Gov’t subsidies for Chevy Volt up to $250,000 per car?

posted at 11:25 am on December 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If you thought that the subcompact electric Chevy Volt was overpriced at an MSRP of $40,000 — which after a point-of-sale tax credit comes to $32,500 — you haven’t seen anything yet.  According to a Mackinac Center study of government subsidies throughout the manufacturing and distribution chain, the actual cost of the vehicle is almost $300,000 — with a quarter-million dollars of taxpayer subsidies going into every vehicle (via the Drudge Report and David Freddoso):

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government. …

GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

If battery manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.

One would expect that the per-unit cost of the subsidies would decrease significantly if the car began selling in large numbers.  Unfortunately for GM and the Obama administration (a redundancy these days), USA Today reports this morning that the Volt has fizzled, as has the enthusiasm for electric cars in general:

A year after the first two plug-in electric cars from major makers went on sale, buyers appear put off by high sticker prices — even with federal subsidies — and, for the moment, by more-stable gasoline prices.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt also have had their own issues. For owners of the Leaf, and other electric-only vehicles, there still are relatively few places to plug in and recharge away from home, limiting use. And the Volt, which has a backup gas engine to run a generator for extended range, is under the shadow of a government safety probe of why its big lithium-ion battery pack could catch fire days or even weeks after suffering severe crash damage.

Meanwhile, some start-up makers of electric cars, including the Think City car and the egg-shaped Aptera, have gone bust. Others have hit pot holes and delays in their drive to get plug-in cars in front of buyers. Even some major automakers have had hiccups developing new plug-ins. …

But even some avid electric-car fans say they aren’t all that surprised at muted mainstream interest in the initial models of electrics. “I think the public is just not really ready for them — and I don’t think (the cars) are ready for the public,” says Art Spinella, an electric-car fan who is president of CNW Research, a tracker of auto-sales trends.

That isn’t stopping other manufacturers from getting in on the electric-car “boom”:

The report said General Motors    (NYSE: GM) has fallen well short of its goal of selling 10,000 Volts by the end of this year, and Nissan has sold less than 9,000 Leaf electric cars.

Despite the lower-than-expected interest in electrics, the report noted, Ford Motor Co.   (NYSE: F) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) are moving forward with plans to introduce their own electric vehicles next year.

Now, why would two auto manufacturers jump into a market with almost no demand and a high failure rate?  Could it be because they’re looking for the same kind of subsidies that gives them somewhere around $250,000 per vehicle before the car is ever sold?

Update: I mistakenly wrote “Chevy Colt” in the first paragraph instead of Chevy Volt.  As one commenter recalled, the Dodge Colt was a pretty good car.  I should also note that when I wrote “high failure rate,” I was referring to the sales and not the cars themselves.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Sure glad I’M not wasting MY money on these electric cars. Oh wait…

dirtseller on December 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

It makes “sense” considering the UAW profited from driving GM into bankrupt…er, the arms of the federal government (though they have a ways to go to profit from temporarily seizing control of Chrysler before letting that slip to Fiat).

Steve Eggleston on December 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

I’m heading to lunch with a co-worker that has one of these things. I expect to be under-whelming and thoroughly angered at the ultimate cost of this boondoggle. I’ll post back my thought after lunch. Can someone loan me a flame retardent suit?

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Now, why would two auto manufacturers jump into a market with almost no demand and a high failure rate? Could it be because they’re looking for the same kind of subsidies that gives them somewhere around $250,000 per vehicle before the car is ever sold?

You know it.

Steve Eggleston on December 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I’m heading to lunch with a co-worker that has one of these things. I expect to be under-whelming and thoroughly angered at the ultimate cost of this boondoggle. I’ll post back my thought after lunch. Can someone loan me a flame retardent suit?

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

As long as he didn’t crash it between 1 and 3 weeks ago, you’re good. It takes about that long for a Volt to brew up from a roundabout side-smacker.

Steve Eggleston on December 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

So wait, we’re a working so 6,000 enviro weenies can pretend they are saving Gia?

jawkneemusic on December 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

There are people who post on Design Mag (mostly engineers btw) as if this Volt thing is the best car ever… It’s almost like talking to truthers…
-
The Volt may indeed be a decent hybrid… I actually like the technology as a choice for the near future… but at the price… horrid little waste of money.
-

RalphyBoy on December 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

What’s the definition of FASCISM???

