People really seem to like the Chevrolet Bolt. They like it so much that GM is expanding production of the little electric hatchback at its Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan to meet global demand.
When the Bolt launched, it did so in the shadow of the Tesla Model 3, a car which, on paper, should outdo the Bolt in nearly every way. Except, we're now into March and the Model 3 still isn't rolling off the assembly line in meaningful numbers. People got impatient waiting for their affordable and practical electric car, and so those who can't wait have chosen to Bolt.
To date, General Motors has sold around 25,000 Bolts worldwide, which is nothing to sneeze at. It's not exactly a super-cheap car considering that it starts at over $37,000 and can range up to almost $50,000, before tax incentives. Still, the ability to get it now has a strong appeal, and GM is eager to make hay while the sun shines.
"In December 2012, the Chevrolet Volt was GM's flagship electrified vehicle, and its owners hit a milestone 100 million all-electric miles just two years after it went on sale. By December 2017, drivers of five electrified models, including the Bolt EV, racked up more than 2.6 billion EV miles," said Mary Barra, chairperson and CEO of General Motors.
"We are encouraged by this momentum, and because of increasing global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we are announcing today that we will increase Bolt EV production later this year at our Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit," Barra continued.
It will be interesting to see how the rivalry between an increasingly electrified General Motors and Tesla shakes out. The Bolt and the Model 3 both are extremely indicative of each company's approach to the design challenges presented by EVs, and both have merits, but will one win out over the other in the end?