GM Bolt batteries shutting down

GM Bolt batteries shutting down

I know of a person who owns one and will find out more. The article states which batteries may be affected but is somewhat confusing.

spmeister | 26 august 2017

Should note that as of right now GM is thinking this is around 100 cars. I haven't heard anything from them & got my Bolt in February. Just under 14k miles with no issues.

Tropopause | 26 august 2017

I don't trust LG Chem batteries. It's situations like this that show the ignorance of big automobile manufacturers when they claim they can "catch up to Tesla" so quickly when they are inclined to do so. The battery is the heart of the BEV and thus must be taken seriously and not simply outsourced to the lowest bidder. Panasonic and Tesla are partners and now have the Gigafactory to further the science of lithium ion batteries. Good luck to the competition who think they can compete with Tesla without a battery factory of their own.

I hope GM will take care of these Bolt owners in a quick and efficient manner.

Mike83 | 26 august 2017

Tropopause +10
As a Tesla owner for over 4 years there is no other alternative. Although it would be great to see some real competition there is none. I'll add that the AP2 is very nice and I would have paid even more for it. Talk about reducing driving stress and it has even saved us from a few fender benders. Tesla batteries are proven and can supercharge for our travels which we do a lot now.
I doubt if competition will appear for at least 4 years by which time Tesla will own the worldwide auto and energy market.

rgrant | 26 august 2017

Happy that the battery and motor in my 500e are Bosch sourced, hopefully it'll have long life. A bit surprised though that Bosch aren't seeking to be the Tesla of Europe. Perhaps they are but I've not seen any news...

Mike83 | 26 august 2017

About 100 Gigafactories required to make the world 100% alternative. It seems China and maybe Germany will start building them also.

dyefrog | 26 august 2017

Let's not overreact here. It's less than 100 cars. Seems to be more of an anomaly than a trend.

carlk | 26 august 2017

I'm sure there will be a lot of fingure pointing between GM and LG if this becomes a serious issue. That's why doing everything in house is the better idea.

On this I met a former collegue who just came back from China on a three year stint at a Japanese invested battery factory there (not Panasonic btw). They were making moblie phone and computer batteries but he's very familiar with auto battery situations there too. He said Chinese government is heavily promoting EV and battery and is offering very lucrative incentives for people to invest in battery production. However in order to get government money batteries they make have to meet certain energy density goal. He said a lot companies are just rushing to claim the money without proper know how to do it. In his words it will be a mess in coming years. It's pretty much like Tropo's descriptoin of LG Chem's situation. You can't rush to "catch Tesla" without invest time and resources in it like Tesla did.

carlk | 26 august 2017

BTW Nissan does produce its batteries in house partnered with NEC. It has battery manufacturing facilities in the US, Japan and UK. There were rumors that it might outsourcing batteries from LG Chem but that has not happened. I always thought Nissan is the only company beside Tesla that is at least somewhat serious about EV as a product. It looks it's still the case.

Bighorn | 26 august 2017

100 cars affected? Remember GM is notorious for minimizing and lying.

Mike83 | 26 august 2017

They really haven't sold many cars either.

rgrant | 26 august 2017

The story I heard about Chinese auto manufacturers is they're intending to compete globally in electric car sales skipping ICE altogether. The government's full support domestically is going to help a lot.

coolnewworld | 26 august 2017

I stopped reading the article after "Kevin Kelly, ‎senior manager for advanced technology communications at GM, says the problem is due to one or more battery cells, which are manufactured by LG Chem..."

LG is a completely hit or miss company. Some products are good and others are beyond terrible. For this reason I won't ever buy anything LG branded.

Bighorn | 26 august 2017

I thought Chevy used the LG pouch batteries.

carlk | 26 august 2017

rgrant That is true. Not just EV but also green tech in general. China's goal is not just to fix city polution or slow down global warming but to dominate this future technology. Some may not take them serious because they only make crappy cars and relying on coal plants but that's exactly the reason they want to skip what they are too far behind and go right to future stuff for the leadership position. Thankful we have Tesla or we could actually see a role reversal between US and China in the next few decades. Our EV/green energy hating make American great friends still can't see what is coming.

greg | 26 august 2017


Doesn't the M3 use a LG sourced panel for the centre [and only] screen?

