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Gorehamj

Chevy Bolt EV Has Incentives That Cut Cost In Half - Yet Sales Are Diving

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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
8-30-2019

General Motors has committed to an "all-electric future." However, that commitment is hard to see in practice. The most recent additions by the company are a long list of crossovers powered by conventional engines that are all imported to the U.S. and a new Corvette that still has a small block V8. Hey, don't take us the wrong way, we love Corvettes and V8s, but a little truth in marketing would be refreshing. Mary Barra, at last check, drove an Escalade.

2018_chevrolet_bolte_KwjdZ.jpg

To its credit, GM has had the most most success with affordable EVs of any manufacturer in America. Its Volt EREV* remains the top-selling affordable EV in America of all time. It was a top-3 seller when GM killed it off in March. That left the Bolt BEV* to carry forth the torch (or maybe rechargeable LED flashlight) for GM in the green car world we hear so much about via the daily news feed. The problem with the Bolt is that, despite being a top-3 affordable EV seller, EVs are tanking in the marketplace. EV sales were down across the board in America last month and also in China. We bet you didn't see that headline in the New York Times.  

 

What makes the Bolt's sales situation a bit scary is that it is no longer maintaining a 1,000 unit per month run-rate. Just for comparison, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD has maintained a 10,000 unit-per-month rate for the past few months. The Prius remains at about a 5,000 unit-per-month rate. Affordable green cars still sell, just not EVs.  

bolt deal five figures august 19.png

The Bolt's top sales month was December of 2017. In that month, Chevy sold 3,227 Bolts, and Chevy had an average of about 2,000 Bolt sales per month for well over a year. Last month, Chevy sold  just 985 Bolts. Dealers and GM are certainly helping as much as possible. Five-figure discounts on Bolts are now common. In Massachusetts, a target state for EVs, multiple dealers are offering discounts of over 10,000 on Bolts - a quarter of their MSRP. The Bolt also has the taxpayers' support. There is a federal tax deduction available of $3,750 and a state rebate of $1,500. That totals $18,500 in discounts on the Bolt. Base Bolts are now costing consumers under $20K. Yet sales are diving. Inventory is not an issue, just one dealer in Mass has 80 in stock right now. 

 

August will set an all-time record for vehicles sales revenue in America. In a report today, J.D. Power's spokesperson said, "August will be a blockbuster month for the industry. Sales are expected to post the largest year-over-year gain since December 2016. Strong volumes coupled with higher average sales prices means that consumers will spend more purchasing new vehicles in August than any month in history." It would be easy to believe that the Tesla Model 3 is taking the sales away from all of the other EV models on the market. Except the Model 3 was down in July and is now selling at about half its former run rate in the U.S..  Welcome to the all-electric future.  

 

*Note: EREV= Extended Range Electric Vehicle.  BEV = Battery-Electric Vehicle

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of course sales are diving.  Gas prices are low.  And the Bolt.. is just plain ugly. 

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We loose perspective on "low" gas prices.  Fuel in my area just went down to $1.34 per litre recently.  It still cost me over $100 to fill up my V6 truck yesterday but I felt that I got a good deal!  I've looked at the Bolt as a second vehicle and it is a fine looking  car,  imo.  I find that "new" looking vehicles tend to take on a more traditional and acceptable look after a few years. 😉   I believe when there is a surplus of product in the market and deep discounts are being offered,  this is the time to look more seriously at making a purchase!

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Slightly off topic but interesting:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-want-renewable-energy-get-ready-to-dig-11565045328

 

If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig

Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.

By 

Mark P. Mills

Aug. 5, 2019 6:48 pm ET

 

Democrats dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries. Realizing this dream would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste.

“Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste. The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar goals for 2050 consistent with the Paris Accords will result in old-panel disposal constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste. Consider some other sobering numbers:

A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life.

When electricity comes from wind or solar machines, every unit of energy produced, or mile traveled, requires far more materials and land than fossil fuels. That physical reality is literally visible: A wind or solar farm stretching to the horizon can be replaced by a handful of gas-fired turbines, each no bigger than a tractor-trailer.

Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.

Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’ green ambitions alone would consume a major share of global minerals. “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production,” it concluded.

The demand for minerals likely won’t be met by mines in Europe or the U.S. Instead, much of the mining will take place in nations with oppressive labor practices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 70% of the world’s raw cobalt, and China controls 90% of cobalt refining. The Sydney-based Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global “gold” rush for minerals could take miners into “some remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven’t yet been disturbed.”

What’s more, mining and fabrication require the consumption of hydrocarbons. Building enough wind turbines to supply half the world’s electricity would require nearly two billion tons of coal to produce the concrete and steel, along with two billion barrels of oil to make the composite blades. More than 90% of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids.

Engineers joke about discovering “unobtanium,” a magical energy-producing element that appears out of nowhere, requires no land, weighs nothing, and emits nothing. Absent the realization of that impossible dream, hydrocarbons remain a far better alternative than today’s green dreams.

Mr. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund, and author of the recent report, “The ‘New Energy Economy’: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.”

Edited by Colossus
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On 9/1/2019 at 9:48 AM, Donstar said:

We loose perspective on "low" gas prices.  Fuel in my area just went down to $1.34 per litre recently.  It still cost me over $100 to fill up my V6 truck yesterday but I felt that I got a good deal!  I've looked at the Bolt as a second vehicle and it is a fine looking  car,  imo.  I find that "new" looking vehicles tend to take on a more traditional and acceptable look after a few years. 😉   I believe when there is a surplus of product in the market and deep discounts are being offered,  this is the time to look more seriously at making a purchase!

We rarely if ever get those GM sales in Canada.  I drive so little I would love to get a Bolt,  I would have bought a Volt when they were around, but when you can a full size truck for less than the Volt was, it just didn't fit budget wise.  Trying to come up with projected savings is a gamble I never seem to win.

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we are also seeing a lot more appealing vehicles being released by other manufactures so the field is not as limited as it was when the Volt was in the game.  If GM wants to sell these things they will need to offer some awesome incentives that blow the other manufacturers out of the water. 

Edited by Colossus

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