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No more GM Volt as of early 2019

No more GM Volt as of early 2019

It is a sad day for wanna-be potential EV owners

jimglas | November 26, 2018

Volt is not true EV, that is the Bolt

RES IPSA | November 26, 2018

Hence the "wanna-be" qualifier

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 26, 2018

GM apparently wants to replace the VOLT Sedan with a Crossover vehicle in the future. This was announced over a year ago.

During all its existence and through two generations of vehicle design, GM never built over 30,000 units of the VOLT for any calendar year. Meanwhile, Toyota built and sold over 100,000 units of the PRIUS for eleven years straight for the U.S. market, until they uglified it to validate the styling for the MIRAI HFCEV.

The plan all along has been to CANCEL the VOLT. Other than the Chevrolet Corvette, which is placed as a 'HALO' car, GM consistently CANCELS all vehucles that do not exceed annual sales of 35,000 units per year as a rule of thumb. The VOLT existed for marketing purposes and to generate ZEV Credits from CARB States, not to be a widespread success. The VOLT was the highest rated vehicle from GM until the BOLT arrived and surpassed it in customer satisfaction. Yet, it was destined to get the axe from the outset.

Sleepydoc1 | November 26, 2018

@Red - THe CNN article states only 36,000 Bolts have been sold since it came out in 2016. According to recent Good Car Bad car posts, the sales have been down in to the 100's each month the last 4-6 months, yet they didn't cancel the Bolt. I expected that one to go as well. I know there are other "benefits" to having the Bolt around.

A general question, do the hybrids get the Federal Tax credit? If they do and all these companies used up their 200,000 quota on hybrids, what happens when their EVs compete with the Teslas that also are missing the Federal Tax Credit?

TabascoGuy | November 26, 2018

And today GM just announced they are letting 15% of their workforce go and shutting down three assembly plants and two propulsion plants. I'll bet you a dollar that anyone that is still there is not seriously working on any EV development.

Sleepydoc1 | November 26, 2018

The CNN article talked about "Legacy brain drain." So the people who know ICE may not be the right ones to do EV? The world is changing so fast that these people won't have the skills to apply in the new markets making the new vehicles.

cmh95628 | November 26, 2018

@Sleepydoc1
re: do the hybrids get the Federal Tax credit? If they do and all these companies used up their 200,000 quota on hybrids,
When I bought my 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (TCH), I got something like $3700 tax credit. The amount of credit depends on the amount of battery capacity (so no $7500 like the full credit for a Tesla now). When I bought my 2013 TCH, there was no federal tax credit, as the program had already been closed since it had been over 18 months since Toyota had sold their 200,000th hybrid. This makes me think that congress will never extend the tax credit for 10 years and make it retroactive, since they would have to go back so many years and it would get messy. Maybe a new incentive will come along.

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 26, 2018

Sleepydoc1: If you remember the BOLT was originally shown in early 2015 with a slightly different design and the name was simply 'Chevrolet BOLT'. A year later, it was shown with the current design, but its official name was called out as 'Chevrolet BOLT EV' instead.

If you'll remember, there had been both an ICE powered Chevrolet SPARK and a fully electric SPARK EV. I suspect that GM hoped that by marketing the BOLT both as a 'Tesla Killer' and as a 'Crossover' it would become much more popular upon release. I think the car had been designed from the outset as a front wheel d rive direct competitor to the Honda FIT. I think it was meant to bear the 'Chevrolet SONIC' monniker during early development, and would have had various turbocharged and hybrid drivetrains. But, when Tesla made a big splash, and announced tgeir firm intent to release a mass market long distance vehicle in 2017, GM pivoted, chose to release that car as the BOLT instead, so that they could 'steal thunder' from Tesla in the public eye by getting to market 'first'.

I think they had forgotten the terms of the Federal EV Tax Credit, thought that they had 200,000 units for each plug-in they sold in the U.S., and didn't realize it was actually a limitation per brand/manufacturer. By then, even the lowly VOLT had managed to exceed 100,000 units sold in total. Oops.

