There are two hybrid and electric models in the GM portfolio which are the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt.
A little more than ten years ago, the government passed a law that allows automakers to pass on an incentive to those who shop for hybrid and electric vehicles. This law allowed new buyers to receive $7,500 in incentives to entice more shoppers to choose to have the fuel savings of a hybrid or electric car. At that time, a limit was placed on the number of models that could receive this incentive and that number was 200,000. It’s hard to imagine that government officials thought this number would be reached only a decade later.
GM has Reached the Limit
These two cars have been selling well for a while and because of this, GM has become the second automaker to pass the threshold and no longer be able to offer the federal tax incentive. This number was passed at the end of the 2018 calendar year and this means that the incentive will still be enjoyed for another three months before it begins to be reduced to eventually disappear for GM.
What Does This Mean for Chevrolet?
Tesla reached the mark of 200,000 models sold earlier in 2018 and just a couple of days ago, the brand cut prices on many of the models by $2,000 to help balance things out. This may be what GM needs to do with the Bolt EV and Volt Hybrid from Chevrolet. Thankfully, there are three months in which the tax incentive will continue to be offered for these two Chevrolet models. The Volt will disappear in March, which means it won’t be affected by the reduction of the incentive, but the Bolt may need to be offered with a different pricing structure.
The Competition Could be Troublesome
GM has stated the future of its lineup is tied to electric propulsion and computer control, but it might become difficult for the Bolt to be a profitable model when other brands haven’t reached the 200,000 model threshold yet. Most notably, Nissan, which will soon reach it with the Leaf, but also Hyundai, which now has the Kona EV which is a new model on the market. This could put GM in a place they don’t want to be in, especially after recently deleting so many cars from their lineup.
Changes will have to be Made
The base price of the current Chevy Bolt after the tax credit allows it to arrive below the $30,000 barrier that makes it affordable. For six months, the credit will be cut in half, which means it will cost more, and then the credit will be gone. While the Bolt, even without the incentive is fairly affordable, it’s going to be hard to convince shoppers to pay nearly $40,000 for an electric sedan with the Chevrolet bowtie on it. Hopefully, there will be something that takes place either from GM or from the federal government to make it possible for more incentives to be offered and GM to continue to create hybrid and electric vehicles.
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