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Discussion Starter #1
Before posting I took a look and a question was asked in this forum area in 2018 as to why the Bolt isn't selling better. I think this post kind of applies, but starting a new thread with it:

This is from a fellow electric vehicle association member, he said it was ok to post this information and pictures.

This was at the Chevy outdoor display at the FULLY CHARGED event in Austin, Texas on February 1, 2020. The BOLT was displayed under a canopy and attendees were invited to sit in the driver's seat and a rep would explain the car and answer their questions. There also was a cut away display of the motor and reduction gear assembly.

They showed a battery assembly mounted vertically on rollers. This was not one of the taped seminars, just a five minute presentation followed by Q&A. The presentation was on the battery. It was kind of tech lite, no real info on what was key to putting 10% more kWh into the same size package, but it's great! There was a group of about 30 gathered for the show.

What struck me was the one question a guy asked and the answer to it. He asked if the BOLT was going to be more available nation wide. The answer was that Chevy was happy with the sales volume right where it was. I was amazed to hear it. There was no side stepping or hesitation.
 

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It should have been a two part question - are they losing actual money selling them or do they believe that they would just be churning other more profitable Chevy sales?
 

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It should have been a two part question - are they losing actual money selling them or do they believe that they would just be churning other more profitable Chevy sales?
They’re losing just enough to offset the ZEV credits and meet quotas. Sell anymore and the venture wouldn’t be worthwhile.
 

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That's what they are discounting them from list price in order to sell them at the moment, not how much less they are selling them for in comparison to the cost of production.
It must be very hard to sell a boring EV in a land of relatively cheap fuel and against the Tesla M3 for the ecowoke. I see that Nissan only managed 12,365 LEAFs in 2019.
 

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Take away the compliance car part and we are left with a longstanding GM problem. Bolt is not good enough.

GM don't make passenger cars that most people want to buy. Their pickups and large SUVs sell but Tesla might just take that too.

Silverado and Tahoe are about the same price as Cybertruck.

Interesting times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
fwiw, my take on this:

My working hypothesis for some years has been that GM does not want high-volume EV sales at present. If they did, they would have put a good long-range (for its time) BEV powertrain into a good pickup, SUV or crossover, or into a full-sized sedan. It's possible that they were merely mistaken in putting a BEV powertrain into something that is more of an econocar size and style, but so many years have passed with so little urgency on GM's part to put a powertrain into a more popular segment, so a hypothesis that works better for me on this point is that GM is taking its time to get a good longer-range powertrain into a more popular segment while they continue in place a bit longer to maximize revenues and profits in the gasoline and diesel vehicles in those segments. Many followers seem to take this thinking at face value as being sound, but I think it is questionable. A smarter move, in my view, would have been to concede that if the vision is BEV, then the prospect for long-term revenues and profits both are improved by giving higher priority to long-term higher-margin customer satisfaction and strategic market position (even if it costs some money at present) and by pursuing BEVs in the higher-volume higher-priced areas, acknowledging that Tesla had a point in pursuing the larger more luxurious markets first, and leaving behind the econocar thinking.
 

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GM does not want high-volume EV sales at present. If they did, they would have put a good long-range (for its time) BEV powertrain into a good pickup, SUV or crossover, or into a full-sized sedan.
Bolt is more or less a compliance car. GM can't make money on it in volume.


GM have an EV Hummer in work. 2021 or '22 I think. There was supposed to be a reveal with details on the 20th but GM postponed it. Probalby will be pickups too althogh GM haven't annouced anything.

This teaser annoucement was posted a few days ago:


 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bolt is more or less a compliance car. GM can't make money on it in volume.


GM have an EV Hummer in work. 2021 or '22 I think. There was supposed to be a reveal with details on the 20th but GM postponed it. Probalby will be pickups too althogh GM haven't annouced anything.

This teaser annoucement was posted a few days ago:


Yes, thanks, I'm aware. I'm guessing They're ok with it that they can't make money on the Bolt and maybe they like that it helps them perpetuate the myth that they're trying their hardest to get the most in-demand stuff to market quickly and the myth that electric vehicles are just not quite ready this quarter for anyone to make money on. They seem to hope market-watchers and customers will ignore that they could have chosen to offer the Bolt Powertrain in a segment that would allow for higher margins, and might have had a chance either at near-term profit or at least building a strategic market position and (oh by the way) satisfying more of their customers.

At least two additional things get to me about this:
  • There is so much criticism of Tesla based on Tesla being the company that doesn't have the high-volume production experience, and yet it is Tesla that has executed and brought EVs to market relatively quickly, and its competitors who have taken their time.
  • IMO, this foot-dragging until 2021 and beyond and the pushing-back of deadlines and goals, by so many of the automakers, amounts to extended disrespect for loyal long-time paying customers who have to in effect "walk across the street" to the very small number of competitors willing to offer alternatives. We used to joke about how every year fuel cell vehicles were only x number of years away. That same joke unfortunately has been applying for too long to many automakers offering good long-range BEVS.
I wonder what business school professors of the future will make of all of this.
 

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and yet it is Tesla that has executed and brought EVs to market relatively quickly, and its competitors who have taken their time.
Yes, sort of, especially in America. Nissan-Renault had serious EVs in production about the same time Tesla introduced the much more expensive Model S. Nissan misread the demand for an 80-mile car in 2012 and could have built a lot more if people wanted them.

Zoe is a darn good car that is let down by the UK dealership and not sold in the US at all. Renault's Kangoo van was the first battery van to sell in anything resembling production vollume.

