Is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV just another compliance car?

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 14, 2016

The EV1 was General Motors’ first mass-produced electric vehicle. It was released produced and leased from 1996 up to 1999. However, the dream to make an emission-free world was crushed in 2004; and we mean that literally. One of the reasons why GM crushed every EV enthusiast’s dream along with the EV1 is because at that time the market for EVs was very small and producing an EV was then deemed unprofitable.

It was a sad year for every EV enthusiast but it didn’t signal the last efforts GM made for EVs. Over the years, GM has been in the works developing EVs and has been able to build and sell two generations of the Chevrolet Volt. And just this year, GM launched its first pure electric vehicle ever since the EV1 – introducing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. The Chevy Bolt EV is another addition to the contenders for the best 200-mile EVs below a $40,000 price range. It is said to be a tough competition of the Tesla Model 3 – which by the way is already a phenomenal hit.

Despite all the hustle and bustle that the Chevy Bolt is making, there are still some EV owners and fans that can’t help but become skeptical about GM’s plans. The Bolt EV will be replacing the low-volume compliance car, the 2016 Chevy Spark EV. It will also be the “first mass-priced 200-mile electric car” once it will be released in the market which is targeted to happen by the end of this year or early 2017. The first cars will be delivered in California and in other places where EV cars are abundant.

GM is expecting around 25,000 to 30,000 cars produced for its first year, which is ten times the sales for the current Spark EV and equal that of Nissan Leaf sales in 2014 (highest EV sales for that year). But the question that is bothering every fan and Chevy owner is: will the Bolt EV be another compliance car just like the Spark EV? For Bob Lutz, former General Motors product czar, the Bolt EV will definitely be another one of GM’s compliance cars.

Profitable full-sized SUVs and pickup trucks subsidize the development and sale of plug-in and zero-emission vehicles such as the Bolt EV. Now for Lutz, compliance vehicles (including the Bolt EV), are created for a win-win situation – what they’re losing in one aspect, they can recover on the other (usually with the help of this so-called compliance vehicles). Moreover, it seems like the Bolt EV will only rely on customers who have very much likely bought a Volt as its marketing strategy.

Also, GM has already stood firm that it has no plans of making DC fast-charging stations for EVs – these charging stations allow EV owners to recharge their vehicles up to 80% in just 20 to 30 minutes. All these are factors as to why Lutz thinks of the Bolt EV as a compliance car.

Chevrolet’s marketing director for cars and crossovers, Steve Majoros, disagrees with Lutz’ observation and statement and says that the Bolt EV is loaded with innovations and is packed with flexibility and versatility to cater to the customer’s needs. He further adds that they are confident that the Bolt EV will be a big hit to customers who are very much interested with EVs and will be catering to all fifty states of America.

He is confident that there will be enough demand from consumers as well as the ability of nationwide Chevy dealers to provide the sales needed for the success of the Bolt EV. We’re expecting the Bolt EV to be a competent and fully functional vehicle, advancement in the battery-electric vehicle art.

We can’t predict the future of the Bolt EV, whether it will become another GM California compliance car or if it will be competent enough for Tesla’s beastly Model 3. In the meantime, let’s just sit back and relax while we wait for these cars to start production and delivery.

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