Christian Conservative on December 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

We’re all*

jawkneemusic on December 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I’M “shocked”

gerrym51 on December 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

…that the Volt has fizzled…

Someone enlighten me please how a piece of manure can fizzle.

Archivarix on December 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Couldn’t people just drive golf carts around to feel better?

trs on December 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Where are our lefties to defend this. C4C was a bargain at around 20-25k per vehicle. I think I just threw up a little.

CW on December 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Perhaps GM should rename it the Chevy Dolt after their benefactor, Obama.

islandman78 on December 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

electric Chevy Colt was overpriced

Ed, the Dodge Colt is actually not a bad car

ConservativePartyNow on December 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

No wonder this country is broke.

Mord on December 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

And if we stop the subsidies, we get to pay 2 years unemployment to the battery makers, subsidize something else to use to building, and so on.

tomg51 on December 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Change you can believe in!

rightside on December 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Shocking.

The Rogue Tomato on December 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Financial lies are just like other lies – once you start you just keep getting in deeper…

tomg51 on December 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I want a subsidy for my hybrid flex fuel prototype car that runs on either Cheez Whiz or skittles.

I’ll need about $50 million to get the project underway.

All I can guarantee is that you can eat the results if it goes bankrupt.

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

My goodness. Between this and the previous pipeline post, the environmentalist movement is coming out to look like a bunch of fools… which, really, isn’t too different than the norm.

WealthofNations on December 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Unicorn Motors?

tomg51 on December 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

And we are not allowed to call GM ‘government motors?’
Pretty soon, the’ll pay us to take one. Oh…wait!

KOOLAID2 on December 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Don’t think of it as a tax subsidy.

Think of it as Obama giving you the opportunity to own an exotic, foreign super car for only $33k.

An ugly, slow, problematic, spontaneously combustible super car that relies on exotic raw materials found mainly in China.

bigsixfive on December 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Wait. What?

lorien1973 on December 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Now, why would two auto manufacturers jump into a market with almost no demand and a high failure rate? Could it be because they’re looking for the same kind of subsidies that gives them somewhere around $250,000 per vehicle before the car is ever sold?

No, Ed. The reason is simpler than that, and relatively non-political: the manufacturers named have cars designed (during the time when gas prices were increasing and there was a perceived potential demand for such cars) to house the necessary components for electric drive. It is cheap positive publicity for them to offer “green” cars, which can be built on the same assembly lines as their normal products. Development costs are relatively low as well.

“High failure rate” is a misnomer, too. The basic electrical drive systems are well-proven, as they are hardly an advance on those used in electric cars 100 years ago. Likewise, the battery packs are not much more failure-prone than gas tanks.

The reason electric cars are a drag on the market has to do with basic technology: there has been no breakthrough in battery design that makes electric cars superior to internal-combustion cars in any way. And it doesn’t look like such technology will appear for decades, if ever.

Making this out to be a political issue (at least for companies that don’t get a long drink at the public teat) is foolishness.

MrScribbler on December 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Hammerhead Eagle i is much cheaper, and I like the diesel gen in the back.

forest on December 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

This thing was garbage from day one. Add on the fact that Car and Driver gave it the “Car of the Year” award the year before it was available to the public and that is all she wrote. The minute the government started trying to push this it should have become clear it was a loser. Solyndra anyone? This thing will fade into obscurity with the “Vibrating Belt” and Carrot Top.

JAGonzo on December 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

What is going on in our country? This is so f’ING criminal.

tom daschle concerned on December 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM

GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far.

One way they could improve those sales figures is by judicious application of the commerce clause. Notice I’m not calling it a mandate,………just yet.

a capella on December 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Well it’s a ggod thing we’re flush with cash and don’t have, say a $16 trillion debt (to throw a perfectly ridiculous number out there.)

rbj on December 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM

What’s particularly alarming is that the figures wouldn’t really change much even if they had actually met their target of 10,000 Volt sales. This thing never had a chance of ever approaching profitability, but of course profit wasn’t the point.

