The Chevy Bolt EV has had its time in the sun. The plant will be overhauled to begin the production of the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV pickup trucks.
GM has gone away from small cars, but it felt like the Chevy Bolt EV would make it through. Apparently, being an electric vehicle isn’t a good enough reason for the smallest Chevy in the lineup to continue to be made and offered. The Bolt will be gone at the end of this year, and the plant making this electric car will be overhauled.
Bigger EVs coming out of the same plant
The location is the Orion Township plant in Michigan. This is where the Bolt has been made since it first arrived, but now something new is happening. Employment at this plant will triple in 2024, when it will reopen as the place where electric versions of the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV are built. The cost to overhaul this plant is $4 billion. These two incredible trucks should offer plenty of driving range and power when they hit the market to take on the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Bolt hasn’t been around very long
Think back to 2016 when Chevrolet was racing Tesla to build the first mass-market, small, affordable electric car. The Chevy Bolt EV hit the market before the Tesla Model 3 by a couple of years. This little EV proved that GM understood the needs of the EV driver, but things have changed since that time. In today’s EV world, we have bigger, longer-range, more impressive EVs than ever before. The new Silverado and Sierra will utilize battery tech that never made it to the Bolt, but that’s how fast electric vehicle development is.
The Bolt brought new customers to the Chevy brand
You might think that a brand with the storied and long history of Chevrolet wouldn’t have many new models. Still, not everyone on the road drives a Chevy. When the Bolt EV arrived, those customers searching for an electric vehicle at a great price chose this little hatchback. In fact, the early models of the Bolt saw more than 85 percent of the customers were new to Chevy and traded something other than a Chevy to buy the Bolt EV. This was an incredible boon for the brand and for this small electric car.
Another battery plant for GM
Many automakers are working toward placing battery plants in close proximity to their EV assembly facilities. GM announced a recent joint venture with Samsun SDI to build a new $3 billion battery plant in the United States. This new plant will open in 2026 and be the fourth GM battery plant in the country.
The only drawback to the Chevy Bolt EV
Although GM has sold more than 161,000 Bolts in the United States, this vehicle is a bit too small. Shouldn’t consumers looking for a larger Bolt choose the Bolt EUV? Although the Bolt EUV is the crossover version of the Bolt EV, it’s not much bigger than the hatchback. In fact, the EUV is said to have a smaller cargo area than the hatchback, which doesn’t do any favors for this vehicle. These two models are just a little too small to be successful as domestic names in America.
Of course, it didn’t help that the Chevy Bolt EV faced a massive battery recall in 2021. These batteries were prone to catching fire and gave the vehicle a bit of a nasty reputation for a short time. Although Chevy cut Bolt prices by nearly $6,00 last year, sales have slowed as more EVs have entered the market, and the Bolt just seems too old to be competitive.
The Silverado and Sierra start at Factory Zero
Factory Zero is located in Detroit and is where the first models of the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV will be made. Once the Orion plant is reopened and ready to go, the company will have the capacity to build as many as 600,000 electric pickups per year. These new trucks should pave the way forward for GM, giving new truck owners the option between electric, gasoline, and diesel powerplants under the same names.
Will these new GM electric pickup trucks be fitting competitors for the F-150 Lightning? The EV pickup truck market gets more interesting, and it’s not likely we’ll miss the Bolt at all. It won’t be long before the GM EV trucks arrive for the 2024 model year.
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