Last month, the first Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars were sold in California’s Silicon Valley. Electric-car advocates and buyers across the U.S. now want to know when they too can expect to take delivery of their 238-mile electric hatchbacks. And as numerous comments and e-mails from readers attest, some Chevy dealers don’t seem to have a clue. It’s worth noting that numerous buyers across the country who are interested in the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid have been incorrectly told by dealers that the car won’t be sold in their states.
So dealer confusion isn’t confined to Chevrolet outlets. We reached out to the carmaker, as we had last week to Toyota, and Chevy has now provided a concrete schedule for Bolt EV deliveries throughout the U.S.
The chart above shows deliveries broken down by state, with two different months specified, each important. The first is the month in which dealers in each state are able to order Bolt EVs from Chevy. The second is when actual deliveries of cars to those dealerships will start. For instance, the chart shows that following California and Oregon, the first states whose dealers can order cars are Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Dealers there could place their Bolt EV orders last month, and deliveries should start next month.
Following those five, New York and New Jersey dealers can order cars this month, for delivery in March. And so on, right down the line.
Sticklers will notice that while Chevrolet said the car will be available in all 50 states by this summer, that promise stretches into the last three weeks of summer from the perspective of actual retail buyers. Buyers in the last 31 states won’t get their cars until September—whose first 20 days are, admittedly, still defined as summer.
Chevy has said numerous times it will prioritize Bolt EV sales in those markets where it sees demand, both from its Volt plug-in hybrid and for electric cars in general. The chart indicates that those states, not too surprisingly, are on the West Coast, in the Northeast, and then spreading into Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
We note with amusement that GM’s home state of Michigan comes dead last in this list. Chevrolet says that 1,200 of its roughly 3,000 dealerships nationwide are certified for Bolt EV sales and service, with at least one in each of the 50 states.
Asked what potential buyers should do if their dealer attempts to steer them away from the Bolt EV, Kata Beslic—Chevy advertising and marketing manager for electric vehicles—suggested that they should make sure that dealer understands their interest in the electric car.
She noted that Chevrolet has an 800 number to call for customer service, and offers live chat during most of every day via its ChevyEVlife.com website. That site also provides lots of basic information about electric cars, including a charging-station locator and the nuts and bolts of owning an all-electric vehicle.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV won the Green Car Reports 2017 Best Car To Buy award last November.