By on December 12, 2016

2017 Bolt

Anyone living north of the border who’d like a Chevrolet Bolt for Christmas might have to wait a while, depending on where they live.

The first 238-mile electric subcompacts should trickle into dealers in California and Oregon before the end of the year, but there’ll be new calendars on the wall before any Canadians get behind the wheel. Even then, the Bolt won’t stray far from the public money spigot.

According to Automotive News Canada, only those living in three of the country’s 10 provinces can place an order for a Bolt right now. The first deliveries should occur in early 2017.

GM Canada spokesman George Saratlic confirmed that select dealers in those provinces are now taking orders. Availability should expand to the rest of Canada within a year of the first delivery. In total, about half of the country’s GM dealers will jump aboard the Bolt bandwagon, but there’s a catch — for obvious reasons, urban dealers will form the bulk of the total tally, and only those that sell the Volt can join in.

This means that EV aficionados living in Jerkwater and Nowheresville, Canada will probably need to hitch a ride to a faraway dealership to satisfy their urge.

Population aside, there’s a good reason why GM made the Bolt available to Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia buyers first, and it’s not because of a simmering hatred for Manitoba. In those provinces, you see, green car subsidies flow from the mountains. There’s no federal EV incentives in Canada — unlike the U.S. — so the automaker wants provincial government incentives to spark interest and sales. In Ontario especially, the rebate significantly knocks down the Bolt’s $44,395 starting price.

B.C. offers $5,000 to eligible EV buyers, while Quebec offers up to $8,000 (as well as the perk of the country’s lowest electricity prices). In Ontario, however, there’s $11,361 to be had from the public purse. That places the entry-level price, which includes shipping, at $33,034 — not too far off the $29,995 U.S. price (after federal tax credit).

Perhaps wanting to avoid a jinx, GM hasn’t issued a formal sales projection for the Bolt. Unsubstantiated claims put the possible tally somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 units, but one analyst said 80,000 isn’t out of the question.

[Image: General Motors]

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13 Comments on “Pass the Subsidies: The Chevrolet Bolt’s Northern Roll-out is a Slow One...”

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    LG admitted last month that they are contracted to build a maximum of 30,000 battery packs per year for the Bolt. Fifty and eighty thousand units are out of the question for now.

  • avatar

    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a charger where I live, so electrics or plug in hybrids are off my list, but I’d actually enjoy trying one of these out.

  • avatar

    If they can get Bolts onto the lots of Middle America it will serve as an incontestable pass/fail test for EVs.

    Poor people don’t matter and rich people have T***a; it’s us tweeners who shall be judge & jury of the EVs pertinence to contemporary American transportation.

    Hopefully, better luck this time.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      This is mostly true.

      But the T***a Model 3 has 10x the reservations than Bolt will sell in a year, and it has cross-country capability due to the Supercharger network. I suspect tweeners are waiting for this car, too (well, I am…).

      A year from now, a criticism of the Bolt will be its short leash due to lack of long-distance charging infrastructure. IMO, all the mfrs (and regulators) are to blame for not harmonizing charging standards.

    • 0 avatar

      Except the bolt is the size of a penalty box and has the looks to match. Let’s not forget an EV still has to be comfortable and at least attractive, or I guess unique (BMW, I’m looking at you).

      *In theory* the Model 3 will be a more attractive production car. We’ll see. I do intend to test drive a Bolt, though – I’d like to see how ergonomic it actually is inside vs how it appears to be.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Actually, people who have driven it say it’s surprisingly roomy inside, and its written specs indicate this as well. It’s substantially larger than my former Leaf, for instance.

        A Bolt would be on my ‘next’ list, except I don’t want another EV with a short leash due to the lack of long-distance infrastructure. I’m afraid that if I drove it, I might buy it.

        • 0 avatar


          Oops, forgot there are *two* Linuses on this site and you sure ain’t one ’em. The other has been rather quiet of late.

          I guess “Linus” now is more a generic affliction that an individual’s name.

  • avatar

    29,999 left to sell (assuming I’m not totally upside down on my Volt).

  • avatar

    So much for GM’s claim that “you can get a Bolt right now”, as opposed to waiting a couple of years for a Tesla Model 3.

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