan partnered with battery maker NEC to create the AESC subsidiary, which supplies batteries to Nissan. Just as Tesla and Panasonic are partnering to build Gigafactory 1, to supply batteries to Tesla.

But in both cases, AESC and Gigafactory 1, this puts battery cell production under the control of the auto manufacturer… removing it from control of the battery manufacturer.

“GM has partnership with LG Chem, why should GM invest their own money if LG Chem agrees to invest their money building factory just for GM?”

That’s not a real partnership, any more than Toyota buying EV powertrains from Tesla for the RAV4 EV made them “partners”. Perhaps GM characterized the LG deal as a “partnership”, but that was just PR. It’s really just a contract.

AESC and Gigafactory 1 both put battery production under the control of the auto maker. GM’s contract with LG Chem/Electronics does not.

While thats true, Tesla also sold 50k Model S in 2015 and they are a lot more expensive. If the EV market would be equivalent to the ICE market, the Bolt should at least sell 200k cars. But I guess they will only sell it in the US, so the sales might be a lot more limited. The Bolt sales could easily be twice as high, if they included east Asia and especially Europe, where compact hatchbacks are actually high volume sellers.

In Europe we will get an Opel version of the Chevrolet Bolt soon I hope. I think it will do great in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. We sure love hatchbacks.

Who buys an 80-130 mile BEV, when there’s a cheaper 200 mile game in town?

Someone that is attracted to the shape of the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3?

The Bolt is a very nice looking small car if one likes that compact size with the short hood.It has decent range too & I would pick it over everything out there of that size, hands down “For Now” .I personally would opt for a mid size ((ie: mercedes C class size))with a longer hood .for a good sized frunk, added protection, & good looks , Along with the longest range possible , even if the bigger battery were to be optional…

Don’t be fooled by the Bolt exterior. It has more passenger room than a Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf.

More passenger room than a Tesla Model S? Do you have numbers?

It depends on what you call passenger room. For example, SparkEV has taller headroom than Tesla S, but I’d hardly call SparkEV more room than Tesla.

I’ve seen both Tesla and Bolt proto; Tesla looks roomier overall, though it may be less in some measure.

Passenger compartment volume was announced for Bolt. I think it is full size car by it, not compact. Model S is wider but has less head space, and has much more space for baggage. These extra 2 child seats in Model S are in baggage space.

“More passenger room than a Tesla Model S? Do you have numbers?”

According to Green car reports, it was 94.4cuft (Bolt) vs 94 cu ft (S) for the interior passenger volume.

It doesn’t include cargo volume.

Passenger volume is 94.4 cubic feet, against 92.4 cubic feet for a Nissan Leaf and 94 cubic feet for the Tesla Model S.

Honest question here, not a dig… but why do you want a longer hood?

Potential for more storage.
Additional crumple zone.
Use to having a hood in front.

Three good reason, I think.

Also makes parking more of a chore, especially in big cities.

Where this is going to really corner the market is with government fleet orders, its american and cost effective. City, utility fleets are also going to be very interested as many are tied to purchasing US product first if available.

You EV fans need to realize that in the US mass market– except for California where you get an extra $4500 on top of the $7500 Federal incentive along with an HOV lane sticker– even a cool car like the Bolt (and I do think it’s cool) is a tough sell against, for instance, the great-looking new 40mpg Honda Civic starting at $18,000. That’s just reality.

Since when do we get $4500?!

The CVRP rebate in California is $2500 according to my checking account.

The California law is changing to eliminate the EV state credit for high incomes and increase it for middle-class incomes.

Linkie to program changes that start in March for CA rebate program:

California Income-Based Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Expected To Begin Mid-March

Sidenote to Mark: Starting any statement with “You EV fans need to realize…” probably will not be received all that well. /just saying

Also with gasoline prices being destroyed, the incentive to buy an\d even less expensively fueled vehicle, the bev, goes down.
But there are tailwinds too, as batteries improve, charging develops, etc…

You get what you pay for.

“a tough sell against . . . the great-looking new 40mpg Honda Civic starting at $18,000.”

Yes, if you don’t care about the air you breathe or the fate of the planet. Granted, most people don’t care about either.

When EVs like the Bolt retail for the low 20s, it will be the beginning of the end for the ICE. You can “fill up” an EV for the equivalent of 50 cents to a dollar a gallon and there are no oil changes. Battery prices should decline enough in the next two years to make the difference.

Yeah well, they said that about the Honda Civics in the past too. “We don’t want these Japanese rice cookers, we want real American cars”. Except people really did want the Japanese cars.

Once the Chinese BEV clones enter US market many more Americans will be interested in driving a $15,000 Chinese made BEV.

