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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any idea on when the configurator for the Bolt might be live, and when we could pre-order one? What was the experience with the Volt?
 

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Based on the 2016 Volt, orders should open two months before production starts with the configurator going live about the same time. Since GM is says the car will be available late 2016, I'm guessing orders will open in September or October.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Out of curiosity, I looked up my local dealer, and evidently, they're one of the biggest Volt dealers in Southern California. I imagine that will give them priority for the Bolt. I'm probably going to inquire with them sometime this summer. I'm afraid if I contact them too early, they're going to want to get me into a Volt. Nice car, no doubt, but I think I'm ready to go all-in on a pure BEV.
 

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Busy Volt/Spark EV dealers on the coasts, like Rydell Chevrolet in Northridge, CA, will undoubtedly get generous allocations of the early Bolt EVs. This is especially true for those states like California with state and/or local incentives that stoke demand. It won't be the same in the flyover states.
 

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Out of curiosity, I looked up my local dealer, and evidently, they're one of the biggest Volt dealers in Southern California. I imagine that will give them priority for the Bolt. I'm probably going to inquire with them sometime this summer. I'm afraid if I contact them too early, they're going to want to get me into a Volt. Nice car, no doubt, but I think I'm ready to go all-in on a pure BEV.
Typically dealers get a first look at production cars at their dealer before finally getting first allocations, you might want to inquire about that very first one. Good for an early look aside from the shows.
 

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Color and Trim levels

It would be nice to see what colors will be available both exterior and interior and the trim packages. GM should put this out there to get an idea what the public would be interested in. If I purchase the Bolt, you can bet I'm only buying one with all the options that I want, not what is on the lot.
 

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I think it's just more of putting down a deposit to have your name higher up on the waiting list and then finalizing the options once the trim and color list is out. May or may not be a smart move depending on how many the dealership is allocated, buyer could be waiting for a while. Also, not sure if the deposit is refundable in case someone changes their mind.
 

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I think it's just more of putting down a deposit to have your name higher up on the waiting list and then finalizing the options once the trim and color list is out. May or may not be a smart move depending on how many the dealership is allocated, buyer could be waiting for a while. Also, not sure if the deposit is refundable in case someone changes their mind.
Dealers are free to handle allocations however they see fit. Some dealers will take deposits, other may not (just have a list). If someone plays golf with the owner of the dealership, they could get moved to the top of the list at any time. The owner of the Honda dealer where I got my Fit EV took the first one the dealer was allocated - I waited 7 months to get mine. Honda never had a "master" waiting list for the Fit EV, I was on the waiting list at 5 dealers (none of them required/took deposits).

Honda said that franchise laws prevented them from dictating who the dealers delivered their allocated cars to - and this is for a car that is always owned by Honda (it is insured as an American Honda Fleet Car). I would expect that to be the case with GM as well - they allocate cars to dealers - dealers allocate cars to customers.

It would be nice to see what colors will be available both exterior and interior and the trim packages. GM should put this out there to get an idea what the public would be interested in. If I purchase the Bolt, you can bet I'm only buying one with all the options that I want, not what is on the lot.
We'll see what GM decides to do re trims/options. The Spark EV has just two trim levels (1LT & 2LT) and just ONE option (DC Quick Charge package). There is one paint with an up charge and then there are accessories (sill plates, wheel lug nuts, etc). I would expect to see more than that on the Bolt, but you may not have as many " a la carte" options as you might think.

The Volt also has two trim levels, but does have a handful of options (more on the "Premium" than the "LT" trim). I would expect to see something along these lines.

If you want one with very specific options like lighted cup holders, premium carpeted floor mats, illuminated sill plates, Driver Assist package 1 (but not 2), in black metallic with heated leather seats, you may have a long wait while the backlog is cleared on initial dealer orders/allocations.

I fully expect to see a roll out similar to the '16 (&'17) Volt - CA (& Canada?), then OR, other ZEV states, then nationwide.
 

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Another thing I noticed is some people put down a large deposit hoping they'll get bumped up or even pay the dealer a bit of a 'commission' as a hint to bump them up. Sometimes it works. Some people even play it smarter and get their names on a contact list before order books open.
 