So, you gonna scrap your M3 reservation as a result in case it stops working?

As for The GM Bolt battery shutdown problem, sounds like a badly integrated BMS/Car issue.

The BMS is obviously detecting a major issue [think cell reversal/imminent ire danger] hence why it stops the car dead in its tracks.

So its either a really *very* serious battery problem which the BMS is detecting and is trying to avoid causing problems by stopping the car dead.

Or its a serious flaw in the BMS and/or how it integrates to the rest of the car.

Either way, its basically like the car turning the ignitiion off on an ICE while driving.

Something I gather GM is sort of familiar with...

I just hope that neither LG or GM attempt to deny or denigrate the issue.

After all, whats next if the problem continues?

Bolts catching fire in public due to faulty batteries will put the Note 7 battery fires scandal to shame, and firmly set LiON battery tech in the public minds as being more dangerous than gasoline is.

And so impact general EV adoption for years.

And wouldn't GM [and other ICE makers] just love that, a few more years to sell their ICE vehicles for ever more profits. And not have to worry about EVs eating their lunch?

crazy canaler | 27 august 2017

Forget about the battery - the rest of the car is crap! I'm in Florida and just got on the wait list recently. My very reliable Camry has 400,000 miles on it, so I wanted to see if it would be a possibility to buy a Bolt for a couple years and then get the Model 3. So I test drove one a few weeks ago, and it's crap.

I have to totally agree with Ben at Teslanomics that the interior is very "Fisher Price". The acceleration is very good except for the fact that it shimmeys left and right if you accelerate hard - and that's not even in the "Sport" mode. It handles nicely over completely smooth pavement. However, even small bumps feel like you're on a derailing train - at any speed. And to get the safety features they tout, you have to spend about $42,000 - and most of those you can find standard on a number of $20,000 cars.

I think Tesla is stretching it a bit by saying that the Model 3 is a car for the masses, but who exactly is the Chevy Bolt for???

Shock | 27 august 2017

"Berman says that he received his vehicle 6 months after the start of production"

Maybe sat on a lot for a while? I don't know how demand is on these.

"As a Tesla owner for over 4 years there is no other alternative."

There is the leaf. I know it's not the same class as tesla and won't pretend it is, but the leaf is *more* reliable than teslas according to data I've seen (including at The amount of catastrophic 'stops" from leafs is so low it beggars belief (saw an article on that a week back).

"who exactly is the Chevy Bolt for???"

Having now seen one in person up close (didn't get in it, though), I think it's for people who are basically being blackmailed under threat of death to own an EV and yet the range of the Leaf isn't good enough for them. I'm baffled at how anybody could walk up to that and say "$35-40k? Sign me up!". But, chevy admits it is a compliance car.

As carlk notes above the only companies serious about EV right now are tesla and nissan.

noleaf4me | 27 august 2017

Battery technology will be one of the keys to being a big player in this market....without it, you will be toast.

Mike83 | 27 august 2017

Although GM made the EV1 it was primitive compared to Tesla. I hope they fully disclose what the battery issue is and help the GM buyers with good loaners. Maybe they could lease some used Teslas like the 60 batteries

ReD eXiLe ms us | 27 august 2017

carlk: I think that more see what's coming than are letting on. They just wish they didn't see it coming. Because they never expected it to be within site during their career, if indeed during their lifetimes. That frightens them, and fear is the mind killer. So, they go with the head in the sand strategy, hoping something unfortunate will happen to EVs and that someone will issue the 'all clear' when it is safe for them to look again. The outright refusal to face the truth and adapt accordingly is rather depressing.

Carl Thompson | 27 august 2017

"Although GM made the EV1 it was primitive compared to Tesla."

EVs from 20 years ago were primitive compared to EVs of today? Go figure.


