GM says the Chevy Bolt has had the best sales since the recall and is the leader in mainstream EV sales

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

GM released a sales update for the end of 2022 and heralded the humble Chevy Bolt’s best sales year ever, calling the Bolt and Bolt EUV the “#1 mainstream EV lineup” in Q3 and Q4.

GM has only had one significant electric model line so far, the Chevy Bolt. It also started selling the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, but both are more expensive and more limited production.

GM has several other electric models coming in the next year or two as its Ultium battery platform prepares for prime time. These include the Equinox, Blazer and Silverado EVs. But for now, the Bolt accounts for the vast majority of GM’s current EV sales.

Bolt sales rose sharply year over year, with sales growth outpacing all but one Chevy model (Malibu) and two other GM models (XT4, Terrain). The Bolt sold 22,073 vehicles in 2021 and 38,120 in 2022, a 72% increase for the model line. Most of GM’s other models either posted sales declines or more modest growth, with the company adding 2.5% to annual sales overall.

As such, Bolt sales are increasing significantly, as are many other electric models, while gas-powered vehicle sales are showing a smaller increase.

But that’s not the whole story.

GM and the Bolt have had a tough few years with long-term recalls that partially or fully affected the quarter, and production only resumed in April 2022. So sales both last year and this year were affected by the recall.

This results in 2021 and early 2022 for GM’s EV sales, with GM trailing Ford and a comically low number of EVs in Q4 (26 total) and Q1 (457 total) resulted in the sale. It also meant a comically high percentage increase from the paltry 2021 numbers, with Q4 Bolt sales up 94,600% year-over-year and YTD Hummer EV sales up 85,300% year-over-year.

After finally returning to selling the car, GM dropped the MSRP to ~$6,000 in June, making the Bolt the cheapest EV in America. Sales have also increased this year compared to last year, with the introduction of a larger Bolt EUV model with more storage space at a lower price.

That’s why GM’s release says the Bolt is the “No. 1 mainstream EV series.” In Q3 and Q4,” after the recall ended and GM was finally able to sell these cars in earnest again. While GM doesn’t define “mainstream” in its releases, we suspect it means “not counting Tesla.”

GM’s Bolt sales likely took a hit toward the end of the year, though, as we neared the deadline in the Inflation Reduction Act that would have made GM eligible again for the federal EV tax credit — especially after the U.S. Treasury delayed its guidance on battery resource requirements, meaning the Bolt will have access to the $7,500 tax credit until at least March, making it a screaming deal until then.

GM also said the Bolt EV has the highest mix of buyers under the age of 36 compared to its EV competitors, an important demographic for automakers looking to build brand loyalty. It sees electric vehicles as a growth opportunity and plans to increase Bolt production to more than 70,000 units this year to meet strong global demand, while developing the Ultium platform and launching new EVs in the coming quarters.

Electrek’s Take

There are a lot of factors here, but in short, the Bolt is still selling impressively well for a model that was first delivered in 2017, is based on old technology and has a planned end-of-life within the next few years. GM is moving to the new Ultium platform.

Now that the Bolt is so big, despite its age, it won our award as Electrek’s Car of the Year. It’s the best bang for your buck you’ll get not just from any EV, but from any car on the road. Especially considering the EV tax credit situation.

So we’re not surprised to see it do well in sales, and we hope GM can produce enough of them to meet the high demand they’re seeing for this car. While supply constraints in the auto industry are beginning to ease somewhat, we’re hearing from many readers who are having trouble finding Bolts at their local dealerships for less than MSRP.

If you’re looking for a Bolt, you can use our links to contact your local dealers about the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV or 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV. If you want to take advantage of the current tax credit situation, be sure to make a delivery “sometime in March” but check with a tax professional first to ensure your eligibility.

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