With The Bolt EV, Chevrolet’s Plug-In Sales Exceed 2% In U.S. – graphs

JUL 20 2017 BY MARK KANE 32

Chevrolet plug-in car sales in U.S. – June 2017

When we take a look at Chevrolet’s plug-in electric car sales since the Volt’s introduction way back in December 2010 (long term graphs FTW), it turns out that that the record peak market share of 2.2% for plug-ins inside the Chevy lineup was reached in October of 2012 in the US.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Besides the Volt, the Chevrolet brand today also offers the Bolt EV (since December 2016), and had also featured the Spark EV on a somewhat limited basis (from June 2013 through 2016).

As we see looking at the chart (above), the first few 4 years of plug-in sales didn’t translate into significant ongoing progress for Chevrolet.

But there is a new obvious upward trend that has appeared since the introduction of next generation Volt (October 2015), followed by the all-new Bolt EV.

The pair combined to set a new sales record of 4,287 deliveries in December 2016, and has kept Chevrolet back in the area of 2% share for plug-in sales ever since.

We suspect when the Bolt EV becomes available nationwide in August that the rising trend will continue, and new market share records will be set throughout the end of the year.

Whether or not that number can pass 3% based just on the strength of the Bolt EV is an open question. GM has promised at least one other model using the Bolt EV’s long range platform – it may be this model that is needed to truly put a dent in overall Chevy sales, and pass 5%.

Chevrolet plug-in car sales in U.S. – June 2017

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32 Comments on "With The Bolt EV, Chevrolet’s Plug-In Sales Exceed 2% In U.S. – graphs"

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“Whether or not that number can pass 3% based just on the strength of the Bolt EV is an open question. ”

I don’t know if US numbers can get that high this year… but in Canada, Chevy plug in sales are almost 3.5% with the volt and bolt.

Seems a case where Bolt should have been introduced in Europe (Ampera-E) and Canada where demand outstrips supply and gasoline prices are higher vs. in US during time of record low gasoline prices.

Hopefully Bolt sales and production will get back track when it is offered nationwide.

Still nice to see GM getting enough market share to start to make a difference.

So far GM has built a compact car with sub-compact space (the Volt) and a sub-compact with compact space (the Bolt).
Too bad they didn’t build a roomy CUV like the Buick Encore. It is on the Gamma II platform and it has the AWD that so many buyers want.
I have been a Volt guy since around 2007, but I have to admit that Tesla is looking like they will be building my next car. They are the only car maker that really wants to sell plug in cars.

Did you mean the Enclave? The Encore and Bolt are almost identical in size. Encore just has a slightly longer front end for all that ICE stuff. 😉

Encore Passenger Volume: 92.8
Bolt Passenger Volume: 95

Bolt Cargo: 16.9
Bolt Cargo w/ seats: 56.6

Encore Cargo: 18.8
Encore Cargo w/ seats: 48.3

Bolt Length: 164
Encore Length: 168.4

Yes, the Bolt is that object that is much larger than it appears in the rear view mirror…

I was astonished at how much higher it stands than even the Volt. It is no Smart EV, that’s for sure.

I think EV’s tend to suffer from negative size expectations, where dating back to cars like the EV1 and Mahindra Reva, it got hammered into everyone’s heads that EV’s were small. A few nice CUV/SUV EV’s and PHEV’s would go a long ways to breaking that image.

Or Buick Envision

Agreed. A CUV Bolt would have rocked. Problem is, larger and heavier would require more KWh and thus expense.

Chevy has stated that more EVs will be based on the Bolt’s platform, so if they pull their heads out of their arses they could do a $50K EV CUV before the Model Y is released. If it’s sexy and sporty then it could be a hit. Hell, give it AWD and 4 second 0-60 performance and it could even be better than the Model Y!

In my estimation the Bolt only needed to be 2 inches wider for normal-sized seats, and styled sleeker and sexier. Something like a Mazda3. Then market the “hot hatch” aspect to it and it could compete with the Model 3 among buyers who prefer a FWD hatch. In northern climates FWD remains an advantage.

