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Chevy discontinues cult-favorite car after just seven years on the market — but there may be hope for a comeback

"Guess only rich people get to buy EVs."

Chevrolet EV

Photo Credit: iStock

After hitting the road in 2016, the Chevy Bolt quickly became known as the U.S. market's most affordable electric vehicle (EV). Unfortunately, General Motors has announced that it plans to end production of the car at the end of 2023, although recent statements by CEO Mary Barra suggest that may not be the end of the story.

The Chevy Bolt had a starting price of around $27,000. With the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bolt was a far more accessible EV than pricey Teslas.

EV Chevy Bolt
Photo Credit: iStock

There are several other options for semi-affordable EVs, including the Nissan Leaf, which starts at $28,000 and takes up the mantle as the least expensive EV on the market. GM's cheapest EV will now be the Chevy Equinox EV, which the company says will start at "around $30,000" when it is released later this year.

Still, it would be sad to see the Chevy Bolt go, and GM's stated reason for doing away with it — Americans' obsession with pickup trucks and SUVs means little interest in hatchbacks — is a bit of a letdown, too. GM has said that it will use the assembly plant space previously devoted to Chevy Bolts to make more electric trucks starting next year.

Another reason for the switch, as The Verge points out, has to do with the fact that GM is moving away from the Bolt battery technology to build its next generation of EVs using its newer Ultium battery architecture. Battery issues plagued the Bolt in its early days, causing several fires and leading to a recall, which may have permanently damaged the car's reputation.

On the bright side, it's also battery tech that may give the Bolt a new lease on life. In a recent podcast interview, CEO Barra called the Bolt an "important vehicle in our portfolio" and said new technology could reduce battery costs up to 40 percent — which fueled speculation that the Bolt may yet see a revival with updated tech.

Barring that kind of comeback, though, Verge's readers were largely not happy to see the Bolt go.

"The number of vehicles available in the U.S. that will fit in my slightly undersized garage is surprisingly small, and even fewer of them are utility-oriented hatchbacks instead of sedans. How frustrating," wrote one commenter.

"What a disappointment; guess only rich people get to buy EVs, and only SUVs and trucks," wrote another.

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