They might have actually intended to manufacture the BOLT at a high rate eventually, though mostly as plug-in hybrids. But then they realized that having both the BOLT and VOLT on the market would cause them to burst through 200,000 units sold by the end of 2018 or sooner. Oops, again.

So they slowed production and distribution of the BOLT, while they simultaneously lobbied for both an end to emissions and fuel economy standards as well as an extension of the Federal Incentives for plug-ins. Brilliant strategy. Really, it was. ... Not.

In the meantime, one of the provisions of the ZEV Credit mandates, known as the 'Travel Rule' had expired. So it was no longer possible to have a handful of compliance cars earn extra bonus ZEV Credits from non-CARB States based upon GM's relative sales in the Great State of California. So, that was another factor that lead to the greenlight of the BOLT. It's higher battery pack capacity and greater fully electric range than SPARK EV and VOLT allowed BOLT to garner higher levels of ZEV Credits per sale. Those ZEV Credits could be cashed in, converted, to be applied against GM's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rating to artificially lower their exposure to fines from the NHTSA. In 2015, GM was the second worst car manufacturer in North America when it came to CAFE, only FCA was worse. So, GM really needed the help of ZEV Credits in order to keep selling gas guzzlers and diesel hogs as SUVs and Pickup Trucks. The BOLT was meant to hold the tide against regulation.

Now, imagine if BOLT had really taken off and mysteriously been more popular than Model 3 somehow... There would probably be a BOLT EV, BOLT HYBRID, BOLT PHEV, & BOLT DIESEL on the market, with the BOLT EV being the least produced. GM doesn't fool me anymore. But I'm certain they intend to fool a lot others still. Just watch what happens if they get their extension on the Federal EV Credits.

jordanrichard | November 26, 2018

What wasn’t mentioned in the article is that the Bolt is made at the same plant as the Cruze that is slated to be closed. So, does that mean the Bolt is toast?

billtphotoman | November 26, 2018

I have fond memories of my Gen1 Volt and hope the Voltec powertrain lives on. Until batteries become a lot more affordable Voltec is a great option for people who need 250+ miles of highway range even in cold temperatures, want to drive electric in the city and aren't willing to pony up $55K+ for an LR model 3. I think GM has a 2-4 year window of opportunity to put Voltec into an Equinox sized CUV because it will be at least that long before BEVs in that form factor with at least 300 miles of range become available at mainstream (<$35K) prices. While I fully expect the model Y to be an excellent vehicle I also expect the 250+ mile version to go for well north of $50K.

Kathy Applebaum | November 26, 2018

@cmh95628 I think you're talking apples and oranges here. The cars you mention are hybrids, but not _plug in_ hybrids like the Volt. Traditional hybrids don't currently get a federal tax credit in the US for any manufacturer, but plug in hybrids get the full $7500 until 200K units are sold for that mfg.

millerwb | November 26, 2018

I believe the Bolt is assembled in the same plant as the Sonic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Assembly

Jiver | November 26, 2018

My 2013 Volt was the best car that I owned. I cannot say enough good things about it. My M3 may become the best car that I have ever owned -- too early to tell. It is headed that way, though :-)

@Sleepydoc1 When I purchased my Volt in late 2012 I received a $7500 federal tax credit and a $5896 CO state tax credit. For the M3, the federal credit is the same but the CO state credit has dropped to $5000.

RES IPSA | November 26, 2018

Some articles today explained how GM is moving away from producing sedans and focusing on trucks and SUV's that sell better. That is why they are closing those three plants

Sleepydoc1 | November 26, 2018

Thanks for the great history lesson Red. I suspect Tesla will do fine even when the fed credits expire.

CST2 | November 26, 2018

Chevy is doubling down on the past.

modtrois | November 26, 2018

I leased a 2013 Volt - filled by a 2016 Volt. The power train in the 2016 is a work of engineering genius. That along with the interior improvements over the first gen. (The mind numbing, brain dead, center console with a multitude of touch sensitive buttons in the 2013).

