By on January 2, 2019

2017 Chevrolet Bolt and 2017 Chevrolet Volt - Images: GM

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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29 Comments on “Confirmed: Chevrolet’s Bolt Loses Its Full Tax Credit In April, but Not the Doomed Volt...”


  • avatar
    stingray65

    GM and Tesla are likely hoping for a late Christmas present. Since I seem to be prevented from providing a link – use the following search phrase to find a nice short musical video on the topic:

    Remy: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (EV Tax Credit Edition)

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Asian car fanboy

    The Hyundai Kona EV is a compliance car. Near bankrupt Hyundai will never bring more than a few hundred a year to the U.S.
    What else you got?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Near bankrupt Hyundai”

      Really now?

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I didn’t realize doing a “compliance car” meant doing 3 different vehicles: Kona EV, Niro EV, Soul EV.

      They aren’t going anywhere soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        SC5door

        SoulEV, IoniqEV, IoniqPHEV, OptimaPHEV, Sonata PHEV.
        So many cars, So many articles, so few batteries.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          You are correct. For all their rhetoric, Hyundai/Kia isn’t really committed to the NA EV market, in part because they can’t source enough batteries.

          And I drive an Ioniq EV that I had to cross state lines to get. Wonderful, affordable car, but it’s a unicorn of unicorns. Mine is one of 35 sold in November.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogey74

      OK, the first trolling I’ve seen in 2019 and it’s here? Okaaaay.

      Hyundai and Kia are going nowhere. Their growth in the last three decades has been based on benchmarking Toyota while getting the quality right and offering better value to drive interest. It’s worked. I aspire to zero Hyundai/Kia models but I no longer have to argue with friends and family to include them in buying choices. They are built and drive and last like a better-value Toyota. Boom. Compared to the likes of VW and the US big three, their future prospects are significantly better because they’ve got a better quality and customer focus and much less baggage from bad corporate culture.

      Sorry dude. Your comment reads like a climate change denier saying it’s all wrong because of minor details. Yeah, nah.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Hogey74

        +7 years of falling profits
        +Rising wages in Korea
        +Half empty factories in China
        +Failed luxury brand
        +very few repeat buyers
        +Extremely low ATPs
        +high percentage of rental fleet sales

        BTW- if the anti-American a-hole who wrote this article put up a neutral headline like “Chevy hits the 200,000 EV mark” and didn’t try comparing the bolt to a California compliance car. We wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        Eric Smith

        I own a Kia, loved it when I bought it new. Nice design, however it does not have the same enduring quality of the Toyota I have for comparison or the Mazda for that matter. Material quality at 60K miles is fair at best. Not sure the engine will last past 100K despite Synthetic oil changes since new, burns over a quart every 1k miles. They’re nothing special and I won’t buy another.

  • avatar
    Mr.EpMini9

    The Bolt is a fantastic ev.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Never realized the Volt is cheaper than the Bolt. The gen 2 should have been a crossover, GM really missed the boat.

  • avatar
    jatz

    5″ of lift and the Bolt would sell like Popsockets.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    So does this mean that those OEMs who are still well under the 200K threshold now have an advantage? And would some of the names on that list include the likes of FCA and Toyota?

    Maybe there’s something to be said for being fashionably late to the party.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Good.

  • avatar
    Ugliest1

    Just a couple of corrections. GM now has two full quarters, not just a single quarter before the incentive drops by half, then another two quarters before dropping by half again (and a further two full quarters before disappearing altogether).

    And, reporting the tax credit as actual dollars off the sticker price is … ummm … not truth about car prices. You pay the full sticker price, then a year later can deduct the $7,500 (or $3,750, or $1,875) from your *US* federal tax. But only if you have that much federal tax room. So it may not be a full deduction, and it doesn’t apply to the rest of the world.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      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?

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

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


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