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 Cost To Drive a Volt 
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
Continuing to make fun of the Volt:
NLPC wrote:
Millions Spent on Ads Does Little for Chevy Volt Sales
Submitted by Mark Modica on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 08:04

It looks like there is plenty of inventory of Chevy Volts available for those aliens that seemed to be so impressed with the car on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately for General Motors, earthlings do not seem as enamored with President Obama's favorite vehicle. Despite GM spending millions of dollars during the month to advertise the taxpayer subsidized Volt, only 1,023 sold in February.

The pitiful sales number is not stopping the ridiculous headlines on the web by proponents of the Volt. One reads, "Chevy Volt Sales Sizzle" as others brag about the car outselling the even more dismally selling Nissan Leaf. One shill site stated that the Volt outsold the Leaf by a "massive" margin of 545 units. Given the fact that GM outspent Nissan by millions of dollars on ads, we can guesstimate the added advertising cost per additional vehicle sold at about $10,000. In addition to the ad spending, GM is now offering 0% for 60 months on the Volt through government owned Ally financial to help spur sales. Economics obviously has nothing to do with Government Motors' Volt push.

Notably absent from the sales figures were purchases by crony company, General Electric. GE is insisting that all employees drive company supplied Volts or not get reimbursed for their vehicles. Non-credible sources that continually falsely tout the Volt as a success claim that GE is doing this to save money. Considering that the fuel savings for the Volt amount to about $2 a day and that the vehicles cost approximately $15,000 (even after tax credits) more than gas-powered fuel efficient vehicles, the more likely reason for GE's backing of the Volt relates to their vested interest in selling chargers for the vehicles.

President Obama has also staked his reputation on the Volt, recently stating that he would buy one in five years. That might not be a bad idea if he plans to buy used. The car is sure to depreciate a great deal in five years time; he should be able to get a much better deal then. Maybe his pals at GE can sell him one of their fleet vehicles at that time. That is, when they have a fleet, which suspiciously appears to be timed for when we get a bit closer to November elections.

GM and friends have complained about the politics surrounding the Volt, yet President Obama continues to pitch the vehicle. I guess GM is fine with politics as long as it benefits them, such as happened with the Obama orchestrated bankruptcy process which shored up GM's balance sheet by $50,000,000,000 (courtesy of taxpayers) while favoring the politically powerful UAW. GM now wants to condemn anyone who criticizes the Volt as having a right wing political agenda. Do you really have to have a political agenda to think that it is wrong to spend billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing a car for the wealthy that does practically nothing for oil dependence or the average working American?

GM can obviously no longer blame lack of supply for the poor Volt sales performance. The NHTSA investigation has been completed and there is now no longer an overhang from safety concerns relating to Volt fires. In true Government Motors' fashion, they may continue to try and blame Republicans for hurting sales, but only extreme left wingers will believe that one. Anyone paying attention should be able to understand that the vehicle just doesn't offer the value that most consumers are looking for. And the supposed Volt owners who write about how they are saving thousands of dollars a year and love their vehicles are beginning to look more like plants as anyone with simple math skills can figure out how little can really be saved by running on electricity for 30 to 35 miles. In fact, if the $15,000 saved by not purchasing a Volt was invested and earned only half the Bernie Madoff-like 11% return that GM managed to earn on their pension funds, you can earn more than the gas savings a Volt could obtain.

There is really no reason to debate whether the Volt is or is not a wonderful vehicle. The numbers speak for themselves. Those that continue to fight the battle to convince the masses that the Volt is a technological wonder are only losing credibility to the point where it is an embarrassment. Politicians and General Motors should be questioned as to why they continue the hoax. And the ludicrous tax credits that go to the 1% who can afford the vehicles should be ended.

http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/03/01/millions-spent-ads-does-little-chevy-volt-sales

and

Forbes wrote:
Maybe It Should Be Called the Chevrolet 'Vote'

The Chevrolet Volt is everything that is wrong with Washington on four wheels, and investors (that’s you and me) should be furious.

Wrong #1: The Volt should be re-named the Vote. Who can forget that Super Bowl ad, with the pseudo-assembly line of Volts rolling through Hamtramck, Michigan, and the voice overlay that “this isn’t the car we wanted to build; it’s the car America had to build…from the heart of Detroit to the help [sic] of the country.” How true—corporate welfare on wheels, buying votes in a state vital to the President’s re-election. There is simply no way that GM can kill it.