Mike83 | 27 august 2017

Carl The point I was making is that GM has little experience from what they did 20 years. In the interim they made hummers and other gas hogs not interested in ev's and even having trouble with putting in a functionally safe ignition switch.

carlk | 27 august 2017

Mike83 Not sure if GM will even try to spin it. It really does not care if Bolt sells or not imo.

ReD Everyone was just hoping Tesla would go away so they could continue their easy life. Now the reality starts to hit them they are still splitting their efforts between trying to pull Tesla down, and hope that will work, and to put in some half ass'd efforts as an insurance policy. Until the day that Tesla reached the total success transition to sustainable energy and transportation is still a shaky dream.

Carl Thompson | 27 august 2017

"The point I was making is that GM has little experience from what they did 20 years."

In the meantime they've made the Spark, Volt, Cadillac ELR, Ampera, Bolt and Ampera-e. They've sold hundreds of thousands of these cars so technically they have more experience than Tesla!

I agree that Tesla currently makes the "best" EVs but they are not more experienced at it.


carlk | 27 august 2017

Carl Thompson

I think you are confusing just experience to beneficial experiences. In this highly comepetetive environment saying I can do 90% of what you can is not enough. The last 10% is what determines success and failure.

carlk | 27 august 2017

And the last 10% is always the hardest 10%.

Tropopause | 27 august 2017

"Bolts catching fire in public due to faulty batteries..." "And wouldn't GM [and other ICE makers] just love that, a few more years to sell their ICE vehicles for ever more profits..."

Wow! That's is such a perfectly crafted dastardly plot to give BEV's a black eye. I just can't imagine the leaders at GM having the foresight to come up with it. If GM were that creative they'd already be competing with Tesla cars and Superchargers.

Carl Thompson | 27 august 2017


Yeah, that's why I said "I agree that Tesla currently makes the "best" EVs..."


andy.connor.e | 28 august 2017

Why do we care about what is happening to bolt

sosmerc | 28 august 2017

The more successful everyone is at introducing EV's that everyone wants the quicker we all reap the multiple benefits of the transition to EV's. No matter what brand you prefer, we should want them all to succeed.

Mike83 | 28 august 2017

GM needs management change to transition to long term profits and not short term dividend payouts. I would fire most of them.
Put someone like Musk on the board for example. Get the fossil fuel guys fired.
Then GM would be competitive.

andy.connor.e | 28 august 2017

Once companies profits start to fall, they will make the transition. Until the competition significantly shows up on their quarterly profits, they have no reason to change.

Who knows, people might not choose Tesla over their gas cars because they're more afraid of change. Maybe Tesla will be the only significant EV producer. The public consumers drive market production. Its up to us to demand EVs if we want them to exist.

Partly found in the term "be the change". If you want EVs, stop demanding gasoline cars. If you want solar to drive the grid, either stop paying utility companies, or use less energy so their profits are minuscule. Public demand drives what products get produced, and what products get support.

Tropopause | 28 august 2017

Public can only demand what options they are given. Government also drives corporations but in the US we see the opposite due to lobbying efforts. In China, the government is leading industry to clean energy and will surpass the US quickly if our government does not take action. Even Elon said China (and now India) are becoming world leaders in clean energy.

carlk | 28 august 2017

"No matter what brand you prefer, we should want them all to succeed."

Yes but only if they do too. GM does not want EV to succeed. It wants to continue to make highly profitable ICE trucks or SUV's and has no desire to have EV to get in the way, other than to have a compliance car for them to sell more SUV and some PR value. It only wants to sell no more than 20~30K Bolt a year, huh?, just so it can say yes we can do it but people don't want to buy EV, they only want Silverado's or Tahoe's.

carlk | 28 august 2017


Yes forget about GM or anyone else. The ONLY way to achieve the EV transition is to have Tesla, the only serious player, to dominate the auto market and to force everyone else to do the same. Elon said in a recent interview if Tesla fails others will use it as evidence that EV does not work. At this moment no matter what those companies say they will do they are still hoping that EV would not work.

andy.connor.e | 28 august 2017

Times have changed. When the options werent available, and government didnt support change, the people protested and demanded until they were met. Dont fear what it takes to make change.

