General Motors reported increases in month-over-month sales for the Chevy Bolt in almost all of 2017. While there was a large dip in sales at the beginning of the year, the numbers are still higher than this time last year. In short, the little EV hatchback is selling well, and this could mean good things for GM and the future of electric cars.
The Bolt is one of the first full EVs with generous range built, marketed, and priced for the average family. It’s a mainstream car, built for people who want that kind of vehicle. It's a car for the family who needs a small, efficient, and practical automobile that just happens to be electric. The strong sales suggest that Chevrolet may be achieving its goal.
The Bolt's Sales Tale
The Chevy Bolt was keeping pace with Tesla’s Model X at the end of 2017 and creeping up on the Model S’s sales number, according to InsideEVs' estimates. It was simply burying other EV competitors like the Nissan Leaf and the Volkswagen e-Golf. In December of 2017, Chevy managed to sell a total of 3,227 Bolts, according to InsideEVs.
So far this year, the Chevy has sold 2,601 Bolts. In January it sold 1,177 models, which was the first month-over-month decline in sales since February of 2017. The drop in sales is significant, but it shouldn’t alarm Chevy. All EV sales dropped at the beginning of 2018, and the Bolt is keeping pace with the competition, placing third overall, according to InsideEVs.
It’s likely that as the year continues to progress the Bolt will see significant sales gains like it did last year. Only this year, Chevy should sell more cars, meaning the Bolt, and EVs in general, are being pretty widely accepted by American motorist.
What This Means for EV Sales
If the Bolt’s sales numbers are any indication of the rest of the EV market, we could be on the cusp of some serious increases in the number of EVs on the road. The Bolt’s practicality, significant range, and affordable price make it a viable option for many people. That’s translating to more sales, which should translate to more trust in EVs if the Bolts being sold are of high quality.
Electric cars have been somewhat of a novelty for the last several years. They’re the butt of bad jokes about the lack of engine noise and range anxiety. The Bolt is doing its part to change that and the more of these cars that get out on the road, the more likely people are to take them seriously and buy one for themselves. Chevy and the rest of the players could still botch this, though. If the cars turn out to be unsatisfying, there’s little chance for success. That said, with the way things are looking right now. The electrified future looks bright.