Chevy Bolt and EUV Production Ends. Should You Snag One, Or Wait For The Next Bolt?

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We all knew it was coming: the end of the line for the Bolt EV and EUV. To make space for Ultium vehicles, GM decided to cut production of the vehicle at the Orion plant as of December 20th. But, this isn’t the season finale. The vehicle is going on summer break, and coming back sometime in 2025 for another season.

This leaves many potential EV buyers with a tough choice to make. On the one hand, there are some killer deals to be had on the remaining Bolts on dealer lots (or on the way). On the other hand, the refreshed Bolt that’s coming will be a better vehicle. In this article, I’m going to cover some of the pros and cons and then give a final (but conditional) recommendation.

Reasons To Buy One Of The Last 1G Bolts

Before I get into the most compelling reason (price), I want to talk about what you’re getting with a Bolt or EUV. Is it as good as a Tesla Model 3/Y? No. Is it on par with the super fast charging 800v Kias and Hyundais? Definitely not. But, is it good enough? For most people, yes.

Why is it good enough? Well, for starters you’re talking about a car with over 200 miles of range. That’s enough to get to the next charging station on road trips, and way more than enough range for most people’s daily commutes. It has liquid cooling and a battery heater, so you’re not going to have premature degradation. Before many people got new batteries as part of a recall, a number of drivers (doing Uber) had already racked up 200,000 miles without too much degradation.

Charging is also good enough for most people. The latest Bolts on dealer lots charge at up to 11.5 kW on 240v charging stations like GM will help you install at home. They even come with a 6 kW portable charger you can use, too. Either will top the car up while you sleep and allow you to pre-heat or pre-cool the car.

Fast charging is only 50 kW, but if you’re not doing very many road trips or this is only a local commuter car, that won’t really matter. I’ve personally driven mine all over New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Arizona, and I’m OK with charging for an hour instead of a 20 minutes. If I was doing that every day, I might feel differently, though.

For a commuter vehicle, grocery getter, or mom taxi, the vehicle has plenty of power and performance. Bolts aren’t sports cars or dragsters, but they’re not slouches, either. With the quick-onset low-end torque, they’re still a lot of fun, too. Handling isn’t fantastic (especially the EUV), but the suspension is comfortable and decent for most paved and dirt/gravel roads.

Especially in the EUV, there’s room for most families. My teenager kids, including an adult-sized son, sit back there just fine. There’s also good room for car seats and plenty of comfort for 2-3 kids on a road trip.

The biggest reason to go ahead and buy is the price. If you go in on Monday (January 1st) and buy one at a participating dealer, you can get the $7,500 off the price of the car instead of as a tax credit. This means that you can get either the Bolt EV or a lower-spec EUV for around $20,000 out the door for a brand new EV. Given that it’s a “good enough” kind of vehicle and not a cut-rate compliance car, this is a really good deal.

Reasons To Wait For The 1.5G Bolt

While the cars on lots today are good enough for most drivers, they might not be good enough for you.

The biggest problem is charging on road trips. If you’re a regular road tripper and you want only a minimal delay, the 2025(ish) Bolt will be a better buy. It’s slated to have fast charging around 150 kW, which is around three times faster than any Bolt on the lot today. This means spending around 20 minutes instead of around 60 minutes at each charging station along the way, which adds up to saving a 2-3 of hours of time on most road trip days.

So, that alone may be a good reason to wait, even if you might not get as good of a deal. Or, you might buy one now and then upgrade to a newer Bolt in 2-3 years to get faster charging.

Another reason to wait is software. The current Bolt’s software sucks. If you use a cable to connect it to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it’s decent. But, on its own, the Bolt’s software is dated and doesn’t do that much. The next Bolt is supposed to have much better software. Chevy’s been having problems working out the kinks on the Blazer EV (we’ve reported on this a few times now), but by 2025, the engineers should have got it all worked out.

Another reason to wait is the battery pack. The current battery pack is good, even if charging is slow. Degradation isn’t a problem with current Bolts. But, the upcoming lithium-iron (aka LFP or LiFePO4) chemistry is going to be even better for longevity. It should also suffer no problems leaving it at 100% all the time, while current Bolts should probably only be charged to 80-90% to get better range later in the life of the car.

Another reason to wait might be the economy. If you’re doing what most people do and take out a car loan, you’ll pay higher interest in 2023 than you probably will in 2025. This could mean saving a lot of money over the life of the loan, even if the car is more expensive. But, then again, we don’t know how long it will take for rates to go back down to more reasonable levels. They could still be high in 2025.

My Take On This

When you consider that I’m already the happy owner of a 2022 EUV, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’d say go ahead and go for it. It won’t help pump anybody’s Tesla stonks, but for most people, the Bolt and EUV are decent vehicles that will get the job done at a good price.

That having been said, if you’re on the road every day using fast chargers, I’d recommend using A Better Route Planner to see what the driving you do looks like first. If drive times are good enough for you, go for it. If you need to be somewhere faster, then wait for the faster Bolt or get something else that charges faster.

Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1880 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba