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General Motors ends the Chevy Bolt, along with an old narrative [Op-Ed]

Credit: Reddit u/scarls13

General Motors’ decision to end the Chevy Bolt also brought closure to an old narrative that the vehicle, which has been plagued by a disastrous perspective driven by major battery issues, is not dependable. Ending what accounted for more than 98 percent of its 2022 EV sales last year may be more than a public relations move than anything.

There is no doubt the Chevy Bolt is a common option among electric vehicle buyers. The car is still commonly considered one of the more affordable electric options on the market, and the most recent model year was no different. Offering both the EV and slightly more spacious EUV at a price point below $30,000 is just what GM needed to surge sales of sustainable powertrains within its offerings after stalled efforts to widely manufacture its other models, like the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, slowed the so-called “leader in EVs” potential rise to prominence.

While GM executives noted yesterday during the company’s Q1 2023 Earnings Call that the termination of the Bolt EV and EUV will make way for more popular and soon-to-be-offered pickups and SUVs, it is not a far-fetched thought to think that eliminating the two models is a move that offers both high risks and high rewards. On one hand, GM has been extremely dependent on the Bolt models to drive EV sales. On the other, the vehicles are basically the only reason GM has any credibility in the space.

GM bids farewell to the Chevy Bolt, bringing closure to its best-selling EV

Eliminating the Bolt means two things: GM will have immense pressure to ramp up production of its other vehicles. If successful, it will truly launch itself into an entirely new status. Failure could set the automaker back years in terms of what it has worked so hard to build, all of which can be attributed to the Bolt’s prowess as the manufacturer’s most popular EV.

But even more important is that an old narrative that has hovered over the Bolt like a dark storm cloud will go, and that is that it is a car plagued with old stories of battery issues, which were widely fixed as a result of a major overhaul that cost GM over $1 billion.

Various Bolt EVs were widely followed by the massive recall, which the automaker paid $1.8 billion to remedy. During the Q2 2021 Earnings call, the company said it would voluntarily recall all 2020-2022 model year vehicles to fix a series of manufacturing defects within battery cells. These problems forced owners to do things like limit the state of charge, park outside of their garages, and even avoid certain parking lots, as Bolts were banned from parking on some properties.

It worked quickly to fix the issues, and eventually, the Bolts were handed back to their owners and were safe to drive once again.

While the problems and defects disappeared, the opinions didn’t.

It begs the question of whether GM is eliminating the Bolt for another reason, at least partially. Bringing an end to a vehicle that brought so much of both triumph and turmoil to the GM name has its positives and negatives. Ultimately, GM plans to be all-electric in the long term, and getting off the ground running with a new lineup of EVs on its Ultium platform is the most crucial part of the process.

Unfortunately, this includes bringing closure to a model that may come with a negative narrative in the future.

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General Motors ends the Chevy Bolt, along with an old narrative [Op-Ed]
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