At the 2016 CES in Las Vegas Chevrolet showed its 2017 Bolt to the public. GM claims the new Bolt will be able to go over 200 miles on a charge, “…well beyond the driving range of most drivers,” GM’s chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. In a prior article, I already described that 200 miles of range would be more than just sufficient for most US drivers after an analysis of the largest scale NHTS database of US driving behavior. But more than just having sufficient range, costs of the 2017 Bolt will also be reasonable and affordable at around $30,000 - after collecting the $7,500 government rebate.
This might very well be the first mass market ready electric vehicle (EV) ever produced. But why does Michigan analyst Alan Baum then only project 20,200 Bolt EV sales for year one when GM claims a production capacity of 50,000 units per year? What could hold customers back from buying the most useful mass market EV out there?
Michigan analyst Alan Baum is projecting only 20,200 Bolt EV sales in 2017. He states factors like limited demand in a country of cheap gas and GM’s track record of marketing electrified vehicles. In this article I will talk about both points and thus will start by analyzing potential demand for the 2017 Bolt before trying to understand why that car might not become the game changer it could be.
Sini Ninkovic analyzes the EV market and its customers since 2012. He helped bringing BMW's i3 and i8 to market and currently works as Product Planner for Lucid Motors.