General Motors has made public relations hay with its 238-mile Chevy Bolt EV priced under $30,000 after federal credit, but buyers outside of Oregon and California will need patience.
According to GM media rep Michelle Malcho, the car will see a “slow flow” to the rest of the country in 2017, and the Wall Street Journal reports it will not be widely available before next spring.
As GM did with the Chevy Volt – which was made in part with an eye to satisfying regulators in California and states that follow its zero-emission rules – the Bolt is given priority in those markets, and for now it’s just the two states mentioned.
“We are focusing on this year getting the cars ready for customers … and doing it the right way,” said Malcho to the Wall Street Journal.
This refrain is a near echo of what was said of the 2016 Chevy Volt last October.
For that car Malcho cited customer satisfaction concerns for the Volt after some stumbling the first time around in 2011. Back then, cars were delayed, and dealers also were less than thrilled with limited or spotty allocations.
Also true, as GM winds down a finite supply of federal tax credits, that perk stands to stay intact longer as plug-in vehicles are sold at a less-than frenetic pace.
What’s more, getting the Bolt out the door this year to California and Oregon lets GM claim it beat Tesla’s Model 3 to market by as much as a year and a half. And, it qualified the car for product awards which it is now garnering.
Meanwhile buyers are sold on the idea of the yet-unvailable Bolt in other states. In California and Oregon, Darin Gesse, marketing product manager, has said they may get their cars “before Christmas” but no promises are made for any other markets.
If you’re interested, Gesse said the majority of orders to date in California and Oregon are for the upper Premier trim, and 90-percent have selected the $750 fast charging option. This option may not be retrofitted after the car has been configured and built. And, incidentally, an illuminated charge port is not yet available, but may be added by the dealer later.
All well and good, and notable also buyers before Dec. 31 may quickly recoup the federal tax credit. Meanwhile dealers in other states are taking lists of names on the car that has not been allocated yet.
We know of at least one reader who is having a Bolt shipped from California to the east coast just because he does not want to wait.
For those not so inclined, the carmaker knows demand is there, at least for first buyers, and plans are to continue getting them out the door into the next year.