GM has finally restarted production on the Bolt EV and EUV lines after being out of production for the better part of a year due to an issue with its LG battery cells.
On Monday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly said “production of the Bolt EV/EUV resumed today, as planned… we’re excited to have The Bolt EV/EUV back in the market,” as reported by Detroit News.
In August, GM recalled all Bolt EVs and EUVs responding to a battery defect that had led to fires. The blame was put on LG for this defect (costing them $2 billion), and GM halted production on the Bolt EV and EUV while waiting for defect-free batteries.
In September, GM announced that the defect had been fixed and battery production resumed, but vehicle production remained paused (minus a two-week period in which GM made loaner Bolts). GM has been replacing batteries in recalled Bolts for several months now.
The vehicle production pause was then extended multiple times, with GM repeatedly stating a start date for Bolt production, then pushing it back once again. Our last update was in February, when GM said they would restart production in April – and now, they finally have.
In the interim, GM has had a tough time with EVs. Despite claiming to be all in on EVs, and promising at least 20 new models by 2023, they only sold 26 cars in Q4 and 457 in Q1 and had a pretty poor showing when we saw them at the LA Auto Show.
But they’ve also sold out their electric Hummer until 2024 and showed off the upcoming Equinox EV, Sierra EV, and Silverado EV, all of which seem like solid entries from what we know so far. They also started production on the Cadillac Lyriq, which sold out its “Debut Edition” in 19 minutes, but GM plans to open up order books again next month.
So even if the present is a little iffy, the future is looking bright for GM’s EVs.
What we don’t know, however, is how long the Bolt EV and EUV will survive. With all these new EVs coming out, the Bolt is looking a little long in the tooth, and doesn’t seem like it will fit into GM’s “Ultium” strategy when the Orion township plant is converted to produce all these new vehicle lines. GM did tell us that “production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV will continue during the plant’s conversion,” but declined to share whether it would have a place in GM’s vehicle line post-conversion.
For now, at least, the Bolt is back, and no better time than now considering the massive spike in EV demand we’re seeing due to rising gas prices.
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