Skip to main content

GM to boost Chevrolet Bolt EV production by 20 percent to meet growing demand

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EVAs Tesla continues to draw attention for meeting its Model 3 production goal, General Motors announced that it will increase production of its own mass-market electric car. GM plans to increase Chevrolet Bolt EV production by “more than 20 percent” to meet demand.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada, and South Korea, has outstripped production,” Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement announcing the company’s second-quarter sales. The production increase will take effect during the fourth quarter of this year, GM said.

Global Bolt EV sales in the first half of 2018 are up more than 40 percent year over year, according to GM. In the U.S., Chevy sold 7,858 of the electric cars between January and June. GM no longer reports sales on a monthly basis, so that figure is based on quarterly reports. In comparison, Nissan said it sold 6,659 Leaf electric cars in the U.S. during the same period. Tesla is still working through a backlog of Model 3 reservations, so a direct comparison with the Bolt EV is difficult.

GM CEO Mary Barra previously discussed boosting production at a Houston conference in March, saying that “we will increase Bolt EV production later this year.” The car is currently built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, north of Detroit. The plant also builds the Chevy Sonic subcompact, and prototype autonomous versions of the Bolt EV for GM’s Cruise Automation division. It’s unclear whether GM will increase output at Orion, or start building Bolt EVs at a second plant.

Launched in late 2016, the Bolt EV was the first electric car to hit the market with a range exceeding 200 miles and a base price below $40,000, generally considered the magic combination for mass-market appeal. While it beat the Model 3 to the market, factors such as a slow nationwide sales rollout and the undeniable Tesla mystique have kept the Bolt EV in the Model 3’s shadow to some extent. Chevy sold 23,297 Bolt EVs nationwide last year, although the car wasn’t available in all 50 states until August.

Increasing Bolt EV production may be just the start for GM. Late last year, the Detroit automaker announced that it will launch 20 new all-electric models by 2023, with the first two set to appear within two years. At the time, GM said it will use “learnings” from the Bolt EV to develop these new models.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Chevy will pay charging-station installation costs for 2022 Bolt EV buyers
2022 chevrolet bolt ev and euv free charging installation

If you're buying an electric car, chances are you'll need a place to plug it in. Chevrolet knows that, so it's covering home-charging installation costs for buyers of the 2022 Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. However, the offer only lasts through June, and comes with some caveats, according to InsideEVs.

Chevy, through partner Qmerit, will install a NEMA 14-50 outlet fed by a dedicated 50-amp circuit with its own breaker. This is the kind of outlet used by large appliances, and it also allows so-called Level 2 charging, at 240 volts (a standard 120-volt household outlet is considered Level 1). However, Chevy is only covering what it calls a "standard installation," so any added costs will be the customer's responsibility.

Read more
2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV: More electric cars to love
2022 chevrolet bolt ev and euv electric cars

As the first mass-produced electric car with more than 200 miles of range and a price below $40,000, the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV was a giant leap toward a zero-emission future. Chevy can't rest on its laurels, though. With rivals launching their own mass-market electric cars—encouraged by stricter global emissions standards—the Bolt EV was in need of an update.

General Motors didn't just update the Bolt EV, though, it added a new SUV-like variant alongside the existing hatchback. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV will go on sale alongside the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV this summer. The Bolt EUV is also the first non-Cadillac model to get GM's Super Cruise driver-assist tech, while the Bolt EV gets a restyling inside and out.

Read more
The Hummer EV is getting a ‘Crab Mode’ to drive diagonally
GMC Hummer teaser

General Motors will reveal the GMC Hummer EV on October 20, but in the meantime, it confirmed that the electric pickup truck will come with something named Crab Mode.

More details of the unveiling of the Hummer EV, which was postponed from May 20 to fall this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be released at a later date, including how to watch it. General Motors, however, said that reservations for the all-electric vehicle will be available through GMC's website starting October 20.

Read more