GM’s EV Plans Begin to Take Shape with New Lower-priced Chevy Bolts


Source: Chevrolet

DETROIT – General Motors’ turn to become a fully electric vehicle company by 2035 is starting to take shape as the automaker prepares to launch two Chevrolet Bolt models this summer before a $ 113,000 flagship GMC Hummer EV pickup later in the year.

Fully electric Bolts, a redesigned hatchback and a new crossover, will start at less than $ 34,000. They are the beginning of what GM hopes will eventually be a full line of “affordable” electric vehicles as the company builds scale to reduce the costs of its next-generation electric vehicles, such as the Hummer, with new battery systems and platforms. .

“If you take a look at what the GMC Hummer EV stands for and what Bolt EVs can represent on the body,” Jesse Ortega, GM’s chief battery electric vehicle architect engineer, said during a press conference. “That really gives us the solid bookends that we are capable of.”

It is a two-pronged approach to addressing the conventional and luxury markets. The price difference between those “bookends” largely comes down to the battery technologies of the vehicles. Bolt models are on the automaker’s current EV platform and feature batteries that offer less driving range than the next-gen Ultium platform and GM batteries, which will debut in the Hummer EV.

The three vehicles are part of the automaker’s plan to launch 30 new or redesigned electric vehicles by 2025 under a $ 27 billion investment plan in electric and autonomous vehicles.

“You can see the intentional strategy we have here,” said Tony Johnson, Chevrolet’s chief marketing officer. “The goal of these two offerings is to really go after Main Street and really start spreading EV adoption across the board. The other brands within the company obviously each have their own role to complete our journey here. “.

GM currently has no plans to move the Bolts to the next-generation platform, Ortega said.

Profitable VE

GM CEO Mary Barra and Chairman Mark Reuss have said the company’s next-generation vehicles will be profitable unlike the Bolt EV. Johnson and other GM officials declined to comment on whether the Bolt models that will launch later this year will be profitable.

After being on the market for four years, GM’s engineering team has done a “phenomenal job of driving quality, driving consistency and eliminating system costs,” Johnson said. He said the advances led the company to cut the price of the Bolt.

The new 2022 Bolt utility vehicle will start at $ 33,995. That compares to the Bolt EV which will start at $ 31,995, more than $ 5,000 less than the 2021 model.

Profitable or not, the vehicles give GM an EV priced below other competitors, such as the $ 43,000 Ford Mustang Mach-E crossover (before a federal tax credit of up to $ 7,500 that GM and Tesla buyers already have. are not eligible to receive) and Tesla Model 3, which starts at around $ 37,000.

The Bolt EV has a range of 259 miles on a full charge, while the Bolt EUV reaches 250 miles. That compares with GM Ultium-powered vehicles expected to reach up to 450 miles per charge.

GM also added additional technology to Bolt models to make them more competitive. Notably, the Bolt EUV will be the first from Chevrolet to be equipped with GM’s hands-free Super Cruise semi-autonomous highway driving system, which uses facial recognition to identify whether the driver is paying attention, so you don’t need to touch the steering wheel. while the system is running.

‘All the world in’

Offering the lowest priced vehicles is part of the company’s new “All In” marketing campaign focused on the growing adoption of electric vehicles. By doing so, the company hopes to attract new buyers to the segment and retain them for years to come. That includes potentially having them trade a lower-priced vehicle for a next-gen EV as the cost drops.


Source: Chevrolet

“Our vision is that we want customers for life,” Ortega said. “So as their needs grow and their lifestyle changes, we want to offer them an electric vehicle for that.”

GM is expected to produce its own battery cells through a joint venture with LG Chem in Ohio, a lynchpin of that cost reduction. The $ 2.3 billion facility is currently under construction. It is expected to be completed in 2022.


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