Some facts… Within the GM family only Chevy has DCFC chargers and has mandated them in order to sell Bolts…It’ll most likely be Chevy badged… Nearly 100% of the time due to drivetrain loss ICE vehicles with AWD hurts efficiency over 2WD…EVs use two separate and sequential motors to provide improved efficiency…If Chevy goes for an AWD/dual motor EV there’s little benefit to doing it to an existing AWD ICE vehicle… The Bolt started life on the Sonic/Trax/Encore platform but evolved onto it’s own, somewhere it was stated they were able to push the wheel wells outward which helped create more room…Will probably be an based on the Bolt EV which is separate from the Sonic/Trax/Encore… GM took their smallest vehicle, the Spark and “EVed” it…GM took their next smallest vehicle, the Sonic and TRIED to EV it but created their own platform…GM/Chevy’s next smallest vehicle is the Trax… My WAG tells me GM originally greenlighted something along the lines of the Trax (could still be vastly different like how the Bolt is different than the Sonic)…However, while they knew for some time the huge number of Tesla preorders, they really didn’t know the Bolt’s demand…Now they’ve cut production therefore… Read more »

“GM has promised at least one other model using the Bolt EV’s long range platform –”

A touch of AWD with even small traction motors on rear wheels for balance and deep snow and dynamic cruise (all the tech is there for the cruise, crazy they didn’t program it in) and the Bolt would be perfect car for me.

Hope that is the “new model”.

A car with low ground clearance won’t get through deep snow no matter how many wheels you drive.

Once your drivetrain or bottom of your car starts dragging you’re finished. In any vehicle. Even in your jacked-up truck.

It depends on the density of the snow. If it is hard-pack or really wet and heavy snow, you are absolutely correct. Once a vehicle is completely bottomed out, it doesn’t matter how many wheels you can spin.

But light fresh lightly tracked champagne powder is another story. AWD in something like an Audi, you can plow through bumper deep powder that would be much tougher with FWD or RWD

Light snow reduces the grip your tires get to drive the car as much as it reduces the grip the snow has on the body of your car.

If you have heavy snow and a small amount of light snow on top as you see here then yeah, you may be able to pull through. Especially if you have snow tires as you see in several of these videos.

But a few inches of light snow on top of heavy/hard pack snow isn’t what I would call “deep snow”.

The most obvious example is where you see in the #2 video (that’s 2nd last) that the ruts left are actually in dark dirt/slush, not snow. It’s only the top that is fluffy stuff.

That car pulling the truck out is a complete joke. It’s rigged. Physics show that’s impossible. The truck is far too heavy for the car to pull it. It’d would be lucky to pull it uphill (as from the side to center of a crowned road) even on bare asphalt.

Ummm….I pulled my tractor out with my VW Jetta wagon. I’m not sure you know how physics actually works.

If object A is stuck but can produce X amount of forward force, then if the amount of forward force necessary to move is Y then the force necessary to start it moving is Y-X. If (Y-X) < Forward force of the vehicle pulling, the vehicle will move. The relative weights of the objects enter in to the equation for friction but it is the coefficient of friction that matters just as much because weight x coefficient of friction is the force opposing motion. If the coefficient of friction is small and the object is of a large mass then the force opposing motion is still small. i.e. you do not need to apply 80,000 pounds of force (loose usage of non-metric I realize) to move an 80,000 pound tractor/trailer. And this is why a single person can push a car on a horizontal with rolling friction on the wheels because the rolling friction is low.

The relative weights come into play more for than just friction. I can do subtraction, can you look up Newton’s laws of motion?

The force created by the engine and transmitted through the tires via friction is a force that tries to pull the two vehicles closer together. It tries to pull the towing car back to the towed vehicle as well as trying to tow the other vehicle. The action is proportioned based upon the inverse of the masses of the vehicles.

If the smaller vehicle is insufficiently light then the smaller vehicle has very little chance of towing the larger one. Add in just the smallest impediment like trying to tow the larger one up even a tiny slope and you’re sunk.

In this case the Audi would have been sunk. He’s trying to pull the truck off the side of the road, uphill onto the road. The only thing which could provide the force to move that big truck is the big truck. The Audi would just spin all 4 wheels (if applicable, some quattro systems would leave only 1 or 2 spinning).


You should theorized less and drive more in the snow.
Then maybe, you have a better understanding of it.
Many thing matters, weight, tire, all of the traction chain, (the smoothness of electric drive is way better than any ICE), type of snow, surface where the vehicle sit, slope, height clearance, and driver, driver, driver.

I you’re not at ease in the snow, don’t come here (Canada, Québec) in the winter.

Some can drive a car like they have snowmobile and get along, many can’t do good in 2 inch of snow.
It’s life!

