With new and cutting edge vehicles, buyers have to be willing to spend a bit more as do the manufacturers. The Bolt EV is no different as General Motors could stand to lose around $9,000 for every vehicle sold.
Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Bloomberg claims that Chevy could lose $8,000 to $9,000 per Bolt sold based on a starting price of $37,500. Currently, there are 10 states, including California and New York, which require automakers to have a certain percentage of their sales made up of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV). Failure to comply with the law could result in heavy fines or GM could be prohibited from selling in the state completely.
Though the Bolt revenue may be in the red, automakers can still profit from this loss in the form of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credits. In California, GM will need to have ZEV credits equal to 14 percent of their total vehicles sales. Bloomberg has done the math and GM will around 30,794 ZEV credits, meaning they will need to sell 7,698 Bolts four credits each. If a manufacturer cannot hit the 14% then they’ll need to buy excess credits from other companies at a cost.
GM bought the least credits last year compared to other automakers and the Bolt can reduce that to zero. They can then sell any unneeded excess credits and make a profit or use those credits to balance out high-profit, gas-guzzling vehicles.
Automakers may hate the ZEV mandate, but it does force them to be more innovative which benefits EV buyers in the long run.