DETROIT, Mich. (WTVO) — General Motors announced Tuesday that it would be discontinuing production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV at the end of 2023.
The 230-plus mile range EV that beat the Tesla Model 3 to market in 2017 is being retired to make way for Chevrolet’s electrified Equinox, Blazer and Silverado vehicles.
The fully-electric Bolt EV debuted in 2017 using engineering knowledge gained from the hybrid-electric Volt, which was produced between 2011-2019.
Since the Bolt EV came on the scene, General Motors has been hard at work developing its new “Ultium” platform, featuring a more modern, scalable lithium-ion battery technology that will be used to power its Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, and Buick electric vehicle lineup.
The Bolt came on the scene to decent sales, which were hampered in 2021 by a recall ignited by a series of fires, resulting from a manufacturing defect in the LG-made battery. GM undertook a massive battery replacement program for every Bolt made, giving owners the benefit of 250 miles of range over the initial model’s advertised EPA range of 238, and a new 100,000 mile/8-year warranty.
In late 2022, the Bolts began selling like hotcakes, spurred by local electric vehicle incentives and a substantial price cut, which brought the cost of the base trim down to $27,495 (before incentives).
Demand was further increased by a revamped federal tax credit in 2023, which makes purchase of the cars eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500.
The Bolt’s main rivals are the Hyundai Kona EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, and the Volkswagen ID.4, but some of the aforementioned models have less EPA range per battery charge, and a higher cost (the closest competitor is the Leaf, which gets a EPA range of 149 miles and starts at $29,135).
Cars.com says there are only 828 new Bolts available at nationwide dealerships in March 2023, making finding one a challenge. GM has promised to increase output to 70,000 units this year.
However, with the release of the larger, Ultium-powered Chevrolet Equinox EV on the horizon, which is anticipated to start around $30,000, the company has decided to let the innovative Bolt ride off into the sunset.