Is that a comparably equipped Civic though? A Touring model (closest equipped to a Bolt as I can tell) retails for 27k in Canada. That was the type of comparison I made against my Leaf SL (which was 38.5k, no incentive available at the time). I didn’t compare to the cheapest gasser in that segment.

Civic $18K is 158HP, 0-60 in 7.8 sec. Bolt $30K is 200HP, 0-60 in under 7 sec. Even SparkEV $15K is 140HP, 0-60 in 7.2 sec, quicker and cheaper than Civic.

Better comparison for Bolt is compact cars of $25K-$35K range, such as Subaru WRX or VW GTI. See my blog about “to bolt or not to bolt” about more comparisons.

Neither GTI nor WRX nor Civic run out of juice after 200 miles or sooner in some cold January morning, nor require careful road trip planning to stay within short distance from few DC chargers for long charging sessions. Ask the question other way, how much you would pay for battery car that has unlimited range and can go anywhere? You can have it for much less than Bolt, except it doesn’t have battery. As much I would like electric cars to succeed, let’s be realistic, nobody is going to buy Bolt at high numbers in the US when oil bubble has burst, at least until the price will drop a lot. All these expensive extra options, you know, they often don’t cost that much for automakers and are revenue raisers, and may or may not be of value for buyers. If they can’t sell the car without options, it may just mean the car production cost is too high.

Speaking completely personally, as a driver of a fully electric car with a relatively small range (70 ish miles), I can answer your question as follows. I don’t think I would pay *more* than I did for my car to get a longer range, now that I’ve had it for almost a year and haven’t needed to make a round trip where that 70 mile range was a problem. Between decent infrastructure (around here anyways), availability of charging at my workplace, and my driving habits, 70 on a full charge has been plenty.

A 200 mile range is going to cover more people’s driving styles. Families with a second car (and a garage) can easily live with a relatively roomy 200 mile ev like the Bolt for anything other than road trips without having to ‘make do’ or ‘cope’.

Yes, it won’t work for everyone. But it’ll work for way more than my 70 mile range EV. *Way* more.

It never seems in practice that any Honda dealer ever has a car available at anything close to the official price. But there’s always some company out there that’s having a hard enough time that its dealers have to stop padding the out-the-door price. Who is it this year?

When you say the Bolt is not a compliance car, does that really mean we will be able to order this car from any GM dealership? By that I mean red meat, monster truck states that like to more than double registration fees on emissions free vehicles. (Cough,Idaho)

That is the current expectation.

But don’t be surprised if the Bolt has a tiered release schedule, where CARB states get to put in orders first a few months before the fly-over states.

i have a leaf and hope and dream of a 40 kw battery in the next leaf ,but 60 is super great and will be wonderfully in winter driving.let’s face it ,the bolt will be a no compromise ev.charging away form home will be really for long vacation trips .

I agree with that. There is no point to go all in when there isn’t enough demand.

What I learned from the last few years of owning a PEV and trying to talk others into buying one is the fact that most people just don’t care. It is too much a “shift” in their life to change. As long as gas is cheap, they won’t bother to try.

Bolt might be the “best car” that nobody buys next year.

I certainly hope I am wrong.

It takes effort, but well worth it. Of the 10s of people I talk to about converting to EV’s, 5 have expressed interest, and only 2 have actually followed through. The 2 that switched felt like their eyes had just been opened. They weren’t fully convinced until they actually lived with it and realized what the “hype” was all about.

Electric Vehicles are better in every way that matters. Most people just don’t understand that yet.

After seeing GM’s commitment to NOT support EV charging, I’m not hopeful for Bolt. They said their spending should benefit all their cars, which would mean EV specific spending is out. 50kW charger that takes an hour just doesn’t cut it for mass market.

On top of that, it performs poorer and less features (ie, AWD) than comparable cost gas car like Subaru WRX.

If I had $30K to spend, I’d get new SparkEV for $15K (daily driver) and probably used small SUV or minivan for another $10K and use $5K for gas/insurance. If it has to be one compact car, it’d have to be Subaru WRX. Bolt doesn’t cut it any way I see it.

They could test the waters by accepting pre-orders for the car. Oh right, they can’t sell the car directly…

They could put some demo cars at their Supercharger stations for people to look at. Oh, not Supercharger stations either!


+1 to both!!

GM could do pre orders. That has nothing to do with selling directly. They would just point you to your nearest Chevy dealer. I pre ordered my Volt when it came out. All it does is put you in line when that dealer gets their allotment. Once the option is available at my dealer I will pre order a Bolt.

Yup. Didn’t Nissan do exactly that with the Leaf, for the first year or so of sales? Order online, then complete the purchase at the dealer of your choice.

Sadly, in a year or two some anti-EV trolls will whine and moan that GM said they would make 50K Bolts in a year, and they didn’t.

