General Motors announced that it would be cutting the price tag of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, officially making it the cheapest electric vehicle in the country. The announced price cut Wednesday effectively makes the Chevrolet Bolt cheaper than the Nissan Leaf, which retails for around $27,400.
The price GM announced for this year's Chevrolet Bolt is 27% lower than the price of the 2020 model, which was sold at around $36,620. GM first introduced the Bolt to the market in 2016, selling 23,297 units during its debut year. Sales have since slumped and remained flat in recent years.
A recall of Bolt batteries delayed GM's electric car push, leading to a $1.9 billion settlement with its South Korean supplier LG last year. A series of vehicle fires prompted the recall, which was one of the most costly on a per car basis in automotive history.
In September 2021, GM paused the production of the Chevrolet Bolt while working with LG to prioritize the replacement of batteries for recalled vehicles. The company's assembly line was reopened in early April 2022. GM also recently announced that it would be releasing the Bolt EUV, a crossover version of the Bolt.
GM spokesperson Shad Balch said the company had prioritized affordability for its new Bolt models. He added that the lower prices should make the vehicle highly competitive in the marketplace domestically and internationally.
The 2023 Bolt EUV has a starting price of $28,195, which is $6,300 less than the previous model. According to Balch, GM plans to produce a record number of Bolt vehicles this year as part of its electrification efforts. Chevrolet has included dealer freight expenses in the base price of the Bolt.
Buyers who can't afford alternative electric vehicles may be interested in the Bolt's lower cost. The Model 3, Tesla's most affordable vehicle, costs $46,990 before fees, making it somewhat unaffordable for most consumers. The price of the Model 3 has risen by 34% in three years.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk blamed the price increase on inflation, more expensive labor costs, and rising costs in raw materials and logistics. The price of lithium, nickel, and cobalt, which are heavily used in electric vehicles, has also risen sharply in recent months.
Ford has increased the price of its electric Mustang Mach-E, while Rivian has also implemented a price hike on its electric vehicles. This year has witnessed record inflation in the United States, with substantial price increases on a variety of items, including automobiles.