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article imageGM's Bolt second best selling EV in the U.S. in February

By Ken Hanly     Mar 6, 2018 in Business
Detroit - Sales of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car (EV) had increased every month since March last year. After experiencing a big drop in January the sales bounced back almost 50 percent in February.
A chart in this article shows how the Bolt has done in relation to its rivals. In February GM sold 1,424 units in the U.S. This made it the second largest selling EV in the United States even though it is still well below the sales level reached in the closing months of last year.
In the January slump, GM sold 1,177 Bolts in the U.S. This was an increase of 1.3 percent from January 2017 but down sharply from its December 2017 sales.
The Bolt faces stiff competition
The Tesla model 3 is at last reaching levels that will be hard for the Bolt to beat. It was already number one in sales in February. In February Tesla was able to deliver 2,485 of the Model 3 EVs to its U.S. customers. As the year goes on this number is likely to rise significantly. However, the Bolt is still outselling two other important Tesla models as well as the Nissan Leaf that sold only 895 units in February.
The Bolt still is the longest range EV that one can buy for under $40,000 but the new 2018 is not much changed from last year's model.
The Hyunda Kona Crossover SUV EV
We are not sure yet whether this small EV will even come to the U.S. but if it does it is likely to be priced competitively with the Bolt. It is available with a range of up 291 miles so it would be stiff competition with the Bolt which has an EPA rated range of 238 miles.
The Kona EV will have better quality seats than the Bolt and a more luxurious interior that may attract customers. GM might be well advised to spruce up the Bolt to better face coming competitors.
Nissan is also introducing an all new Leaf that could compete with the Bolt. While the Bolt has a greater range, it is also priced somewhat higher than the Leaf.
Why Bolt sales slumped in January
Part of the reason is just the season, winter. Tesla sales also fell but the other reason is that most 2017 models of the Bolt had generous discounts in addition to federal and state tax credits. The new 2018 models are not discounted.
The 2017 models had $2,000 in discounts and just 3.9 percent financing. These discounts together with the state and federal tax credits could amount to more than $10,000 in some areas.
However, as the winter ends, sales of the Bolt are expected to climb as happened in February. GM will probably begin marketing the Bolt to fleet buyers as well.
More about GM Bolt, evs, ev sales
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