Wrong #2: Paying workers for not working. Several days before Christmas, production was phased out for the holidays, which in the case of the Volt plant, lasted until February 6. Last Friday, GM announced another shutdown, from March 19 through April 13, or five weeks. That’s right: the Hamtramck plant will produce “the car America had to build” for less than seven out of 18 weeks. When it’s open the plant only runs one ten-hour shift for four days a week. When the plant is shuttered, the 1,300 workers still get paid. Not counting obligations to retirement, the average hourly wage and benefits cost to GM union employees is about $55 per hour. Shareholders ponied up a little more than $30 million in wage costs alone for these 11 weeks of leisure. Nice job if you can get it! Of course, institutional overhead probably tacks on another $15 million or so. All while not one car is produced.

How many unsold Volts are out there? GM says there were 3,600 at the end of February, and Autoweek and The Wall Street Journal say 6,300 (which would be in the ball park of the total non-fleet sales of Volts for all of 2011). Cars.com lists a bit over 4,300. Even using conservative figures, the average Volt sits on the average dealer’s lot for 60 days.

Wrong #3: Subsidizing well-off taxpayers. The Administration is doing everything it can to goose sales. The President’s new budget raises the subsidy paid to Volt buyers another 33%, to $10,000 per car in a direct tax credit. The median price of all the Volts on cars.com is $43,200. The average household income of Volt purchasers is in excess of $170,000, around the 93rd percentile. At the 28% tax bracket (married, filing jointly), this is equivalent to $36,000 of tax-free income. The car which is traded most for the Volt is none other than the Toyota Prius, which, according to most analyses, will not have been owned long enough to save in gas money the total premium paid for the car, compared to a comparable conventional vehicle.

Wrong #4: Corporate cronyism and coercion. Last month, General Electric, whose CEO Jeffrey Immelt chairs the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, announced that all 2012 sedans ordered by employees for corporate use will be Volts. That’s Competitive! Beginning next January 1, GE will not reimburse employees for any corporate travel unless it is done in a Volt. If GE purchases the 12,000 Volts it is committed to buying, it will get a $120 million subsidy.

Mark Modica, of the National Center for Policy Analysis, has uncovered another whopper. Dealers that sell Volts to nonprofits, such as municipalities, can claim the subsidy. The Obama Administration is simply determined to give away money to move this car that so few want.

The political calculus on the Volt may in fact be wrong. Yes, it may deliver Michigan. But people in other battleground states aren’t happy about subsidizing a car with their children’s (and grandchildren’s) future wages.

When testifying to Congress about the (overhyped) Volt battery fires last January, GM CEO Dan Ackerson lamented “We did not develop the Chevy Volt to be a political punching bag”, but rather “We engineered the Volt to be a technological wonder”.

In fact, it is an impressive piece of technology. It is also an expensive one for which the shareholders (us) are paying workers not to work, buying the vote in Michigan, subsidizing the wealthy and paying one of the richest corporations in the world to be subsidized to buy something that just cannot roll on its own four wheels.

How could the more-aptly named Chevrolet Vote not become a political punching bag?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2012/03/08/maybe-it-should-be-called-the-chevrolet-vote/

and

NLPC wrote:
GM's Latest 'Crapload' of Chevy Volt Nonsense

Submitted by Mark Modica on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:17

These guys at Government Motors just continue to outdo themselves. Just as Chevy Volt owners are getting over being called idiots by the head of Audi, GM comes up with an ad that lends credence to the accusation. A supposed Volt owner tells how she loves her car because her friends think it looks like a spaceship and it saves a "crapload" of money.

I laid off the original story of the Audi head saying Volts were for idiots. The .001 percenters who bought Volts have a right to spend their money as they see fit and I gave them the benefit of the doubt (given their higher income) that they were as intelligent as the rest of us average folks. The newest GM ad does more to insult Volt owners' intelligence than the idiots comment. It's not just the use of the word "crapload;" in fact the words "load" and "crap" can be used together to pretty well describe the whole Chevy Volt fiasco. But the idea that Volt owners are really that mathematically challenged to believe they are saving money is mind boggling.

Let's review this again for those that can't seem to figure it out. The science isn't as hard to understand as the space shuttle-like technology in the Volt. The Volt's electric range of 25 to 40 miles is the equivalent of approximately one gallon of fuel for a similar sized, conventional, gas efficient vehicle. It cost about $1.70 in electricity to charge the battery. Gas cost about $3.70 a gallon. $3.70 minus $1.70 equals $2 in savings. You can save about $2 a day in gas usage by driving a Volt. I'll even neglect the extra cost of premium fuel needed for the Volt and the gas used while in electric mode. This isn't that hard to keep up with, is it? I'll bet non-Volt owners can figure it out, that's why they are not buying the car, despite the misrepresentations of huge savings.