As if this 50K number was a prediction, and not just a statement on their ability to ramp-up to higher demand.

I don’t think you need worry about that happening.

Really? that exact sort of thing happened with the Gen1 Volt.

Well, it’s absolutely guaranteed to happen, so there’s no point to worrying about it.

That is what you meant… right? 😉

“Sadly, in a year or two some anti-EV trolls will whine and moan that GM said they would make 50K Bolts in a year, and they didn’t.” Yes, they would. At the same time, the pro-EV but anti-GM group would proclaim that GM wasn’t trying to sell the Bolt therefore it couldn’t break the 30K mark. They would accuse GM of not trying due to following reasons: 1. Not marketing the car (regardless how it actually is. As long as it is not up to their expectation) 2. GM didn’t push dealers hard enough to sell it and Chevy Dealers won’t want to sell it. (Probably true, but GM can only do so much to push for sales, despite incentives and deals) 3. Bolt doesn’t have ______ features (fill in your favorite whining) 4. I am waiting for _____ BEV (as long as it is not made by GM since Bolt was never their intended target. It is okay for others to buy it but not for them) 5. My local dealer doesn’t want to sell it so I decided to wait for another brand. (Duh! you never wanted one anyway) 6. My Prius is cheaper since gas is only… Read more »

I’d say you covered all the bases. I was not a GM fan (excepting my friend’s C6Z06) when I first checked out, then later leased a very early Volt but the car was exceptional and my local (central NJ) dealer was great. GM really went above and beyond. We even had “Volt Advisors” who would periodically call and check in on us. Which reminds me of a story – I mentioned that in another forum only to get (essentially) “UGH, really? I would hate that. Another reason GM sucks.” Some people really need to go out of their way to keep the faith.

Now I have an e-golf. It drives great but the owner’s manual is a disorganized, inaccurate mess, I have to rely on their crappy app to set my charge schedule, they screwed up the J1772 standard so delayed charging doesn’t work will all EVSEs, the HVAC always turns on (smart in an EV, right?), and sometimes the car turns ON but forgets to activate the motor. oops.

But GM sucks amirite?

It’s important to clarify that asked if, hypothetically, GM could produce 50,000. GM said they could.

That doesn’t mean that GM is planning on building 50,000.

That doesn’t mean that GM is limited to producing 50,000.

It just means that they could build at least 50,000.

Breezy said:

“It just means that they could build at least 50,000.”

Actually, it just means the GM spokesman expressed the opinion that GM could ramp up to meet that demand. Hopefully that was an informed opinion, but that still doesn’t make it a fact.

Unless Chevy hides the Bolt, like Ford did with the Focus Electric, it will be hugely popular and a big success. No way this car is going to be hidden by GM, although the dealers may be another story. Probably, like the Volt, some will be on board and some will not.

Biggest sales advantage Bolt has going for it is 80,000 60-80 mile Leaf drivers with the peak of the bell curve coming off lease with buyouts that don’t match market prices.

That’s a lot of well trained electric drivers with a very good reason to look around in successive waves over the next 2-3 years. Current MSRP and leases are not much reason to stay loyal to Nissan, considering Bolt price. Either prices are going to plummet or a lot of Leaf engineers are going to be working overtime.

I agree Bolt will take lots of current EV drivers who are used to slow/expensive EV to switch after lease. But I suspect it won’t do much as “mass market EV”. It’s just another “high priced, underpowered glorified golf cart that takes hour(s) to charge” compared to similar gas cars.

From what I’ve seen to date, the BOLT will be an incredible VALUE.

I know some people don’t care, but I bought the Tesla Roadster primarily for its great range, and secondarily because it was a good-looking Lotus.

MMF is correct that people bitch at everything, when they don’t realize what they have, and then find an excuse not to purchase the car anyway.

The Bolt being near the S in size, other than being uglier, but still drive-able, should cause fantastic numbers of sales, if it wasn’t for currently dirt-cheap Gasoline in the States.

If Gas was to double or triple in price, they’d sell millions of them. Unfortunately, even INCREDIBLE VALUES such as the Bolt will have a hard-sell with next-to-free Gasoline. I pay around $2.05 here is tax-happy New York State, but $1.65/US Gallon in Ohio, etc is just about the cheapest-inflation-adjusted price that Gasoline has ever been since its invention.

People around here are curiously funny about gas prices. No – one is remotely interested in them at these prices. But if Gas went to $4 or $6/gal, then EVERYONE wants an electric car.

Time for a perspective here; 50,000 Bolts is what percentage of 17,500,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. last year? The answer is .3%. GM ain’t exactly threatening to corner the U.S. market with their Bolt sales forecasts.

And so it is…EV sales will continue to be a niche market for most major car companies, including Nissan, until Tesla can bully them into getting off the dime.

