GM, one of the pioneers of the electric car, is in a strange situation: it has no new battery-powered vehicles to sell.

With sales of all Chevrolet Bolts stopping due to the risk of battery fire and production of the Bolt stopping, anyone looking for a new GM electric vehicle is out of luck.

Dealers in Southern California (where I live) have a lot of 2022 Bolt EUVs and Bolt EVs in the field. The problem is, they’re not licensed to sell them, due to the latest Chevy All Bolt recall, which includes the latest 2022 models.

Two Los Angeles County Chevrolet dealerships I visited over the weekend each had dozens of new bolts on the lot taking up just space. And one salesperson I spoke with was downright disheartened. He confirmed the dealership couldn’t sell new Bolts, shrugged and walked away. Not the typical attitude of someone who sells cars for a living.

The recall and production halt was due to over-caution: The company simply does not have a supply of LG battery products that it considers safe, a spokesperson for GM.

Chevy Volt anyone?

GM started selling the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid in 2011 (before Tesla started selling the Model S), then discontinued it in March 2019. In 2013, GM released the Chevrolet Spark EV, a pure electric car – which she dropped after the 2016 model year.

As of the week of September 20, 2021, these two cars are the only GM electric vehicles you can purchase at Chevy dealerships in Los Angeles County. The Volt being the most widely available and the only practical choice since the Spark EV only has a range of 82 miles.

(You can order a Cadillac Lyriq but the first reservations are already sold out.)

The two Los Angeles dealerships I visited had used Volts for sale. All were second-generation Volts with a battery-only range of 53 miles and a combined range rated at 420 miles.

Older first generation Volts are also available at places like CarMax and Carvana. These have a battery-only range of 38 miles and a combined range of 380 miles.

Prices start under $ 10,000 for a used 1st generation Volt and generally around $ 17,000 for a used 2nd generation Volt.

The competition

Of course, there are other EVs that rival the 2022 Chevy Bolt, including the Tesla Model 3 (Standard Range Plus), Volkswagen ID.4, and the low-end Ford Mustang Mach-E.

But the 2022 Bolt EV had been seen as very competitively priced since it started at just under $ 32,000, lower than the three competing EVs cited above.


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