Production Begins On 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt: Tesla Model 3 competitor


2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Here’s the news lots of us have been waiting for…production is now confirmed to be underway on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

Though production on salable Bolts has begun, it’s moving along at a slow pace for now as General Motors works out the kinks that occur with any new vehicle rolling off the line.

Associated Press reports:

“General Motors has started making Bolt hatchbacks on a slow assembly line at a factory in Orion Township, Michigan, north of Detroit.”

Bolt sales will initially be limited to just California and Oregon, where dealers have already been accepting orders. Nationwide availability is expected in early 2017.

2.9% financing is currently being offered on the Bolt, which starts from $37,495.

Associated Press adds:

“The carmaker hasn’t revealed exactly when the first customer will get a Bolt. Chevrolet didn’t take advance reservations but says there’s been strong interest at its dealerships.”

“Not all of GM’s 3,000 dealers nationwide will be certified to sell and service the Bolt, although the company isn’t sure how many yet. Around 2,000 can service the Bolt’s plug-in cousin, the Volt.”

Earlier we heard (unofficially) that production of saleable Bolt EVs was undeway last week, with a rate of about 9/hour, with a goal of up to 30.

Retail Chevrolet Bolt EV production fires up (slowly) according to recent tweet

Retail Chevrolet Bolt EV production fires up (slowly) according to recent tweet (@WRVoltec)

Fingers crossed the Bolt is backed by strong marketing and that it becomes the volume leader in the BEV segment.

It certainly has the specs to suggest it’ll lead the way, but will GM put the necessary resources behind it to ensure its success? Only time will tell…

Source: AP

Categories: Chevrolet

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49 Comments on "Production Begins On 2017 Chevrolet Bolt"

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And It’s only 2016, they have been working Hard.

…hard to weaken Tesla, but it’s OK, the more BEVs the better!

They better work harder to be the volume leader. If Bolt isn’t the BEV volume leader next year, I’m going to eat this hat (made of chocolate).

The Tesla S 3 month domestic sales cycle has gone from 1600/1300/2500 [5400 total] last year’s July/August/September time frame to 1950/2850/4350 [9150 total] this year, I have to think that the 3 month total next summer will be closer to 12,000 for the quarter or around 45,000 for the year.

I wish the Bolt would be able to sell 45k cars next year, but I just don’t think there are that many Chevy buyers out there. I think Chevy could build them and LG Chem could build the packs in that amount, barely, but demand probably isn’t there for those numbers.

I notice you are talking about a chocolate hat, so your post might be just a bit ironic in nature… LOL!

Still, just thinking about the S selling more than 40,000 cars next year is pretty cool. And the Bolt sales will probably be around 30k plus the III and the Leaf II are going to show up eventually to add to the party.

If Tesla isn’t the volume leader next year, I’m going to eat this shoe (made of cookie dough and baked).

Good strategy that way no matter how you lose you win…

If GM is going to make only a bit over 30k Bolts in the first 12 months of production, then Model S sales will easily beat that. Last year the Model S sold nearly 50,000 units worldwide, and 25k in the North American market alone.

I also wouldn’t take any bets that the Prius Prime won’t outsell the Bolt in 2017.

“Strong interest at the dealerships”…Right since the early birds get to sell the car at/near/over MSRP…Shocking…

Maybe GM should have to allowed customer pre-orders even through the dealerships to gauge CUSTOMER demand?

Remember 6000+ Volts are currently sitting on dealership lots…

It says interest is at dealerships (likely from customers), not interest is FROM dealerships


The system is GM gives dealers an allocation regardless of customer demand…

Well there are 2000 Volt qualified dealers so that means that there is an average of three Volts in inventory at each dealer. Also auto companies like to keep a 60 to 90 day sweet spot inventory. So GM having ~6000 Volts in inventory means GM is currently matching supply and demand well on the Volt.

I wonder how many U.S. Nissan Dealers “sell and service” the Leaf.


There aur over 20 Nissan delaers here in Puerto RIco, but only one Nissan dealer, Adriel Auto, has the Leaf. And there is no interest in the EV Leaf, having seen only two.

Strange so few Leafs on an Island so I googled electric rates and found…

Currently, residential electricity prices in Puerto Rico are between 26 and 29 cents per kWh with business rates 4 to 5 cents higher. This is approximately two to three times the United States’ average.

Seems like a great place for solar and electric cars…

That sounds like the prefect market for Tesla’s solar batteries and solar panels.

Any updates on when it cousin Opel Ampera-E will be available in Europe?

