When GM first introduced the Chevy Bolt EV, the automaker said that they didn’t plan for the all-electric car to replace the Chevy Spark EV, but things have changed. Now two years later and after the Bolt has hit a few markets, the company confirmed that its first all-electric vehicle program in a decade is now dead.
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The automaker quietly stopped production last summer and has been liquidating the remaining inventory since. Chevrolet spokesman Fred Ligouri confirmed the news to Detroit News yesterday.
The Spark EV – like GM’s previous all-electric vehicle, the EV1 – was a “compliance car”. It was almost impossible to get the vehicle outside of states with zero-emission vehicle mandates.
It is expected to be the same for the Bolt EV for a while at least since the deliveries are currently limited to Oregon and California in the states. It will be limited to states with zero-emission vehicle mandates until the second half of the year at least.
Chevy sold about 7,400 Spark EVs since its introduction in 2013 and that was mostly in California and Oregon. Some people were able to export it to other states and countries, but only in very limited quantities.
For what it was, the Spark EV was a decent vehicle in its electric segment. At $26,000 and with 82 miles of range, it was significantly cheaper than the Nissan LEAF or BMW i3, but also significantly smaller.
But when you take away the fact that it’s electric and you place the Spark EV in the regular compact segment, its price made no sense. Even after incentives, the vehicle was about $5,000 more expensive than a gas-powered Chevy Spark. That’s often the problem when automakers build electric vehicles on top of existing gas-powered cars.
GM moved away from the strategy with the Bolt EV built on a new platform. The company confirmed today that they have delivered 1,162 Chevy Bolt EVs last month for a total of 1,741 since its market introduction just 6 weeks ago. It should catch up with the Spark EV’s 7,400 total in no time.