Confirmed: Chevrolet's Bolt Loses Its Full Tax Credit In April, but Not the Doomed Volt

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
confirmed chevrolets bolt loses its full tax credit in april but not the doomed

Good news for would-be Volt owners? Not really. Chevrolet’s soon-to-be-discontinued plug-in hybrid won’t live long enough to suffer the indignity of a halved federal EV tax credit. It’s dead in March, though remaining examples of the car everyone should want will no doubt linger on lots through the spring.

On Wednesday, General Motors announced, as expected, that it became the second automaker to pass the federal government’s 200,000-vehicle threshold, kicking off a three-month countdown to a chopped incentive.

The momentous moment came near the end of 2018, Automotive News reports, meaning a full quarter must pass before buyers stand to lose the $7,500 incentive offered on the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt and Volt. Come April, Bolt and remaining Volt buyers stand to receive just 3,750 of their fellow taxpayers’ dollars. Six months after that, the credit halves again, then vanishes.

Of course, General Motors execs probably aren’t toasting this green car milestone, as, much like Tesla (and Mitsubishi in Ontario), it will now have to resort to sweetening the MSRP pot on the manufacturer side. Then again, depending on the Bolt’s profitability, maybe a customer disincentive is a good thing for GM finances.

After passing the 200,000-eligible-vehicle mark in July, Tesla saw its full tax credit disappear on New Year’s Day, forcing the company to slash stickers by $2,000 across the board. Next in line to start the countdown is Nissan.

In base LT guise, the Bolt uses federal generosity to lower its MSRP five bucks below the $30k barrier. A halved credit puts the Bolt LT’s base price at $33,745. The improved 2019 Volt, condemned to death via falling sales (an affliction shared with its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly factory mates) retails for $34,395 after delivery but before the $7,500 credit. It’s because of the Volt’s generous, 53-mile range that the car, which still packs a 1.5-liter four-cylinder for longer trips, qualifies for the full kitty.

Despite claiming its future lies in electric propulsion and computer control, GM’s short-term worries must lie with competitors who fall well below the tax credit threshold — most notably Hyundai, whose Kona EV crossover goes 258 miles between turns at the plug. Entry price for that vehicle, after incentives? An attractive $28,950.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Robbie Robbie on Jan 03, 2019

    I think the truth about electric cars is more nuanced. If you ever wake up in an apartment in downtown Paris, open the window, and smell, you realize that there must be a great future for electric cars. But here in Ohio and in much of the US, they just aren't a sensible proposition.

    • Russycle Russycle on Jan 03, 2019

      After the tax incentive, a Volt is about the same price as a reasonably equipped Camry. No range anxiety, and potentially much lower costs to operate, depending on your driving needs. What's not sensible about that?

  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on Jan 07, 2019

    I wonder how a certain bearded pretentious douchebag will try to spin this in the next Chevy commercial...

  • Arthur Dailey Is most of your driving in stop and go urban traffic?Do you have kids, who you have to drive to and from their activities? Sometimes with their friends/teammates.Do you have pets? Do you have some mobility issues?Can you perform maintenance yourself?Do you have a discretionary fund for unforeseen repairs?Do you have another car, so that you only need to use this on weekends or rural/highway trips?Check your answers to the above. They may tell you that as nice as this car is, you might be better off with a new, boring but more practical SUV.
  • DungBeetle62 Before everyone dumps on California and their tax structure and Gavin's hairstyle, my recent road trip (which didn't get to California) was as follows when tanking up Super Unleaded.Texas - Fort Worth area Costco : $3.36Texas - Amarillo Sam's - $3.46New Mexico - Albuquerque Costco - $3.75Arizona - Flagstaff Sam's - $4.25Nevada - Henderson Costco- $4.72Oil is oil is oil is oil. State taxes vary, transporting the refined product varies, but a friggin BUCK AND A HALF more a gallon (and we're talking Costco to Costco here) ain't passing the smell test as you get out west. No, count me in with thinking someone out west is going for a bigger bite of the apple and figuring people will blame Newsom.
  • Tassos Whoever pays $23,000 for this 15 year old unreliable car will regret it. I would not pay half that.Go get an excellent E55 AMG, also 2008, and pretty close HP-wise, with far higher Torque, and a proper luxury interior..
  • VoGhost Why would anyone want to save a car dealer? No really - what actual value do they provide?
  • FreedMike Really nice example, but these are LEGENDARY for being money pits.