The General’s popular subcompact electric vehicle model, the Chevy Bolt EV, currently slated to be discontinued at the end of 2023, will get a new lease on life with a planned return in calendar 2025, the automaker’s CEO Mary Barra says.
Barra said that positive customer feedback about the Chevy Bolt EV “has been really great this year,” noting that it was popular demand that “informed the decision that we’ll have that back again in ’25,” Automotive News reports.
The statement adds more detail about the timeframe that was lacking when GM first provided confirmation back in July that a next-generation Bolt is in the works. At that point, The General revealed the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV and 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV would not represent the final model year of the Bolt family after all.
While the Chevy Bolt used second-generation GM electric vehicle technology up to this point, the next iteration of the Bolt will update to third-gen tech, including GM Ultium batteries and GM Ultium Drive motors for power and propulsion. However, the resurrected Bolt will not be a clean-sheet redesign, but will instead reuse some existing Bolt design and engineering to speed up the development process.
The next-gen Bolt will also include a variation on the existing Ultium battery technology used by GM. Instead of the current nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) chemistry in Ultium battery cells, the compact EV will draw energy from lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells. LFP batteries are considerably cheaper and are said to be less subject to thermal runaway and battery fire risk.
The move will cut expenses for Bolt production, with Mary Barra noting the Bolt will gain “a significantly cost-improved battery pack using purchased LFP cells.” She also pointed out “this will be our first employment in North America of LFP technology in the Ultium platform.”
Production of the new Chevy Bolt is likely to take place at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas rather than the current GM Lake Orion plant in Michigan. GM agreed to invest $391 million in Fairfax to kick off EV production there as part of its new contract with the UAW.