The Chevrolet Bolt has been looking as dead as a dodo as the model has been plagued by a series of high-profile safety recalls.
If that wasn’t bad enough, GM recently announced plans to build the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV at Orion Assembly, which is currently home to the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. The electric pickups are slated to go into production in 2024 and this seemingly left the Bolt without a future.
However, the model might not be dead as Michelin North America President Alexis Garcin told CNN Business, “We want to bring the next generation of the Chevrolet Bolt with airless tires and it’s going to happen now in the next three to five years.” If you take Garcin at his word, a second-generation Bolt is coming between 2025 and 2028.
GM hasn’t confirmed plans for a second-generation Bolt, but the company has previously said there will be “low roof” electric vehicles from the bowtie brand. GM officials have also said the company is working on an affordable electric vehicle that will cost less than $30,000 and a second-generation Bolt could potentially fit that bill.
Getting back to the airless tires, GM and Michelin began testing UPTIS (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) tires on a fleet of Chevrolet Bolts in 2019. At the time, the automaker said the tests were designed to help further develop the tires so GM could potentially introduce them on passenger vehicles as early as 2024.
Airless tires offer a number of benefits as they can’t go flat or suffer a blowout. Drivers also don’t have to worry about keeping their tires inflated or dealing with irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation. Airless tires also promise to be environmentally friendly as they’ll significantly reduce the number of “punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.” Furthermore, they would eliminate the need for spare tires and this would reduce raw material usage, energy consumption and emissions, while also making vehicles lighter.