General Motors announced Wednesday that it has reduced the price of the most affordable Chevrolet Bolt to $26,595, making it the least expensive electric vehicle in the United States.
The new Bolt is priced slightly lower than the electric Nissan Leaf, which has a suggested retail price of $27,400.
The Bolt’s price has dropped 27% from the 2020 model, which it sold for $36,620. GM’s electric vehicle push has been hampered by a Bolt battery recall, which led supplier LG to pay it $1.9 billion last year. A series of fires triggered the recall, which was among the costliest on record per vehicle.
GM stopped 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 name of Bolt EUV, in 2022.
GM launched the Bolt sedan in 2016 and sold 23,297 units in 2017. But sales have fallen and generally remained flat, with GM selling a total of 24,828 Bolt sedans and crossovers in 2022.
GM has lowered prices to ensure Bolt vehicles are competitive in the market, spokesman Shad Balch said.
“Affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles,” Balch said.
The Bolt EUV 2023 starts at $28,195, a drop of $6,300 from its previous price.
Balch said GM is committed to producing a record number of Bolt vehicles this year.
The Bolt’s new price could spark interest from buyers who can’t afford other EVs. Tesla’s least expensive vehicle, the Model 3, sells for $46,990 and reaches $48,440 after fees, some of which are within industry standards. Chevrolet includes dealer freight charges in the base price of the Bolt. The Model 3 price is up 34% from three years ago.
In a Tweet from March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed to “significant recent inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics” as the reason for the price increase. Prices for critical metals like lithium, nickel and cobalt have skyrocketed over the past year.
Ford has increased the price of its electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, and Rivian has increased the prices of its vehicles.
The US economy has seen record inflation this year, with steep price increases on many goods, including cars, making GM’s decision all the more surprising.
GM declined to say whether the Bolt would be profitable with the new price drop.