Ever since we drove a first-generation Chevrolet Volt, we’ve understood the potential of plug-in cars. We fell in love with the Volt, and, after spending time behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we still think the Volt holds its own against a full EV. And it appears that other markets are enamored by Chevy’s entry electric vehicle. Like Norway, Koreans are gobbling up the electric car, with GM selling 4,700 Chevrolet Bolt EVs this year alone in the country.
Attractive governmental incentives are to thank for the strong sales bonanza. Koreas’s central government offers 12 million won in subsidies while local governments provide 4.4 million to 11 million won in additional incentives. That allows Koreans to buy the Chevrolet Bolt EV for less than 30 million won ($27,000 USD) – a steal for an electric car that can travel up to 237 miles on a single charge.
Sales Numbers - Bolt EV - Jan-Oct 2018 - South Korea
|MODEL||OCT 18 / OCT 17||OCTOBER 18||OCTOBER 17||YTD 18 / YTD 17||YTD 18||YTD 17|
Sales of the Bolt began in March of this year in Korea, with the most units sold – 1,621 – being in June. Since then, sales have slid, with 872 Bolts sold in July, 631 in August, 70 in September, and 42 in October. Through October, the automaker has sold 4,590 Bolt EVs in South Korea. GM Korea has to sell just 130 examples by the end of the year to reach its goal of even though the company allowed 5,000 Bolt EVs for the peninsula.
Hopefully, customer interest in the Chevrolet Bolt EV doesn’t wane. Often, dedicated hybrid or electric vehicles will see an initial sales boom as early adopters and interested customers rush to buy the new vehicle, but sales slow significantly as the model ages. The end result is that customer demand slips, since everyone who wanted such a vehicle has already bought one.
GM leaders have pointed to releasing the Bolt EV into other markets to help keep the Orion Assembly plant busy, and recently announced an entry into the Brazilian market.