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Why Basic Motors is reviving Chevrolet Bolt EV

Basic Motors CEO Mary Barra unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt electrical automobile throughout the 2016 Shopper Electronics Present in Las Vegas. Manufacturing of the present Bolt is about to finish in December, however GM has mentioned a revamped model is on the way in which.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

General Motors stunned buyers – and EV followers – when it mentioned in July that the little Chevrolet Bolt EV will be revamped, quite than killed off fully on the finish of 2023 as originally planned.

Throughout GM’s earnings name on Tuesday, CEO Mary Barra shared extra particulars across the considering behind the choice to maintain the Bolt round whereas giving some hints as to what Bolt followers can anticipate when the revamped EV goes on sale.

Barra mentioned that GM had initially deliberate to launch a collection of newly designed EVs in entry-level segments at a complete price of round $5 billion. However given the recognition of the present Bolt – 2023 is already the mannequin’s greatest 12 months ever for gross sales – it made sense to revamp the present automobile as an alternative.

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“By leveraging the perfect attributes of as we speak’s Bolt EV in addition to Ultium, our newest software program, and NACS, we’ll ship an excellent higher driving charging and possession expertise with a automobile we all know prospects love,” Barra mentioned. “Within the course of, we’re saving billions in capital and engineering expense, delivering a considerably price improved battery pack utilizing bought LFP cells.

Launched in late 2016 and initially aimed on the ride-sharing market, the Bolt had by no means offered in addition to GM had initially hoped. However a collection of worth cuts, the addition of a roomier crossover-like “EUV” variant in 2021 – and American customers’ steadily rising curiosity in EVs – mixed to present the Bolt a gross sales surge in what was imagined to be its ultimate years.

That gross sales surge is a giant a part of why GM determined to maintain the Bolt round. Gross sales had been up greater than 50% in 2022, to simply over 38,000. This 12 months’s gross sales have already topped that quantity, with nearly 50,000 Bolts offered by means of the tip of September.

To be clear, the Bolt might be on hiatus for some time. GM nonetheless plans to finish manufacturing of the present Bolt at its Michigan manufacturing facility on the finish of this 12 months, and it hasn’t but mentioned when the revamped mannequin will go on sale – or the place it will be made. (The Bolt’s present manufacturing facility in Michigan might be retooled to make electrical variations of GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup vehicles.)

However with sturdy and comparatively cheap lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells, GM’s improved Ultium platform and newest software program, and NACS charging ports that can permit it to make use of Tesla‘s Supercharger community, the brand new Bolt seems set to proceed to win new consumers

“We’re attending to market at the very least two years quicker, and our unit prices might be considerably decrease,” Barra mentioned.

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