Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Chevy Menlo Electric Car
Credit: GM


GM To US: No 250 Mile, $23,000 Electric Car For You!

The Chevy Menlo is a variation of the Chevy Bolt with a smaller battery. It will start at $23,000 but is only intended for the Chinese market.

On February 20, General Motors officially introduced the Chevy Menlo, a battery electric SUV-type vehicle with 250 miles of range and a starting price below $23,000. Great news, right? Just what the world is clamoring for right? It’s great news for people living in China, but if you live in North America or Europe? Fuhgedabowdit. No Chevy Menlo for you!

Chevy Menlo Electric Car

Image credit: GM

In a press release, Scott Lawson, general director of Chevrolet for SAIC-GM, enthused, “Along with being a new energy vehicle, the Chevrolet Menlo inherits Chevrolet’s sporty DNA that dates back to its founding by race car drivers. It will meet the performance and styling demands of our customers and at the same time provide the efficiency that new energy vehicle owners expect.” It seems unlikely that very many people in China (or anyplace else) are aware that Louis Chevrolet started out in the car business as a racing car driver.

GM refers to the Menlo as a “sporty looking sedan,” an odd choice of words in a world when most customers are turning their backs on sedans. The Menlo certainly looks like a compact SUV. Why not market it as such? The company goes on to describe the Menlo as having “lean muscularity with a fashionable blend of crossover and sporty coupe styling.” An effort to be all things to all people, apparently.

The Menlo is a variant of the Chevy Bolt, a car that has not been updated in the US market since its introduction. Is it a Tesla? No, but it is about half the price of a Tesla. It’s hard to believe US and European customers would not be lining up outside Chevrolet dealerships to buy one. The mind of senior management at General Motors is a dark and mysterious place.

The Menlo is not a Bolt clone, however. Where the Bolt has a 200 horsepower motor and a 66 kWh battery, the Menlo makes do with a 147 horsepower motor and a 52.5 kWh battery. Chevrolet says it uses 13.1 kWh of electricity to go 100 kilometers and has a range of 410 kilometers (254 miles) measured by the NEDC standard. Knock off about 1/3 to get a guestimate of what the EPA number would be.

Why any company today would use the largely discredited NEDC numbers when everybody knows they are inflated is another mystery. The only possible explanation is companies want to continue confusing customers deliberately, probably to address range anxiety concerns. Lying to people seems like poor marketing, however.

The Menlo has 28 storage compartments, 38 cubic feet of storage space, a panoramic sunroof, a 10.1-inch ultra thin LCD touchscreen, and an 8-inch LCD instrument panel. Safety technologies include a Bosch electronic stability program, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and automatic parking assist. The battery can be recharged to 80% capacity in 40 minutes using a DC fast charger, the company says.

It’s hard to imagine why GM would choose not to offer the Menlo in the US market unless it simply wants to confine its product lineup in America to pickup trucks and large SUVs. Americans have shown little appetite for battery electric cars — assuming you ignore the thousands and thousands of Teslas being sold in the US every month. And that appears to be precisely what GM is doing — closing its eyes and hoping this whole EV thing is just a bad dream that will go away with time. Good luck with that, Mary Barra.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Electrifying Industrial Heat for Steel, Cement, & More

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like


Following up with the writer’s impressions of his first EV a few weeks later. Article by Mihai Beffa in Cupertino, California.

Clean Transport

General Motors has a new online tool that allows anyone with a question about electric cars to get immediate, accurate answers. Bravo!


The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV made mini EVs very fashionable in China, especially in the second and third tier cities and so on. The...


BYD’s revolutionary LFP Blade Battery has been instrumental in boosting production and sales of BYD’s battery-electric vehicles as well as its “Super Hybrid” DM-i...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.