Keith Griffin's picture

Chevy Volt Generating Negative Charges

It’s not even officially on the market yet and prominent journalists, commentators, and even fan sites are lining up to criticize the Chevrolet Volt – GM’s new, almost full-electric car that some call a hybrid. Writers are questioning its electric car status, its mileage claims, and how cash-strapped governments can afford to give tax credits for the Volt that goes on sale in December.

Go to any press gathering and the hoi polloi (i.e. us automotive journalists) will eventually debate the Volt. Many question its price of $40,000 but like its $7500 tax credit but then others point out the credit comes after financing the $40,000. Plus, nobody seems to have a handle yet on its true fuel economy.

George Will vs. the Chevy Volt – Who Will Win?

Lyndon Johnson once said about the Vietnam War opposition, “If I’ve lost Walter Conkrite, I’ve lost Middle America.” Well, George Will, writing in the Washington Post, likes to point out Middle America won’t even get the Chevy Volt at launch. “[Q]uantities of the Volt are going to be so limited that 44 states can only pine for Volts from afar. Good, because the federal government, which evidently is feeling flush, will give tax credits of up to $7,500 to every Volt purchaser.”

Will likes to call it a bribe. “The Volt was conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people's money, to buy this $41,000 car that seats only four people (the 435-pound battery eats up space).” By the way, Rush Limbaugh was a Volt hater long before George Will.

Hurts the environment
Even the website weighed in with 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Chevy Volt. It lists the standard reasons such as price, fueling infrastructure, and potential reliability, but then points out, “Shifts focus from community environmental mass transit to individual consumer solutions.” So it’s not quite the green alternative that, say, fuel cell buses are.

Not Much Oil Saved
Aaron Gold, a fairly balanced automotive reviewer (but don’t discuss politics with him) weighed in on his Twitter feed recently, “If I did my math right...if 100,000 Chevy Volts were driven on battery range for 5 yrs, we'd save a month's worth of OPEC imports. I think.” According to Aaron, that’s about six million barrels of OPEC oil.

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