Buy the Highly Underrated Chevrolet Bolt EV or EUV Before They’re Discontinued

The leader in affordable electric vehicles is officially on the chopping block

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which will be discontinued along with the Bolt EUV at the end of the year
If you've been eyeing the most affordable EV on the market, now's the time to buy.

One of the main complaints about buying electric cars in the U.S. today is that they’re too expensive. But instead of automakers rectifying that problem, the landscape is about to get worse: General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced today that the company will end production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV by the end of 2023.

The Chevy Bolt EV hatchback is the most affordable EV in the country from a major automaker (starting at $26,500), and the larger Bolt EUV crossover follows close behind ($27,800), and both are still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. But as The Verge notes in its reporting, these EVs are built on “GM’s older and soon-to-be-obsolete BEV2 platform” and by discontinuing the models the company is opening up assembly space for larger electric vehicles built on the new Ultium architecture. Out goes the Bolt, in comes the Blazer, Equinox and Silverado EVs. 

That’s a damn shame, but it makes financial sense on paper. Chevrolet only sold a little over 27,000 Bolt EUVs in the U.S. in 2022, and only a little over 11,000 Bolt EVs. Meanwhile, Ford sold almost 40,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E, and Tesla sold approximately 231,000 Model Ys and 198,000 Model 3s. 

Part of the sluggish sales for the Bolt no doubt has to do with the handful of headline-making battery fires that caused GM to recall every Bolt ever made in 2021, and then replace battery modules. Then in late 2022, the automaker once again had to issue a sweeping recall over a fire risk, this time having to do with “rare instances of front seat belt pretensioner exhaust gases coming in contact with floor carpeting fibers, after a vehicle crash,” per Green Car Reports.

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No one wants to deal with the headache of these recalls, that’s for sure. But if we look at the larger picture, recalls are fairly commonplace these days (with Tesla being recently rated as the most-recalled auto brand), and the number of incidents that led to the GM recalls is tiny compared to the number of Bolts on the road. Many Bolt owners are actually impressed with the value that these affordable EVs offer, and that includes our own car reviewer Benjamin Hunting, who named the EUV one of the best vehicles he drove in 2022. 

“Although the Chevrolet Bolt and its slightly larger EUV sibling missed out on GM’s new Ultium battery platform, they still have a lot to offer EV fans on a budget,” he explained in December. “[T]he Bolt EUV comes with a big backseat, a bright blue paint job and real-world driving range that lets you lean on it as your only automobile. It’s also the cheapest way to let GM’s fantastic Super Cruise limited self-driving tech take the wheel, a killer feature you won’t find on any other battery-powered model in its price range.”

The Bolt doesn’t have the best range in the EV world, but it’s good enough (around 250 miles). It doesn’t have every single newfangled feature, but it has some (like Super Cruise available in the EUV). It’s not the coolest-looking car on the lot, but it also has much better design than some luxe options. And you really can’t beat it on price: GM’s new affordable electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Equinox EV, which will go on sale this fall, is set to start “around $30,000” (key word: around). The only contender left in the sub-$30,000 EV space is the Nissan Leaf. 

The Chevy Bolt is sort of like the local bookstore that closes. When it announces it’s finished, everyone comments about how sad they are, how this is taking us in the wrong direction and how they’ll miss it — but then you look at the commenters’ book-buying history, and every novel they’ve bought in the last five years came from Amazon. If people really wanted the Bolt to stick around, they should have joined the 38,000 people who bought one last year. 

But it’s not too late: If you want in on this economical EV, you’ve still got a few months left to snag one. Your local dealer may even give you a good deal if there are some left at the end of the year. 

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