Quarterly Chevrolet Bolt And Volt Sales, Plus June Breakouts


Chevy begins 2019 Bolt production this month, with the refreshed 2019 Volt expected to arrive this quarter.

***Update: GM did provide several pieces of good news in its quarterly sales report. In regards to the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the press release reads:

Chevrolet Bolt EV Production to Increase More Than 20 Percent

U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.”

Unfortunately, due to General Motors’ recent decision to withhold monthly sales reports in favor of a Tesla-like quarterly reporting system, the following numbers are estimates.

InsideEVs considers this information important to our readers and a testament to what we’ve been doing for some time. So, we have attempted to provide you with our best estimates for April and May. Our goal is to be as accurate as possible. Our numbers are primarily based upon daily inventory tracking, as well as accounts from buyers, dealers and other sources.

In March and April, the Chevrolet Volt barely edged out the Bolt EV in sales. In May, the Volt continued to lead the Bolt in our sales estimates. Bolt inventories have been weak all quarter as GM has prioritized exports. But, we expect the inventory situation to improve shortly. 2019 Bolt production begins in July and GM has announced they will be increasing production by the end of 2018.

We expected sales of both the Volt and Bolt to be down for June. We now have quarterly estimates for both cars. For Q2 2018, GM has reported 3,483 Bolt deliveries and 4,336 Volt deliveries. Both numbers are down ~20% from the same quarter last year. Based on quarterly numbers, we estimate:

For the month of June 2018, we estimate U.S. Chevrolet Bolt EV deliveries at 1,083, compared to last June at 1,642 and last month’s estimated 1,125. The Volt also moved an estimated 1,336 for the month.

copper-orange Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV

While Bolt EV inventories have been weak, Volt inventories have been strong all quarter. It seems GM has not forgotten that its highly successful, long-range plug-in hybrid may still have some pull with buyers. Plug-in hybrids like the Volt provide a safe entry point into the world of electric vehicles. And, the recently announced upgrades for the 2019 Volt address many of the concerns owners have had with the car.

Source: GM

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt EVs - finding more US driveways every month!
29 photos
The introduction (and US reception) of the Chevy Bolt EV has pulled forward GM's 200,000th sale by at least a year (now expected in Q2 2018) Chevrolet Bolt at the recent GM Official autocross event near Detroit. Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV The best option overall is generally to drive at normal speed Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Chevrolet Bolt EV:  Lots of useful room inside...and a fair about of standard finishes Bolt Interior Chevy Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV - right-hand-drive?! Chevy Bolt rear seats The rear seating area offers plenty of room for passengers Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

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60 Comments on "Quarterly Chevrolet Bolt And Volt Sales, Plus June Breakouts"

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GM numbers are weird. They claim that “U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half”.
With the low volume in Q2, they only have 183902 US cumulative sales. If they want to hit 200K on Oct 1 (instead of in Dec), they need to sell ~16K cars in Q3, up ~44% from last year.

To maximize the tax benefit, they should sell as many as possible in Q4 18 and Q1 19.

Why? They could wait and hit 200k on Jan 1 instead of Oct 1. They’ve been leading EV sales among mainstream automakers, it’s probably to their advantage to wait instead of running out sooner. There’s a lot at play here that’s hard to understand (that’s a reference to my own lack of understanding, no assumptions about yours 🙂 )

Usually Q3-4 will be better selling seasons for EV. Q3 is the buying season for most cars in US, Q4 will have a lot of buyers rushing for the EV tax credit (less wait for you refund). Last year GM sold more than 11K volt/bolt in Q3, and 14K in Q4. GM will be nut if they try to manage 18 Q3/4 delivery under 16K total. The best thing to do is ramp up production now, sell 16K in Q3 with some extra inventory, then ramp up even further in Q4-Q1 and clear the inventory in 19Q1. After tax credit phase out, they should be able to reduce the cost to the extent that the car can be profitable without tax credit.

Tesla made 200K right after July 1, which could help them maximize the leverage of the tax credit.

I think they must be trying to save until later to maximize for their future EV, aren’t they releasing a new BEV CUV in Dec/Jan?

