By on October 3, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors claims Chevrolet dealers will see some Bolts arrive before the end of the year, but it’s now clear who gets the 238-mile electric vehicle first.

The first Bolts to roll out of the Orion Assembly plant will go to drivers working for Lyft, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Speaking at the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Detroit, the ride-sharing company’s director of transportation, Emily Caster, said, “Drivers on the Lyft platform will be receiving Bolts to drive first.”

GM hasn’t confirmed this is the case. GM spokesman Vijay Iyer told Freep, “We will be delivering the Bolt EV to our retail customers and to Lyft before the end of the year.” Previously, GM North America president Alan Batey claimed that the Bolt should “start to become available at Chevrolet dealerships later this year.”

GM maintains a close relationship with Lyft. The automaker invested $500 million in the company in early January and rolled out a special weekly leasing offer for the country’s 315,000 Lyft drivers in March. The Bolt should be subject to a similar offer.

Chevrolet’s Bolt, which arrives a year before the similarly low-priced, long-ranged Tesla Model 3, retails for $37,495 before government incentives.

[Image: General Motors]

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14 Comments on “Want to Be First in Line for a Bolt? You’d Better Drive for Lyft...”

  • avatar

    That will get more people exposed to the initial launch quantities than would individual test drives and sales, no? For better or worse.

    • 0 avatar

      The typical rideshare passenger:

      a. has no license
      b. can’t afford a car
      c. doesn’t want a car
      d. is drunk

      Not typical electric car owners.

      I question the wisdom of associating a brand new car so closely with a taxi service.

      • 0 avatar

        Makes sense. I defer to your greater knowledge of that fauna.

      • 0 avatar

        Umm I use them on biz trips all the time. I have 4 cars, live in the burbs, and don’t have a drinking problem.

        • 0 avatar

          Even worse.. you don’t need any more cars and can’t be tricked into something when you’re plastered!

        • 0 avatar


          Have also used Uber, we have 4 cars between two drivers, live in the burbs and I’m not a drunk. I haven’t vomited in any vehicle, boat, airplane, car, or otherwise since I was a kid.

          I’ll use it for when I need one way transportation (say to pick up one of said motor pool at service) or in situations where I know parking will be impossible (downtown Seattle)

      • 0 avatar

        It probably has less to do with brand and more with overall strategy.

        What better way to find out how new cars are doing in real world situations when you have full access to data on where it’s going, how it’s being used, how the cars are holding up mechanically (and when it comes to the batteries, chemically) to constant use.

        For a company that eventually wants to develop autonomous driving, this is a good way gather data, not just for cars, but get a feel out for where the market is going and how it’s developing.

        • 0 avatar

          Exactly. The Lyft (and uber) apps will track drives, speeds, locations, etc in a way that you never could in a mass market car. Tesla has been called out for what they do, but with Lyft, you will get a lot of driving in short order, not two hours of use a day…

          Also, taxi duty is rough on a car, so anything that is going to blow, will do so in the fleet…car makers have used taxis for experiments since the beginning. One of my Uber drivers was talking about his 17 inch 45 series tires blowing out hard on Philly streets…I suggested the minus one…but no one would ever spec that tire on a taxi, cop or other fleet car. I’ve seen a lot of Prius used for Uber…some of the cars that show up aren’t really suited to the business.

          I can only imagine the data…since every Uber I’ve used sends me my trip route on a map. They can get very granular about if there is an issue, where the issue occurs.

          I’ve take Uber in a few cities, and it is a great idea…I just don’t know how Uber, and others, get away with just ignoring laws…they were banned in Philly yesterday…and we had zero issue getting one. Imagine if any other business did that…yes, pot is illegal, but we have a few varieties here…oh, you can’t dump oil in the river…we are doing it anyway…speed limit is 65 ? Tough, I’m going 95 across the entire state….

          I’m totally amazed at the Uber/Lyft business model, even though I’ve used the services….just ignore regs you don’t like and operate anyway. I guess corporations ARE people !

      • 0 avatar

        “The typical rideshare passenger”

        I often use ride sharing services when I travel to big cities for work.

        Pressing three buttons far more convent and leas 3rd-worldy than riding around in a beat up 1990s panther, and haggling with the guy over fees and tips.

        Also, if I’m traveling to a city center (and staying there), a couple of Uber rides can be much cheaper than renting a car.

  • avatar

    IIRC, Pontiac once had a plan to introduce a vehicle to the rental car fleets, thinking that it would create positive word of mouth and spur renters to become buyers.

    The only problem with their plan was that the car was a Pontiac, so positive buzz was not forthcoming.

  • avatar

    This may serve several purposes. 1. Let passengers not used to EVs know what the Bolt will be like. 2. Low operating costs for Lyft drivers. 3. Collect stats regarding ride-share usage. Says a lot of what the typical Lyft ride is in terms of range and how big the interval is between rides (obviously big enough to recharge at a local station).

    You might even suspect some sort of client/provider program, in which Lyft riders can use the Bolt. Which would come down to another business model for GM…

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