JeremiahJohnson on December 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it

I’m so surprised. This car should have been a hit….regardless of the fact that it costs too much, has to be recharged, and doesn’t sport battery technology capable of operating correctly and safely.

Unfortunately for GM and the Obama administration (a redundancy these days), USA Today reports this morning that the Volt has fizzled, as has the enthusiasm for electric cars in general.

You’re kidding. Does this mean that when the Government’s heavy-hand purposely distorts a market, people don’t immediately start running for an idea that no-one would go for in an open market?

That’s not what our jug-eared leader told us……and he’s a genius!!

Tim_CA on December 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

It’s definitely past the time to bolt the Volt!

I have the social, cultural and political misfortune to live about an hour away from San Francisco. That is, if the non-carpool lanes aren’t clogged with traffic; if they are, easily add another 45 minutes to an hour. I can see environmental hypochondriacs from my house. And I can tell you that I have not seen so much as one Chevy Volt anywhere around here, even as it seems like there are about a gazillion Toyota Priuses and the occasional so-called Smart car as well.

There is nothing that could persuade me to go out and buy one of these Chevy Volts. And even though the Dear Leader won with 74 percent of the vote in my county in 2008, they apparently all agree with me on this!

Sir Rants-A-Lot on December 21, 2011 at 11:52 AM

STUNNING and the debt goes on!!

rjoco1 on December 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM

We have got to end these bullsh&t subsides – all of them.
Cut all subsides to energy companies, green and traditional.
Cut all subsides to farmers, to include ethanol subsides.
Cut all subsides to corporations and businesses and then cut the corporate tax rate to 15%. That way companies like GE will actually pay taxes, and other companies aren’t paying 35%.

Of course the corporatist Dems and status quo republicans wouldn’t dare do such a thing.

MoreLiberty on December 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Chevy Runs Deep…In Debt

EnderWiggins on December 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM

“High failure rate” is a misnomer, too. The basic electrical drive systems are well-proven, as they are hardly an advance on those used in electric cars 100 years ago. Likewise, the battery packs are not much more failure-prone than gas tanks.

MrScribbler on December 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

By “high failure rate” I think he was talking about companies failing to make money in that market, not mechanical failures in the cars.

This dollar amount is so staggeringly high that it makes me wonder… How much are non-electric cars subsidized? It wouldn’t surprise me much to find out the auto industry has tons of other government money and tax breaks and such to help them compete. Or how would a similar calculation of true price turn out for some of the other products we use, like things made out of corn or soybeans?

Toastradamus on December 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

And the Volt…is under the shadow of a government safety probe of why its big lithium-ion battery pack could catch fire

Cheer up, Volt owners. There’s a growing after-market for your vehicle among car bombers and other terrorists.

petefrt on December 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

<

blockquote>…that the Volt has fizzled…

Someone enlighten me please how a piece of manure can fizzle.

Archivarix on December 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Note that manure can be made to burn.

I’m not a fan of electric cars, I never have been. But at least the Leaf is it’s own design, and- so far- hasn’t been marketed as a do all/be all/end all solution. It’s a simple town car that didn’t require gigantic subsidies and government ‘encouragement’. The infrastructure will eventually come- gasoline wasn’t easily available for quite a while, either.

It all depends on what the new car market says, not the Jug-Eared SCoaMF or his various Mini Mes, handlers and minders.

BillH on December 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Obama tinkers and we get stinkers.

fogw on December 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Someone enlighten me please how a piece of manure can fizzle.

Archivarix on December 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

You obviously are unaware of the ability to cook with cow chips. Yes, that stuff burns after it has dried and sustained many depression era high plains farmers during the dust bowl years.

Otherwise, your observation is spot on.

AZfederalist on December 21, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I want a subsidy for my hybrid flex fuel prototype car that runs on either Cheez Whiz or skittles.

I’ll need about $50 million to get the project underway.

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Depends … Is it dual fuel or do you have to choose either/or when you buy it? After all, we can’t just go wasting taxpayer money on something impractical.

Lost in Jersey on December 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Another Cash For Clunkers program in reverse. Whoda thunk it!

