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Throwing Back the Bolt: Chevrolet Bolt Returns for Second Generation

chevrolet bolt ev 2022 oem 03 angle  blue  exterior  front  jpg 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Manufacturer photo

GM chair and CEO Mary Barra announced today that the Chevrolet Bolt nameplate will return. The statement comes three months to the day after Barra said the electric hatchback and SUV would be discontinued to free up production capacity for GM’s next-generation electric vehicles. This is good news not just for hopeful Bolt buyers, but anyone looking for an affordable EV. The 2023 Bolts are notable as the only EVs currently on the market offering an EPA-estimated range greater than 200 miles for less than $30,000.

Related: Chevrolet Bolt EV to Be Discontinued by Year’s End: Should You Get It While You Can?

In an email to Cars.com, GM declined to clarify whether the next-gen Bolt would be the hatchback, the EUV SUV or both. In a statement, Barra also did not comment on when the new car will debut, just that GM “will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program … by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies.” The Ultium modular battery architecture and Ultifi connectivity tech underpin all of GM’s upcoming EV offerings.

The forthcoming Equinox EV is promised to have a starting price around $30,000 and up to 300 miles of range, but GM evidently rethought the decision to abandon the nameplate recognition built up by the Bolts in their short time on the market. Since 2017, Chevrolet has sold more than 160,000 of the compact EVs, and — perhaps more important than sales — they’ve proven to be a conquest leader: Of buyers who traded in a vehicle at their Bolt purchase, the brand says nearly 70% were handing over non-GM products. It also says the vast majority (80%) of those buyers are loyal to Chevy.

We’ll have to wait to see what the Bolt becomes, but the Equinox EV squatting so close to its territory opens up some exciting possibilities. Will it be the same Bolt but with new underpinnings, or an even more affordable EV? A smaller, EV1-esque sport compact that delivers some of the dynamic promise of the name? Fingers crossed for that one.

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