18 months ago to the day, GM announced that it would launch 2 all-electric cars by now, but the automaker has yet to unveil them and they are staying quiet about missing the deadline.
On October 2, 2017, GM outlined its “All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions” and announced a new electric offensive with 20 new all-electric vehicles to launch by 2023.
The automaker also ein particular promised to launch 2 new electric cars based on the Bolt EV within the next 18 months:
“In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.”
Today, it marks the 18-month anniversary of the announcement and we have yet to see the launch of those vehicles.
We contacted GM about the status of the EVs, but a PR representative didn’t answer our inquiry.
Update: after we released this report, GM answered claiming that they released those two electric vehicles:
“We have introduced both the Buick Velite 6 EV and Baojun E200 in China within the timeframe we said we would. In the original announcement, we did not indicate what markets the vehicles would land in as we compete globally in the EV landscape.”
The problem is that both of those vehicles are made through joint-ventures in China and they are not based on the Bolt EV in any way.
Since the original announcement, GM shared that Cadillac will be its flagship EV brand and it unveiled the concept for its first next-generation electric vehicle.
The production version of the Cadillac is believed to be amongst those “20 new electric vehicles by 2023”, but not one of the 2 new EVs based on the Bolt EV since it is using GM’s new BEV3 platform.
It is not expected to launch before 2021.
GM also promised to spend $300M on EV upgrades to a new car based on the Bolt.
Well, that’s disappointing – though not exactly surprising when it comes to GM’s EV efforts.
For longtime electric vehicle enthusiasts, I am sure it will create flashbacks to the promises made during the EV1 era, but I really don’t think the automaker can afford to make the same mistakes today.
Maybe they have abandoned those two EVs based on the Bolt EV in order to focus on the next-generation electric platform. GM not only didn’t launch 2 EVs but they shuttered the Plug in Hybrid Volt which was probably the right move if they had a replacement EV sedan or even better, an AWD crossover.
I think that would actually make some sense since the Bolt EV is rapidly becoming outdated since it hasn’t been significantly updated over the last 3 years. But that’s GM’s decision. The Bolt is still a fantastic EV but it needs attention. GM should have launched a cheaper ~40kWh version by now and a AWD screamer. And that interior could use an upgrade.
But the powertrain, developed with LG (or as some say, LG developed with GM) is solid, snappy and reliable. If there was interest in scaling it beyond compliance type numbers, the economics of scale could have brought the prices down.
With the start of the federal tax credit phase-out, it will also be a lot harder for GM to sell the vehicle. I can see new variants having a similar problem. GM doesn’t see being profitable selling electric cars until ‘early next decade’
Therefore, it would make sense to focus their efforts on a brand new platform that would represent a bigger leap forward, but if that’s the case, I feel like they would come out and say it – yet they are simply not responding to our inquiries.
GM isn’t the only company to make promises on press releases and hope people forget about them when they come to fruition. Of course Tesla is famous for missing deadlines but always comes through in the end. VW on the other hand, shoots out press releases in numbers that rival its auto production capabilities and never are called to account when they invariably turn out to be BS.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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