Chevy Bolt Taking a One-Year Break

The Chevy Bolt isn’t going away. It’s taking some time off to work on itself. It will be back, it promises, in better shape and with renewed energy. Just give it a year.

GM CEO Mary Barra told the audience at an Automotive Press Association gathering in Detroit this week that Chevrolet’s best-selling electric car will be “back again in ’25.”

On-Again, Off-Again

GM has faced a conundrum with the Bolt, available as both the Bolt EV hatchback and Bolt EUV slightly larger hatchback (they’re mechanically identical, but the EUV has more rear-seat legroom and cargo space for a higher price).

The Bolt brothers have been GM’s best-selling electric cars and the best-selling electric car built by a company other than Tesla for much of 2023.

But they’ve also been a public relations hassle thanks to an escalating series of recalls due to several fires blamed on improperly assembled batteries. GM appears to have solved that problem, but it remains a stain on the model’s name to part of the shopping public.

The company has waffled on what to do about the little car. Last spring, it announced that the Bolt would be canceled at the end of 2023. Shortly afterward, amid strong sales, it announced plans to bring the name back on a future car.

Barra’s announcement puts a timeline on the next Bolt’s appearance.

Next Version Likely to Share Parts With Other GM EVs

We don’t know what the next generation of the Bolt will look like, but it’s not hard to make a few likely guesses. Today’s 2023 Bolt EV and EUV on dealer lots are the only GM EVs that don’t use the company’s Ultium platform, which was developed after they appeared.

Most of today’s EVs are built on so-called skateboard platforms – nearly flat combinations of batteries, electric motors, steering, and suspension components that can be scaled up or down to make vehicles for different needs. Ultium is GM’s version.

Ultium underlies most current and planned GM EVs, from the roughly $30,000 Equinox EV to the $300,000-plus Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury car.

The Ultium platform uses a different battery technology than the Bolt – one that, so far, hasn’t triggered any expensive recalls.

The next-generation Bolt will almost certainly sit on the Ultium platform. Thanks to its compact hatchback shape, it will likely remain the most affordable GM EV.

And GM will probably try to hold onto its significant competitive advantage – its low price – by building it with enough domestically sourced materials to qualify for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit even as the tax credit program grows stricter by the year.

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