Skip to comments.NY Times Chevy Volt Criticism Confounds Proponents
Posted on 04/09/2012 11:40:13 AM PDT by jazusamo
The report by the NY Times that it would take up to 27 years for Chevy Volt buyers to save enough money in gas costs to make up for the high price of the car must be very confusing for apologists of the vehicle. The normal defense for any criticism is to accuse sources of having a right wing hate of the car. But the NY Times? The very vocal Volt defenders, who are quick to attack anyone who doesn't agree that the car is a technological marvel worthy of billions of dollars of taxpayer largess, will have to attribute the left-leaning Times' criticism to something other than a political agenda.
Many stories are circulated falsely proclaiming that a "crapload" of money can be saved by buying a Volt. The Times explains the misconception stating, "So why do some buyers pay more for advanced technology that might not save them money? Many never do the math, analysts say, or they tend to overestimate how much the added miles per gallon translate into actual monetary savings."
Of course, given the political nature of the Volt, it is more likely that outright lies rather than poor math skills are leading to the flood of pro-Volt stories. I have written in the past about the simple math of gas savings for the Volt that equate to about $2 a day in fuel savings . When you have a President of the USA campaigning on the perceived success of the Volt and General Motors, it is not surprising that false reports are circulated regarding the benefits of the vehicle. The Times report is a tough one for Government Motors to counter since the old "Rush Limbaugh/Fox News/right wing lies" defense will not work.
Obama-appointed GM CEO Dan Akerson's politicically based defense of the Volt is as disengenuous as the false gas savings hype. Akerson claims that Republicans are unfairly attacking the Volt, but not the plug-in Nissan Leaf. He goes on to blame low sales of the Volt on the criticisms. GM then trumpets how many more Volts are selling than the even more dismally selling Leaf. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if criticism is determining sales that the Leaf would be outselling the Volt? C'mon Mr. Akerson, put a little more thought into your spin.
The Times story is not the only cause of inner conflict for the gullible green crowd and extreme-left supporters of the Volt. The defense of GM because they are a patriotic company producing the American-made Volt must be just as paradoxical to the side that brought us the Occupy Wall Street movement. Shouldn't they be condemning evil American companies that do not pay their fair share instead of defending them? I guess the perceived good done by attacking Mitt Romney and Republicans for the slightest of Volt criticisms outweighs the eagerness to bash American corporatism. In addition, there are all those subsidies that go to wealthy purchasers of Volts. It seems that the desire to have the rich and corporations pay their fair share only applies to the conservative wealthy populace and politically unpopular oil companies; rich supporters of President Obama's failing energy policies who buy Volts and crony company GM get a bye.
The bottom line is that the Chevy Volt is a politically motivated car that is now being used as a campaign tool for Democrats. Millions of dollars will be spent on ads (which seems to be influencing news coverage) and lease incentives to see that the car is perceived as a success, regardless of the fact that the spending causes GM to lose money for shareholders, many of whom are the US taxpayers. Another approximately $20 million in tax subsidies contributed to the vehicle selling over 2,000 units in March, a still dismally low number that is being touted as a great success. Crony corporation, GE, will play its part as they purchase an undisclosed number of the vehicles each month leading up to November elections. And Government Motors will continue to whine about right wing conspiracies to hurt the Volt, even though the facts about the over-hyped vehicle not being all it was cracked up to be is coming from those in the media with a modicum of journalistic integrity (even if that integrity is short-lived, as might be the case with the NY Times) rather than a political agenda.
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.
I am going to take a wild guess and figure that it would take a few years to account for the cost of the vehicle in gas savings.
Then there’s the question of how much profit is made for each Volt sold. I am confident that electric/hybrid vehicles are going to continue getting better, but when you consider the financial status of GM, and a lot of details about the Volt, I have a hard time buying into how great it is.
Just to clear up some nnonsense that goes around here at FR, the Volt was championed two years before Obama was elected and championed by Bob Lutz a true “car guy” and well known opponent of the “global warming” libs. Not everything GM soes is evil guys.
Do you own one?
“... The defense of GM because they are a patriotic company producing the American-made Volt ...”
A patriotic company does not produce ill-engineered opsolete cr*p for years as did GM.
A patriotic company does not continue to screw their customers for years with engineers and management dorks who demenstrated equal to Obama stupidity as did GM.
Shove it up your smelly Obama, GM.
Then take it out and shove it up again.
You’re correct and if people who can afford to buy the Volt buy it, more power to them but the subsidies and tax credits come out of the pockets of taxpayers. The majority of taxpayers who help support sales of this vehicle cannot in fact afford to buy one themselves.
If GM wants to compete on their own with other companies that’s fine but Obama has chosen the “green energy” thing and has specifically chosen to promote the Volt.
