Chevy Bolt Runs on Ultium Battery Power

Mary Barra: Bolt Essential for GM’s Future

In a conversation with Marketplace podcast host Kai Ryssdal, General Motors CEO Mary Barra hinted that the Chevrolet Bolt may still have a future, noting that it’s an “important vehicle” in the company’s lineup. This goes against what the corporation had previously stated about the car.

In April of this year, Chevrolet’s chief marketing officer Steven Majoros noted that although the Bolt had “been a phenomenal product,” it was time to move forward. The Bolt was designed as a conquest vehicle for the automaker, meant to entice those curious about EVs to try out a new type of GM vehicle. It was never anticipated that it would become a long-term and popular cornerstone of the company’s EV strategy.

It appears that GM is questioning whether it’s sensible to cease production of the Bolt, seemingly because it has more admirers than expected for the Chevy.

Ryssdal visited the GM Warren Technical Center recently, where he engaged Barra in conversation. It appears that he had previously taken the Bolt for a spin and was greatly impressed by it, prompting him to inquire as to why it would be discontinued.

“Because it’s our second-generation technology,” Barra replied. She then pointed out that the difference between GM’s second and third generation, Ultium, is a 40% decrease in battery costs. Barra went on to explain that legacy model names such as Equinox are easily recognizable to GM customers, which should make the Equinox EV more marketable. Majoros, who was mentioned earlier, had similar thoughts on how well-known names are simpler to promote.

“Usain Bolt is now a name that is easily recognizable,” admits Barra. “It’s built up a lot of loyalty and equity, so I can’t say much more about it, but the move from second generation to third generation was an important step for us in our portfolio.”

The crux of the situation is that GM brought out the Bolt to evaluate how it would be received in the market for an obtainable electrically driven automobile. This car set in motion the formation of other new EVs such as the GMC Hummer EV, which was the first ever product from the manufacturer boasting Ultium batteries. Since Ultium batteries are being shared and augmented across other motor vehicles akin to the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and other Buicks made in China, the cost of each particular battery has been reduced, rendering third-generation battery technology ideal for EV’s with a sensible rate, such as the Bolt and Bolt EUV.

GM have long been conscious that it would take some time for their electric vehicles to start making a financial gain, but the recent announcement of a prospective upcoming Bolt could potentially speed up the route to success.

In two years, Chevy may possess a competitive edge with Tesla’s sales numbers if they launch an electric vehicle (EV) that includes around 300 miles of range plus availability to a vast charging system for less than $30,000.

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