The cost of the Volt is over twice the amount of competitive small, gas powered vehicles. After the 99 percenters pay for tax subsidies for the wealthy, math-challenged .001 percenters who buy the Volt, the car cost about $15,000 more. I can't understand how these people got wealthy enough to buy the cars if they can't even understand that they're not saving a "crapload" of money.

Of course, given the deceptive nature of Government Motors, those who are making the false claims about "savings" are probably aware of the truth. They just don't like to speak it. Maybe GM is using actors to portray real owners to misrepresaent how much can be "saved" by buying a Volt. General Electric also claims they are buying thousands of Volts to save money. Come to think of it, it is the American public that is having its intelligence insulted if they are expected to believe this along with the claims that the Volt is a great success and the only reason they don't sell more is because there is not enough supply...wait, scratch that; it's because there is a right-wing conspiracy led by "right wing media" that prevents the true, wonderful value to be recognized.

Please, stop the "crapload" already. The Volt doesn't save owners money just as the Obama goal of spending $10 billion to get a million EVs on the road does nothing to reduce gas prices and reduce oil consumption. Yet the lies continue. I really don't know why GM continues to spend millions trying to pitch a car that does not appeal to consumers at the high price it is offered at. It's not supply, it's not Rush, it's not a NHTSA investigation, the car cost too much for what it offers. But I'm sure GM knows that.

What I'm not sure of is why GM doesn't stop the farce. Perhaps they have dug the hole too deep and the Obama-appointed management feels they can not admit the failure. Perhaps they have a plan to fluff sales numbers with GE purchases prior to November elections and continue the hoax so that cronies can profit as much as possible before moving on to the next big thing. Or maybe in true political fashion they will finally halt production all together (they must be losing millions of dollars a month on the green hoax) and blame Republicans for killing the car because they are indebted to big oil. After all, if they think people are dumb enough to believe all the nonsense up to this point, why wouldn't they think the public will believe that?

http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/03/08/another-%E2%80%9Ccrapload%E2%80%9D-chevy-volt-nonsense

Keep defending this piece of excrement, and I'll continue to ridicule it.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:43 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
slybri19 wrote:
It certainly comes as no surprise to me that M2K sounds like a brain dead zombie repeating the talking points, rhetoric, and propaganda fed to him by his corporate overlords and masters. :lol:

And I'm only discussing the Volt in this thread because it's a thread about the Volt and I'm attempting to stay on topic. I've bashed Fisker in the Obama thread months ago and I'd be more than happy to trash the Leaf, Tesla, Prius, or any other non-viable green vehicle if anyone decides to start those threads, but there's much more hilarity available regarding the Volt. IMO, it's going to go down in history as the biggest clunker since the Edsel.

As for subsidies, I've repeated stated that I'm in favor of ending them for everything - cars, oil, gas, wind, solar, ethanol, farming, and anything else the government wants to get involved in. Allow the free market to work the way it was intended instead of the government being allowed to pick the winners and losers. I've always been consistent on this point.

Perhaps you don't feel that a failed President has much to offer from the bully pulpit, but there are plenty of useful idiots out there that do. I've only seen him promote the Volt and he did so again last week. Why isn't he doing the same with the Corvette, Camaro, Silverado, or Suburban? Where are the tax credits for those vehicles that I would atleast be interested in buying? I think we all know the answer to that one though.

I think it's pretty obvious that we're not gonna agree about the Volt. You work for Government Motors and had a hand in designing that piece of crap. I get it. You have every right to boast about it or to buy it if you wish, but I reserve the right to mock and ridicule it mercilessly if I so desire too. You love it. I hate it. You promote it. I bash it. This is not going to end well, but I think deep down inside, you know that I'm right.And in my next post, I'm gonna post three recent articles making fun of that piece of crap that hardly anybody wishes to buy.


No sly, what I know is that you call the car whatever names you want, but base it on no knowledge of the car. You call me a "brain dead zombie", but I can say that same exact thing about you...and it would fit much better. Why? Because you have NO knowledge of the car, at all. You only know what you read, and you read only those articles which bash the car based on the POLITICS involved, not the technology or design.

You don't like the tax credits? Fine, neither do I, if you must know the truth. But I'm not going to criticize a car company because I don't like what the government is doing. Apparently, you can't separate the two.