We want GM to sell as many Bolt EVs as possible. They should not wait, they should make more. They should try to be the #1-selling EV in the US. Meanwhile, they are doing 1/3 in sales of what the Tesla Model III is doing. This huge empire in Detroit, and that is all we see out of them. They could manufacture and sell out their Federal tax benefit before sunburns heal from the 4th of July. Ford could, if they wanted to, manufacture in four hours what it takes Tesla a week to do running at full steam. But they don’t, they don’t want to, and it is because they believe they cannot make a profit making EVs. We already know that at initial launch, minus ZEV credits, GM loses $9k per BoltEV sold. GM is selling 11,900 Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized vehicles a month this year on average. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model III is doing an average of 4763 a month (and climbing), or 40%. The Bolt EV is at 1355 / month, about 11% of the Malibu. There is no reason for this choice. And yet, we all know the reason, don’t we?

You are estimating way low on Model 3 for rest of year, I guess no less than 15,000 Model 3 cars in July… The GM “loss” is a bit sketchy as it includes R&D and assumes low volume. Which is true, but misleading to say “$9k per Bolt EV…” as if they sell more that number will decrease.

Detroit’s problem is not manufacturing, it is making an EV people actually want to buy. They could produce all the Bolt EVs they wanted, but it wouldn’t help sell them.

…sell them

Through dealerships that don’t seem very enthousiastic about ev’s

Now that they seem to be exporting more, do you have sales data for markets outside of US?

We published the South Korea story last month. That will come again soon.

Yep, we will provide an update on global bolt sales like we did last month. (if readers find it interesting that is) Bolt sales are looking strong globally in June.

This plus considering the winding down of 2018 production… low Bolt sales were expected from us this month.

Bolt production needs to be increased and soon!

Looks like “more than 20%” by Q4.


“U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.””

Yes. That was the update we added to the article shortly after publishing yesterday. We included the entire quote above. Scroll up and you’ll see the info has been added in a blockquote. Good news!

Wow. Terrible sales.
While I hope it’s a supply constraint, I’m worried that Americans (those who can’t afford a $60k M3) just don’t care.

Agreed, terrible, the entire quarter Bolt EV only sold about 1 week worth of Model 3 production. However, I am glad to see them importing to markets that are more interested in that car. I really want to see their new BEV CUV supposedly coming end of year though as it would interest me more.

Small wagons are just not that popular in the US. The Bolt does about as well the Golf GTI in the US.

This is the land of trucks and SUVs. Get Ford/Chevy/Dodge to start making 300 mile range electric pick-ups for $50k and they’ll really start selling.

In general though, electric propulsion is just not very high on Americans’ list of priorities.

Sadly this is true, most Americans prefer a SUV/CUV, truck, or sedan vs an econo hatchback or wagon (this is no knock on the Bolt, imho it’s a great vehicle).

What I find interesting is the Bolt is actually sort of a micro-SUV. Makes the sedan Telsa 3 look paltry in ability and usefulness to an average American buyer right now. At least GM was heading in the right directly, they just now need to upscale a bit.

I wonder what the 2019 Volt upgrades will do to sales? With power seat, less engine running in coldest weather, and a 7.2kW charger option, it’s very competitive with options and remains the longest EV range plug-in hybrid available.

Hey Steven Loveday, as an aside, some of the stories don’t seem to have all the proper tags. For example, if I go to Categories, and choose Volt, I don’t see the story listed about the upgraded charger and power seats on the 2019 model years. There’s other stories missing too. They appear to be on the overall Chevrolet page though.

We are currently reworking tags, adding model years, revamping the system. Some may or may not be updated. We’ll be working on that for the next several weeks. Yes, the Chevrolet category should be foolproof. Thank you for the insight.

Fixed that one. Try now. Let me know if you find others. The tag was chevy volt but that click takes you to the chevrolet volt tag. That’s the type of fixes we are currently working.

Yep, that one’s fixed now. Appreciate you going through and taking care of these over the next several weeks. With all the content this site has, being able to search for items based on category reliably is key to finding that article you sort of remember but can’t locate, haha. 🙂


Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Still think they could have squeezed in another 12 miles to get the range up to 65. Hell, even 2 miles would have been something.

My guess would be that the changes don’t do much for sales. These are nice upgrades, but I think the Volt is a “gateway” EV. The buyer can’t commit to a full BEV and they don’t have enough knowledge or experience to understand the subtle issues with cold weather engine use or 3.6 vs7.2 kWh chairing.

The Volts biggest impediment to sales are probably size and cost. Prius prime and Honda Clarity still have a leg up to the general public, even though the Volt is a better PHEV.

Volt is too small for many. That is where the Honda Clarity shines, and if GM isn’t careful, will eat their lunch. The Clarity isn’t perfect (and I’ll never buy the fuel celled version), but I’m continually taking a strong look at the popular PHEV version.

