It would be a pretty interesting twist of fate, but Tesla’s next-generation vehicle might find itself competing in the market with a vehicle that was once considered a rival to the Model 3. As per recent comments from General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the practical Chevy Bolt EV may make a comeback as an Ultium-based EV.
Considering the outgoing vehicles’ prices, the potential reborn Chevy Bolt EV would likely be priced in the sub-$30,000 range. This would place the vehicle in the same segment as Tesla’s upcoming electric vehicle, which is expected to start production once Gigafactory Mexico is operational. It’s also expected to start at less than $30,000.
The GM CEO’s comments were shared during NPR’s Marketplace podcast. As per Barra, she has actually been driving a Bolt UEV, and she is very fond of the vehicle. Barra explained that GM ultimately decided to discontinue the current iteration of the Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV simply because they were built on older technology.
“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. We’re leveraging the names of our vehicles that are well understood and known in (the) industry… Bolt is something that has built up a lot of loyalty and equity. So I can’t say more because I don’t discuss future product programs. But, you know, it was primarily a move from second generation to third generation. But that’s (an) important vehicle in our portfolio,” Barra said.
In a way, a shift to a third-generation platform for the Bolt EV makes sense. The Bolt EV, after all, lost a notable amount of steam once the Tesla Model 3 entered the market. This was unfortunate for the Bolt, as it was practical and affordable, with the Bolt EV starting at just $26,500 and the Bolt EUV starting at $27,800. With the Ultium platform and a similar price tag as its current iterations, the Chevy Bolt line might get a well-deserved second wind.
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