Washington Post: Hey, Obama’s Chevy Volt Is A Real Stinker


It’s never a good thing when a Democrat loses the editorial board of a major liberal leaning paper

GM’s vaunted Volt is on the road to nowhere fast

The Energy Department study assumed that General Motors would produce 120,000 plug-in hybrid Volts in 2012. GM never came close to that and recently suspended Volt production at its Hamtramck, Mich., plant, scene of a presidential photo-op. So far, GM has sold a little more than 21,000 Volts, even with the help of a $7,500 tax credit, recent dealer discounting and U.S. government purchases. When you factor in the $1.2 billion cost of developing the Volt, GM loses tens of thousands of dollars on each model.

Some such losses are normal in the early phases of a product’s life cycle. Perhaps the knowledge and technological advances GM has reaped from developing the Volt will help the company over the long term. But this is cold comfort for the taxpayers who still own more than a quarter of the firm.

Then they mention the failure of the Nissan Leaf, which, while not being built by the government, still receives the tax credit.

As these companies flail, they are taking the much-ballyhooed U.S. advanced-battery industry down with them. A Chinese company had to buy out distressed A123, to which the Energy Department has committed $263 million in production aid and research money. Ener1, which ran through $55 million of a $118 million federal grant before going bankrupt, sold out to a Russian tycoon.

Obama’s “green energy” loans are working wonders, eh?

No matter how you slice it, the American taxpayer has gotten precious little for the administration’s investment in battery-powered vehicles, in terms of permanent jobs or lower carbon dioxide emissions. There is no market, or not much of one, for vehicles that are less convenient and cost thousands of dollars more than similar-sized gas-powered alternatives – but do not save enough fuel to compensate. The basic theory of the Obama push for electric vehicles – if you build them, customers will come – was a myth. And an expensive one, at that.

This is similar to Obama’s entire economic plan, if you can call ideas written on a sticky note a plan. “If you just invest in more college education, jobs will magically appear.” “If you just invest in solar and wind, the energy will just magically appear.” “If you talk about the need for manufacturing, the sales will just magically appear.” But, Obama is trying to perform Gandalf magic, which doesn’t exist in the real world, rather than David Copperfield magic, which isn’t actually magic, it just looks like it.

Seriously, the minute one hears that they can only go 35-70 miles on a charge (with the AC or heat off), depending on the source, why would anyone spend that kind of money on what is really a compact car? What a great example of the way the Obama economy runs. Hand a chunk of a company over to the unions, have the government owning a big chunk of the company, and tell them to build a product there is virtually no demand for, and said product loses upwards of $49,000 per unit. And, while doing that, destroy other sectors.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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