GM’s Chevy Bolt EV has been receiving great reviews as the “first affordable long-range electric vehicle” since its launch in December 2016, but the problem with the vehicle is its availability. Since before its introduction, we have warned that GM was showing signs of using the Bolt as a low-volume compliance car and everything since the launch solidifies that belief.

It has reportedly been difficult for consumers to get their hands on the vehicle outside of California – despite having officially expanded to other states.

Now GM launches a “national lease” for the Bolt EV, which means that you can technically drive electric for $329 per month – if you can find a Bolt EV near you.

CarsDirect senior pricing analyst Alex Bernstein first spotted the offer and highlighted the main points:

  • The first national lease on the Bolt EV LT starts at $329 for 36 months with $3,809 due at signing.
  • The deal includes an allowance of 15,000 miles per year, which is higher than the 10,000 or 12,000 limit on most EVs.
  • This national deal offers the same monthly payment as regional deals in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the upfront cost is only $1,559 in those cities.

Technically, GM is currently delivering the Bolt EV in California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Washington.

But GM is limiting supplies to only “authorized dealers” and therefore, it can be hard to find one outside of California, where GM is trying to accumulate ZEV credits.

As we recently reported, it resulted in GM delivering only ~3,000 Bolt EVs so far this year:

Hopefully, the new lease program can spur those numbers, but the almost $4,000 cash down outside of California will certainly be difficult to make work for a lot of people. Bernstein explains:

“With an effective cost of $435 per month when factoring the payment and amount at signing, the Bolt’s lease certainly isn’t cheap. For comparison, the national lease on the Volt has an effective cost of $353, or $82/mo less than the Bolt. Not a small amount by any means when comparing leases.”

But when accounting for gas savings, the monthly payment could still work for a lot of commuters. Time will tell, but GM still has some work to do to prove the Bolt EV is not a compliance car.

Featured Image: customers take delivery of the first three 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at Fremont Chevrolet in Fremont, CA (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)