Affordability the top priority for the next-gen Chevrolet Bolt (2025 debut)

  • Next-gen Bolt to come only in crossover flavor, positioned beneath the Equinox EV
  • To be launched next year, likely as a MY2026 vehicle
  • New infotainment system, LFP battery, and NACS port, among the the planned upgrades
  • Expected to be priced from around $27,000; to be the cheapest EV in the U.S.

Update: All sections revised.

On July 25, 2023, during GM’s Q2 2023 earnings conference call, Chair and CEO Mary Barra announced a next-gen Chevrolet Bolt. At that time, there was no confirmation if it would be a pair of a hatchback and a crossover with an EUV suffix or just a single car. However, now, we understand that the company is working only on a next-gen Chevrolet Bolt EUV, eschewing the hatchback version.

In this story, we’ll summarize everything that’s known and our expectations for the urban crossover.

On the new Chevrolet Bolt

The next-gen Chevrolet Bolt EUV would be a heavily reengineered version of the first-gen model, not a vehicle conceived from the ground up. GM will launch “a new Bolt” and “execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program,” Barra said during the company’s Q2 2023 earnings conference call. This approach will significantly reduce the engineering cost and reduce the development time, she added.

Crossover Design

On October 24, 2023, during GM’s Q3 2023 earnings conference call, Barra indicated that the next-gen Chevrolet Bolt will only be a crossover, saying that the company will leverage “the best attributes of today’s Bolt EUV.” Thus, we expect it to ride on an updated version of the BEV2 platform, with components borrowed from the Ultium toolkit.

Next-gen Chevrolet Bolt blue-white rendering
The next-gen Chevrolet Bolt will support Tesla Superchargers. TopElectricSUV’s rendering shown.

Releasing an updated version of the current model instead of a completely newly developed car will save GM billions of dollars in capital and engineering expenses and help it start sales two years earlier, she added.

InsideEVs, in an interaction with GM’s President Mark Reuss, learned that GM would preserve parts of the styling from the first-gen model. While he didn’t get into the details, Reuss indicated that the tailgate design and the placement of the brake lamps would be redone in the next-gen Bolt.

LFP Battery

During the call, GM’s boss also revealed that the company will use an improved battery pack that consists of LFP cells (instead of more advanced but expensive Lithium-ion cells) and the “unit cost will be substantially lower.”

The next-gen Chevrolet Bolt will be the first model to have LFP cells across GM brands. Compared to Lithium-ion cells, LFP cells are cheaper, ensure steadier production, last longer, and are less prone to cold weather. However, they have a lower energy density, which means the battery packs containing them either have a lower energy storage capacity or are heavier.

Next-gen Chevrolet Bolt EUV red-white rendering
We expect the next-gen Bolt (rendered) to offer around 260 miles of a range on a single charge, and add 100 miles of range in 30 minutes of DC Fast charging.

LFP cells make perfect sense for urban EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt, which don’t need to deliver a long driving range or offer superb driving dynamics. That said, we’re expecting GM to work on improving the charging times and the kWh/mile consumption in the new model.

In February 2024, GM hired Kurt Kelty as its Vice President of Batteries, a new role. Kelty was a vice president at Sila, and prior to that, headed the battery development team at Tesla for 11 years. Kurt will report directly to Reuss. He will be responsible for the company’s battery cell strategy and a new end-to-end approach. He will oversee the use of raw materials, R&D and investments in new technology, the commercialization of cells and packs, recycling, etc.

Heat pump

One common feedback from Bolt EUV customers is how the lack of a heat pump is hurting range during winter. We expect GM to include a version of the ‘Ultium energy recovery’ in the next-gen Bolt to address this issue.

NACS charging port

Unlike the current EUV, the next-gen Bolt will have an NACS charging port. Thus, customers will be able to charge it at 15,000+ Tesla Superchargers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Electrify America, which has 870+ charging stations, and 3,800+ DC fast chargers, will start offering a NACS connector option by 2025.

Production

While the first-gen Bolts were manufactured at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, the next-gen model will roll out of the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas, which according to a GM spokesperson (via Spokesman), will resume production in late 2025, following plant modifications and re-tooling.

Release Date

Barra confirmed that the next-gen Bolt will debut in 2025, while speaking at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, on December 4, 2023. In a recent interview with Barron’s, Barra reaffirmed that the next-gen Bolt will arrive in 2025 and revealed that it will likely be a MY2026 vehicle at launch. We expect customer deliveries of the next-gen Chevrolet Bolt to commence in the U.S. in the final weeks of next year

Price

The EUV model, which has now been discontinued, started at USD 27,800. However, the company may need to release the next-gen Bolt at a lower price so that it looks competitive against upcoming rivals from Ford, Jeep, Nissan, and even Tesla.

In an interview to Automotive News, GM’s North American chief, Marissa West, confirmed that the next-gen Bolt will be America’s cheapest electric car. While she didn’t offer an exact price, we think that GM will price the new Bolt starting around $27,000.

Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering