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GM Will Ax the Chevrolet Bolt, and the Affordable EV Dies With It

The Chevrolet Bolt is officially dead, its assembly line now set to produce electric trucks. Will GM have a replacement?

Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback Exterior
  • The Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV will not continue after the 2023 model year.
  • GM will repurpose the Bolt's production line to manufacture electric trucks.
  • The automaker says the new Equinox EV will fill the void left by the Bolt, but inexpensive versions of the Equinox are a ways off.

It's official: The long-running Chevrolet Bolt hatchback and related Bolt EUV crossover are not long for this world. General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that the two wallet-friendly EVs will be discontinued as the company increases production of vehicles riding on the BEV3 platform and utilizing GM's Ultium batteries. The older BEV2 platform underpins the Bolt and Bolt EUV, which also use previous-generation batteries that aren't quite as advanced.

In addition to the older tech, Bolt sales haven't been spectacular over the last few years, and a huge (and rather fiery) recall didn’t help either. Even so, the Bolt's death is something of a blow for cheap EVs. It carried a starting price of $30,000, and that's before factoring in the full federal EV tax credit it offered.

Despite the death of the Bolt, GM isn’t abandoning the segment altogether — a good thing, considering the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model 3 are the next-cheapest EVs that qualify for the EV tax credit. Both start around $40,000. Chevy says that the upcoming Equinox EV will carry a base price of around $30,000, though this version of the car won’t be available when it launches this fall.

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV front

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The assembly plant that built the Bolt in Orion Township, Michigan, will now be repurposed for electric truck production. Like the Equinox EV, the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV will also utilize GM’s Ultium batteries. Production of the Silverado EV will begin later this year at the Factory Zero plant, right around the same time Bolt production ends. The Orion plant's overhaul is expected to cost some $4 billion.

Still, demand for the Bolt is strong — for this year at least. GM reports that it plans on record volume for the final year of the Bolt EV and EUV, with 70,000 units on track to be produced. It’s a strong way for the Bolt to go out.

And for buyers looking to get into the Bolt before the final bell tolls, there may be deals to be had. Dealers will be looking to move these units off their lots, and overall inventory levels are finally returning to normal. In other words, nature is healing.

Edmunds says

The Bolt had a rather tumultuous life, but above all else, it was a well-received and inexpensive vehicle that opened the door to electric car ownership to many. We hope that the budget-friendly Equinox EV arrives sooner rather than later to take up the Bolt's mantle.

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