Detroit – General Motors CEO Mary Barra told investors on Tuesday that it plans to end production of its electric Chevrolet Bolt models by the end of the year. First quarter earnings.
A larger version of the car, the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV are also being produced Up to the vast majority The company’s electric vehicle sales to date. However, the battery cells in the cars are of an older design and chemistry than the automaker’s newer vehicles, such as the GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyric, which use GM’s Ultium architecture.
The suburban Detroit plant, which has been producing Bolt models since 2016, will be retooled to produce electric trucks planned for next year, Barra said.
There is a discrepancy in the timing of the bolt ax cutting. It comes amid record production and sales of the vehicle for mass-market consumers, which was GM’s initial target.
The company plans to produce more than 70,000 vehicles this year as it aims to sell more than 400,000 EVs in North America from early 2022 to the middle of next year.
GM pushed the Bolt ahead of the Tesla Model 3 in 2016. Both were billed as the first long-range EVs designed for mainstream drivers, starting at around $35,000.
But sales of the Bolt never caught on as many executives had hoped because EV sales remained small outside of Tesla. The Bolt recently suffered a major setback when GM recalled all Bolts ever made due to supplier-related battery issues.
“When the Chevrolet Bolt EV was introduced, it was a major technological achievement and the first affordable EV that ushered in GM’s all-electric future,” Chevy spokesman Cody Williams said in a statement. “Chevrolet will introduce several new EVs based on the Ultium platform later this year in key segments including the Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV.”
GM expects to launch its upcoming EVs much faster than its high-end Hummer models and Cadillac Lyric, which are coming out at a snail’s pace compared to its traditional vehicles.
When the Orion, Michigan plant, which currently manufactures the Bolts, reopens and reaches full production, employment will nearly triple and the company will have the capacity to build 600,000 electric trucks annually, Barra said.
GM has set a goal to reach production capacity of 1 million EVs annually in the US and China as it tries to catch up to industry leader Tesla.