This Could Have Been You, GM

Photo: Ford
Photo: Ford

Ford and GM both had the same job at hand: get a mass-market EV into production, something that people will like. Ford responded by making an all-electric sporty crossover with a name everyone will recognize. GM made the Chevy Bolt.


I never understood why GM’s response to the rise of Tesla was the Bolt. Tesla showed the industry that what America wanted out of an EV was sharp, luxury design in a status-driven package. GM took stock of it, and instead, put a not-quite-compact hatchback into showrooms.

GM took one look at Tesla’s upstart success and decided to make an electric Nissan Versa rival instead. What?

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is not a perfect car. I, for one, am worried if the company that couldn’t even get the launch of the Explorer right will be able to get its first big time EV into customer hands without a lot of high-profile problems. Also its name is dumb. But it’s a sporty crossover and that is a perfect shot right at what American consumers want right now. We are gobbling up RAV4s and CR-Vs (both sitting just behind the Big 3's trucks in sales as noted by car sales site GoodCarBadCar) and Toyota and Honda aren’t even remotely close to selling all-electric cars in those molds. We are only now getting a RAV4 plug-in hybrid. From Toyota. The Prius company.


GM, at least, seems to know it screwed up, and says that it will have some Bolt-based car on sale... at some point here in America. (GM does had an EV crossover at the moment! It’s just not going to be sold here.)


There’s a lot that Ford could screw up about the Mach E, but at least it’s not starting off on the completely wrong foot. GM should be looking itself in the mirror right now.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.



First off, I’ve owned 5 GM Voltec vehicles. FIVE!!!

(12 Volt, 14 ELR, 15 Volt, 17 Volt and 18 CT6 PHEV)

Volts - Great car, too small, no sunroof, boring looks

ELR - Great car, too small, too expensive no sunroof

Bolt - Great car, too small, no adaptive cruise or sunroof, dorky looks

CT6 PHEV - Great car, awesome size and features, small trunk, priced right

If I ran GM I would have made EVERY car with the Voltec PHEV platform. EVERY SINGLE CAR!!!

I would market it that our cars have the best mileage in the world. You can plug it in or not, it doesn’t matter.

Doing this would have obvious marketing advantages and building 2 million cars per year would spread out the costs of adding that technology.

GM makes the CT6 PHEV that has 335 hp and goes about 30 EV miles. They could have put this in the base truck and probably get 20 EV miles out of it plus there could be 120V outlets in the bed that could run power tools. This is such a no brainer!!!

The Bold is dorky. I’m sorry, I want to like the Bolt, but NOBODY buys small vehicles. This is a 15k vehicle that now sells for 40k. Make it BIGGER for AMERICAN drivers, not Koreans. Make it look good! Hell, the Kia Soul looks great, why can’t GM do that???

Make an Escalade PHEV and Hybrid and then make the styling wild and sell them for 120-150k. Every celebrity will buy one.