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Chevy Volt Heads for Fiery Crash

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This is from Town Hall Finance.

The Chevy Volt is the Pinto of the 21st.century.

Another greenies wet dream that is a failure.

G.M has a cash cow known as the Federal government.

 

The good news for GM these days is that no one has been consumed in a fiery death due to engine compartment fires since the Chevy Volt was discovered to spontaneous combust after accidents shortly after production began.

The bad news for the company is that while Chevy Volt sales in June set a record, prior to June their sales for 2013 sucked despite general auto sales setting post-crash records.

“With signs that sales of its Chevrolet Volt battery car could be coming unplugged,” reported NBC News in June, “General Motors is offering potential buyers as much as $5,000 in incentives – making it the latest maker to try to cut prices in a bid to boost lagging demand for electric vehicles.”

In June the company reported 2,698 Volts sold thanks to those drastic discounts by GM. In fact, all battery-powered cars have seen deep price cuts due to disappointing sales.

“For the first five months of this year,” said NBC News, “GM has sold only 7,157 of what it prefers to call an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV. May sales, in particular, fell 4.3 percent, to 1,607. By comparison, the overall U.S. automotive market was up 8.2 percent for the month. According to a report by Inside EVs, Chevy dealers have more than 9,000 Volts clogging inventories, vehicles they need to clear out before the 2014 models start rolling in.”

That makes 6,302 excess Volts just weeks before the 2014 models are supposed to come off the assembly line. Or, to calculate another way, that’s 2 1/3 months of inventory assuming all the suckers haven’t already purchased Volts in the new and reduced “free” lunch program run by General Motors.

The ridiculous list price for the Volt started out at $46,000. Since then it’s been lowered to $39,995. The price is still ridiculous because the Volt is basically the Chevy Cruze with a big battery.

The Cruze by contrast has an MSRP of between $17,000-$23,000.

To lull consumers, the federal government gives a credit to Volt buyers of $7,500, plus GM, starting in June, discounted the price by another $4,000-$5,000 depending on the model year.

That means a buyer can pay around $28,000 for the privilege of buying a car that goes 38 miles on a full battery charge and has all the amenities of car that costs $5k less even after Volt discounts, subsidies, giveaways.

Boosters of the car will bombard me with email bragging about the cost savings with the Chevy Volt because they never have to buy gasoline, but they too often overlook the true cost of an electric vehicle.

First, electricity is not a free power source, despite what liberals believe. Electricity doesn’t just magically come from a wall plug.

Volt owners are SHOCKED…SHOCKED… when employers, HOAs and others third parties object to being asked to pay $1.50 per day to fully charge the car’s battery at public electrical outlets. It’s a phenomenon that’s becoming more common.

‘‘This isn’t some evil electric car that consumes a ton of electricity. It’s just a drop in the pond compared to what the whole building pays,’’ Mike Nemat told CBC News when trying justify using his condo’s public power source to fuel his vehicle.

It maybe a drop in the pond, but the pond isn’t Nemat’s to take from.

$1.50 per day to charge a Volt battery times 365 days is $547.50 per year. If “everyone” did it at a 50 unit condo, that would be $27,375 per year for “free” electricity.

And despite what liberals think, someone still has to pay the bill.

“This is ridiculous. It’s approximately $1.50 per day (based on the average electricity price in the U.S.) to fully charge a Volt,” wrote reader Corey on the article about Nemat’s condo subsidies. “That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee. When taken into consideration that it’s split between several tenants… they should be proud that they’re not only helping to save the environment but also lowering the nation’s dependence on foreign oil for pennies out of their pockets.”

I’m sure they are proud. But they just aren’t $27,375 proud. Or $7,500 worth of federal tax subsidies proud.

Nor am I. I’m “I’d rather you not take my tax money or HOA dues” proud. Do what you like, buy what you want, but don’t ask me to pay for it.

If Volt owners were really proud they’d pay for the “drop in the pond” themselves.

In finding out the true cost of ownership, the Volt’s battery should be depreciated across the life of the battery as well.

The battery costs about $8,000 to replace and lasts- in principle- about eight years. According to snopes.com the Volt costs a 7 cents a mile to operate on all-electric (EV) versus all-gasoline power of about 11 cents per mile. But those calculations ignore the battery costs, which add another 10 cents per mile to the electric option for a total of 17 cents per mile.

And that’s what’s really driving the poor sales of the Volt. Battery costs jack up the price of the Volt- and EV’s- versus gasoline vehicles. Chevy made a strategic mistake when it attempted to put the Volt’s costly powertrain into Chevy’s discount model- the Cruze. Instead GM should have followed competitor Tesla’s strategy of making an EV that appeals to rich, privileged, metro-sexual types plagued by White Guilt, which often also comes out sideways as Carbon Envy.

There’s money to be made on folks like that.

Just don’t use my money in doing it.

Because the scheme will likely end in a fiery crash, which, for the Volt, would be fitting since that’s how it started.

