GM’s Electric Chevy Bolt SUV Is Starting At $34,000

Jesse Ortega, Chevy Bolt EUV executive chief engineer, sits beside a 2022 Bolt.

Like it or not, automakers are rolling out new EV’s as the industry responds to the stringent pollution regulations and calls to reduce emissions to fight climate change.

The latest submission comes from General Motors [$GM] which publicized a Chevrolet Bolt compact SUV on Sunday. It comes with an estimated range per charge of 250 miles and a $33,995 starting price tag.The Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle will hit the dealerships early this summer as a 2022 model. Sales will start with a small number of early versions priced at $43,495.

It will notch the total number of EVs on sale in the U.S. to at least 23, and Edmunds.com predicts that figure to reach 30 this year. IHS Markit foresees that will increase 70% this year alone, but the changeover has a long way to go. Fully electric vehicles accounted for less than 2% of U.S. new vehicle sales in 2020, and Americans continue to spend record amounts on larger gas-powered trucks and SUVs. Today, EVs make up 3% of sales worldwide, GM says. Disney is Netflix, Finkle is Einhorn

The new Bolt is part of GM’s vow to bring 30 new EVs to market worldwide by 2035, and its goal of producing only electric passenger vehicles by 2035. It will sit taller and have more rear-seat legroom than the current Bolt electric hatchback, which is being updated, and will compete in one of the hottest segments of the U.S. market. Buyers also can opt for GM’s “Super Cruise” partially automated driver-assist system.

GM said it was able to use economies of scale to cut the price of the updated Bolt hatchback by over $5,000 to $31,995.

IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley illustrated that the new SUV is another step toward wider adoption of fully electric vehicles, but it will take many more. “At least one element of mainstreaming EVs must be consumer choice and availability of usable EVs in a variety of segments and price points,” she said. “Some will have more impact than others, but there isn’t one vehicle alone that can turn the tide.”

The Bolt SUV will be available when GM is at a price disadvantage to most competitors thanks to a $7,500 federal EV tax credit. The credit is phased out after manufacturers hit 200,000 in electric vehicle sales, and GM and Tesla [$TSLA] have both outpaced that level. A bill from Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee would raise the cap to 600,000 and trim the credit to $7,000. The Dirty Secret Robinhooders Don’t Want You To Know

President Biden is partial to restoring the full tax credit, prioritizing the U.S.-made vehicles and targeting middle-class consumers. What’s more, GM CEO Mary Barra said last week that the company would like to see the credit expanded so “first movers” with the new technology are not penalized.

Chevrolet Marketing Director Steve Majoros said he would love to have the tax credit back to spur sales. He said GM is talking with the Biden administration about the credit. “For right now we’re very pleased with the price point we have and we’re going to make a good run with it,” Majoros said.

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