GM Moves Up Chevrolet Bolt Nationwide Release To Probably Fuck With Tesla

Photo: GM
Photo: GM

General Motors’ new Bolt EV was set to be rolled out for sale nationwide in September, but the automaker decided to push that date up by a month, according to Automotive News. The move coincides with Tesla’s planned date to start production on the Model 3 sedan, widely seen as the Bolt’s biggest competitor.

The latest numbers indicate that the automaker sold 6,500 Bolt EVs through May. Initially, GM said dealerships in all 50 states should have access to the electric hatchback, with a claimed range of 238 miles, by September. But now the automaker’s saying it’s ahead of schedule for training and inventory. From Automotive News:

Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s marketing director for cars and crossovers, on Friday said GM at the start of the month opened up Bolt ordering to all U.S. dealers certified to sell electric vehicles. Bolts ordered this month would arrive in showrooms by August, he said. GM’s previous schedule called for nationwide ordering in July and sales in September.

“We were waiting for the training to be done, we were waiting for the right tools to be in place,” Majoros said at a Chevrolet media event here, adding all dealers wanting to sell the vehicle had to install DC fast-charging stations. “We are kind of ahead of schedule on implementing all of those things as well as making sure we have enough sufficient inventory.”


Maybe Tesla founder Elon Musk has new capabilities of forecasting the future, because hours before the Bolt’s news emerged, he took to his favorite medium of communication to wax poetic about electric vehicles and such.

Notwithstanding that Musk’s timeline is a tad off—Tesla was founded ahead of GM’s decision to crush the EV1—it’ll be worth watching to see what happens with sales once the Bolt’s available everywhere.


Of course, we’re talking about two different cars, on two different production timelines, but Musk has said Tesla expects to begin production of the Model 3 next month. The comparisons were probably inevitable. Now, we’ll see how the public feels about them.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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Finally took a Bolt for a test drive last week. I like a good hatchback, even if it’s a little top-heavy, and the range is impressive. I wanted to like it, but it left me so unimpressed.

The interior feels like a 2017 interpretation of GM’s economy cars from the 1990s. Yes, it’s all swoopy for the new era, but it’s still plasticky as heck, and the driver’s seat was about as comfortable as a DMV waiting room.

The dashboard displays were, well, embarrassing.

So much robin’s egg blue and eco green everywhere. I couldn’t imagine living with that every day. I felt like I was in a Windows 95 advertisement.

It drove like an economy “crossover,” high center of gravity and surprisingly weak torque for an electric vehicle.

At a price point over $40,000, even the salesperson told me he’d rather get a Volt for thousands less. Better-looking, far more enjoyable to drive, great cargo space, and the whole thing just feels more refined.

I’m sure there will be people cross-shopping the Bolt with a Model S, but honestly, at this point I’d say your best bet is neither.

Maybe Chevy will get the hint if Bolt sales lag, and just make an all-EV version of the Volt with 240 miles of range instead. That’s something I’d consider buying.