General Motors (GM) is discontinuing the Chevrolet Bolt, despite the car being its most popular electric vehicle. Production is expected to cease by the end of the year.
The surprise announcement of the Chevrolet Bolt’s retirement came during GM’s earnings call on Tuesday. Although GM’s assembly plant in Orion, Mich., will continue to manufacture electric vehicles, it will turn its attention to GMC Sierra pickup trucks and the Chevy Silverado. General Motors plans to eventually produce 600,000 electric trucks in the United States each year.
2022 Bolt EUV review: Sleek electric SUV with truly hands-free driving (unlike Teslas)
Given the relative popularity of the Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s decision to cease production seems odd at first glance. Originally launched in late 2016, the Bolt was one of the first long-range electric vehicles aimed at the average driver, and quickly became the best-selling non-Tesla-branded electric car in the United States.(opens in a new tab).
In a letter to investors, GM President and CEO Mary Barra said the company shipped more than 20,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter and increased its electric vehicle market share by eight percentage points, attributing that to the “third consecutive quarter of record-breaking Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV”. deliveries and increased sales of Cadillac LYRIQ.”
The Bolt’s death could open up the possibility for rivals such as Nissan to reclaim some of that market share through offerings such as the Nissan Leaf. GM also reported an 18.5% drop in first-quarter profits(opens in a new tab)its stock having fallen more than three percent following the announcements.
Mashable has reached out to GM for comment.
While the Chevrolet Bolt is undeniably popular compared to GM’s other electric vehicles, it’s not without its issues. Nearly 69,000 Chevy Bolts were recalled in 2020 due to their batteries posing a fire hazard. The recall was extended the following year, reaching over 141,000 vehicles(opens in a new tab) on model years 2017-2022.
Yet, having ironed out these issues, the Bolt offered a relatively inexpensive option for drivers willing to get behind the wheel of an electric car.