Starting as of this month, the USA has stopped subsidizing General Motors’ only electric model to date, the Chevrolet Bolt. General Motors is the second carmaker after Tesla to reach the limit of cars sold.
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After GM reached the 200,000 electric car-sales mark in early 2019, which results in the discontinuation of federal subsidies, government subsidies were gradually phased out and will end ultimately this month. Tesla had passed this mark in the summer of 2018 and has been doing business without subsidies since the end of 2019. Nissan currently has 140,000 electric vehicle approvals in the USA, so it is still way off from the first subsidy cut.
In the case of GM, subsidies have been gradually reduced from an initial $7,000 in April 2019, to a rate of $3,750, and since October to $1,875. Now the tax credit for the Bolt EV, currently GM’s only electric car, is eliminated. This, of course, is not popular with the carmaker, whose spokesperson Megan Soule said in a statement: “We feel that the tax credit should be modified, so all customers continue to receive the full benefit.” This echoes sentiments the company had already expressed earlier in conjunction with other major US manufacturers.
However, the fact that the Chevy Bolt experienced its strongest quarter ever in the US this year had only partly to do with the end of the subsidy: GM had pushed the Bolt into the market with significant discounts in March. As a result of the offer, leasing rates for the slightly outdated model started at 199 dollars per month.
As reported, the launch of the revised version of the Chevrolet Bolt planned for the end of 2020 was postponed by one year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The update will primarily involve a visual change and some interior changes. The technology was only adapted for the model year 2020. Last year’s upgrade was noticeably more impressive with an improved battery that benefitted from more efficient cell chemistry, thus increasing the vehicle range without a greater need for redesign.
Update 16 April 2020: GM has announced they will be discounting the purchase of a Chevrolet Bolt electric car by $4,750 in cash discounts, with 0% APR financing for 72 months. In addition, buyers who register with the company financing scheme won’t have to make any payments for 120 days, which the company hopes will help attract new customers after the flagging sales of the Covid-19 crisis.
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