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Next time a liberal says they want to see all subsidies stop to “big oil” say sure, if we stop all subsidies entirely. Then point out how much we subsidize electric cars, solar energy, etc.

jeffn21 on December 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Volt= Electric EDSEL.
Could not make it from N to S Austin and back without the gas burner kickin’ in.Totally useless car for driving in Texas.

Col.John Wm. Reed on December 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

SOOOO disappointed Chevy/GM became Gubmint Motors and is wasting so much of our money. Been a Chevy guy for many years – 3 Camaros, 1 van, 1 truck (all 70s era (pre-Gubmint)) and an Avalanche (pre-Gubmint) – and I really want a new Camaro, but I will not support GUBMINT Motors. Electric (coal-powered) cars can have great performance (mainly acceleration), but the limitations on range make it useless in the real world. What they don’t tell you is that the published ranges on these cars can not be reached if it’s winter and you are sucking off battery power for windshield wipers, heater/defroster, headlights, and/or stereo.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM

WINNING!

workingclass artist on December 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Gov’t subsidies for Chevy Volt up to $250,000 per car?

No Surprise: Even after 97+ years of development, ELECTRIC CARS ARE STILL A DUMB IDEA!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicle#1920s_to_1980s:_Gasoline_dominates

The basic reason is STILL that the power source for electric vehicles is NOT PORTABLE!!! Nothing about this problem has changed in 100 years!! No “magic battery” technology can change this fundamental flaw!!!

This is why electric vehicles will ALWAYS be inferior for use in general transportation: they CANT GO ANYWHERE!!!

And since electricity must always be produced from other fuels, it will ALWAYS be less energy-efficient than those other fuels!!! This is why “alternate energy” and electric-car advocates always ignore and/or count on heavy subsidies for inconvenient-but-always-present transmission and production costs.

landlines on December 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

It’s probably much worse than all that. I recall reading about GM’s work on the Volt years ago. I believe that the vast majority of the R&D investment on the Volt was made well before the government bailout of GM and the “investment” of vast sums cited in the article. So where has that money gone?

Sowell Disciple on December 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I should also note that when I wrote “high failure rate,” I was referring to the sales and not the cars themselves.

But they do tend to catch on fire, I have heard.

ConservativePartyNow on December 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Gov’t subsidies for Chevy Volt up to $250,000 per car?

Good thing they don’t sell a lot of them. That could get expensive. As it is the total outlay over it’s lifetime will be less than one of Michelle’s vacations.

Oldnuke on December 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

You’re obviously in cahoots with Big Cheez-Whiz.

CurtZHP on December 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

A “high failure rate” applies to those other Colts from Indianapolis.

leftnomore on December 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

The last thing I want is an electric car.

And when you start thinking that state & federal subsidies, tax credits and incentives have nothing to do with politics, your forever lost. Cash for clunkers was an attemt to remove as many of those old, reliable, can constantly be rebuild gas guzzelers that Americans love to make way for this kind of crap. Why were they sent to the scrap heap? So you couldn’t salvage the parts and rebuild another one, or, rebuild the one that was turned in.

Devilish anministration we have here. My bull pucky flag has been flying proudly for about 4 years now. It went up with this statement. “I have to abandon free market princaples to save the free market” Fargin Bastagges!

rocker98 on December 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

golfmann on December 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I should also note that when I wrote “high failure rate,” I was referring to the sales and not the cars themselves.

.
I think the phrase you are struggling for is “low sales volume,” which would be fatal in any non-subsidized, too-small-to-bail-out endeavor.

ExpressoBold on December 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

When The Regime “nudges” us into electric cars while shutting down our sources of electricity, it is actually “nudging” us into public mass transit. In other words, if you don’t live near a mass transit line or in a city, voila, yer screwed. Only the rich (if there any left) will be able to afford rural living.

petefrt on December 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

You know – I’m not opposed to genuine innovation. I have no doubt that alternate energy vehicles will eventually become more evident on our highways. However, until the technology progresses to the point where the typical consumer – not just the suburban/urban commuter – is attracted then it will continue to be lackluster. Personally, I require a vehicle that is able to transport my family (with dog), all of our gear for a long weekend and tow my sailboat with a range of at least 250 miles between “fill ups” which shouldn’t take but 10 minutes at the most.

