Chevy Volt vs Cruze cost comparison not appreciated by some Volt owners
It all started when I wrote a few opinion articles about the high cost of cars and electrification; and that total value has to be taken into account. The responses, though, have introduced another angle that taxpayers need to read: Most buyers of these EVs can afford it and do not need subidies.
First, I like and support the electrification of the automobile. However, I do not support taxpayer subsidies, especially when those who buy these Volts, Leafs and Focus EVs can afford a BMW 3 or an Infiniti G.
My comparison of the Chevy Volt to the Cruze began, because the government and GM marketing have been touting electrification for the masses. After all, how else can they support subsidies? It is supposedly for the better good. So far, no problem. However, it is obvious the masses cannot afford a $42K Volt even with a government subsidy of $7500.
Fact is, the masses are stretching to pay for a $220 lease for a Chevy Cruze. So, I naturally opted to challenge the thinking of the value of the Volt beyond its green adoption. Then I received a number of comments below the articles. Read: the following articles and the comments below them:
A Shift in Focus!
As Q used to tell James Bond, “Now see here, 007!” Yes, in this case, when we pull the subsidized lever, we get unintended and unfair consequences. Frankly I was surprised at the logic of the Volt owners’ complaints. They seemed miffed of having their special purchase compared to a cheaper car, when they felt the more righteous comparison is indeed the BMW 3 Series and the Infiniti G. Well, excuse me!
With all respect, what we have here is a bunch of folks who feel smart because they bought the better value buy of the $40K car category. And they indeed bought a great vehicle; and they indeed were smart because they let us help pay for it.
Problem is, other purchasers of the BMW 3 Series and the Infiniti G noted in the comments did not receive taxpayer subsidies like the Volt. (Notice that I refuse to call it government subsidy). And the focus now has to shift to the fact that many (perhaps most) of these EV owners CAN afford it, and certainly do not need a subsidy to buy an EV or PHEV; nor should they get one.
What we have here is a government-allowed system that in the future is supposed to meet the needs of the many by meeting the needs of the few first, the richer more than average auto buyer, who admit they can afford BMWs and Infinitis.
My feelings are, if they can afford that market level of vehicle, then they do not need your money or mine via our taxes to support their purchase. If the cars are so great, then let the car’s value stand on its own merit; and get out of our pockets. In time, they will recoup their costs. Right?
Am I the only person who sees these subsidies as unfair, un-American and definitely anti-free market? After all, it is not the job assignment of politicians to choose technologies or people for that matter, then pay them to purchase with a car with our money. The government role is to support technolgy research, but it should end there! Contrary to Whoopi Goldberg who said that communisim looks good on paper, this is not a communist state, because free markets not only look good on paper but actually work in real life, but only when allowed to be free to work. Please chime in!
Of course, this applies to more than the Chevy Volt. It applies to ALL vehicles with a taxpayer subsidy like the Ford Focus EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Toyota Prius Plug-in, the Tesla Roadster, the CODA, etc. not to mention the new line of electrified pickup trucks and vans from VIA and others.
[Photo Source: media.gm.com]
About the Reporter: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks, futures and writes articles, books and ebooks like, "Perfecting Corporate Character," "Awaken Your Speculator Mind", and "Millennial World Order" via authorfrank.com. He may be contacted here by email: [email protected] and followed in Twitter under @Authorfranks
GM's CEO Akerson wants to build 60,000 Volt's in 2012
TorqueNews Exclusive: Fred Fresard, attorney for Dykema, addresses Chevy Volt fire
Corporate culture as important as innovation per Booz & Company
New global winners emerging in alternative fuels says Lux Research