Whether GM killed the Chevy Bolt EV or not, it’s returning soon

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    GM introduced again the Chevrolet Bolt EV this week, as a future inexpensive EV product peg for the corporate’s product plan, timeline but to be disclosed. 

    That mentioned, the timeline for the Bolt EV disappearing from dealerships stays confirmed. In April, GM confirmed that it will discontinue the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV on the finish of 2023, as manufacturing winds down on the Orion Meeting plant in Michigan, which GM had already dedicated to manufacturing of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and different massive electrical vehicles on its Ultium platform. 

    “Drawing on varied Ultium and Ultifi technological developments will assist GM carry this common model again to market on an accelerated timeline,” GM mentioned, confirming that the long run Bolt EV received’t carry over its current propulsion tech. 

    GM Ultium battery - cell stacking

    GM Ultium battery – cell stacking

    Future Bolt EV received’t be all-new

    The automaker additionally urged that not all the things on the Bolt EV shall be new, because it famous that it “will execute it extra rapidly in comparison with an all-new program with considerably decrease engineering expense and capital funding by updating the car with Ultium and Ultifi applied sciences and by making use of our ‘successful with simplicity’ self-discipline.”

    Ultium is the broad commerce time period making use of to GM battery and electrical propulsion households, and Ultifi is the time period making use of to its EV software program, so this merely signifies that the long run Bolt EV received’t carry ahead with its present-generation LG Chem cells—which had been the main focus of a really expensive, large-scale recall. 

    GM had no incentive to hold that tech ahead anyhow. “We’re already on the street to delivering a 60% value discount in comparison with the Bolt EV with the following era of Ultium,” Barra mentioned in 2021, of tech set to reach mid-decade, as a part of a press release touting the automaker as one of many few to have an EV that’s as inexpensive because the Bolt household.

    Possible electric Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video

    Attainable electrical Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video

    Did GM ever really kill the Chevy Bolt EV?

    GM executives had already hinted to Inexperienced Automotive Stories and different shops that whereas future electrical small vehicles may be within the works, these wouldn’t use the identical large-format Ultium pouch cells that it deliberate to deploy on all the things from the Chevrolet Equinox EV and Blazer EV on as much as huge vehicles just like the GMC Hummer EV and Chevy Silverado EV.

    Likewise, GM and Honda introduced in April 2022 that they have been working collectively on a joint structure for inexpensive EVs—one that might use “next-generation Ultium battery know-how,” in accordance with GM.

    At the moment, these compact EVs have been set to reach for 2026. It’s onerous to think about GM engaged on a number of compact EV platforms outdoors China, so this week’s announcement probably indicators that the undertaking has been pulled forward—just like the automaker managed to speed up improvement of the Cadillac Lyriq, maybe. 

    GM might have supplied a number of the reply to what comes subsequent. Earlier this yr the corporate clarified that it would embrace the pliability of cylindrical cells in future EVs, as a part of its Ultium tech however not as a part of the Ultium Cells LLC three way partnership. That was made clearer this April with the announcement of a three way partnership between GM and Samsung SDI, as a result of mass-produce cylindrical cells for GM merchandise beginning in 2026.

    The lower-profile cells would assist reply the dimensional challenges that make these large-format cells more durable to package deal inside a small automotive or beneath the ground of a low-profile car. 

    UAW-made sticker on 2022 Chevy Bolt EV

    UAW-made sticker on 2022 Chevy Bolt EV

    Bolt EV’s manufacturing dilemma

    Whereas the Bolt EV’s Michigan plant shifts to truck manufacturing later within the yr, the automaker doesn’t produce other speedy choices for U.S. manufacturing. GM vacated its Lordstown, Ohio, plant that used to assemble compact vehicles and is situated close to the Ultium LLC cells facility. It’s now underneath the possession of Foxconn, which can probably assemble the $29,900 Fisker Pear city EV there. 

    In the meantime, demand for the Bolt EV surges, and GM will face a niche in its lineup after the top of the yr. Of the 36,024 EVs GM delivered within the first half of 2023, simply 2,365 have been of its new-generation Ultium EVs. The remaining 33,659 have been Chevrolet Bolt EVs. 

    In its replace for traders earlier this week, CEO Barra pointed to the Bolt as certainly one of its most in-demand autos, at or underneath a 10-day provide in supplier stock. 

    “Truly, we will not construct sufficient Bolts proper now,” mentioned Barra to Wolfe Analysis analyst Rod Lache. 

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