“Shocking” News About the GM Volt

Chevrolet’s Volt is named the Motor Trend Car of the Year? That IS a shock, until you realize it’s really just a self-serving, thinly-guised attempt to boost the stock price of GM’s upcoming initial public offering this week. Got an early piece of that action, Angus?
There is actually quite a bit of false or exaggerated information and some very shocking news about the General Motors Volt, not the least of which is, it can electrocute you.
Let’s break down the hype surrounding this super-subsidized green-mobile:
Read Ed Neidermayer’s epic on the Volt: “GM’s Electric Lemon.” Yes, and that IS the liberal New York Times’ auto expert writing the critique. He says it’s ugly and expensive and will be a money-loser for GM, the American taxpayer and drivers. (Price tag is $41,000, up to $45,000)
Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.
John Edmunds is another respected, but critical reviewer of the Volt. He started what is called “Voltgate” in the industry recently when he discovered the car relies on gasoline much more than GM admits: “GM Lied: Volt is Not a True EV.”
The part about being able to drive 40 miles on electricity alone? New documents filed with the SEC for the IPO have “reworked” that promise: It’s now 25 to possibly 50 miles before a recharge is necessary.
Depending on the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour where you live, the gas miles may cost less than the electric miles to drive.
The home “charging” station for the Volt needs to be professionally installed and with an inspection. You could try plugging just into a wall but it could take 8-24 hours to recharge.
Jerry Flint of Forbes expressed concerns about the “recharging” of these cars which don’t seem resolved yet.
Because of the configuration of the battery down the middle of the car, Volt seats only 4.
One thing you HAVEN’T heard much about at all about this darling project of the loony lefties who are heavily subsidizing this “loser” with our tax dollars is: The Volt has high-voltage wire going through it that can cause electrocution. Get into a car accident in a Volt and you really, really have to be careful. Even touching the car could cause a fatal shock.
Good Samaritans and rescue personnel beware.
General Motors recently held trainings in five locations around the country to train emergency personnel how to rescue victims trapped in Volts without electrocuting themselves. It is a tricky process.
Some excerpts of the television news story:
“We’ll understand, number one, how to extricate the victim without being electrocuted ourselves and, two, how to handle a fire if it were to occur,” Grand Blanc Fire Chief Jim Harmes said.
“How do we keep bystanders safe? How do we rescue people who may be in danger or injured in a crash?” state trooper Jim Lang said……….
The Volt is made of high strength steel that will be more difficult for firefighters to cut in the event of an entrapment. And orange cables run throughout the car, indicating high voltage.
“They could cut into something that could harm them,” Harmes noted.
While engineers have designed safety features to shut down the electric system in case of an accident, those who are taking the class are learning about hidden switches that can be used to manually kill the juice.
“It’s valuable training. It’s good that GM and the fire safety people put some thought into it to get the training out,” Lang said.
There is addition concern for passengers and rescue if a Volt would become submerged in water.
“The notion of responding to a crashed Volt in water is particularly worrisome to responders, he said. “They said, ‘I have a wife and child at home and I don’t want to die if I touch a Volt…..'”
Rockstar Neil Young had a super-fancy custom “Linc-Volt” which just set itself on fire in his garage, causing $1.1 million in damages.
Has the public be informed sufficiently of the electrocution/fire dangers of “hybrid” cars? What if someone happens upon a car accident and tries to help, but DOESN’T know?

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