After being out of the EV game for so long, GM’s re-entry with the Chevrolet Volt proved to be a massive success, though the automaker has been accused of neglecting the best-selling plug-in hybrid in favor of its more profitable ICE lineup.
That claim actually holds some weight seeing how the Detroit brand has been proven to have only made lame and half-hearted attempts at promoting the Volt to the general public.
So it’s not surprising that GM has also been accused of using the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt as simply a means to sell more gas-powered vehicles.
How would the car maker do so? By satisfying zero-emissions regulation demands and earning loads of ZEV (zero-emissions vehicles) credits. The more Bolts it sells, the more credits it would get. These credits would give GM more leeway in selling gas-powered vehicles.
What’s curious is that not all states have the ZEV mandates that require the automaker to earn credits, and GM has only delivered the Bolt to these states while neglecting others for the time being.
Gas Guzzlers Also Win
By aiming solely at these areas, the automaker has betrayed its intentions to amass as much ZEV credits as possible. In order to do so, it’s aiming at capturing more volume sales even if it means sacrificing short-term profitability.
That’s why there have been rumors of the Bolt inflicting GM with a loss of $9,000 with every unit sold. The company is intentionally selling the Bolt at a loss so that it’s given more allowance to sell its gas-powered nameplates which are rake in far higher margins.
At the end of the day, the customer benefits as he/she can get his hands on the Chevrolet Bolt for a killer price of $35,000 (under $30,000 after federal tax incentives), but it also means that more gas guzzlers would be sold by GM.