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I'll just play the waiting game and order one when the Bolt has been out for 1/2 year to 1 year. Sure my current car is a normal gas one but I'm not in any particular hurry to go full electric.
 

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I'm a bit jealous of California folks as they'll definitely get first dibs on the Bolt - not to mention the CA tax incentives (GA cancelled theirs last year). I hope it doesn't take too long for the Bolt to make it to the East Coast!. :-(
 

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I'm a bit jealous too...They have better charging station infrastructure, incentives and they'll probably get first dibs on most future eco cars too... At least if anything goes wrong with a new vehicle, they'll be the first to experience it. :D
 

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I'm a bit jealous too...They have better charging station infrastructure, incentives and they'll probably get first dibs on most future eco cars too... At least if anything goes wrong with a new vehicle, they'll be the first to experience it. :D
That's probably the best way to look at it, it's basically a test city for green vehicles. What's going to suck is as time goes on and gas prices start to go up again or taxes come out for regular petrol or diesel vehicles, then green car tax credits might start to go down. Less of an incentive to get one, now it's more of a NEED. The need to avoid being taxed.
 

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What's going to suck is as time goes on and gas prices start to go up again or taxes come out for regular petrol or diesel vehicles, then green car tax credits might start to go down.
In Georgia, not only did the legislature do away with the EV tax credit (was $5000, even for leased vehicles - I was able to utilize before it went away), they have now instituted an annual alternative fuel vehicle fee of $200! The law-makers reached the conclusion that EV drivers were robbing the state of gas tax revenue, so they found a way to close the "loophole." (If anything, ICE cars need to be penalized - for future costs to deal with climate change.) No real incentive to purchase an EV here... Still planning on getting a Bolt - in spite of it all... I'm just crazy I guess...
 

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It does not apply to hybrids or plug-in hybrids - unless the owner purchases an alternative fuel tag (I think that gives them access to HOV lanes) It also does not apply to natural gas or propane vehicles either - only electrics (and hydrogen too I guess - though not widespread obviously) - sigh...
 

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In most states, much of the funding for road maintenance comes from gas taxes. The more you drive, the more gas you use and the more you pay for the roads. In addition, heavier vehicles that put more wear and tear on the roads tend to be less fuel efficient, buy more gas, and therefore pay more for using the roads.
EV's certainly use the roads and should pay their share of the maintenance required. Finding an equitable way of doing that is the challenge.
As EV's gain a greater market share, all states are going to visit this issue in some form. The question is when and how? It seems contradictory to subsidize EV's and then add additional fees to driving an EV, but in a weird way it makes sense.
WA exempts (lower cost) EV's from paying Sales Tax, but charges an annual licensing fee. The Sales Tax would go into the general budget, but the fee is to replace the lost gas tax revenue and goes to the DOT budget.
EV/PHEV drivers will have to pay to use the roads, just like everyone else. States just need to decide when (and how) to implement fees that are fair and equitable.
There is also a Federal Fuel Excise Tax of $.184 per gallon earmarked for road construction and mass transit projects.

The $200 fee is way too high! @$.26 per gallon (Georgia) that's taxing at the same rate as a 20 mpg car driving 15K miles a year.
It should be along the lines of $40 (15K miles / 100 mpge * $.26).
It could even be based on the mpge rating, an i3 at 124 mpge would pay less than a Tesla @ 89 mpge.
But what to do about the Volt (or other PHEV's) that use gas as well as electricity?
 

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I'm not opposed to paying my share of road use - but I wonder if this "road use" tax needs to be untied from a consumption tax - it doesn't seem balanced in some cases - as you have noted. I also wonder at what point the Feds will start to realize they're losing tax revenue from EVs as well! Maybe a fairer system would be to assess an annual road use fee at tag time based on vehicle class/weight and maybe even annual mileage? (I think vehicle taxes are already higher on large trucks.) So maybe a reasonable annual tag fee is not so bad - if applied to everyone - and the consumption tax is removed. But then I guess it would be more difficult for low-income households to pay a large tax at one time - as opposed to a smaller pay-as-you-go consumption tax...
 
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