The fact that these “innovative” vehicles are literally being subsidized by the government means that the companies that produce these technologies are less likely to innovate at a faster rate since the free market demand isn’t determining their survival. They can continue to pump out mediocre products while making money.

In short – the subsidies for these lackluster, feature-lacking vehicles are causing more harm to alternate energy innovation. Not helping it.

Defenestratus on December 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I heard they were going to put wings on them an turn them into Drones for Intelligence missions. Their prototype crashed in Iran a couple of weeks ago.

portlandon on December 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Hubby and I will not buy any vehicle from government motors, period! The companies have gotten enough money from us in the form of taxes.
L

letget on December 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM

“can constantly be rebuild gas guzzelers that Americans love ”
rocker98 on December 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Darn right rocker!!!! Working on installing a newly rebuilt 355 in my son’s 74 Camaro. The 383 stroker we had built 5 years ago had problems (poor quality machining) – so for a couple G’s we’ve got a fresh new engine. Try doing that, for that price, with an electric car if the battery pack or electric drive system goes bad. And we can drive that car 200 to 300 miles straight on a tank of GAS with ALL the electric accessories going.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I can’t wait for the presidential debates. Mountains and mountains of ammo.

newportmike on December 21, 2011 at 12:42 PM

bigsixfive on December 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

+100
These people are so retarded. Anyone got numbers on how much pollution it produced by being built? Im no expert, but if they do this like they do everything else, I’d bet its more than driving a diesel semi 200,000 miles.

D.Mockracy on December 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

In addition to all the subsidies for the manufacturing of the Volt, a brief mention should be made about the subsidized multi million dollar 4 acre solar panel array being constructed to defray energy costs at the new multi-multi million dollar subsidized manufacturing plant.

Never thought of Michigan as being a susnshine state.

Who is going to clean the snow off the solar panels ?

If another Volt catches on fire, will they then be called the
‘New Chevy Blazers’

BillyPenn on December 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Er, mortgage-backed securities (durn fat fingers)

Steve Eggleston on December 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Future ad:
2011 Chevrolet Volt for sale, pre-owned, pre-loved, pre-charged with only 115,000 original tax subsidized miles on it.
Price $12.98 less $2.98 coupon discount for union members. Batteries on E-Bay $218,000 with free shipping.

Don L on December 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Depends…Brilliant ! It runs on the same fuel as OBOZO does !

stormridercx4 on December 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Darn right rocker!!!! Working on installing a newly rebuilt 355 in my son’s 74 Camaro. The 383 stroker we had built 5 years ago had problems (poor quality machining) – so for a couple G’s we’ve got a fresh new engine. Try doing that, for that price, with an electric car if the battery pack or electric drive system goes bad. And we can drive that car 200 to 300 miles straight on a tank of GAS with ALL the electric accessories going.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Now we’re talkin’!! My ’30 Model A Pick-up sports a 5.0 litre chevy smallblock, Edlebrock mani, holly 600cfm quad pumper, and block huggers leading to dual glass-packs.

When it breaks down (which isn’t often) – I put a friggin’ wrench on it and fix it – try that with a “Volt”.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Somebody in Chevrolet’s PR/Marketing department needs to light a fire under this vehicle and get the public interested in buying some of these things.

BKeyser on December 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM

the actual cost of the vehicle is almost $300,000 — with a quarter-million dollars of taxpayer subsidies going into every vehicle

Dude, just give me $100,000 cash, and you’ll save $150,000. Sweet!

BobMbx on December 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Only in the U.S.S.A can you get a $300,000 car for a mere $32,500.

Thanks to my taxpaying comerades for making this all possible!

Oxymoron on December 21, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Ed, I liked that you referred to the Volt as The American Trabant on the Hot Gas homepage. I’ve been calling it that name since it hit the market, and even wrote about both cars on my little blog a while back. It is outrageous that the American taxpayers own a car company to begin with, let alone subsidizing these lemons to the tune of a quarter million dollars each.

simkeith on December 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM

can’t wait for the presidential debates. Mountains and mountains of ammo.

newportmike on December 21, 2011 at 12:42 PM

——————————————————————
Yes…as if the media moderators will let that happen during the few debates!