Prius did well from Whistler to Hood to Park City so I’m sure the Bolt will do as well. The AWD is plus for skiers as roads get packed and it becomes ice. RWD, just don’t do it.

AWD would be a waste on the Bolt. The FWD and traction/stability control are all that’s needed for winter driving in virtually all of the US.

If you truely require AWD then you’ll need something higher off the ground like an EV Trax/Encore. Incidentally, they are built on the same platform as the Sonic, so GM would do it if they understood the car market.

Negative ghostwriter! First and foremost, make it an option…AWD is becoming more and more important, even on the chevy website, when you configure a vehicle it clearly displays 2WD or AWD…It’s extremely popular at least on the hype front…

GM will inevitably build an AWD EV, the Bolt isn’t selling, add it now, when a higher demand GM AWD EV comes out it’ll have all the bugs worked out…

Bolt isn’t selling? The 2nd best selling EV in the US isn’t selling?

Considering its price the sale numbers are a real disappointment. We all agreed at lunch that 30k units per year was a low target from GM…guess what?…they won’t evan hit that. But hey, go ahead and pretent it’s all good.

I agree it should be an option. If you had bothered to read my comment you would have seen a suggestion to offer an AWD EV similar to a Trax/Encore. They’re based on the same sonic platform but are higher off the road and larger.

AWD on the current Bolt would be a disaster. Less range, less performance, less cargo area, and FAR more expensive.

Think about it…where does the rear motor go? They would need to raise the cargo floor, thus negating the entire concept of an EV hatchback. And for what? How many Americans who need AWD are also interested in a compact hatchback EV?

True on the FWD with good snows. Even the ski resorts with plowed lots etc. The AWD is a nice security blanket though. If it snows a lot while in the parking lot, I’ve had to back up in my own tracks a few times to blast through with FWD.

In a heavy car like a Bolt, FWD will dominate most conditions. The main issue will be the ride height, and AWD won’t do a thing for that. Thus the need IMO for an EV AWD Trax/Encore CUV. But for the love of God do NOT make it handle like the Encore, that thing is a road barge!

I love it when people that occasionally drive in 2″ of snow try to tell the rest of us how/when AWD is useful.

Make AWD an option. That way, those of us that know how to use it and enjoy driving in the snow can take advantage of it.

In order to energize sales of plugins (read carefully), they require a place to conveniently ‘plug in’. One half of potential EV owners live in apartments or condos to which access to charging is problematic. Most EV owners do most of their charging at home. Solve this problem and growth of EV adoptions will increase greatly. Also, pitching saving on gasoline while gas prices remain low is a non-incentive to buy a plug-in. Pushing the moral environmental high ground and the sheer fun of driving an EV is reason enough for me to drive electric. There you have it. The practical and emotional. Address these and you’ve got yourself a game changer.

“In order to energize sales of plugins (read carefully), they require a place to conveniently ‘plug in’.”

That’s the home for EV’s. Multifamily dwellings it becomes an issue.

People will buy a vehicle based on what they want to dorder with it, not what they will do. They buy a pickup but never haul anything. They buy a all wheel drive SUV, but never get off yhe asphalt.

When was the last time you saw a commercial for an EV doing 100 mph on California’s Hwy 1 or a deserted NY City with hamsters? Instead you are told how practical they are. We need practical, but we buy image.

My official survey is three bolts as of this morning. As in I saw three Bolts on my commute, and there are three Bolts in the parking lot of my company (including mine).

Of course, I don’t live on the same planet as most of y’all.

I see at least 2-3 Bolts daily. On a good day, I can see up to 7-10 Bolt EV in one outing.

Then again, I live around SF.

I see one or two a day commuting to SF. I see 0 in NYC or New Orleans though, in fact I only see teslas there, and also only 1 or two a day, not 20-30 like here in California where I see lots of tesla model S and model X and VW e-Golf, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and now also a few Bolts…

The article needs to specify 3% of WHAT market…
Is it 3% of domestic Chevy sales, 3% of the overall US car market, or a noob could even get the impression that it is only 3% of the EV market.

Addition to your comment:

I’d be interested in seeing it as a % of cars sold. For instance 1/3 of new Ford Fusions are hybrid or PHEV…that’s a staggering take rate that doesn’t get reported. If we expand that concept to all Ford cars, what percent of their ‘cars’ are hybrid or PHEV…higher than 3% certainly. Then as a whole for all cars in the industry what is our percent (i.e. eliminate light trucks).