The car is NOT for everybody. It was intended for consumers who drive around 40 miles round trip per day to work, and don't wish to give their money to the gas companies any longer. The Volt is not a family car, and was never advertised as such. It's not a sports car, not a truck, not luxury vehicle. Remember, this is about more than just gas mileage...it was also about reducing emissions. So you ask, why does GM continue with the Volt if they aren't selling it? Well, they didn't roll it out to the entire country until recently. They haven't rolled it out globally, in markets where a car that can go 30 or 40 miles without requiring gas will save the driver much more than just $2 per day. Or perhaps be available in a market where smog and vehicle emissions is a serious, serious issue.

I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about the car, why it continues to be built or what plans GM has for it. What I do know is that the car is NOT a piece of crap, or garbage or whatever you want to call it, because I do have that insight you don't possess. I am basing my opinion on low warranty returns, customer satisfaction responses, knowledgable car journalist reviews (not political journalists), and those who have more than just a day or twos worth of experience with the vehicle. You are basing your opinion of the car on the views of various politically motivated journalists who can't get their facts straight, and if given the chance would likely continue to post lies to propogate interest in their writing from "brain dead zombies" like you, who believe their every word.

And I think deep down inside you know I'm right.

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March 14th, 2012, 11:30 am
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
M2, the problem is, even with the "engineers" numbers, the car still doesn't make sense.

So DTE is offering a "program" where you can charge the thing for $1-2 a day, but there's nothing to say that the govt. isn't sponsoring the program and "kicking back" what they're missing. If you run the numbers, from what I understand, it costs much more than a dollar or two to charge the car from dead to completely charged. SOMEONE is losing money there, and it isn't the electric company. They're not a charitable organization.

The emissions thing is bunk, because as we know most of our electricity is procured through coal fired plants, which are WORSE than the car. As an engineer you should understand energy conversions and understand that every time you convert energy some is "lost" (or not fully converted to what is meant to be produced). Whether it be friction, heat, etc. SOMETHING SOMEWHERE is lost at every step of the conversion. This thing just adds one more conversion to the mix. Instead of making gas move the vehicle the gas is making electricity to move the vehicle.

I understand your point about the 40 mile rt market base, but you said yourself, it's not a family car, it's not a "commuter car" it's not a sports car, etc. You'd be better off driving a souped up golf cart or "smart car" to work than the Volt, any day.

And again, I'm not against the govt. aiding in "research," what I have a problem with is the scale that the govt. has taken on in this project, and the VERY LITTLE that we've seen back. The cost simply doesn't match the benefit. We've literally paid BILLIONS of dollars for a car that is impractical, unaffordable to most Americans, inefficient, and exists in very few numbers. We would have been much better off providing university research grants, or even private party research grants to actually design and make ONE practical car than spending BILLIONS on this ordeal and we still don't have a good product to show for our investment.


March 19th, 2012, 11:51 am
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
wjb21ndtown wrote:
M2, the problem is, even with the "engineers" numbers, the car still doesn't make sense.

So DTE is offering a "program" where you can charge the thing for $1-2 a day, but there's nothing to say that the govt. isn't sponsoring the program and "kicking back" what they're missing. If you run the numbers, from what I understand, it costs much more than a dollar or two to charge the car from dead to completely charged. SOMEONE is losing money there, and it isn't the electric company. They're not a charitable organization.


Once again, the battery never goes to completely dead. If the battery is capable of holding 16kW total, then it may get down to 5kW of energy before the engine kicks in. Check your electric bill to see just how much you are paying per kWh. The article which started this whole debate was COMPLETE garbage because the writer claimed he was paying $1.60 per kWh. That's a complete fabrication.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
The emissions thing is bunk, because as we know most of our electricity is procured through coal fired plants, which are WORSE than the car. As an engineer you should understand energy conversions and understand that every time you convert energy some is "lost" (or not fully converted to what is meant to be produced). Whether it be friction, heat, etc. SOMETHING SOMEWHERE is lost at every step of the conversion. This thing just adds one more conversion to the mix. Instead of making gas move the vehicle the gas is making electricity to move the vehicle.


I also realize the emissions caused by the coal being burnt by the energy companies. However, who has been the whipping boy for greenhouse gas emissions in the past two decades? It HAS NOT been the energy companies, it's been the car companies. While the government pushes and pushes the car companies to decrease the emissions of the vehicles in their fleet, and increase the average MPG of the fleet, it drives the technology to look at other propulsion systems. Can you debate that? I think not. Mini cars don't have much of a market here in the United States. How many do you see on the road? Thought so.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
I understand your point about the 40 mile rt market base, but you said yourself, it's not a family car, it's not a "commuter car" it's not a sports car, etc. You'd be better off driving a souped up golf cart or "smart car" to work than the Volt, any day.


