The EV revolution is in full force. Many manufacturers have been taking great strides in advancing their electric powertrains to alleviate the stress consumers are feeling over high gas prices and lower the amount of harmful emissions that are released into the earth’s atmosphere every year. Coincidentally, many EV models are being announced as several manufacturers are unveiling their lineup for the 2023 model year. And while this takes place every year, there’s one bit of controversy involving the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV.
With the current microchip shortage affecting production quotas, it appears that many companies have to look elsewhere for solutions. A recent discovery at the McFly Chevrolet dealership in Farmville, GA, has unleashed a wave of controversy for GM. It could also have a huge impact on the brand and other manufacturers. Dorothy Decker, a single mother, spends a great deal of time commuting. “I’ve got to get to work, get my son to soccer practice, and make sure my house has groceries,” said Decker as she went further into her recent ordeal. “I’ve been curious about getting an EV for a while, and when I read some reviews about Chevy’s newest edition of the Bolt, I felt it was time to pull the trigger and buy one.”
So, Decker did. After purchasing the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV for a reasonable price, she left to go pick her son up from his weekly soccer practice. Everything was fine until she went to grab milk later that night. Her new car, which had just been running fine earlier, wouldn’t start. Assuming that it needed a fresh charge, Decker plugged in her vehicle. Nothing. Then, she popped the hood and came across a sight that her eyes were not ready for. The suburban mother was shocked to see several sleeping gerbils sprawled out on a wheel that was later found to be connected to her vehicle’s battery.
Once the initial shock wore off, she contacted the dealer to make a complaint. The salesman who sold her the car, James Gillis, decided to come clean about what the customer had recently uncovered. As it turns out, GM officials green-lit a plan to help them make their production quotas for the upcoming model year. To do this, they spent the past several months training gerbils to run on a wheel that provides power to the batteries in their EV fleet. “With the microchip shortage not ending anytime soon, desperate times call for desperate measures,” Gillis said. We reached out to our industry insider, Mark Scaglione, to better understand the situation, especially after GM refused to answer any of our questions.
“It’s a controversial move,” Scaglione remarked when we spoke with him. “But it’s one that does shift the paradigm of the EV craze. Live animals being used to power cars? I’m almost surprised no one else thought of it sooner.” We asked Scaglione how GM could circumvent the mandatory testing and inspections required before any car goes on the road. Scaglione was blunt in his answer. “Honestly, the average consumer is kind of dumb. Do you think they know the intricacies of how those batteries work? Of course not! They just plug them in and drive. It’s unfortunate that the gerbils in Ms. Decker’s Bolt fell asleep on the job and forgot to charge her batteries, but do you think she would have found out otherwise?”
It’s unclear whether or not GM will face any legal action for bypassing the channels that are put into place to protect consumers. We reached out to Decker for any final thoughts, and the mother said she was no longer upset. She described that the gerbils were helpful and that her only real concern is whether or not she’s entitled to a tax rebate for her recent purchase.