KOOLAID2 on December 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM

When it breaks down (which isn’t often) – I put a friggin’ wrench on it and fix it – try that with a “Volt”.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

That’s why I love the old cars. I can actually fix it myself in the garage with a standard tool set. I can’t do anything on my own with my Avalanche, but I’ve swapped out entire engines, transmissions, rebuilt carbs, etc, in my pre-computerized cars.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

In August my son’s 74 Camaro blew the fuel pump on the highway on his way home. I just bought a new fuel pump, drove up to where he was and we fixed it in a parking lot. Can’t do that with the newer cars.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Electric (coal-powered) cars just aren’t feasible for the real world yet. My commute is 25 miles one way out through fairly empty prairie to a military base outside of town – this time of year in extreme cold with snow and ice. An electric car with a 60 mile range couldn’t make a single round-trip with wipers, headlights, heater, etc going the whole way.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Ok, rode in the Volt. It was interesting but my overall impression was “this is it?” It was a “full-glass” display and the entire center of the car is taken up by the battery stack, so the backseat has two bucket seats.

It was a lot of cheap plastic interior. While running on the battery there is no heat through the vents, only through the seat. The owner highlighted this as “it’s more efficient” and I’m thinking it was a necessity beacause no engine heat = no cabin heat. Probably the coolest thing about the car was silent hard acceleration. Only heard wind and tire noise on acceleration, so that was cool, but that was it.

The model I rode in was $46,000 as built, and that’s more than my fully loaded 370Z which has a much better interior. So no suprises, I’m not impressed.

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Screw the Volt. Me – I’m working on an alternative vehicle of my own. A nuclear powered DeLorean DMC-12. It’s all finished, I just need some fissionable material. Tried the Libyans – no go since the revolution. The friggin’ Iranians won’t talk to me since the drone incident. Was negotiating with Kim Jong-il until he crapped out. Running out of options – the Volt is looking better and better to me.

Next concept: Vehicle powered by squirrels in squirrel cages. I call it the Rodent. Looking for some government assistance for development – bankrupted myself on the DeLorean idea.

Seriously though, I would love to see how well a Volt operates after sitting out in one of our -20 degree F Minnesota winter nights. Or does every Volt come with a free heated garage?

AttaBoyLuther on December 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

President Pantload, Venture Socialist. Embrace the suck!

Naturally Curly on December 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I went to the dealership and inquired about this car. I expressed my concerns with the salesman, who explained to me that “haters gonna hate.” That made sense, so I purchased one on the spot. I then drove to the local coffee shop to purchase my daily cup of fair trade coffee. While there two attractive girls from the local university asked if was a Volt, and when I confirmed that indeed it was, they offered to have sex with me. I declined of course, being a man of high moral character. Finally, when I returned home, my dog, who had run off a fortnight earlier, was waiting on my front porch for me. Clearly, my experiences so far have been positive.

tlynch001 on December 21, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Someone enlighten me please how a piece of manure can fizzle.

Archivarix on December 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

It’s electric, DUH!

:)

Lily on December 21, 2011 at 2:05 PM

This is what you get when you have “American Leyland”.

Another Drew on December 21, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Only this Regime could build a $250,000 exploding Yugo with taxpayer money.

I think its probably a good thing the regime stopped manned space exploration. Engineering is *clearly* not their forte.

These geniuses would probably come up with a $50 trillion hybrid nuclear-windmill shuttle that would air burst on launch and take out the eastern seaboard.

CorporatePiggy on December 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I’m heading to lunch with a co-worker that has one of these things…

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Would you like a bag of marshmallows?

Fallon on December 21, 2011 at 2:13 PM

And since electricity must always be produced from other fuels, it will ALWAYS be less energy-efficient than those other fuels!!! This is why “alternate energy” and electric-car advocates always ignore and/or count on heavy subsidies for inconvenient-but-always-present transmission and production costs.

landlines on December 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Wait a minute. Everyone knows that electricity comes out of that little thingy in the wall, and it is perfectly clean, and free. So any electric car will save the planet and save fuel costs. The other costs are just a piffle if you want to save the planet and not ever have to buy gas.

