GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While gas prices continue to skyrocket and costs for new and used cars remain high, GM made a surprising announcement on Wednesday.
The Detroit automaker is dropping the price of one of its electric vehicles.
GM slashed the cost of its new 2023 Chevy Bolt EV by nearly $6,000 from last year’s model. The electric vehicle’s starting price is now about $26,600.
Mike Wall, an auto analyst for HIS Markit, told News 8 it’s likely that historic gas prices will lead to more people considering electric vehicles for the first time. GM sharply dropping the price of its Bolt EV increases that possibility, he said.
“It’s going to start introducing folks to the consideration for a battery electric vehicle,” Wall said. “It doesn’t hurt when gas prices are $4, approaching $5 or even higher in certain other markets.”
As of Wednesday night, gas prices are hovering around $4.75 a gallon in Grand Rapids.
“Every 24 hours, Americans are spending $625 million more on gasoline than we were a year ago,” GasBuddy Analyst Patrick De Haan told News 8. “And that’s every 24 hours, $625 million. It’s an incredible expense.”
Since March, Grand Rapids resident Shannon Heads has been driving an electric car: the Mustang MACH-E.
“It’s crazy convenient,” Heads said. “Not having to stop at a gas station or think, ‘Oh shoot, I’ve got to stop before I get to work.’ I really just plug it in and walk away.”
She’s been spared the burden of skyrocketing gas prices. Since she got the car in March, her electric bill has gone up between $20 and $33 a month.
The average American drives about 14,000 miles a year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Kelley Blue Book estimates the average American driving that distance would pay $55 a month to charge an electric vehicle.
“I don’t have to stop and think about gas, I can just take care of all of it in my own home,” Heads said. “And just be self-contained there. It’s really just made it better than I had really hoped for.”
Heads ordered her electric car in April of 2021. It took 11 months for her to get it.
“I had a family member recently order the exact same Mustang MACH-E and I believe his wait time has been about four and a half months,” Heads said. “He is expected to get the vehicle later this month.”
Wall said generally, you will still wait at least a few months for new cars. If you plan on switching to an electric one, it could be longer.
“Dare I say, it depends on the EV, it might even be a little longer,” Wall said. “In some cases, these EVs are newer. They’re kind of the hot models if you will. So you might actually see the waitlist be a little longer unfortunately in some cases.”
Another consideration for consumers: whether to take electric vehicles on long-distance road trips. Heads and her husband have looked into taking it on a road trip to North Carolina but she would have to stop and recharge three times along the way.
“So that would be difficult,” she said. “I think we’re just considering whether or not to take the vehicle at that point.”
All in all, Heads has bene thrilled with her choice, saying “it’s been incredible.”
“I think that it really proved what I was thinking even a year ago when I started researching and looking at what to get … electric is really where we’re going,” she said.