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Chevrolet Increases Bolt Production By More Than 20 Percent

Ever since it went on sale for the 2017 model year, the Bolt had a problem. No, it’s not that fast-charging is too expensive even for an optional extra or the lack of adaptive cruise control, but demand continues to outpace supply. In the wake of Tesla’s success with the Model 3, General Motors decided to reply with a production increase of “more than 20 percent” for the electric hatchback.
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Even though the production ramp-up will take effect in the fourth quarter of the year, that’s great news considering what General Motors plan for the near- to mid-future. More to the point, the automaker will bring 20 electric vehicles to market by 2023, expecting demand for this means of propulsion to grow like crazy by then.

To date, the biggest demand for the Bolt came from the United States, Canada, and South Korea. Over in Europe, General Motors told Opel and Vauxhall dealers to stop selling the Ampera-e (badge-engineered version of the Bolt) as much as possible despite thousands of orders from EV-friendly markets such as Norway.

From January 2018 through the end of June, the Bolt racked up no less than 7,858 firm orders. That’s 3.5 percent more than the first half of 2017, and by comparison, the Leaf managed 6,659 sales around here for Nissan in the same period.

Manufactured in Lake Orion, Michigan since October 2016, the Bolt starts at $37,495. That translates to $29,995 if you include the federal tax credit, the subcompact-sized model is described by its maker as “the first affordable all-electric car to offer an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a single charge.”

The Model 3 with the Standard Battery (50 kWh instead of 60 kWh for the Bolt), by comparison, starts at $35,000 ($27,500 with the federal tax credit), is larger and roomier, but the added heft takes its toll on range. According to Tesla, the EPA-rated range for the entry-level drivetrain option of the Model 3 sits at 220 miles.

 
 
 
 
 

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