/

Lily on December 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Ok, rode in the Volt. It was interesting but my overall impression was “this is it?” It was a “full-glass” display and the entire center of the car is taken up by the battery stack, so the backseat has two bucket seats.

It was a lot of cheap plastic interior. While running on the battery there is no heat through the vents, only through the seat. The owner highlighted this as “it’s more efficient” and I’m thinking it was a necessity beacause no engine heat = no cabin heat. Probably the coolest thing about the car was silent hard acceleration. Only heard wind and tire noise on acceleration, so that was cool, but that was it.

The model I rode in was $46,000 as built, and that’s more than my fully loaded 370Z which has a much better interior. So no suprises, I’m not impressed.

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I wonder how the heat would hold up in a Chicago winter night caught in traffic jam with outside temps pushing -5 degrees.

Oh, by the way, did it have a cigarette lighter?

timberline on December 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Somebody in Chevrolet’s PR/Marketing department needs to light a fire under this vehicle and get the public interested in buying some of these things.

BKeyser on December 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Just smack the Volt hard enough and it will light its own fire…..

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I went to the dealership and inquired about this car. I expressed my concerns with the salesman, who explained to me that “haters gonna hate.” That made sense, so I purchased one on the spot. I then drove to the local coffee shop to purchase my daily cup of fair trade coffee. While there two attractive girls from the local university asked if was a Volt, and when I confirmed that indeed it was, they offered to have sex with me. I declined of course, being a man of high moral character. Finally, when I returned home, my dog, who had run off a fortnight earlier, was waiting on my front porch for me. Clearly, my experiences so far have been positive.

tlynch001 on December 21, 2011 at 2:02 PM

You could do the same thing cheaper if you put a vinyl cowboy song on the platter and played it backward.

timberline on December 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

“While running on the battery there is no heat through the vents, only through the seat. The owner highlighted this as “it’s more efficient” and I’m thinking it was a necessity beacause no engine heat = no cabin heat.”
Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Heated seats don’t do anything to clear up fog/frost on the windows…. Did you by chance point that out to the clueless salesman?

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

If you want an electric car – buy a golf cart, they’re one hell of a lot cheaper and will take you just as far as one of those gold-plated “enviro” cars.

GarandFan on December 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Oh, by the way, did it have a cigarette lighter?
timberline on December 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Smoking is non-PC so they are no longer necessary. /s
But you’d think the designers might notice people now use those lighter plugs for power sources for cell phones, GPS, PCs, etc. But if you actually plugged something in the Volt’s range would likely drop to about 5 miles.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM

timberline on December 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

One that I saw. It was in a bin above the GPS screen on the dashboard. Presumably where you would stow your cell phone.

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Hadn’t considered that. There HAS to be a way to clear the fog up, surely GM wouldn’t be THAT stupid, and it was a co-worker who’d actually bought the thing, not a salesman, so I got the “please don’t give me buyers-remorse” sales pitch from the owner.

One annoying feature: the main console with the radio controls and nav controls doesn’t have physical buttons. You just touch the plastic and it makes a ‘blip’ sound. Like an iPhone screen, except it was just plastic, not an LCD. Didn’t like that. Also, when you turn the car off it sends a sound effect through the speakers like a jet engine shutting down (presumably because the car makes no noise so you don’t know when it’s off or on) it was kind of startling.

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Spray on some Axe and you’d have to beat the girls away with a stick….

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:44 PM

They can take away my gas guzzler when they pry my cold dead fingers off the crumpled steering wheel…..

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:47 PM

i’ve been seeing huge numbers of ‘tiny car’ ads..the Fiat, Smart Car, Cooper…really moronic ads aimed at the youth of our country.

I’ve even wondered if Obama/Chu/taxpayers are paying for them…I don’t think I’ve every seen a SmartCar TV ad.

In other news…BP is out of solar

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/21/shocker-bp-quits-solar-power-industry/

If we can defeat the leftists at all levels of the government next year…all these ‘companies’ will collapse

r keller on December 21, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Meric1837 on December 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Well, if there’s no hot air coming out of the vents, the only other way to defog/defrost the windows would be if ALL of the windows have electric heating lines embedded in them. So hows that going to work in northern climates, and how much mileage would THAT take off the driving range?

dentarthurdent on December 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

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