The Chevy Bolt is already a great enough deal to get our Electrek Vehicle of the Year award, but after the US Treasury delayed its guidance on battery sourcing requirements, that deal might be even better – but only for the next couple of months.
At $25,600 MSRP for a base model Chevy Bolt, it’s already well below the average transaction price for a new car in the US. Better yet, due to the Inflation Reduction Act, the car will once again qualify for federal EV tax credits starting January 1. GM had previously hit the tax credit threshold back in 2019, so its cars haven’t qualified for tax credits for a few years.
To qualify for the new credit, cars need to be assembled in North America (see a list here). But that’s not all – cars also need to have their battery components manufactured or assembled in the US, and have their critical battery minerals sourced from the US or from countries with which the US has a free trade agreement. If the battery only fits one of those two battery requirements, it only qualifies for half of the credit.
Previously, GM has stated that once these requirements phase in, the Bolt would likely qualify for $3,750 in credits from the government.
And those requirements were set to phase in by the end of the year, when the Treasury department issues full guidance on how those rules will work.
But yesterday, the Treasury announced that they’ll need a little more time to prepare specific rules around these battery sourcing requirements, and that they’ll be ready “sometime in March.” This may give some cars a “brief window of eligibility” for the full credit that they wouldn’t get otherwise.
However, other provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act still go into effect on January 1. Namely, the lifting of the per-manufacturer cap on credits. This is what formerly had disqualified Tesla and GM from getting credits since those two companies had hit the cap, but starting January their credits will be refreshed.
What this means is that between January 1 and “sometime in March,” the Chevy Bolt may qualify for an additional $3,750 in credits that it won’t qualify for after March. Giving it access to the full $7,500 in tax credits.
While this is true for some other vehicles as well (Tesla Model Y and low-optioned Model 3s), the Bolt occupies the unique space of being the lowest-priced EV out there, and going from zero credit availability to full $7,500 credit availability on January 1, and being well below new price caps (starting January 1, cars over $55K and SUVs/trucks over $80K MSRP don’t qualify), and potentially losing half of that credit after March (though that depends on the details of the Treasury’s guidance).
This means that a base model Bolt, assuming it can be purchased at MSRP, and assuming the buyer can take full advantage of the tax credit, could be had for the price of $18,100 – or even less, if you take into account state and local incentives. Potentially, this could be the cheapest new car in America for the right buyer.
Bonus: There are thousands of additional dollars worth of stackable deals that some buyers can take advantage of:
- Costco $500 discount (ends Jan 3)
- Uber $2000 discount
- GM Friends and Family $1250 Discount
- Various EV state incentives.
- Chevy includes $1000 of Qmerit Charger install or $500 EVgo Credit as well
Even if you just parked this thing in your garage with an EVextend V2L adapter and a cheap inverter, the 65kWh battery pack can provide more backup power than 4 Tesla Powerwalls (4×14.4kWh, $33,000) – though this is more of a neat trick, rather than real whole-home backup power capability.
There are a lot of assumptions behind these discounts, especially at a time where it’s hard to find any car for MSRP, but even at full price a Bolt is still a good deal. We genuinely love the car, and not just because it’s cheap, but because it’s a well-made EV with a 5-star-safety-rating, premium features like Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto – though of course we would like it more if it had faster DC charge speed.
Nevertheless, it looks like the Bolt is about to be even more of a screaming deal, but potentially only for a few months until the Treasury gets its guidance out. So if you’ve been thinking about getting an EV, reach out to your local dealers and see if you can find a Bolt at near MSRP. You just might end up with the best deal on the road. And regardless, always consult a tax professional first, to make sure that you’ll qualify for these credits.
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