Pricey Chevy Bolt Lease Deal Keeps Company On More Conservative Approach

Chevrolet and General Motors are taking a fiscally conservative approach in a lease program for the all-electric Chevy Bolt through pricey monthly and down payments.

GM launched a nationwide lease offer on April 1 with a $329 monthly payment for 36 months and $3,809 due at signing for the Bolt LT entry-level package. Lessors can go 15,000 miles per year before per-mile cost increases would kick in from the lease.

Automakers have been distressed in recent years to see dealers put together cheaper lease deals in the $150 to $250 monthly payment range. The Nissan Leaf and Fiat 500e, with MSRPs of $30,680 and $32,995, respectively, have been notorious for cheap deals.

The 238 miles-per-charge electric car has a starting MSRP of $37,495. The lease deal ends May 1, 2017.

Car shoppers in California can get a better deal on the leasing down payment. For those leasing in the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets where Bolts are available, more than $2,000 is shaved off with only $1,559 due at signing. That comes from GM financial as an “Select Market Incremental Capital Cost Reduction”incentive program offering $2,250 off lease pricing. Another $1,250 is offered as a “regular” Capital Cost Reduction (likely offered in all states). In California, $3,500 in total lease cash is available.

As for the $7,500 available federal tax credit, that goes to General Motors and not to the lessor. GM may have already factored that credit into the leasing payment program.

GM isn’t offering any perks at this time, such as a loyalty bonus. Lack of perks and the pricey payments could indicate demand is strong for the Bolt.

Another sign of growing demand comes from data reported by Inside EVs. National inventories have gone from about 1,000 available units at the beginning of the month to nearly 4,000 units less than two weeks later.

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The April national lease program is similar to what’s currently available in California and Oregon. Other states carrying Bolts have offered the $329 monthly rate, but now anyone in the U.S. is eligible for the new lease program.

Sales of the Bolt have been decent this year, with 978 sold in March and 3,092 for this year, according to HybridCar’s Dashboard. But it’s less than half the volume of Chevy Volt sales in March, and it still lags behind the Nissan Leaf in sales.

Lease payments could come down if Bolt sales need a shot in the arm.

Inside EVs

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