Availability of AMPERAe interests me too 😉

I thought production started two weeks ago. There should be about 700 production Bolts by now. What’s different about this “news” and the news we got last week?

Earlier news was unofficial.
This news is straight from the horse’s mouth.

Last week there was a tweet that production had started at 9 per hour
But it wasn’t an official announcement, more of a leak by a plant worker.

9 per hour X 8 hours = 72 per day
72 X 22 work days = 1,500 a month!

If 30/hr is peak goal, that would be almost 5k a month, or 60k a year.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

That’s probably where the common 50-60k a year max goals are cited and consistent with GMs view of a successful product — maximizing a full shift line production.

Makes total sense for GM for this; only if demand is remarkably higher and supplies allow, will they add a second shift given the costs involved in it. Unlike Tesla, GM doesn’t rely solely on the Bolt. If not profitable or PR realm benefit, no reason to lose money on it

GM was running two shifts for a long time at Orion. Only in the last several months did they drop down one shift because of slowing sales of the Sonic and Verano due to gas prices. I don’t think it would be difficult for them to go back to two shifts if demand required it.

Just as some background: Orion is a bit of a ‘dog’ plant for GM (but has been re-structured as part of the 2011 re-org UAW agreement after bankruptcy). Orion USED to build the Verano, but its not making the generation jump with the Cruze and is dsicontinued. So only the Sonic – and now Sonic-based Bolt EV is built there (also likely them main reason why there is no RHD offering – as Orion offers no such tooling/existing facility for international deliveries on current offerings – being domestic specific atm). Lots of layoffs at Orion over the past years due to poor sales and anticipation of the end of the Verano, and workers from the old 2nd shift have steadily been moved to the DHAM (Hamtramck plant were more/new products have come online – Volt, CT6, Impala new LaCrosse). Only around 1200 people working at Orion on 1 shift, and with the Verano now gone, that 2nd shift won’t be returning. On the plus side, GM doesn’t need the 2nd shift to build the Bolt EV in volume, as the Verano leaves a hole of ~50,000 vehicle build capacity (~40k sales in 2015), and the Sonic has moved down from… Read more »

I remember reading a few years ago that the Nissan Tennessee Plant has the ability to make a hundred thousand leafs along with a hundred thousand battery packs at full capacity if it had to.

Nissan’s Smyrna plant has a volumetric/planned capacity on its line for 150,000 LEAFs and 4.8 GWh worth of batteries….which is not to say it could do any of those types of numbers tomorrow, or even in a year’s time. Currently, allocation and tooling could provide for perhaps 1/3rd that number if pressed. So just like GM is at a run rate of ~2,500 Bolt EVs a month in Orion, MI and would take them (and suppliers/LG) a considerable amount of time and effort/line expansion to go much higher – up to an ultimate capacity of perhaps 50-60k before outgrowing its assembly, the same could be said to a degree for Nissan and its ~3,500 rate in Smyrna, but with a theoretical ~150k ceiling. The larger difference between the two (beside Nissan building/controlling the quantity of cells on site) is that Nissan has on site plans/facilities in place to bump the number considerably higher as demand requires (as a function of its huge, and as it turns out way too optimistic initial investment)…so Nissan’s path to being able to building ~12,500 EVs a month in the US is mapped, pre-planned and straight forward – it would just require the green light… Read more »

NGH! Not Gonna Happen!

If 30/hr is peak goal, that would be almost 5k a month, or 60k a year.

But the bottleneck for Bolt production isn’t at the GM assembly plant. It’s at LG Chem, which is producing the batteries for the car. And production is also limited by how many EV powertrains the brand new automotive division of LG Electronics can crank out. Wanna bet LG Electronics won’t have any kind of startup problems? That’s not something I would bet on!


Let’s hope this is the bell tolling for the single occupant toxic diesel monster trucks.

Let them breath spent electrons.

Bolt may get a look warm reception is US but in Europe it will sell much better than Tesla etc. The form factor is optimized for European market. Although the raised ride height might make it more attractive in US as well.

But GM plans on sending very few Bolts to Europe, to sell as the Ampera-e, during the first year of production. Hard to sell what’s not there!

GM also isn’t making a right-hand driver version, so no UK sales.

Let’s hope GM doesn’t do what they did with the European version of the Volt, the Ampera: Giving it a price tag almost twice the American version! If GM wants to absolutely guarantee the car won’t sell in Europe, that would be the way to do it.

The biggest question I have right now is GM serous about building this car or are they going to make up excuses or keep it in the far background?