@Jiver - I can honestly say the Model 3 is bay far the best car I have even owned - but I still enjoy the Volt- just not as much as the M3.

GM never marketed the Volt, it should have the option of AWD. I do hope the powerteain lives on in a crossover. It is imperative they keep a minimum all electric range of 50+ miles. It was definitely a way to have an “electric” daily driver until Tesla released a car I could afford. I have been able to drive fully electric 81% of the time over the past 3 years and 36K miles.

The reality was when I looked at Tesla - it would have cost over 100K, configured. Not an option for me.

We shall see what happens.

jordanrichard | November 26, 2018

The Volt will live on, but in name only. I had read an article where they said that GM was going to use the Volt name for a future cross over.

TexasBob | November 26, 2018

Sad to see this go. We had two 2011 Volts that we got first few months after release. They were good cars but with terrible resale. The market for them never really materialized. The first one got replaced after 4 years the second got swapped out for our second Model 3. GM is talking about a crossover or suburban utility vehicle, but it is probably time to let this complex powertrain die and focus on all-electrics. over the next decade the VolTec system will look less and less sensible as battery vehicles get cheaper.

jedi2155 | November 26, 2018

I loved my time with the Volt, and enjoyed my Spark EV as well. Its a sad day for the Volt, but it did its job and helped convey many doubters into the future of EVs. I bet many of you were would never had considered a Tesla until you had a Volt.

I salute thee for a job well done, but you never got the true love from the public or the company that you deserved.

I would like to say its my best car ever but kinda hard to compete with a Performance Model 3. I can say at least so far, I had far more memorable moments on the Volt only because I had her for longer lol.

Wormtown Kris | November 26, 2018

If you thought Bob Putz, I mean, Bob Lutz hated Tesla before, just imagine now that his "EV" has been killed off by the evil competition from Freemont!

benichols | November 26, 2018

I, like others, have driven a Volt (gen 1 70,000+ miles) and have fond memories of a good and very capable car.

Look on the bright side folks - Tesla shouldn't have a problem finding another plant to build the Y, semi, and roadster in now!

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 27, 2018

I used to live in Los Angeles, where both the PRIUS and VOLT were rather plentiful. I didn't realize at the time that the VOLT was primarily sold only in CARB States. I thought that like the PRIUS, it was sold nationwide. So when I checked the statistics, I was surprised to see how the PRIUS had consistently outsold VOLT by no less than 3:1 or 4:1 in the U.S. on a regular basis annually. I mistakenly thought that they were instead direct competitors. Both had tiny fuel tanks, but the VOLT had a smaller one, accounting for the PRIUS having about a 200 mile greater overall range. And while the PRIUS was advertised regularly on television, radio, and in print, I had seen only a couple of VOLT advertisements over the years of its existence. It was as if GM wanted to keep it secret...

wiboater4 | November 27, 2018

USA today article said that GM cut the cars that they were losing money on. They are still going to build EV's but better ones than they have now. They are also going toward autonomous driving. . I've seen enough commercials on TV of other automakers including those driver enhancements also . Next few years will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with to stay competitive.

mporlier | November 27, 2018

I loved my Volt!

sbeggs | November 27, 2018

Both Steve's son and son in law drive Volts. Daughter drives Prius.

sosmerc | November 27, 2018

I am enjoying my Volt and think it is a great car. But it really is time for GM to get serious about building competitive EV's, both cars and trucks.

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 27, 2018

Here is an interesting and amazingly rational article from a bit over six years ago...

Forbes
Sep 10, 2012, 5:58 pm
The Real Story On GM's Volt Costs
by Bob Lutz
https://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/09/10/the-real-story-on-gms-vo...

brando | February 17, 2019

Volume production is of course key to getting costs down.
Perhaps GM big enough that economy of scale doesn't apply? The suppliers give GM max discounts anyway??

Now GM lays off 14,000 white collar, close a few plants and starts complaining about having problems hiring?
Gee, I wonder why. see AutoLine talk show for details.