GM CEO Mary Barra hinted at this news in June, but now it’s officially official: The Chevy Bolt is back. Well, it will be back, as the current generation is still going to end production this year. But a completely new generation will eventually replace it. The company hasn’t said exactly when it will be offered, but offer it the company will.
Barra summed up the reasoning pretty clearly with this statement: “Our customers love today’s Bolt. It has been delivering record sales and some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry. It’s also an important source of conquest sales for the company and for Chevrolet.”
More specifically, Chevy noted that 80% of Bolt buyers are planning on sticking with the brand, and 70% of Bolt buyers were trading in non-GM vehicles. The model is also having its best-ever sales this year. Through the first half of the year, 33,659 have been sold. That’s a massive improvement over last year, when Chevy only moved 7,303 in the same time frame. This also means that Bolt sold more than some other key nameplates in the Chevy lineup, individually beating Blazer, Colorado, Suburban and Trax so far this year.
Unsurprisingly, the next Bolt will be adopting Ultium-style battery tech like the Equinox EV, Blazer EV and Silverado EV, as well as connected car services. This will mean that GM won’t have to be building two different types of battery systems for its EVs, and will probably improve fast charging capability, among other benefits. We’re a little concerned about how quickly GM will be able to get cars out the door with the slow ramp-up and production of other Ultium cars, but even with the “accelerated timeline” Chevy is promising, the Bolt is still probably a year or two out from now.
Presumably, the Bolt will continue to be the entry point to the GM electric lineup, and will probably continue to be offered at a sub-$30,000 price tag like the current one. This will be an important value play as more affordable EVs continue to arrive such as the mid-$30,000 Volvo EX30 and the next-generation Nissan Leaf, whenever that happens to show up. We, and likely plenty of EV hopefuls, will be looking forward to the next Bolt.