Discuss: Is General Motors’ Policy on DC Quick Charging Slowing Chevrolet Bolt EV Adoption Rates?

It’s the world’s first long-range electric car costing under forty thousand U.S. dollars, can travel upwards of two hundred and thirty-eight miles on a charge (more than three hundred if you’re good with your right foot), and is on sale now in certain U.S. markets and South Korea. But while the Chevrolet Bolt EV deserves a place in the history books when it comes to range versus price, this five-seat compact electric car isn’t selling as well as some had hoped. What’s more, it’s being outsold by the older, cheaper, less capable Nissan LEAF.

So is the Chevrolet Bolt just not priced right? Is Nissan undercutting the Bolt EV so much that people are going for the shorter-range LEAF instead?  Or is General Motor’s lack of interest in charging networks hampering the rollout of this influential plug-in car?

Watch the video above to find out, and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • CDspeed

    With their lack of support I wonder what they’re doing to help customers locate, and use quick charging. I’ve even noticed that they aren’t providing a level 1 charging cable as standard it’s $535. extra. Not making your customers feel well provided for in the area of charging, may send people towards the proven, and less expensive Leaf. But I think we have to wait, and see what happens after the Bolt has fully rolled out to be sure. By then though it could be facing competition from the Model 3, and even if you don’t own a Tesla yet chances are you already know it’ll be supported by the Supercharger network.

  • Kent Shadwick

    Respectfully, way too early to start making generalizations on the Bolt. Some GM dealerships in California have readily admitted that they are volume movers and as such have good inventory on hand and offer incentives on the vehicle to generate high inventory churn. In Canada, the vehicle is selling well and dealers in the provinces with EV incentives have blown through their initial allotments. If you place an order today in Canada, you will have to wait for a 2018 Bolt unless GM issues another round of allotments. Even those orders placed with one of the first round of allotments have not all been filled. I’d say if anything, GM can’t build enough Bolts and deploy them fast enough in North America.

    Charging – With close to 400km (200 mi) of range the need for a robust public charging infastructure is not as critical with this car where, let’s face it, most of the charging will be L2 and done at the owner’s primary residence. (Also of note, in Canada the Bolt comes standard with DCFC on board.) In Ontario, our provincial government has embarked on a robust EV charging station deployment (EVCO) which has put 20 million dollars into charging infastructure. If you need to do those once or twice a year long trips and you have some range anxiety, rent a Volt or hybrid.

    Love the work you are doing in this space Nikki. Keep up the great work.

    • Scott Sexton

      “Charging – With close to 400km (200 mi) of range the need for a robust public charging infastructure is not as critical with this car where, let’s face it, most of the charging will be L2 and done at the owner’s primary residence.”

      — As a happy Bolt owner easily doing over 200 miles of range in California, I can vouch for the almost exclusive charging at home. When we owned a Leaf, I was always aware of the range guessing meter and often had to know where all the public chargers were. Now, we just don’t care. Each time we leave our garage the solar panels on our home’s roof have charged the Bolt with over 180 miles of range (“Hill Top Reserve” mode enabled to extend the life of the battery). We just don’t think about range anymore, or watching a gas tank, and that’s hard to do after life with our Leaf and former gas cars — but it’s sure a dang pleasant difficulty to get over. We have CCS Fast Charged our Bolt only once. It was free via a “GreenLots” Fast DC charger at LAX, but in actuality, we didn’t need to. It was former Leaf range anxiety that made me get Fast Charging for our Bolt, and we just don’t need it yet (granted, our other car is a Chevy Volt with gas range extension for long road trips).

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  • Shirley Marquez Dulcey

    GM is also hurt by its legacy; potential EV owners don’t trust the company. GM is the subject of the documentary film Who Killed The Electric Car?, which is about the rise and fall of the GM EV1, a pioneering electric car they offered for lease in the 1990s and then famously repossessed (which they could do because they never actually sold the EV1) even from drivers who wanted to keep their cars.