BMW introduced an all new BEV back in 2013. Again it was much less expensive than the S. I don't think BMW could have scaled up production the way Nissan and Renault were able too.

After that, BMW wasted the lead they had. The real i4 was cancled and the project i engineers found work elsewhere. Then they scrambled to build a car that competes with the M3, but it is a dual purpose compromise. I doubt it will be as good.

When LEAF didn't sell as well as expected, Nissan had a bit of shock. There was supposed to be a series of all new shared technology Nissan-Renault BEVs. Internal poltics and perhaps corruption at high levels in the Japanese govt. probably killed off any chance of that happening. There is an Infiniti EV "on the way".


No surprise that the i3 and LEAF e+ are not selling well against the Model 3.

I have a bit of out of date inside information from Jaguar. Mgmt. dragged their feet but the iPace is a good car. The team that worked on it are proud.

The MG eZS and Peugeot e208 are both interesting and a lot less expensive than a Tesla.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, sort of, especially in America. Nissan-Renault had serious EVs in production about the same time Tesla introduced the much more expensive Model S.
[...]
Relatively speaking, Renault appears at times to have been somewhat better on such issues as range and battery replacement policies. I agree that Jaguar (and Audi and Porsche for that matter) have started to get at the issue of really putting forth good long range BEVs. We'll see how they fill out their model lines and as to long-term customer satisfaction, and how the vehicles hold up, and what sort of support and out-of-warranty service policies and parts prices they pioneer. Unfortunately those vehicles when new do not address the issue of vehicles in price classes that many can afford, so up until very recently what remains is a discussion of lower-range vehicles.

I suppose there is more market for a short-range BEV in Europe than in the US, but in general (including Europe) my definition of a serious EV that hits the sweet spot of market demand that is potentially out there would be to incorporate a range that is at least close to that of the 2012 Model S. So, although you present a decent summary of the vehicles that have been out there, I see them for the most part as decidedly not the best those manufacturers could have done, if they really wanted to satisfy their customers. Also, paradoxically, I think it could be said that going back to 2008-2012 (the early days of the Roadster, Model S, Leaf, Volt, and a few others) Tesla took a path that differed from the others and I'm sometimes a bit surprised not to hear back-and-forth debating whether anything can be learned from this. BMW, Nissan and others put forth vehicles that were more geared toward buyers of economical gasoline vehicles. Why? And is anyone prepared to question whether this was the right decision, even now?

For example, I thought in 2012, and probably in 2006 (when "Who Killed The Electric Car?" came out.... if I recall, there was that "80 miles or so is enough for your commute" thinking...) and today that it was a mistake for Nissan to eschew the market for a good long range Infiniti BEV. Tesla showed there was at least some demand.... why not compete with them, satisfy more of your customers, grab some market share, maybe even make some early-market money? In this case there are answers (such as Nissan's battery tech didn't seem to yield as much range) but I would like to have seen this happen.
 

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Nissan went with a more conservative and less expensive design. The trade off was lower energy density.

Having owned one, I can say that "80 miles" wasn't enough. It could manage our daily commute fine, but the car made us feel trapped. While we could get the car into England, driving to Liverpool or even Chester took too long. The "100 mile" LEAF 30 was a big improvement and a better match for the UK.

The UK has a few mid-priced cars that can manage 200+ miles if driven carefully.


MG ZS EV is £25,495
Renault Zoe from £26,495 - most people get ones with MSRP closer to £30k.
Vauxhall e-Corsa from £27,665 (Same basic car as e-208)
Peugeot e-208 from £29,025.
...

LEAF E+ £33,295

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Tesla M3 SR+ in white £40,490



UK prices are "on the road" including all taxes. I'm an American expat. We had severe sticker shock when shopping for our first new car in the UK.

These "budget" EVs are expensive. Petrol versions of the MG or Peugot are about £10,000 less.
 

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Having owned one, I can say that "80 miles" wasn't enough for you.
FTFY - this is partly a function of where you live. Being marginally closer to a City than you I don't feel trapped by the 80 miles range, and cannot justify the extra cost of a LEAF30 or bigger pack unless it is for the less temperature sensitive chemistry that they use.
Anyone wanting to give me an M3LR can be assured that I'd love it, but truthfully I'd only exceed the range of the LEAF24 a handful of times per year and would still be stuck that I couldn't tow a 1,500kg trailer for most of those. It will be a long time, if ever, that an affordable (even secondhand) BEV comes around that truly suits 100% of my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, I'd say the same about the 2012 Leaf which I leased through 2015. No way the range was sufficient for my purposes, and I had to deal with the "gasoline costs of an electric vehicle" by retaining a gasoline car for longer trips. It was reliable and safe and I credit Nissan for getting out there with it, but in retrospect, for my (somewhat rural) purposes, I should have leased a Volt at that time.

By the time Nissan was through waffling on questions about battery degradation for Arizonans, this contributed to other nearby drivers and me leaning against considering another Nissan EV any time soon, even if rated at 200+ EPA miles when new.

Nissan went with a more conservative and less expensive design. The trade off was lower energy density.

Having owned one, I can say that "80 miles" wasn't enough. It could manage our daily commute fine, but the car made us feel trapped. While we could get the car into England, driving to Liverpool or even Chester took too long. The "100 mile" LEAF 30 was a big improvement and a better match for the UK.

The UK has a few mid-priced cars that can manage 200+ miles if driven carefully.
 
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