As the first relatively affordable all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles, the Chevy Bolt EV is a highly anticipated vehicle. Just like with the Tesla Model 3, any confirmed delay would be big news, which is probably why several readers pointed me to this report from Cleantechnica (update: they have since issued a correction) claiming that pre-orders have been delayed and deliveries have been pushed to January 2017.
But the problem is that it’s not true. We reached out to GM and a spokesperson confirmed to Electrek that deliveries are still planned for “later in 2016”.
The report from Cleantechnica was based on comments from a salesperson at a Chevrolet dealership in California. Dealerships are managed by third-parties and the flow of information about upcoming products is still controlled by the automakers.
Dealers have often very little information about upcoming vehicles and are instead incentivized to sell vehicles currently available – ideally on their lot.
The publication reported that GM delayed the pre-orders and the launch of the Bolt EV by several months.
GM always said that deliveries would start in late 2016 and never confirmed that pre-orders would be available. We even reported on a GM executive taking a swipe at Tesla’s pre-order system for the Model 3, instead of simply selling the vehicle when it’s in production. It would be unlikely for GM to implement the same strategy following the comments.
In an email to Electrek today, Fred Ligouri, communication manager for Chevrolet’s electric vehicles, confirmed deliveries are still coming by the end of the year:
“We will begin deliveries of the 2017 Bolt EV later this year.”
It’s in line with the recent news that LG, the main supplier behind the Bolt EV, is about to start volume production of its parts for the vehicle program by the end of the month.
Additionally, a schedule for vehicle production at GM assembly plants leaked earlier this year. It showed that production was planned for October 2016. The vehicle has been in pre-production at the Orion Assembly plant since March 2016.
While GM said that the Bolt EV will be available in all 50 states and Canada, GM kept the door open to prioritize deliveries in states with a zero-emission vehicle mandate or as Ligouri said it: “we want to first satisfy demand in markets where EV acceptance is strong.”
Update: Cleantechnica has since issued a correction in which they referred to this report as an “attack”, but it was clearly aimed at correcting the misleading information they shared. That’s it.