General Motors announced Wednesday that it’s cut the price of the most affordable Chevrolet Bolt to $26,595, making it the cheapest electric vehicle in the US.
The Bolt’s new price slightly undercuts the electric Nissan Leaf, which has a suggested retail price of $27,400.
The Bolt’s price has fallen 27% from the 2020 model, which it sold for $36,620. GM’s electric vehicle push has been hampered by a recall of Bolt batteries, which led to supplier LG paying it $1.9 billion last year. A series of fires triggered the recall, which was among the most expensive ever on a per-vehicle basis.
GM halted production of the Bolt in September 2021 as it worked with LG to prioritize batteries for recalled vehicles, but the company restarted the assembly line in early April 2022. GM introduced a Bolt crossover, known as the Bolt EUV, in 2022.
GM introduced the Bolt sedan in 2016 and sold 23,297 units in 2017. But sales slumped and have been generally flat, with GM selling a combined 24,828 Bolt sedans and crossovers in 2022.
GM lowered the prices to make sure the Bolt vehicles are competitive in the marketplace, spokesperson Shad Balch said.
“Affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles,” Balch said.
The 2023 Bolt EUV starts at $28,195, a $6,300 drop from its previous price.
Balch said GM is committed to producing a record amount of Bolt vehicles this year.
The Bolt’s new pricing may attract interest from buyers who can’t afford other electric vehicles. Tesla’s cheapest vehicle, the Model 3, sells for $46,990, and reaches $48,440 after fees, some of which are industry standard. Chevrolet is including dealer freight charges in the Bolt’s base price. The Model 3’s price has increased 34% from three years ago.
In a March tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed to “significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials and logistics” as the reason for the price increase. Prices for critical metals like lithium, nickel and cobalt have spiked in the last year.
Ford has raised the price on its electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, and Rivian has hiked prices on its vehicles.
The US economy has seen record inflation this year, with sharp price hikes on many goods, including cars, making GM’s decision all the more surprising.
GM declined to say if the Bolt would be profitable with the new price decrease.