Chevrolet Bolt EV

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt will be the cheapest EV you can buy in America – with a caveat.

Earlier this week General Motors (GM) revealed pricing for the 2023 version of the Bolt EV. The base 1LT and better equipped 2LT models are now priced at $ 26,595 and $ 29,795 respectively, which GM says is a price cut of, 5,900 per model compared to last year.

The larger Bolt EUV is getting an even bigger price cut, at least nominally speaking, of $ 6,300.

For the regular Bolt EV, that price represents a massive 18.5% price cut from a year ago, at a time when everything from components to labor costs are rising considerably in this country.

GM says even with the big price cut, no features have been removed or trimmed compared to last year’s model.

“Nothing has been removed,” GM product specialist Shad Balch told the Detroit Free Press. “This reflects our ongoing desire to make sure Bolt EV / EUV is competitive in the marketplace. As we’ve said, affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles.”

Pricing and tax credits

Though 2023 pricing hasn’t been announced yet, the 2022 Nissan Leaf, which was the cheapest EV offered in the US, starts at $ 27,400. If you don’t include the $ 7,500 federal tax credit (that Nissan still qualifies for, but GM does not), the 2023 Bolt EV is the cheapest car in America.

So technically the Bolt EV is the cheapest EV in America when it goes on sale in 2023, not including the federal tax credit (which brings the Nissan Leaf down to a whoppingly low $ 19,900). The bad news for Nissan (7201.T) is the Leaf’s cumulative total sales in the US are around 175,000 units, and when the 200,000 threshold is reached the federal tax credit is halved.

TANGERANG, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 12: Nissan Leaf electric car displayed during the GAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) at Indonesia Convention Exhibition on the outskirt of Jakarta, Tangerang, Indonesia on November 12, 2021. This first auto exhibition during pandemic COVID-19 Organized by the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries GAIKINDO open for the public from 12 to 21 November and joined by more than 300 brands in the supporting industries and highlighted around 150 new vehicles.  (Photo by Anton Raharjo / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

TANGERANG, INDONESIA – NOVEMBER 12: Nissan Leaf electric car displayed during the GAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) at Indonesia Convention Exhibition on the outskirt of Jakarta, Tangerang, Indonesia on November 12, 2021. This first auto exhibition during pandemic COVID-19 Organized by the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries GAIKINDO open for the public from 12 to 21 November and joined by more than 300 brands in the supporting industries and highlighted around 150 new vehicles. (Photo by Anton Raharjo / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Also on the con side for the Nissan Leaf is that it only has 149 miles of range (EPA rated), whereas the cheapest Bolt EV has GM-estimated 259 miles. A buyer needs to step up to the Nissan Leaf S Plus to get 226 miles of range (EPA rated), but that model starts at $ 32,400.

The big point here is GM is doing what it can to bring an affordable, mass market EV option with decent electric range to middle-class buyers who want to go electric. This is a part of the market with a dearth of options, with only the Nissan Leaf S Plus as its only competitor, though Fisker (FSR) is promising that its Ocean EV SUV will start under $ 40,000 when it arrives sometime next year.

If the country is to hit the White House’s goal of having 50% of vehicle sales be all-electric by 2030, US buyers will need many more cheaper EV options.

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Pras Subramanian is a senior autos reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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