The View From 1776

Government “Investment” Boondoggle

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/21 at 05:52 PM
  1. GM is increasingly a government/union-run boondoggle. It will eventually rank down with the auto companies of Soviet Russia when government planners dictated policy. It's a huge waste--five times the half-billion dollars trhat the government wasted on Solyndra!!
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/23  at  09:55 AM
  2. What seems to be missing from a lot of these reports about Volt"battery fires" is that they occurred as a result of crash testing. The batteries did not spontaneously ignite.

    What do you think happens in a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle during a collision when the gas tank is crushed and starts to leak? That's right - you get a fire or an explosion.

    The Nissan Leaf, also an electric car, has largely solved the apparent problem by putting a metal box around the battery. The Volt has a metal box but the lid is plastic. So, some re-engineering may be needed to solve this glitch - but it appears to be more of a PR problem than a technical problem.

    And, Thomas, there you go again with your Socialist-induced "inflation" rant about the non-existent inflation that is not occurring.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/23  at  10:59 AM
  3. J. Jay,

    Once again, you
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/25  at  11:45 AM
  4. Hi Bob,
    It is great to have you back! I missed your incisive and insightful take on events and policies (even though I think you are wide of the mark with some of your analysis!)

    A few gentle rebuttals to your opinion piece:

    1) The problem with the Volt battery came to light after the car went into production and was not, as you suggest, known about prior to product release. The fire started some days after the crash testing, and GM complained that the testing agency did not drain the battery of energy after the testing (as they normally drain the gasoline out of crash-tested cars. The NHTSA's advice to consumers is the same for the Volt as for gas powered cars, and that is in the event of a crash, to move away from the vehicle.

    2) Thomas has been predicting hyperinflation for so long that mold is starting to grow on his words. At some point, he will be forced to admit that he is crying wolf.

    3) While certain people involved in the "Occupy" movement may espouse what appear to be liberal positions on distortions in income and the culpability of big banks in the 2008 crash, these folks come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

    I have been unsuccessful in eliciting from Thomas the name of a conservative he favors to take over from Obama in 2012, but I can pose the same question to you: who would you like to see in the White House?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/03  at  12:03 AM
  5. Sorry... Facts don't really fit your talking points.

    A study can state "Eleventy billion dollars"/ Volt or $250K... it does not matter if has not been peer reviewed or the claims substantiated.

    Even if the number were that high, it is amortized over only 6000 units sold in 2011. The car has been on sale nationally for only 62 days (11/1/2011). So that means the hundreds of thousands of cars that use Volt technology in perpetuity cost tax payers $0 dollars? If so, seems like a pretty good deal!

    It is like building a bridge for $100,000,000, then counting the first 100 cars that go over it... and then declaring that the bridge cost $1,000,000/car.


    No car can be judged in 62 days (especially notoriously slow November and December). Way too early to tell if Volt will be a sales success.

    The biggest promoter of the Volt was Robert Lutz... as far as you can get on the political spectrum from a Liberal. It was conceived in the Bush administration... GM had to convince the government to keep the Volt program alive, not the other way around.

    If this was a conspiracy of the Obama administration, where is the Chrysler (who also got a government loan) version of the Volt?

    Battery fires happened weeks after severe crash test (in which the Volts got 5 star safety ratings). NHSTA did not drain batteries after a crash, like they drain gasoline.... procedural error... nothing more. 200,000 car fires per year... 0 reported fires at the the time of an accident with Volts.
    Posted by @bobbleheadguru  on  01/03  at  12:27 AM
  6. J.Jay and bobblehead-
    You seemingly have missed the point of Tom and Bob's entries. The Volt and the myriad other programs the government supports, incentivizes and subsidizes should never even have been voted upon by Congress unless it was to vote them down to the shame of the bill's author(s). That was their point.
    Posted by Randy Penrod  on  01/03  at  12:32 PM
  7. Randy and Bob nailed it--it isn't a question of whether the Volt is more or less successful than the Solyndra solar products. The point is that the government should not be handing out our money to subsidize anything! Peanuts, corn, solar start-ups, electric cars, Acorn, PBS, NEA, etc,. etc.

    And the Volt affair just underlines my comment in the opening post above: "GM is increasingly a government/union-run boondoggle" After bailing out GM, defrauding the bondholders, and giving the unions a one-third stake in the company, Obama has in effect nationalized the company and anything it does in the future will be suspect.
    Posted by bill greene  on  01/03  at  10:30 PM
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