BO was the one that bailed GM out.
BO was the one that stole property from thousands of business owners (aka dealers).
BO is the ONLY President of the United States which has pushed this vehicle.
Government Motors, not my kind of car.
That is good information. I'll take you for your word and give you the benefit of the doubt. Since you apparently know more about the Volt history, why did it go into production?
There are always (or should be) new innovations and products being engineered and developed at manufacturing companies of all kinds. It's part of R&D. Most don't make it to market for various reasons (mostly solid business reasons).
At some point, somebody realized that the vehicle made no economic sense for the regular consumer. Before you answer, I would offer that a Corvette does not make any economic sense for the regular consumer and yet is a profitable product.
Where did they go wrong and why hasn't the production been scrapped all together? What is motivating the financial acceleration of the death spiral?
Is management so flawed at GM that they would take on this risky venture (if not certain failure)? Or is there some other mitigating factor that influenced a business decision at GM?
All that was before Zero, Government Motors and taxpayer subsidies. The Volt that was promised was revolutionary; the one that was delivered is a gubmint boondoggle that robs the taxpayer everytime a unit is sold. It needs to die.
So if a Volt and a Cruze catch on fire, which would cause more global warming?
Bob Lutz, aka car guy is also a GM flunkee...
Let’s force those proponents to drive those cars for at least three months or more. Then they’ll understand!
Rename it the “Strength through Joy Car”. KdF-Wagen, for short.
“Just to clear up some nnonsense that goes around here at FR, the Volt was championed two years before Obama was elected and championed by Bob Lutz a true car guy and well known opponent of the global warming libs. Not everything GM soes is evil guys.”
Lutz a true car guy?
For what? His recent accomplishments that is.
The fact is while Toyota was adding Lexus and Scion, while BMW was adding Mini, GM was killing brands. Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Hummer.
GM saw Ford doing well with their new Mustang, so they went on a crash program to resurect the Camaro they killed so recently, and that is all I have seen from GM. Period.
No snazzy retro-nomad mis-sized wagon with a turbo-six, etc.
I don’t have a long commute between home and work (@21 miles/day round trip) and only use about 10 gallons of gas per week. I was considering a $40k Mercury Mariner hybrid in 2009 - when gas was at $4.00/gallon (yep, it’s deja vu all over again) But a quick spreadsheet showed it would take a couple of decades to payoff the car on gas savings alone. Pretty weak argument when asking a buyer to take on $450-500/month payment for 6 years. Then the cost of gas went down and the pay off period got even longer. I kept my van and just decided to pay the additional cost when it came.
I think you can make reasonable environmental (air pollution reduction) and national security (eliminate dependence on hostile/unreliable foreign oil sources)arguments for shifting to the all electric and gas-electric hybrid. But you can’t make an economic argument for adoption - even when you run the theoretical fuel economy up to 100 mpg.
the Volt was championed two years before Obama was elected and championed by Bob Lutz
Lutz believed we’d have better batteries by now ... A car that can only go 30 miles on battery IF YOU DON’T USE THE A/C ,, or can only go 20 miles on battery IF YOU USE THE HEAT ... isn’t what we need ... the car is so inferior to the Cruze it isn’t funny ... I’ll take a Cruze ECO above this anytime.
The Chevy VOLT goes for $41,000 - and up
What will it be worth in six months? - or in one year?
A mint or a restored 50’s-60s Corvette or Baby Bird (’55-’57) and often be bought at Barrett-Jackson Auctions (even bidding online) for $30,000 to $45,000 - and they go up yearly in resale value - even updated “Resto-Mods” under the mint bodies
An recent Aston-Martin Vantage convertible or Mercedes-Benz ragtop or coupe can be bought for under $35,000
What fool would buy a silly hybrid VOLT - even Ricemobile hybrids are selling pretty well - as GM (paying no taxes!) needs a $10,000 Obamastash rebate to even move a few VOLTS - to GE or idiots that want to appear hip and environmentally correct
- What did a ‘57 T-Bird go for recently in Palm Beach at Barrtt-Jackson?
Not to shabby
Haggerty Classic Car insurance saves you 40% on a garaged car - another classic car insurer covers your car for under $500 a year for full value on cars driven only a few days a week
(Sorry - I forget the name on the company - they advertise on the SPEED Channel)
Many people did the calculations (including myself) and the result is that Volt will break even somewhere between 12-15 years and never.
The reason is that you have to pay about $15-20K extra up front. This money could be invested instead, and by the end of those 12-15 years you would end up with a tidy sum of $40K. So if you have $40K today what would you prefer: to buy a gas car and 15 years later have money to buy two new gas cars, or to buy one Volt and 15 years later have an old Volt and no money?
