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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

With 6,000+ unsold, new Chevy Bolt EV is shaping up to bomb like first Volt hybrid

The Chevrolet Bolt EV, the first mass-market all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles, was shown at the New York International Auto Show in 2015.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

General Motors once claimed the Chevy Bolt -- the first "affordable" all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles -- would pose a significant threat to upstart Tesla.

But as Tesla ramps up production of its Model 3 sedan -- holding $1,000 deposits from more than 400,000 eager buyers -- GM has shuttered the plant that makes the Bolt. 

According to Reuters, there are now more than 6,000 unsold Bolts on hand in the United States -- or a 111-day supply (70 days is considered ideal).

"One dealer is reported to have more than 200 Bolts on its lot," the Gas2 blog reported last week.

The Achilles heel in the new EV is GM's refusal to build a dedicated nationwide network of fast electric chargers like the one owners of the Tesla Model S and Model X use for free when they are on road trips.

Free Tesla Superchargers at the Colonie Center, a mall near Albany, N.Y., with a Whole Foods Market. I can recommend the delicious Asparagus Meyer Lemon Soup.


Urban vehicle

The Bolt is being marketed as an urban or suburban vehicle that you charge overnight at home.

The EV would be ideal for seniors, whose driving is limited to grocery shopping, visits to the doctor and volunteering, but it isn't being marketed to that forgotten segment of the population.

The first-generation Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that uses gasoline, also proved to be unpopular during its production run.

The 2011 Volt went on sale in the United States in mid-December 2010, and in the next six years, GM delivered about 113,500 -- that's less than 20,000 on average each year. 

The first-generation Volt operates as a pure electric vehicle for up to 38 miles, but then an internal-combustion engine powers an electric generator to extend the car's range.

The second-generation Volt's all-electric range was extended to 53 miles, but the sedan also needs gasoline beyond that.

Now, GM may drop the Volt in the 2020 model year and replace it with a plug-in hybrid crossover.

The automaker wants to build more high-profit SUVs and pickup trucks, which guzzle gas and say to hell with the environment.


Tesla Model 3 in blue.


Bolt appraisal

I drove a production model of the Bolt through the streets of the nation's capital during the Washington Auto Show in late January.

As a Tesla Model S owner, I was underwhelmed, and the new EV from GM didn't have anywhere near the refinement buyers can expect in the Model 3, which has an MSRP of $35,000 and will probably cost about $50,000 with options.

Click on the following link:



A condensed version appears on the Gas2 blog.