If everyone declared they would not purchase another car no matter what unless it was an EV, how fast do you think all the companies would transition?

jordanrichard | 28 august 2017

"In the meantime they've made the Spark, Volt, Cadillac ELR, Ampera, Bolt and Ampera-e. They've sold hundreds of thousands of these cars so technically they have more experience than Tesla!"

Where did you come up with this? The ELR didn't sell at all. They dropped the price significantly and still there were 1-2 yr old ELRs sitting on dealer's lots. The Bolt is only sold in like 8-10 states and they scaled back production already. The Spark EV was like the Bolt, a limited marketed car. So where do you get that "sold hundreds of thousands" line from?

Perhaps in CA you see a lot of Spark EVs, but not in the world outside of CA. | 28 august 2017

What might be interesting in 2-3 years is one of the majors like GM asking Tesla to buy them. At the right price, it could give Tesla more factory space. Still, likely too much bad junk comes with a purchase like this for Tesla to be interested.

andy.connor.e | 28 august 2017


That'd be alot of factories to completely gut out all that ICE manufacturing!

finman100 | 28 august 2017

Volt , Caddy Volt (ELR), and Ampera (Europe) are hybrids. Check for the tailpipe. still requires gas. still has a piston engine. go GM.

jordanrichard | 28 august 2017

finman, the Ampera is the European version of the Bolt, no tail pipe.

Tropopause | 28 august 2017

"Electrified" is the spin of the day.

jordanrichard | 28 august 2017

Plus "electrics". The Germans like that word and the media eats it up and give the impression that the Germans are building EVs, when in fact the Germans consider hybrids as "electrics".

finman100 | 28 august 2017

Ampera-e is the BEV (European Bolt). just plain Ampera is hybrid (European Volt). At least that's what the interwebs say...

jordanrichard | 28 august 2017

Ohhhhh. So GM used the same name apart from a small "e", to name 2 cars that are completely different in design....?

carlk | 28 august 2017


No need to waste money to buy those worthless companies. When they close down factories Tesla could just go there to buy them cheap. There will not be another bidder beside Tesla by that time. The other thought is why even bother to go buy those pretty useless old plants and create jobs in places like Michigan to reward how they've been treating Tesla? There will be plenty of states or countries that will welcome Tesla with open arms for it to set up align dreadnaought gigafactories there.

Carl Thompson | 28 august 2017

" So where do you get that 'sold hundreds of thousands' line from?"

The Volt and the Spark have each sold over 100k cars. Add in the Bolt, Ampera, Ampera-e, ELR, and EV1. And please don't give me that "the Volt doesn't count" crap. It has a battery and an electric motor (2 actually) so even though it has a gas generator added GM still gets electric car experience from building them.

It's easy to just mindlessly bash GM as the evil empire but they've built several quality electric cars. Of my 3 EVs (counting the Volt) the Volt was the only one that worked reliably without issues. Reviews of the Bolt, even comparative reviews from Tesla owners, are overwhelmingly positive. Sure GM isn't moving as fast as we might like but it's hard to blame them for wanting to wait until the market is ready and not rack up mountains of debt selling electric cars for which there simply is not currently strong demand compared to demand for ICE vehicles. Tesla _must_ move quickly and gamble by trying to create more demand where little exists because they have no alternative. GM wants to move as the market moves and that's a legitimate approach for a business that doesn't want to risk its investors money or its employees livelihood even if it doesn't please us.


Mike83 | 28 august 2017

Back to the real issues. Does GM want to make EVs? Do they not want to offend fossil fuel interests? Can they actually make EV's that last, are dependable, safe and can travel long distances? Will they make EVs when there is no longer an incentive?
Smart investors would make sure the managers are doing what they want. Again short term profits are short term and then bankruptcy if the officers get it wrong. I would vote out those that are not doing their best job for long term investors.

Mike83 | 28 august 2017

By the way if GM goes bankrupt there are no jobs.

andy.connor.e | 28 august 2017

Tesla gets all the jobs.