GM Doesn’t Rule Out Eventual Return for Bolt

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

gm doesnt rule out eventual return for bolt

It’s a common knock on GM that the company has a tendency to kill its darlings just as they get them right; look no further into history than the Pontiac Fiero and Cadillac Allanté as two good examples*. Some pundits muttered similar oaths about the all-electric Bolt when news surfaced that the model isn’t long for this world – but statements on an NPR podcast last week could give hope to the popular (and affordable) little EV.

Appearing on the broadcaster’s Marketplace podcast, GM boss Mary Barra spoke about the company’s current electric ambitions and mentioned she had just taken delivery of a new Cadillac Lyriq. That EV replaced a Bolt, she explained, describing it as a car she absolutely loved during her few months behind the wheel. Naturally, the podcast host asked why The General was pulling the plug on it. From NPR’s transcripts:

“Because it’s our second-generation technology. The difference between our second generation and third generation, which is Ultium, is a 40% reduction in battery costs. And we’re leveraging the names of our vehicles that are well understood and known in industry.”

This is the explanation most reasonable people expected. The new Ultium platform is several leagues more advanced than the gubbins found in the Bolt and Bolt EUV – its batteries are more energy dense and arguably easier to adapt to differently sized vehicles, to say nothing of the huge reduction in costs. Car companies love to save money, especially if it means those dollars can be shoveled towards the development of new technologies which can then be used to beat their competitors over the head. 

To be sure, the Bolt’s cancellation is reasonable from a technical point of view. Keeping up production would be like continuing to produce VCRs long after everyone switched to DVDs. Still, both Bolts are popular models largely loved by their owners and still Doing Numbers in terms of sales. An attractive price point is a key selling feature, as is a reasonable driving range on a full charge. Sure, the Equinox EV is on its way with a promised $30,000-ish price tag, but the Bolt is here now.

Following up on her thoughts, Barra went on to say the Bolt has a wealth of loyalty and equity in its name, suggesting the company realizes it would be foolish to flush that down the toilet. Citing the move from Gen 2 to Gen 3 electric architecture, Barra pointed out that the Bolt is “an important vehicle in our portfolio,” leaving the door open to a Bolt reprise constructed with Ultium bones. 

*Ed. note -- One could also say this about the Pontiac brand right before the bankruptcy. Ahem, Pontiac G8 anyone? But I digress.

[Image: GM]

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2 of 36 comments
  • Jud65709025 Jud65709025 on Jun 14, 2023

    GM...this is easy marketing. Announce Bolt will be on hiatus. When the next gen is 6 months from launch start a countdown. Bolt loyalists will go crazy!

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jun 14, 2023

    “Car companies love to save money, especially if it means those dollars can be shoveled towards the development of new technologies which can then be used to beat their competitors over the head, and find new ways to extract more money from customers after the sale by making such luxuries as heated seats a subscription.”


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