 

 

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When Figures Lie: Chevy Volt Puts the Government in Government Motors

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This is from Town Hall Finance.

The Chevy Volt is one of the biggest POS cars since the Pinto.

General Motors and Chrysler should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy.

They would have emerged stronger after renegotiating contracts and pension plans.

But Obama is owned body and soul by the UAW union goons so they got bailed out.

The bond holders got a pile of crap while the unions got everything.

Will Obama try to do another bailout for General Motors?

 

If there was any doubt from skeptics about the complicity of the Obama administration in creating and directing the “new” General Motors –a.k.a Government Motors– the latest ballyhoo regarding sales figures and the Chevy Volt should convince even the doubters.

GM: Aug. Volt sales best yet says the Detroit News.

GM Expects Volt Sales to Set Monthly Record says the normally sane Wall Street Journal.

Chevy Volt broke monthly sales record in August reports the Associated Press.

But like a lot of claims coming from Obama or one his corporate surrogates, the Volt sales numbers surely aren’t signs of success, but rather just the opposite. And if the doublespeak doesn’t point to government involvement in the development, sale and ultimate failure of the Volt, it certainly betrays a government mentality that believes that perception matters more than results.

And the difference between Obama’s perception and the actual results in our economy is the chasm where all of our jobs have gone.

Because General Motors has sold only half the number of Volts that they said they would this year, and the company is idling the Volt production line to retool it for a car that’s actually selling: the Chevy Impala.

Investors aren’t fooled, even if some journalists and a few metroed, urban hipsters are.

From MarketWatch:

GM has suspended production of the all-electric car for a month so they can retool the plant to make more Chevy Impalas. Read more about the Volt’s production issues.

But not many are buying the company’s explanation or the car, for that matter. So far this year, GM has sold about 11,000 Volts — far less than hoped and planned for by the auto maker. The market has spoken: Most Americans simply are not ready for an electric car from Detroit.

They’re not ready, because unlike the president and his one percent crowd, Americans make decision on car purchases based on economics.

The website ExtremeTech calculates that the car costs about 6.3 cents per mile when running on electricity at 13 cents per kilowatt hour. But that rate ignores depreciating the cost of a replacement battery ($8,000) over the life of the battery warranty.

When you add in the cost of the battery depreciation, you get a calculation of about 14.3 cents per mile for the Volt. As the tech site notes: “A compact car getting 35 mpg would cost 10 cents per mile using $3.50-a-gallon gasoline.”  So in other words, the Volt, in addition to the high cost to purchase, costs 43% more to operate than a conventional car.

That’s why the Volt is the perfect car for the Occupy Wall Street crowd: It makes no economic sense no matter how convoluted its supporters make the economic argument or how much taxpayer support it’s given.

The Volt initially relied heavily on $7,500 federal government subsidies- and even then couldn’t make a go of it.

This marks the second time that GM has idled Volt production, while claiming “All is well.”

So now I’m wondering if former Ford Executive and the U.S. Defense Secretary who presided over the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara, is in charge of public relations for GM.

If the Volt’s not in the federal witness protection program, it ought to be.

“Sales also took a hit last fall when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into why two Volts burst into flames days or weeks after severe NHTSA crash testing,” reported USA Today.

Leaks from the cooling system were caused by shortages in the electrical system that prompted the fires. But the discovery came only after weeks of bad press for GM. Eventually the car company offered to buy back every single Volt for any consumer who was unhappy.

But lack of sales and spontaneous fires haven’t stopped the government-owned car company from mapping out a marketing strategy that might have been fashioned by the marketing geniuses of the IRS and the United States Postal Service combined: “The Volt’s technology and its recent accolade from Consumer Reports make the Volt a marketing tool for Chevy,” said Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet U.S. sales, at the beginning of December according to Bloomberg. “This vehicle is about more than how many we sell,” Batey said. “This vehicle is a magnet around everything we are trying to do to showcase our brand.”

Only someone infected by the government bug would say that the success of a car company isn’t about the actual numbers of cars they sell.

But maybe that’s because the company has bigger problems than just the Volt.

The Chevy Cruze, which is the same car, right down to the lug nuts as the Chevy Volt, only minus the voltage, is being investigated for engine fires that Reuters says “in many cases completely engulfed the vehicles in flames.”

So, let me be the first to apologize to General Motors.

I’ve been complaining about the supposed environmental benefits of the Volt, of the subsidies to the Volt compared to the Cruze and the of the $23,000 difference in sticker price between the Cruze and the Volt.

I was wrong.

Quite obviously you were right, General Motors.

The environmental benefits of the Volt- which reports have shown only create relatively small firescontained in the engine compartment of the Volt- far outweigh the fires in  conventional General Motors cars, like the Cruze, which may engulf the entire vehicle in flames.

Score one for Government Motors.

And notify the EPA, EMS and other first-responders.

Because I’m sure the out-of-work geniuses in solar industry are pitching Obama right now on an even more expensive and dangerous concept car.

 

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