How come it took HONDA to make a well appointed, high-value, plus economical Midsize PHEV? I don’t think there is anything else like it on the market and expect its sales to skyrocket.

Yes, it does seem rather odd that nothing like the Clarity PHEV came along until Honda made it, and that only recently. Despite constant complaints from all over about the Volt being too small, and the T-shaped battery pack intruding in a “tunnel” in the back seat, GM didn’t make any larger version of the car. (Unless you count the Cadillac ELR… which I don’t, as it was a very limited production car.) Even the Gen II Volt is only very slightly larger in back.

I keep scanning the used listings for 2016 ELR. I see them around once in awhile and I really like the coupe look. Need to see if I can find one to test drive, but nothing in my area. Some 2014 available, but 2016 is supposed to be better.

I like my 2014 ELR. 2016 has a few more miles All electric range, plus more power – although I wonder if they’re straining the thing’s reliability to get it. If you go for a 2014 because of no ’16’s I think you’ll still like it.. Haven’t run into an ELR owner who hated their car yet.

Not much. The Volt has always had a packaging problem in that it’s basically a 2+2 and not a true sedan. That T-shaped battery design can’t compete with a skateboard design. Just sit in the back of a Bolt and see how much nicer it is.

Totally agree. Now with my older children, the Volt wouldn’t fit them anymore. The Bolt EV back seat was much better. I probably would have one if I didn’t get the Model 3.

The volt suffers from a coupe like low roof and narrow windows. Sedans have been trending this way for a long time and I suspect it is part of why the suv, crossover, etc have become the most popular configuration. I am 5′-8″ tall and got in a volt (only the front seat) once at a car show and found it so cramped as to be not in consideration for lease/purchase regardless of the deal. Getting out of the car I hit my head on the door opening. By all accounts the “voltec” drive system is very good. If they put it in a small crossover style body it would sell very well I think.

Strange. I’m 6′ 1.5″ and have no problem getting into and out of my Volt. The headroom is also quite good. Granted the leg room is a bit cramped, but not a deal breaker.

I’m 6′ 4″, 225 lbs and have no problem getting in and out of my Volt.

ClarksonCote they haven’t released “Clarity” sales for June as of yet, but I bet they get GM sweating under the collar, as well as putting pressure on the Prius Prime – a car which the ‘upgrades’ seem to try to compete somewhat with the far superior Honda Clarity. Seeing as the “Clarity” is going up while most everything else besides the “3” is going down, its beneficial for the EV segments since it gets both Japanese and American competition off their cans.

Though odd looking, the Clarity (PHEV; the others are of no account) seems like a great value. It’s too big for me. I would love to see a PHEV version of the new Insight (ideally as a hatchback).

This is not good. Once again GM should work on the “value” proposition and market the damn cars. It is as if they don’t want to sell these…

May want to peruse this: http://www.gm.com/investors/sales/us-sales-production.html

Bolt production to increase more than 20%, among other info nuggets.

Yep. Good news! We’ll have coverage on it. Gotta get through this maniacal day first!

What I find amazing is that Tesla is making 5,000 cars a week and is trying to get to 6,000 a week and is begging for battery production to reach 10,000 a week but all the other EV’s can’t seem to barely get about 2,000 in a mouth.

I think GM and Nissan are now going to feel the Tesla monster.

That would have to be one big mouth. Perhaps 2,000 Model 3s could fit in Elon’s mouth. 🙂

No but they could probably fit up the orifice you constantly talk out of!

I think we need to see just how much food (customers) this monster can eat in the long run. Many highly anticipated vehicles have good early sales that quickly taper once the initial demand is filled. Model S and X sales have shown no meaningful growth year to year and are lower than this time last year according to IEV’s sales scorecard.

Guarantee, some current Model S owners say that car is too big, while the 3 is just right. Availability of Model 3 is sure to take a few % of Model S sales. All good!

“Model S and X sales have shown no meaningful growth year to year and are lower than this time last year according to IEV’s sales scorecard.”

You’re getting a distorted view by looking at only U.S. sales, which is what InsideEVs’ “report card” articles report. It’s true that Model S, and to some extent Model X, sales have plateaued over the past year or so, but they are not tapering off, and certainly not “quickly” tapering off! Tesla chose to reduce production of the MS/MX by about 10% in order to concentrate on ramping up TM3 production, but a recent comment by Steven Loveday indicates production of the MS/MX is rising again.

