Sunday afternoon, GM formally unveiled what it is calling the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, for Electric Utility Vehicle. But the difference between the Bolt EV hatchback and the Bolt EUV SUV is minimal — a three-inch longer wheelbase, a six-inch longer overall length, and only 2/10th of an inch higher.
The Bolt EUV doesn’t have all-wheel drive, a common feature on SUVs, although GM executives defended it in comments to the press on Friday ahead of the roll out.
“It has SUV proportions, it has SUV styling,” said Jesse Ortega, the chief engineer of the two Bolts. “I wouldn’t buy into idea it has to have four-wheel drive to be an SUV.”
The Bolt has its fans — it has among the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry, according to Steve Majoros, vice president of marketing for Chevrolet. And its US sales increased 26% last year at a time that GM’s overall US sales fell by 12%. But its sales still make up less than 1% of GM’s US sales overall. Only about 1,300 of 3,000 US Chevy dealers offer the Bolt.
But whenever it’s available, the Bolt EUV will face tough competition.
So GM has had to price the Bolt EV and EUV well below the prices of its rivals.
The starting price of a Ford Mach E is about $43,000, while the Bolt EUV starting price will be about $34,000.
“Would I love the tax credit? Absolutely,” said Majoros, although he added “I’m not going to wade into the politics.”
“On the issue of profitability, we won’t comment,” he said. “We know EV adoption will be critical. As time has gone on, we’ve gotten better.”