General Motors’ third-quarter 2023 earnings call has brought some bad news for electric vehicle fans, including delays for several EV models, slower EV production, and EV product spending cuts.
But there was also good news about the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV, which the company first confirmed in July when it said it would utilize GM’s Ultium battery and drive technology.
“Another key launch for us is the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV. I know there has been some speculation in the market as to why we are developing a new Bolt EV. Our strategy is to build on the tremendous equity we have in the brand and to do it as efficiently as possible,” GM CEO Barra said on the Q3 2023 earnings call.
She noted that GM ditched an earlier plan to spend $5 billion on several new entry-level EVs, including the Bolt EV, and is now “leveraging the best attributes of today’s Bolt EUV, as well as Ultium, our latest software, and NACS.”
By doing so, the next-gen Bolt EV “will deliver an even better driving, charging, and ownership experience with a vehicle we know customers love,” the executive said.
Barra then revealed that the next-gen Bolt EV will feature a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery pack, but she refrained from offering any range estimates. Interestingly, she didn’t explicitly say the new Bolt will have better range than the current one, which tops out at 259 miles EPA for the hatchback and 247 miles EPA for the crossover.
“In the process we are saving billions in capital and engineering expense, delivering a significantly cost-improved battery pack using purchased LFP cells, we’re getting to market at least two years faster, and our unit cost will be substantially lower,” she said.
Barra added that this will be GM’s first deployment in North America of LFP technology in the Ultium platform.
There are a few key takeaways here. First of all, GM’s CEO suggested the next-generation Bolt is based on the current Bolt EUV, which likely means it will only come as a crossover, ditching the hatchback body style. This also hints at the future Bolt not being an all-new effort; it will probably borrow some elements from the outgoing Bolt EUV.
Second, the next-gen Bolt will feature an LFP battery pack that will help lower costs, making it more affordable for buyers. It remains to be seen if the second-gen Bolt will be more affordable than the outgoing model, though. The 2023 Bolt EUV starts at $27,800 (excluding shipping), a number that’s very hard to beat.
Third, the upcoming Bolt will be an even better EV in every area, which is great news. Finally, the improvements are said to lead to increased profitability and advancing the market launch by two years.
GM is yet to announce a release date for the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt.
Source: General Motors Q3 2023 earnings call
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