Inflation and supply chain woes are making the costs of everything skyrocket. Just don't tell that to Chevy. The automaker announced that it's lowering the price of the Bolt by nearly $6,000 next year, which will make it the cheapest electric vehicle in all the land. (Well, in all the U.S. anyways.)
If you've lived through 2022 so far, first: Congratulations. And second, you've surely experienced the fact that most everything is more expensive. But there's been perhaps no better example of how inflation, supply chain hiccups and the Russian war in Ukraine have created a perfectly hellacious storm than the price of vehicles.
Despite that, Chevy announced on Wednesday that it's slashing the cost of the Bolt, its flagship EV. The cheapest model will cost $26,595 in 2023, down from $32,495. Other model prices will also come down, some by as much as $6,300. That stands in sharp contrast to automakers new and old, including Tesla, Rivian and Ford, which have jacked up prices of EVs. (Rivian did an about-face and promised to honor lower-priced reservations after customers got big mad.) They've done so in part due to the aforementioned reasons, particularly the spike in critical mineral prices over the past year, which has made batteries more costly.
A GM — which owns Chevy — spokesperson told the Verge that the price drop "reflects our ongoing desire to make sure Bolt EV/EUV are competitive in the marketplace. As we’ve said, affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles.”
The EV wanters of the world will surely take heart in this news, even if the Bolt doesn't exactly move the needle like the various models of Teslas or the F-150 Lightning do in the public imagination. It also doesn't help that the Bolt faced a recall last year due to issues that could [checks notes] cause the battery to catch on fire. Uh, hmmmm.
While getting people pumped about EVs because they look cool and/or don't catch on fire is certainly great, ensuring EVs are affordable (and, again, not prone to catching on fire) is vastly more important. Chevy recently put the Bolt back into production following the aforementioned recall that was accompanied by a plant shutdown. Whether the price drop and promises of a non-flammable EV are enough to get people to take the plunge remains to be seen.
The Bolt also doesn't qualify for the EV tax credit since Chevy has sold more than 200,000 EVs. While the Bolt being the cheapest new EV on the market is certainly a leg up on the competition, its price tag may still be beyond the means of some would-be EV buyers, even if the monthly cost of ownership still makes it more attractive than its gas-powered brethren. That's all the more reason why the federal lawmakers could step in to kill the 200,000 EV limit or raise the tax credit to make it and other EVs even more attractive options.
And hey, there’s always walking.