CHEVROLET BOLT EV
The Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle unveiled in 2016 for release in 2017, is the first mass-market long-range electric vehicle. Chevrolet rebadges the Bolt for the European market as the Opel Ampera-e. The battery, motor, and drive would be manufactured by LG in Korea. The vehicle now enters the exclusive club of electric vehicles with a range over 200 miles per charge, previously only claimed by Tesla and BYD. The Bolt will compete with the Tesla Model 3 as the first long-range mass-market EV.
The Chevrolet Bolt has a 60kWh Battery by LG-Chem (288 cells in, pouch type) composed of a Nickel-rich Lithium Chemistry allowing it to run at higher temperatures, thereby saving on the need for a cooling system that drains power and increases cost. The new battery has a different chemistry suited for a different charge cycle associated with longer ranges than the other Chevrolet models which need more frequent charging. At the time GM negotiated a record $145 per kWh for the batteries from LG Chem, a significant price drop from the going rate of batteries in 2016.
CHEVROLET BOLT EV SPECS | DIMENSIONS
CHEVROLET BOLT EV SALES
Go to our detailed breakdown of Global EV Sales to see how the Chevrolet Bolt electric car strategy fares to its competitors in the fast-growing EV market.
CHEVROLET BOLT EV IN THE NEWS
2018 Week 27 - GM hurt by Tesla Model 3 expands abroad
While global EV sales are up around 70% for the year to date compared with the first six months of 2017 sales for the Chevrolet Bolt EV flatlined in its key markets Canada and America. A lot of speculation has been levied on why sales for the “mass produced” Chevrolet faltered. Some commentators suggested that stockpiles at dealers were tight due to the limited production of only 30,000 units per annum. Analyzing sales for 2018 GM has only been able to sell around 1,540 units per month in the key North American market, up only 3.7% on the first six months after the Bolt’s launch at the start of 2017. Sales for the European version, the Opel Ampera-e was up 60% but this analysis is skewed since the Ampera-e only reached Europe’s shores in Q2 2017. When comparing H2 2018 sales in Europe with the first 6 months of sales in Europe (Q2/Q3 2017) sales are up 15%.
Surprisingly GM sold nearly 3,000 units of the Bolt in South Korea in Q2 2018, more EVs than local manufacturer Hyundai, indicating that GM is opening up specific international markets for the Bolt EV. My take on the shift in sales is twofold, firstly it is an indication that the arrival of the Tesla Model 3 in significant numbers since the start of 2018 is hurting the demand for the Chevrolet Bolt, and secondly that GM is trying to make hay out of Tesla’s delayed ability to bring the Model 3 to international markets. Tesla has been criticized by some analyst for not making the best of its lead in the EV sector as it will start delivering the standard Tesla Model 3 in mass only a couple of months ahead of the competition such as the VW I.D. Neo and BMW Mini EV.
This week’s press release by GM confirmed the international expansion plans for the Bolt with a planned 20% increase in production from Q4 2018.
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.”
2017 Week 37 - Production version of autonomous Bolt
General Motors and its subsidiary, Cruise Automation, unveiled a production-ready self-driving car based on the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle. Up to now, autonomous cars are all hand build, a process that can only produce a couple of hundred cars a year, but presenting a self-driving car that is based on a mass-market platform is a game changer for GM.
2017 Week 32 - Bolt outlast Model S in range test
Consumer Reports just published the results of its range test of the Chevrolet Bolt and came up with some surprising results.
While the Bolt is rated for 238 miles of driving by the EPA, the car exceeded that in the Consumer Reports test, squeezing out 12 more miles for a total of 250. That means the Bolt officially beats Tesla’s Model S, at least in this particular test. When CR tested the Model S 75D, it got 235 miles, compared to the EPA estimate of 259. This test may not be particularly telling but with the Tesla S costing double what the Chevy Bolt costs, some eyebrows could be raised at Tesla’s reliability when it comes to range.
2017 Week 24 - GM produces autonomous Bolt EV
GM announced this week that it completed the equipment of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EVs with its next generation of self-driving technology. The vehicles will be added to its fleet of 50 current generation Bolt EVs testing the autonomous technology on public roads in San Francisco Scottsdale and Detroit. The company reported that the new generation technology features GM’s latest array of equipment, including LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to accelerate development of a safe and reliable fully autonomous vehicle.
In related news the California DMV permitted self-driving truck start-up, TuSimple, to test its artificial intelligence (AI)-based Level 4 autonomous driving system on 420-miles of public roads from San Diego to Tucson in Arizona.
2017 Week 9 - USA February sales unpacked, Bolt sliding
February Electric Vehicle sales data released for the USA this week reveals some interesting talking points. Overall, February sales gained a further 13.4% in January 2017 and over 55% on year on year basis. Contributors to the increase came from a nearly doubling in sales of the Tesla Model S and continued demand for the new Toyota Prius Plus. Unfortunately, the Prius in our books hardly counts as an electric vehicle due to its underwhelming continued reliance on its combustion engine. Disappointingly, sales for the Chevrolet Bolt declined over 18% from January, bringing total sales for the four months to 3,272 units, far short if one takes that at a claimed 30,000 units per annum the Bolt should have sold 10,000 units during the four months. In the carmaker standings, GM retained its lead with 2,776 units over Tesla’s 2,550 units with Ford taking third place with 1,704 units.
2016 Week 50 - First deliveries of the Bolt on Tesla's turf
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