Chevrolet's slashing of Bolt EV and EUV prices could be the price cut the industry needs to accelerate electric vehicle adoption among mainstream buyers.
As transaction prices climb industrywide — for battery- and gasoline-powered vehicles — Chevy said this month that it would cut the price of the Bolt EV and the larger Bolt EUV crossover by about $6,000 for the 2023 model year.
The brand is preparing to roll out electric crossovers powered by General Motors' more advanced Ultium batteries and aims to accelerate Bolt sales to record highs this year.
The decrease could mark a pivotal moment in EV pricing across the industry, especially as U.S. gasoline prices average near $5 per gallon, and it could pressure other brands to reduce EV prices. The Bolt vehicles' ranges are comparable to those of the similar-sized Volkswagen ID4 and Toyota bZ4X, but those vehicles' sticker prices are more than $14,000 higher than the 2023 Bolt EUV's starting price. (Prices do not factor in federal tax incentives. Toyota's phase-down of credits is expected to begin soon, while Volkswagen buyers could qualify for up to a $7,500 credit. GM has exhausted its credits.)
Despite launching the Ultium-powered EV lineup with the GMC Hummer pickup, priced at about $113,000, GM executives have reiterated that affordability is a top priority. GM will build an EV for every segment of car buyer, CEO Mary Barra has said.
The 2023 Bolt EV will start at $26,595 with shipping, and the Bolt EUV will start at $28,195 with shipping. The cost of the Bolt's technology has likely been amortized because it has been used since the Bolt EV launched in 2016.
Chevy plans to roll out an electric Equinox starting around $30,000 next year, and the brand has said a lower-priced Ultium-based crossover is also in the works. Because the crossovers will be powered by more advanced batteries, the vehicles' range is likely to be longer than the Bolts'. GM is also working with Honda Motor Co. to co-develop "millions" of affordable EVs, mostly compact crossovers, starting in 2027.
Most car buyers shop based on monthly budgets. By reducing Bolt prices to attract payment-driven customers, rather than the EV-curious, Chevy could bifurcate the electric compact crossover segment and take EVs one step closer to becoming mainstream.