With a gas car you spend your fuel money as you go. You have money - you go on a road trip. You have no money - you stay at home. With Volt it's all prepaid. Doesn't matter if you have (or don't have) a job, if a family member is sick - you can't take that money out and use elsewhere; it's sunk into the car forever.
The "never" part comes from the fact that Volt's batteries are expected to last not more than 10 years. To replace batteries you need to spend untold tens of thousands of dollars, so for all practical purposes once the battery dies the car dies with it. If the break-even date comes after the car dies, it means that you never save any money on the purchase.
Also, Volt would be an easier proposition if it were to be a diamond ring, for example. You'd put it into a safe in a bank, and it would be secure there for generations. However a car is not stored in a safe. It is parked outside, and it moves among other cars, in all weather conditions, on all roads. A car takes damage over time; sometimes that damage is so bad that the car is scrapped. It makes no financial sense to spend a huge sum of money on a car unless you are rich and are comfortable with the idea that you can lose it all in a blink of an eye. You usually insure the car, of course, but the cost of insurance is also proportional to the value of the car. An insurance for a Volt can be very expensive, so you'll lose money one way or another.
All in all, Volt would be a good car to buy ... if only it costs far less than what they sell it for. Probably $20-25K today would be reasonable; that's the cost of many good new cars. Volt is pretty chilly in winter, as I read, but it would have advantages too, so it would all balance out. Asking for double the cost is just unreasonable; using taxpayers' money to lower that cost is unfair.
So the NYT basically finally figured out the Volt is a 20k car with 20k 450lb I gallon fuel tank?
Yes, Lutz did push the Volt as GM's answer to the Prius - because GM needed something to offset the CAFE effect of all the V8 Camaros that Chevrolet was getting ready to build.
In fact, Lutz's comments at the time of his retirement sum up what the Volt has become. He said that he wasn't interested in designing vehicles for federal regulators, rather than customers.
My greater concern would be the heavy metal oxides which may form when the Volt’s battery goes up in flames.
Speaking of which - Who do we get to sue when it is finally realiized that each of thowe batteries is a toxic waste site?
jazusamo: GE has not begun purchasing Volts in any significant numbers yet. In March, with 2289 Volt sales, only 160 of those 2289 were to fleet customers. Just sayin...
NY Times Chevy Volt Criticism Confounds Proponents
Actually, Mr. Modica must not have read the article, since he only notes that the “report by the NY Times that it would take up to 27 years for Chevy Volt buyers”. The report also says that a Volt “payback time could drop to about eight years if gas cost $5 a gallon and the driver remained exclusively on battery power.”
The 27-year figure cited is only true for someone who drives 131 miles each time the Volt is fully charged. Not very realistic. As an average American driver (30-mile round trip commute), and a Volt owner, my ‘payback’ happened in the first week I had my Volt, when I stopped sending my money to support Hugo Chavez and the Saudis.
I estimate that I gave each of those regimes $2000 since 9/11/01. In the year that I have driven my Volt, my ‘donations’ to Al Qaeda’s Madrassa’s and Hugo Chavez’s tyranny have been cut by 90%. The fact that, given my driving pattern, the extra cost of the Volt will be paid back in 10 years is just icing on the cake.
Your post sounds much like a former poster (truthguy) that was zotted about two weeks before you signed up and being this is your third post since you signed up I think it possible you’re a retread. Just saying.
When they stuck their paws in the US Treasury, that was it for me. Fascism and communism is not my cup of tea. I perfer the only legal government in the US - a constitutional Republic.
Bob Lutz is in the Obama administration now. The union is into global socialism, the democrat party and part of Obama’s radical power structure. Why would I donate to the cause for Republic’s demise by buying an Obamamobile?
jazusamo: Nope, I’m not the same as “truthguy”. There are a lot of people driving Volt’s because we like to keep our money here in the US, using made-in-USA fuel instead of sending our money overseas.
I don’t like any tax break, and I really wish the Volt was made by Ford. If the exact same car was made by Ford, people like Mark Modica would heralding these facts, and saying what a great car it is, “even outselling all other Ford hybrids”!
By the way, Steve Doocy of Fox News has the same take on the Volt:
Niedermeyr: You say the Volt “can only go 30 miles on battery IF YOU DONT USE THE A/C ,, or can only go 20 miles on battery IF YOU USE THE HEAT.”
Your ignorance is showing. I really wish you knew what you were talking about before disparaging a great guy like Lutz, and a great American car that uses almost exlcusively made-in-USA fuel like the Volt. I have had my Volt for almost 11 months, and 10,000+ miles. Last summer, me, my wife, my daughter and my future-son-in-law went to a lake 25 miles away in 95 degree weather, and I had the A/C on (interior set to 75 degrees), and the Volt was fully loaded with beach chairs, blankets, coolers, etc. That was the worst all-electric mileage I ever got up to that point, and I went 40.9 miles before the engine started.
