What does the future hold for the Bolt?
Now that General Motors has begun the first 6-months of the Federal Tax credit phase-out period, Bolt EV buyers will only qualify for up to $3,750, instead of the full $7,500.00. Then, on October 1st, the maximum credit will be halved again to $1,875 for another 6 months, until it goes away entirely on April 1st, 2020.
General Motors has made it clear that they will not be lowering the sticker price for the Bolt EV to help offset the $3,750 tax credit loss as Tesla did when they began their phase-out period. However, as GM spokesman, Jim Cain told Reuters, that doesn't mean GM can't offer incentives to make the Bolt more competitively priced. In fact, that's already been going on for a while now, as GM has been offering generous incentives to help dealers move more Bolts.
It is easier to react to the market by working with dealers and your marketing team than it is to change sticker prices. - Jim Cain, GM Spokesman
Back in late 2016 when the Bolt EV was introduced, there really wasn't any competition that could match the Bolt's driving range and price. However, times have quickly changed, and the Bolt finds itself battling for customers in a pool that includes the Tesla Model 3, the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Nissan LEAF e-power, and soon the Kia Niro EV and Kia Soul EV. All of these cars have well over 200 miles of range, and cost between $35,000 and $40,000.
Alex Guberman from E For Electric and I discuss how this is going to impact the Bolt, what GM will need to do to keep the Bolt relevant amid mounting pressure from new EVs entering the market and more on this week's episode of "Plugged In". We even sprinkle in some suggestions to improve the federal EV tax credit, which really does need a restructuring, in my opinion.
Let us know your opinion of what's next for the Bolt EV, in the comments section below.