As it transitions to zero-emission production of trucks and SUVs built on a new battery platform, General Motors Co. announced on Tuesday that it will cease production of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle later this year.
“We have progressed so far that it’s now time to plan to end the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EU production, which will happen at the very end of the year,” GM CEO Mary Barra told investors on Tuesday.
The biggest U.S. carmaker sold 19,700 Bolt EVs in the first three months of the year, up from 24,828 in 2011 and 38,120 in 2022. More than 90% of all GM EV sales in the United States still go to the Bolt, the company’s first mass-market EV.
The Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that General Motors stopped producing in 2019, came before the Bolt. About 1,100 EV1 vehicles were produced and leased by GM in the late 1990s.
The Bolt, which has a starting price of $26,500 and is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, has frequently been cited as an example of an inexpensive EV by the Biden administration.
On Twitter, transportation policy expert David Zipper criticised GM’s decision, calling it “a step backward for road safety, emissions mitigation, and EV affordability… Putting EVs out of reach for all but affluent Americans widens inequities & slows electrification.”
GM stock fell 4.2% on Tuesday.
GM announced in January 2022 that it would invest $4 billion in its Orion Township Assembly facility, which constructs the Bolt, to develop the electric GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado on its upcoming Ultium EV platform.
By the end of 2024, according to GM, its Detroit-Hamtramck and Orion factories will be able to produce more than 600,000 electrified trucks annually.
Employment at the Orion will nearly triple when it reopens in 2024 and is fully operational, according to Barra.
From 2022 until the middle of 2024, GM plans to produce 400,000 electric vehicles in North America, and in 2025, it aims to grow production to 1 million vehicles yearly.
Barra stated on Tuesday that the carmaker anticipates the Warren, Ohio, battery facility to operate at full capacity by the end of the year.
GM initiated a $2 billion recall action in August 2021, expanding it to include all 140,000 Bolt vehicles it has manufactured due to battery fire hazards. GM halted Bolt manufacture and sales for more than six months as a result of the recall.
The automaker’s $1.9 billion in costs associated with the Bolt recall would be covered by GM battery partner LG Electronics Inc, the Korean business announced in 2021.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)