General Motors will begin selling the Chevrolet Bolt nationwide in August, a month earlier than it originally planned. While California power nerds like Bill Nye and Steve Wozniak received their EVs months ago, GM’s rollout schedule hinged on dealerships getting their ducks in a row before the rest of America could gain access.
“We were waiting for the training to be done, we were waiting for the right tools to be in place,” Steve Majoros, Chevy’s marketing director, said at a media event. “We are kind of ahead of schedule on implementing all of those things as well as making sure we have enough sufficient inventory.”
Since its December introduction, U.S. deliveries of the Bolt have totaled 6,529 units. That’s not bad for an niche market vehicle temporarily handicapped by regional limitations. May saw 1,566 deliveries and volume is expected to grow as the little electric reaches more areas. Nissan’s Leaf, which is probably the Chevy’s closest competition for the time being, managed to sell 1,392 EVs without the same restrictions.
“It’s this delicate balancing act,” Majoros said. “But we think we’re at the right level of sufficient inventory. We can keep feeding where there’s a stronghold of sales.”
Due to demand, GM was briefly forced to take steps to ensure Bolts sent to certain regions were sold to customers in those regions. According to Automotive News, at least one dealer in Atlanta used a loophole to sources vehicles from California.
Majoros explained that General Motors is preparing a national advertising campaign for the Bolt for the coming weeks — reminding everyone that the car will soon be available for purchase countrywide, now that the auto show afterglow has faded.
Of course, Chevrolet has bestowed the Bolt with a $37,495 starting price, minus the $7,500 federal tax credit, and a 238-mile range. Those two factors create the best price-to-range ratio currently available among pure electrics. That should be more than enough to sell it to anyone shopping for an EV who doesn’t also require the prestige associated with Tesla ownership. But we’ll be on the lookout for the TV spots anyway.
[Image: General Motors]