Tesla’s global automobile sales totals:
2012: 2650
2013: 22,300
2014: 31,655 (+41.95%)
2015: 50,580 (+59.8%)
2016: 76,230 (+50.7%)
2017: 101,312 (+32.9%)

We could well see a 100% increase, or more, for 2018.

Tesla made 5000 M3 in a crazy surge week. They have quite a way to go before they get to 500o/week as an ongoing rate. Doubtless they’ll get there but not for a while, maybe end Q3.

Has total Model 3 production surpassed the Bolt? I predicted it would over a year ago, in September 2018.
Turning out to be a pretty good guess, I guess.

Approximately 41,000 Model 3 produced to date versus approx. 32,000 Bolts sold in USA to date. So if you add Canada and South Korea (plus the ones sold to Opel for Europe), total Model 3 production has either already surpassed or will very shortly surpass total Bolt production to date.

GM did quite a bit of marketing saying the Bolt was available now compared to the Model 3, so folks should buy the Bolt. I think that was actually smart and successful for last year. I myself often posted that the Bolt was a great car to lease while being forced to wait for a Model 3.

But now that approach doesn’t work as well anymore. People are going straight to buying Model 3’s now, and Tesla just threw reservations pretty much wide open to all US/Canada reservation holders for the current configurations. GM is going to lose that flow of customers, and might actually already be impacting Bolt sales.

GM may get a slight reprieve for a few quarters while they can promote that the Bolt is eligible for full incentive and the Model 3 is only half incentive. But that will only be a short reprieve before they go into half incentive and all the rest of the car makers target them with the same tactic, so if GM heavily promotes the incentive gap, it will backfire in the long run.

GM needs a plug-in CUV/SUV.

+1000 Nix.
Bolt and basically all other BEVs in the US are going to get cannibalized somewhat by the Model 3 just like the Model 3 is already really eating into the Mid-range luxury LICE sedan sales of 3 series, C class, A-4, etc.

Bolt is also going to suffer a double-whammy when the Kona and Niro arrive in numbers since they fill the exact same segment at same size/range and they will be considerably cheaper as GM loses its tax credit.

GM should have done Voltec CUVs/SUVs years ago and then they would have had a dominant position to work from but they let conventional, conservative thinking and the bean counters get in the way of boldly innovating towards the future and instead support rolling back CAFE standards, sigh.

I say a 40 kWh Bolt EREV, with Voltec Drivetrain & about 8 Gallon Gas Tank, should get 125-150 EV Miles plus another 300 Miles+ on Gas, for a very good spread and value buy!

Bolt EV is still a totally different price bracket than the Model 3. Until next year, the Model 3 is only be available in $50k – $72k+ versions.

Ranger — you are correct. See my response to Mark below.

What is the cheapest Model 3 that can be configured right now? $46,000, $50,000? Once they offer the $35,000 M3, then I totally agree with you.

$50k = $35k base + $9k long range + $5k premium package + $1k destination fee

Mark, yes that is the only thing keeping GM’s marketing tactic even partially alive. It is dead for anybody who is willing to stretch to the 50K price range. And it is on life support for only a couple of quarters for the rest of Tesla reservation holders.

I probably wasn’t clear enough that I was saying that it is a marketing tactic that is mid-transition for effectiveness. And that my comments are an attempt to look forward to where GM needs to be. They need to move past marketing the Bolt as a Model 3 alternative for frustrated reservation holders BEFORE it is a dead marketing tactic.

They need to get on with moving forward before the point where less expensive TM3’s are available.

Just “voting up” Nix’s comment seems insufficient. I’ll echo Get Real, and say +1000!

The gap between Tesla and all other plug-in EV manufacturers outside China is growing noticeably wider every week.

I don’t know, if you were number 420,001 for a 35k model 3 Tesla, I think you’d be waiting a really long time still.

I don’t keep up w/nuances of this but after being forced to give up my Volt due to a back injury I was able to find a Bolt equipped as I preferred with no trouble, going from decision to buy to car in driveway in about 3 days. First dealer I visited had a single car on the lot, other had three. Not exactly scads of copies but at least enough to make a quick purchase possible.

In western Washington for whatever that’s worth, this past week.

First dealer said it would months before another could be obtained via order but that claim came in the middle of a vigorous stream of lies so take it with a grain of salt.

I’m guessing a key benefit of buying a Tesla is not having to put up with whatever fantastic and unlikely stories are invented for each customer by old-school dealers. Only one spinner of yarns, and he’s OK. 🙂