Known as the Opel Ampera-e in Europe, the Chevy Bolt EV will not be making an appearance in the UK market anytime soon.
In fact, it won’t be rolling out anywhere that requires the driver to be seated on the right. That’s because General Motors is hesitant to produce and sell a right-hand drive Ampera-e after being burned by poor Volt sales in the UK.
A spokesman for GM’s Opel brand told Automotive News Europe that they’re taking “a more cautious approach. If you don’t want to lose too much money, we prefer not to make right-hand-drive yet. The decision was partly financial."
Their caution stemmed from poor Volt sales because at its height, the model only sold a maximum of around 5,200 units a year across Europe. Sure, EV sales have increased over 9% in the UK this year thanks to government incentives but, that just doesn’t seem enough for Chevy to release a right-hand drive Bolt.
Plug-in hybrids are actually more popular and selling in larger quantities, models like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, VW Golf GTE, Volvo XC90 T8, etc. Better sales in this segment could mean that GM will be more open to producing right-hand drive hybrids for the UK than full electric vehicles.
Maybe the UK will get to drive future generation Bolts but that’s going to be a long wait.