In the winter, I set my Volt’s interior temp to 75 degrees and I have never seen anything as low as 20 miles on a charge. The worst has been 25 miles, but usually it’s in the low 30s during the winter.
25? Low 30s? You are an idiot. Lmao.
Ford championed the Edsel, years before the Kennedy election and if Ford was getting major subsidies from American taxpayers to keep building Edsels, the piece of crap would still be rolling down the highways of America.
Lutz may have championed the car, but it is the Obama administration that keeps the production line running.
If you believe that little lovefest by Doocy and Spieckerman you must be in the employ of the Government Motors PR Dept.
As I said last week on a thread after viewing it, “It’s the first infomercial I’ve seen on the Fox News Channel.”
“The Volt is the I-Phone of the American Auto Industry?”
“All they have to do is get the price of the Volt down 20% to the price of the Chevy Cruze?”
“Can the Chevy Volt help win the War on Terror?”
So you don’t disagree with my remarks as a whole,, just in the degree to which performance is impacted... I was getting my info from a GM website ... I guess they’re ignorant... http://gm-volt.com/2008/12/30/how-will-air-conditioning-affect-the-chevy-volts-electric-range/
In the winter, I set my Volts interior temp to 75 degrees and I have never seen anything as low as 20 miles on a charge. The worst has been 25 miles, but usually its in the low 30s during the winter.
Unless your garage is heated the entire battery charge would be burned up before you took the interior from 0f to 75f , and that’s NOT taking into account that cabin air is replaced about 20% per minute anytime the car is running (yes even with the climate control system “off”) ...
I’m not a Volt hater ,, it’s just that I understand physics and demand accuracy in my work and expect it from others.
Do you work for GE or for a government agency?
If I lived in Joisey I’d be driving a full sized beater ,, maybe a Delta 88 ...
Commonguymd: 25? Low 30s? You are an idiot. Lmao.
I posted a reply, but it looks my embedded Calvin and Hobbes image must have been censored. Anyhoo, I didn’t understand your point - but I think you mis-understood. You thought I was saying the temps were in the low 30s? I was actually saying my range in the winter was mostly in the low 30s-miles. We did have a mild winter - I don’t think we had more than a couple of nights in the teens, but quite a few in the 20s-degrees.
That all being said, commonguymd, I’m sorry that you choose to send your fuel money overseas instead of keeping it in America with America-sourced coal, natural gas and nuclear power. I guess it’s a free country, but please explain why you choose to support Hugo Chavez and the Saudis instead of American electricity.
Please let us know how much you paid for gasoline last year. Realize that 10% of that is going to the Saudis and 10% of that is going to Hugo Chavez. In the last 11 months, I have only bought 35 gallons of gasoline, meaning I have sent only about $12 each to those regimes. In the previous year, I sent over 10 times as much money to the Saudis and Chavez.
It IS your choice these days. If you live in Maryland (as your screen name suggests), you’ve had over a year to buy a Volt and start using Made-in-America fuel. Please explain why you continue to send your money to America’s enemies when you have the choice to do otherwise.
Congratulations! The Mods have decided to reward your single mindedness with all the VOLTS you can handle.
Thank you, AM and any other Mods involved.
Maybe the VOLTS from the lightning BOLTS will extend the range of his Chevy DOLT.
DOLT ZOT, TOL.
Great zot! :)
I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg, as it were!
That photo is perfect for this ZOT. :-)
The only thing I have against zotting a retread is the smell is terrible, like bbq’ed horsesh—. Thanks TOL.
Things will not be getting better before the election. That’s for sure.
My pleasure. :)
You posted a stupid reply and have been ZOTTED. Bad riddance to left wing trash.
Oh yeah, only 30 million Volts need to be sold in 10 years to stop terrorism. Do you think you are dealing with viewers of the Ed Show here?
Not only are you 29.9 million Volts short of your goal, the oil savings are off as well. One more time for the shills who can not seem to get the math straight. The Volt can save about a gallon of gas a day. It takes over 20 years to make up for high cost, costs are not reduced by tax subsidies, only borne by taxpayers instead of purchaser.
You would need to sell 3 million Volts a year to get to 30 million in 10 years. That’s 30 million divided by 10, because I know you guys have trouble with this. Get a calculator. Oh, and 2,300 Volts a month still falls short of your administration’s goal.
Congrats on paying enough millions in ad revenue to buy off Fox and a Media “conservative.” Post your lies elsewhere, readers here are smarter than your average liberal.
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