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article imageGM increases Chevy Bolt EV production 20 percent to meet demand

By Karen Graham     Jul 12, 2018 in Business
Lake Orion - The Chevy Bolt EV has proven to be more popular than expected in the U.S., Canada, and South Korea - so much so that General Motors will increase production of the electric car by 20 percent in response to higher-than-expected demand.
“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada, and South Korea, has outstripped production,” Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement announcing the company’s second-quarter sales.
The production increase will take effect during the fourth quarter of this year, GM said. Digital Trends is reporting that according to GM, global Bolt EV sales in the first half of 2018 are up more than 40 percent year over year. In the U.S., GM sold 7,858 of the electric cars in the first six months of this year, a 3.5-percent gain versus the first half of 2017.
Interestingly, Green Car Reports is saying less than 2,000 Bolt EVs were sold in the U.S. per month, for total sales of just over 9,000.
However, it should be noted that GM no longer reports sales on a monthly basis, relying on quarterly reports. But for a quick comparison, Nissan reportedly sold 6,659 Leaf electric cars in the U.S. during the same six-month period.
GM CEO Mary Barra discussed boosting production at a Houston conference in March, saying: "Because of increasing global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we are announcing today that we will increase Bolt EV production later this year."
The new Chevy Bolt will be available for under $30 000 after a federal tax rebate
The new Chevy Bolt will be available for under $30,000 after a federal tax rebate
She also called on utilities and other stakeholders to help expand charging infrastructure. "We also need to remove barriers to consumer acceptance of EVs," she said. "For example, we believe the energy industry and other stakeholders must partner with us on a robust charging infrastructure that drives consumers’ confidence that they can drive their EVs anywhere at any time."
Bolt built at Orion Assembly Plant
The GM Bolt is currently being built at the Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, north of Detroit. The company's Chevy Sonic subcompact and prototype autonomous versions of the Bolt EV for GM’s Cruise Automation division are also built at the Orion plant.
Worldwide, the company says it sold 26,000 Bolt's last year against a production target of 30,000. It still is not clear if the increased production will be handled at the Orion facility or if GM will start building the EV's at another plant.
"The extra production coming online should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our US dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions," Kurt McNeil, GM's US vice president of sales operations, said in a statement.
More about General motors, chevy bolt, growing demand, production increase, Economy
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