GM introduced again the Chevrolet Bolt EV this week—as a future inexpensive EV product peg for the corporate’s product plan.
While the timeline is but to be disclosed for the revamped Bolt EV, the timeline for the present Bolt EV disappearing from dealerships stays confirmed.
In April, GM disclosed that it might discontinue the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV on the finish of 2023, as manufacturing winds down on the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, which GM had already dedicated to manufacturing of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and different giant electrical vehicles on its Ultium platform.
“Drawing on various Ultium and Ultifi technological advancements will help GM bring this popular model back to market on an accelerated timeline,” GM mentioned Wednesday, confirming that the long run Bolt EV received’t carry over its present propulsion tech.
GM Ultium battery – cell stacking
Future Bolt EV received’t be all-new
The automaker additionally steered that not all the pieces on the Bolt EV will likely be new, because it famous that it “will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program with significantly lower engineering expense and capital investment by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies and by applying our ‘winning with simplicity’ 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 target of a really expensive, large-scale recall that seems to have been definitely worth the effort, leaving clients happy and constant to the model and nameplate.
GM had no incentive to hold the present Bolt EV’s battery tech ahead anyhow. “We’re already on the road to delivering a 60% cost reduction compared to the Bolt EV with the next generation 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 electrical Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video
Did GM ever truly kill the Chevy Bolt EV?
GM executives had already hinted to Green Car Reports 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 pieces from the Chevrolet Equinox EV and Blazer EV on as much as large vehicles just like the GMC Hummer EV and Chevy Silverado EV.
Likewise, GM and Honda introduced in April 2022 that they had been working collectively on a joint structure for inexpensive EVs—one that may use “next-generation Ultium battery technology,” based on GM.
At that point, these compact EVs had been set to reach for 2026. It’s arduous to think about GM engaged on a number of compact EV platforms exterior China, so this week’s announcement seemingly indicators that the mission has been pulled forward—just like the automaker managed to speed up growth of the Cadillac Lyriq, maybe.
GM might have supplied among the reply to what comes subsequent. Earlier this yr the corporate clarified that it’d embody the flexibleness 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, attributable to 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 bundle inside a small automotive or beneath the ground of a low-profile car.
UAW-made sticker on 2022 Chevy Bolt EV
Bolt EV’s manufacturing dilemma
While the Bolt EV’s Michigan plant shifts to truck manufacturing later within the yr, the automaker doesn’t produce other fast choices for U.S. manufacturing. GM vacated its Lordstown, Ohio, plant that used to assemble compact vehicles and is positioned close to the Ultium LLC cells facility. It’s now below the possession of Foxconn, which is able to seemingly assemble the $29,900 Fisker Pear city EV there.
Meanwhile, demand for the Bolt EV surges, and GM will face a niche in its lineup after the tip of the yr. Of the 36,024 EVs GM delivered within the first half of 2023, simply 2,365 had been of its new-generation Ultium EVs. The remaining 33,659 had been Chevrolet Bolt EVs.
In its replace for traders earlier this week, CEO Barra pointed to the Bolt as one in every of its most in-demand automobiles, at or below a 10-day provide in vendor stock.
“Actually, we can’t build enough Bolts right now,” mentioned Barra to Wolfe Research analyst Rod Lache.