I heard that when the volt first came out, you could be put on a GM list to get it delivered to your door at MSRP? Do we know if this will be the case for the Bolt? I am not looking forward to the steelerships tacking on dealer markups of 10k just to get the Bolt. I will walk, just like a I did for the Volt. I just want to buy the car at MSRP + tax. Why is this soooo hard GM!!!

You went to the wrong dealer! Most dealers will sell you a car at MSRP because a high profit is already built into that price. Of course their will be the “first” deliveries that people are willing to pay more for.

GM is just talking nonsense here and it knows it full well. The winning formula as demonstrated by Tesla is supercharger supported long range EVs. Bolt is only the long range part, GM lacks vision on quick charger support. 50KW CCS infrastructure to the extend it actually exists does not really qualify as quick charging for a car with a 60KWh battery.

On the supply side GM has to deal with franchise dealers that are uninterested in selling this product and GM is in fact one of the driving forces in the legal drive to plug the loopholes in state legislation that could have made more successful, dedicated retailmodels possible.

So don’t even take GM’s BS seriously. ICE is the core business, Bolt is for compliance and that is in fact the full extend of GM’s ambition for plug-ins.

Funny how I only drive my car out of state (Ohio) twice last year – Orlando, FL and North Carolina. On those two trips we took our Chevy Traverse – roomy.

Most people do not drive that far and for the times that you do it’s easier to rent or take the other car. I wish Tesla would publish usage of their SC network (CA car charging in WA). That would settle this whole SC necessary battle. I imagine most SC are used by locals or a few diehards.

GM on the other hand has published usage of the Volt and what percentage of daily driving is done in EV mode. With the Volt 2 they expect ~90%. If the Volt 2 with a 53 mile range does ~90% of your daily driving in EV mode then a 200+ mile Bolt will do the same with miles to spare. So the SC network only addresses’ the other ~10%.

Sounds like a fringe case to me. And it’s not as if you have no choices to level 2 or level 3 charge. You would have to plan your trip.

People like the idea that their car is not locked up in the box of their range, even if in practice they don’t venture outside of that box all that much.

No matter how one plans one longer range trip it will never be convenient if even if one could find a CCS quick charger it won’t have the sort of output to top up the battery in reasonable time.

Proper and comprehensive quick charge support is a large part of what makes Tesla successful and at some point some carmaker will get serious about plug-ins and copy it but GM so far can’t be bothered.

theflew said:

“I wish Tesla would publish usage of their SC network (CA car charging in WA). That would settle this whole SC necessary battle. I imagine most SC are used by locals or a few diehards.”

As of a year ago, about 8% of miles driven in a Model S were powered by Supercharging, according to Tesla. See link below. This was up from 5% in an earlier survey, so it may be more now. It appears that as the Supercharger network is built out more, a greater percentage of Tesla owners take advantage of it.

It never fails to amaze me how so many people find it hard to believe that large numbers of people do things different from the way they do things… including how many times a year people drive long distances. I think the average is about 3-4 long-distance trips a year?

Note “average” doesn’t mean everyone, or even most people, take exactly that many long-distance trips. Many drive less; many drive more.

It would be interesting to see how much of that supercharger use was at superchargers that were more than 200 miles from the owner’s residence. Actually it would be very interesting to see the stats for 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 miles.

I also am amazed that people seem to assume that a car needs to meet their own particular needs or desires to be successful. 30,000 sales is less than 0.2% of 2015’s 17.47 million sales. That’s 1 in 582 sales.

Even after eliminating single vehicle households and households without home charging potential, 30,000 sales is a tiny tiny fraction of the remaining market.

The idea that out of 582 buyers there aren’t any who won’t have one vehicle in their household that is never taken on road trips doesn’t seem credible to me.

If GM can’t sell 30,000 Bolts it won’t be because they don’t have a supercharger network, it will be because it is too expensive relative to the relevant competition.

Lindsay Patten

“If GM can’t sell 30,000 Bolts it won’t be because they don’t have a supercharger network, it will be because it is too expensive relative to the relevant competition.”

Yup. Too many people seem to forget that there were no Superchargers when Tesla started selling the Model S.

“The winning formula as demonstrated by Tesla is supercharger supported long range EVs”

Maybe if your formula only has one variable, but we’re talking about price, features, utility.

Price is the big differentiator here, not charging infrastructure. Price matters to everybody, charging infrastructure matters to some. MSRP in the $30Ks is going to get a lot of attention to those of us that can’t afford an average transaction price over $100K.

What we could do with not only here in the UK but in the US is EV only dealerships !

GM to dealers:

For every 10 Bolts you sell, we will build a QC dual port at your facility.

wouldn’t it be nice..