Chevy Bolt Production Expected To Start In October

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The most highly anticipated electric car* of the year is the Chevy Bolt. I need not say yet again that it isn’t a certain other car,** but it is also hard to discuss the Bolt without bringing up its top competition. Anyhow, the Chevy Bolt will be the first long-range, affordable electric car to market, and it is rumored to be arriving sooner than many expected — in October of this year.

Jeff Cobb of found out that GM’s 2017 Fleet Guide included a “start of regular production” date of October for the Bolt, but GM has since pulled the document and edited it to remove that date. Here’s a screenshot nabbed before the document was pulled and edited:


Why was the document removed and edited? Who knows? The most likely reasons I can think are 1) GM simply doesn’t want the production time indicated yet, especially if deliveries won’t begin for a while after production begins; and/or 2) GM isn’t confident it will be able to start regular production in October. Either way, though, I think the good news is that we can indeed expect product and deliveries to begin in the 4th quarter of this year, and a GM representative confirmed that plan to Jeff upon inquiry.

Of course, GM is likely eager to get production rolling ASAP so that it can capitalize on the short lead time it has ahead of Tesla beginning Model 3 production. (Whoops, I named the car.) While the majority of soon-to-be EV buyers seem set to wait it out for the Model 3, those in need of a car sooner than later may well jump on the Bolt bandwagon. (Of course, there are many who wouldn’t consider it, but a small percentage of 400,000–500,000 people could still be a considerable number.)


GM has previously stated that the Bolt would roll out nationwide all at once. But Jeff now quotes Fred Ligouri of Chevrolet communications stating, “While distribution plans are not yet finalized, we want to first satisfy demand in markets where EV acceptance is strongest.”

The new Chevy Volt was supposed to quickly be available nationwide, but it is apparently still not at dealerships in Florida (where my mom wanted to test drive it) and other East Coast states … as well as those ones in “flyover states,” I’m sure. GM’s Britta Gross talked a bit about the challenges of nationwide EV rollout here, if you want more nuance on that matter.

We’ll find out more about the rollout plans as October approaches and be sure to let you know as soon as we have any notable details. Stay tuned.

Photo of Chevy Bolts by Kyle Field for CleanTechnica | EV Obsession

*And, thus, the most highly anticipated car for us at CleanTechnica.

**If you missed these, here are results from broad surveys we conducted last year about EV preferences and likely purchases. I doubt things have changed very much since that time, but if they have, I really doubt they’ve changed in favor of the Bolt.

One key reason the Model 3 is preferred by consumers is that Tesla has the Supercharger network, with stations that are widely dispersed in practical locations (unlike the CCS/SAE Combo fast-charging network the Bolt will be able to use), can charge a car about twice as fast as the stations in the CCS/SAE Combo network, and are much more reliable.

Also, Tesla is now known for performance and cutting-edge technology (e.g., semi-autonomous driving, over-the-air updates, fancy touchscreens, etc), and the Model 3 is widely expected to trump the Bolt on these fronts.

You also have that fact that Tesla is a 100% electric vehicle company, and GM is far from it, and many buyers are likely to trust Tesla over any other company in this market. (Of course, you will also have some people who will trust the legacy automakers more.)

From that study noted above, 55% of respondents who didn’t yet have an EV expected to get the Model 3, while 17% expected to get the Bolt. Among people who already had an EV, 39% expected their next EV to be the Model 3, while 6% expected it the be the Chevy Bolt.

With this study, note that it was long before the Model 3 was unveiled and, of course, before Elon Musk announced new plans to increase Tesla production to 500,000 cars per year by 2018 (rather than 2020). Both of those things have likely encouraged more people to favor the Model 3, imho.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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17 thoughts on “Chevy Bolt Production Expected To Start In October

  • Think Bolt will fare well in Europe, given Europeans fancy such design a lot. The sales figures could be even better should GM join forces with the likes of Momentum Dynamics (who are rapidly prepping its 200 kW inductive charger to be launched soon), push up installation of such chargers across its dealerships and offer its buyers convenince no-one else does. In that case Bolt’s sales would be highly likely to outstrip local EV carmakers’ sales and maybe, maybe even that of Tesla. Of ciurse, we’re speaking of Europe only. Go Bolt.

  • This is in line what i talked with the Chevy reps at ACT last week. They said Bolt could be pre-purchased (not reserved) around Aug.

  • If only GM hadn’t tried writing legislation to block Tesla, I would have gone with the Bolt for a couple years, now I have to hope Ford surprises us with an electric SUV to leapfrog both. Wouldn’t mind an EV Escape.

    • Yeah, GM’s attack on Tesla in state after state is quite hard to forgive.

      • On top of that, my experience with GM products (Oldsmobile, Corvette and Cadillac) has been dismal. Very poor quality. I eventually swore off GM products and have been happy with other manufacturers and have never had the problems I had with GM cars.

        • Yes. My understanding is that the Volt is a different animal and was really done well. I haven’t much objectively on that, but it is repeated often in the forums.

  • Depending on pricing, and how it drives, the Bolt could be interesting for me this year.

    I still think it will be priced beyond what I can afford.

    There are also rumors of a new Smart ED with at 200 mile range, but still just rumors at this point, I think.

    • I think the Bolt may turn out just fine for its price point. Flat floor, decent visibility. Looks like a good runabout. I’ll take one for driving in the Bay Area when my Volt lease is up in 2017. The Tesla model 3 will be a year later based on past experience and probably a bit more expensive. Nevertheless I put down a deposit on one and so did a few of my colleagues, and since 98 percent of my driving is within a radius of 100 miles of my house I can charge at home.

      • If the Bolt has the Model 3 beat in rear storage and accessibility, I could see the Bolt doing quite well with people looking for a city/regional car, better rear access, and who prefer or at least are agnostic about the styling of the Bolt vs the Model 3.

        However, given that EV buyers are still in the early adopter or early majority group, I think they’ll know well enough what the benefits of the Model 3 are, will have seen it, and will prefer its Porsche/Aston Martin/Tesla–like styling and features over the Bolt. But it’s really hard to know how these different populations actually split out in the mass market.

  • Shouldn’t be be roughly equally excited about the 200 mile Leaf which is supposedly due in the same timeframe? True its a continuation of an existing brand, not a brand new one. The pending aarival of multiple vendors with 200mile EVs is the really big event in my mind.

    • The problem is that Nissan has never made it clear (afaik) how much its 200+ mile EV will cost. If it’s ~$35,000 and will be out within 1–2 years, that’s exciting. Its CHAdeMO network certainly isn’t the Supercharging network, but at least it’s more widespread than the CCS/SAE Combo network.

      It’s been awhile since we heard about this hypothetical car from Nissan, and more recent rumors have indicated that the 2017 LEAF will get bumped to ~130 miles of range. We’ll see….

      • Current Leaf is ~100 mile range, yes? If you get an SV or SL?

  • I like how the footnotes are more than just footnotes on this one

    • 😀

      To be honest, they are repurposed comments I had just made on a Tesla Motors Club forum thread. But then realized they fit perfectly here. But I did also enjoy that they were ~half the article. 😀

  • When will this car reach the UK because we will be queuing up for a 200-mile, all-electric hatchback that will seat five people in comfort. I would sell my soul for one.

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