Electric Cars

Chevy Bolt EV outsells the Volt plug-in for two months straight

The gap is likely to grow now that the Bolt EV is available nationwide.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

2016 was the Chevrolet Volt's best year ever, thanks to a brand-new design and improved performance. It's on track for another good year, but a newcomer has quickly surpassed it.

For the last two months, the Chevrolet Bolt EV has outsold the Chevrolet Volt. Chevy sold 1,971 Bolts in July and 2,107 in August. By comparison, Chevy pushed just 1,518 and 1,445 Volts out the door in July and August, respectively.

As The Truth About Cars points out, the Bolt EV sold better in August than the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, Mazda CX-9, Jaguar F-Pace, Audi A3 and plenty more.

Good luck trying to say "The Bolt outsold the Volt" with a cold and have anybody understand you.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

This gap will likely expand over the next few months, because the Chevy Bolt is now available nationwide. The EV hatchback was only available in limited markets to start, as evidenced by the slow growth of its sales figures in the first half of 2017. But now that this 238-mile electric car can be ordered at any certified dealership, it's only going to help its appeal.

The Volt is billed as an extended-range electric vehicle. Its battery provides for 53 miles of all-electric driving, before the gas range extender engine kicks in and fills it back up. With a full charge and a full tank of gas, Chevrolet estimates the Volt's total range at a Cheech-friendly 420 miles. The engine does still contribute to forward motion, but it attempts to minimize that for the sake of efficiency.

There is a chance that the Bolt EV has eaten into the Volt's sales ever so slightly, although I do believe that these cars occupy two separate market segments. There are still plenty of people who will get range anxiety with a 238-mile EV, especially if they don't have a Level 2 charger at home. It's still much easier to gas up the Volt and leave it trickle charging overnight, so I wouldn't expect buyers to make the leap from Volt to Bolt en masse just yet, if at all.

The age of mass-market electric cars is finally descending upon us, but the age of mass-market electric car purchasing is still a ways away.