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Study: Most EV Buyers Don't Know The Chevy Bolt Exists

A recent study shows that potential EV buyers aren't even aware Chevy makes the Bolt.

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Bursting into flames isn’t the only problem the General’s prized Chevy Bolt is facing. A recent Cox Automotive study on EVs shows many prospective EV buyers were not even aware the bowtie brand even offered the compact EV.

Chevy has an EV?
Chevy has an EV?
Screenshot: Cox Automotive

The 2021 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption study took a further look into things like range anxiety, dealer preparedness for selling EVs, affordability, and brand/model awareness.

As unsurprising as it may seem, Tesla tops all other brands for awareness. Over 80 percent of prospective EV buyers are aware of Tesla. Maybe some of that can be linked to Elon Musk’s presence social media.


Chevy, on the other hand as nearly 70 percent of the surveyed EV buyers were concerned, didn’t exist. And the “little Bolt that could” wasn’t alone, as 44 percent of EV buyers were unaware of Ford’s Mach- E Mustang.

Many automakers continue to struggle with consumer awareness of their EV product offering, certainly a first step in consideration. While 83% of EV considerers are aware that Tesla sells electric vehicles, only 44% of EV considerers are aware that Ford has a competitive EV model, the all-new Mustang Mach-E, which was launched in the spring of 2021. Chevrolet has similar issues. The all-electric Bolt was launched in late 2016, and yet 69% of current EV shoppers are unsure if Chevrolet even makes an EV.

Bolt commercial from 2017 that I can honestly say I didn’t know existed.

The Bolt’s been on the market for over five years and nearly 70 percent of its potential buyers don’t know it’s there. Why is that? You can blame General Motors and its usual lack of advertising anything beyond its truck and crossover vehicles. Can you recall the last time you saw a commercial for the Bolt, either in print or on TV or even YouTube? I can’t, and you most likely won’t be able to either.

Chevy did recently teamed up with Disney World for the debut of the new Bolt EUV, but since then the advertising has been ... sparse. Back in 2016, Green Car Reports interviewed Darin Gesse, the man behind the marketing for both the Volt and the recently introduced Bolt. While he said that Chevy planned to use “targeted marketing methods” to reach customers, he pointed out that because they’re EV buyers, they aren’t typical Chevy customers. And television doesn’t appear to be a medium Chevy wants to advertise on as well as Gesse was quoted as saying “our customers don’t really watch television,” saying that EV buyers prefer digital media and are tech-focused. He may be right.

I reached out to Chevy to see if they have plans for more advertising for the Bolt and Bolt EUVs. I’ll be sure to update this post if I get a response. For a company that has made it seem like it’s overly committed to an EV transition, it sure doesn’t seem as if it wants to sell any.