The Chevy Bolt can travel over 200 miles on a single charge so we’re not talking about a city car. I found out it takes almost three times as long to charge to 80% as the Tesla Model 3. And I think the Tesla quick chargers are not anything to write home about. Where is the incentive to buy the Bolt?

Yeah, having reserved an M3 I am now doing a route calculation for model s60 whenever i have to go on a business trip >1000km with my company provided diesel mercedes. Works out fine due to the superchargers.
Don’ think this is currently doable in a bolt.
(Max one day leg 729 km and having to present to customers at arrival.)

Tesla 3 isn’t out yet, so you don’t know how quickly it will charge, and you can’t make comparison to Bolt.

But if you’re comparing Tesla S 60, that takes about 45 minutes while Bolt will take bit over 60 minutes. That’s hardly 3 times longer. The reason is that Tesla starts out quick, but slows down very quickly, and the average becomes not so much more than Bolt.

If you want quickest charging car in the world to 80%, that would be Chevy SparkEV. It takes just 20 minutes to 80%, over twice as quick as Tesla S 60.

SparkEV, from everything I have read the Tesla S 60 can charge to 80% in half an hour. Here is one link: link
The chevy bolt takes much more than an hour to get to 80% charge.

Not sure what you’re reading, but to charge S60 to 80% in 30 minutes, it would have to keep an average power of 60*.8*2=96 kW That may be peak power only for short time, but definitely not average power. I suspect those who write such things have no idea that Tesla has severe charge taper, and only use peak power number to extrapolate. If you want to know how Tesla S really behave, see my blog and follow the links I give, not believe extrapolated marketing numbers detached from reality. SparkEV with 1/3 the size of Bolt battery charges at almost 50 kW all the way to 80% without taper. Bolt would do just as well, and probably better if given higher power charger (only 50kW CCS in most places at the moment). Then doing the math, 60kWh * 0.8 / 50kW = 0.96 hours With some losses (10%?), it could be bit over an hours (1 hr 4 minutes?). That’s far cry from “much more than an hour” that you cite. Even better for Bolt, the charge taper beyond 80% could be less, though we won’t know until tested. But based on 3X SparkEV rate, it could charge 50kW… Read more »
I forget the nameplate on the charger bay at the superchargers, but I seem to remember the charger bay cannot take 135 kw drain for very long (the continuous duty rating was more like 85 kw). But even so, to have the Model 3 be ‘2.75 X as good as the Bolt’ would require that both car and charger can maintain 135 kw almost right to the very end, and there better not be another car charging next to you, getting to be an impossibility at some California SC’s. The Bolt is not going to be a perfect car, and it is assumed that the M3 when finally it will be available, and have the faster charging, both on L2 and L3 modes. But the early availability of an inexpensive Bolt around 3 years early (for around the first 2 years the only 3’s will be fully optioned expensive cars) should be worth it to many people who want 1). Reasonably fast Level 2 charging (25 mph) 2). Reasonably fast ccs charging (90 miles / 1/2 hour). I’m not superwild about the looks, but people who have driven it have said it is ‘quiet, comfortable (most of them), easy to… Read more »

We are talking about a city car for all the folks who have been berating the sub 100 mile electrics for years now. For folks like my wife who has little to no interest in charging in public for various reasonable reasons… Bolt would be marvelous… we rarely go over 150 miles on our craziest driving days.
Or for the folks who while they don’t mind range charging or at work charging do insist on running with AC on high at 75MPH whereever they go claiming that they will be overrun on freeway if they go any slower.
The BOLT’s slower DC Fast Charger performance will be a strike against it for some users… but at the price and performance it could definitely fill an open space in the EV market lineup.

The Bolt can serve well as the absolutely necessary 2nd car for millions of commuters who have to commute 35 to 70 miles daily (70 to 140 round trip). They would not have time and would not tolerate a stop at a charging station but can recharge overnight at home

common guys, stop complaining about no charging stations and encourage Bolt sales to these people so wer stop using so much gas and arming the terroriristis again us. If you only have one car, nothing is stopping you from getting a Tesla..

I’d like to see 400 Tesla model 3′ AND 400,000 Bolts sold

Criminal it only goes to cal,or. Presents federal tax savings unfairly.

When is bolt coming to Canada

Immediately (Q1) – well if you are in Ontario/Quebec anyway

GM Dealers in British Columbia Canada have received their quotas for the Bolts that they are to receive later this year.
They are going fast.

Think of all the resources, energy and materials it takes to make a new car. It might be better to take an existing car and convert it, from a CO2 standpoint.

This means that we should see cars in dealership before Thanksgiving!