How many smart cars do you see on the road? How close do you live to work that you'd feel comfortable driving a golf cart? In Michigan? On the road? In winter?

The Volt is first and foremost a commuter vehicle designed to allow the driver extended range if need be. Beyond the range of a Leaf, beyond the range of a Tesla or any other electric vehicle on the planet.

Let me give you a for instance....I work in Warren, but at times I am required to drive out to Milford. Sometimes I have to drive to Lansing. Sometimes it happens all in one day. Most of my days, driving from my home to Warren and back, I only travel about 20 miles, tops. Add a couple miles if I go out to lunch. I burn zero gas if I have a Volt. However, if I have to go to Milford, I go well over 100 miles in a day. If I travel to Lansing, we're looking at ranges well beyond the capacity of the Leaf. I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who faces that type of inconsistent work day driving. As a lawyer, I'm sure there are days where you would just go back and forth to your office, but be required to drive a pretty good distance to go to court on other days. You're telling me there's no practical application for a car like that, which is capable of driving four people around instead of squeezing in just two? It may not be large scale, but there is a market out there. And as fuel prices rise, so will the interest in the vehicle. Remember, this car was not introduced globally yet. It hasn't even hit dealerships in all of the United States and Canada yet. And while I agree that it hasn't met expectations as far as sales are concerned, it doesn't help that Republicans and Democrats are using this vehicle in an ugly game of tug o' war.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
And again, I'm not against the govt. aiding in "research," what I have a problem with is the scale that the govt. has taken on in this project, and the VERY LITTLE that we've seen back. The cost simply doesn't match the benefit. We've literally paid BILLIONS of dollars for a car that is impractical, unaffordable to most Americans, inefficient, and exists in very few numbers. We would have been much better off providing university research grants, or even private party research grants to actually design and make ONE practical car than spending BILLIONS on this ordeal and we still don't have a good product to show for our investment.


Fine. Then bash the government and not one company getting that aid. The article bashed the Volt...not the government, not the competitors feeding off the same teet. And since that posting, I've read various persons (not necessarily you) bashing GM, the Volt and anything associated to it. The article was filled with half-truths and outright lies. And it attacked the vehicle and the company behind it, not the government that basically drove GM to do it because of the ever increasing emissions and mileage standards.

You speak as if every research dollar the government hands out to the auto industry is all going toward the Volt. Well, that's a pretty misleading statement. Do you realize that the same research grants that got GM money for alternative energy and propulsion also sent money to rival companies as well? Do you realize that GM hasn't poured all that money into the Volt technology? There is CNG, the Buick eDrive system, the Fuel Cell Technology advancements....all of that has been helped by those grants.

You and I both know petroleum won't be around forever, and that alternatives must be researched and proven. GM was getting bashed in the press for not having hybrids a few years ago, and now they have one and get bashed all over again. People were screaming about the fleet average MPG and emissions going into the atmosphere coming out of CARS and TRUCKS. The government got involved then, but at the public's behest. And that was fine, wasn't it? As long as it didn't cost you money? Got news for you, it HAS cost you and anyone else buying a car here in the U.S. a GREAT deal of money. The government forces the auto companies to meet ever stricter standards, but that's OK. You want a car that burns no gas, gets 400 miles on a charge, and somehow gets it's energy from a non-polluting source. It needs to be comfortable, luxurious even. You want Bluetooth technology, MP3 connections, the latest infotainment technology...right? All that for under $20k....

Let me know when that car comes out. I won't hold my breath.

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March 19th, 2012, 11:00 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
All I know about the Volt is that it's been a massive failure, I work porting Ford vehicles from lot to lot for distribution and the lot where the Volts are taken to be put on the trains is full of them and they haven't moved at all in the 3 weeks I've been working this job. For comparison F-150s which is what we primarily move are being shipped out like crazy. A lot of the guys have been saying they are hearing they expect GM to simply discontinue production on the Volt soon.

(I suppose I should clarify that the lot we take the cars to be put on the trains handles vehicles from all 3 of the big 3 detroit auto companies not just Ford, I just port the Fords though. Volts haven't moved at all)


March 20th, 2012, 7:42 am
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
Rob_Shadows wrote:
All I know about the Volt is that it's been a massive failure, I work porting Ford vehicles from lot to lot for distribution and the lot where the Volts are taken to be put on the trains is full of them and they haven't moved at all in the 3 weeks I've been working this job. For comparison F-150s which is what we primarily move are being shipped out like crazy. A lot of the guys have been saying they are hearing they expect GM to simply discontinue production on the Volt soon.

(I suppose I should clarify that the lot we take the cars to be put on the trains handles vehicles from all 3 of the big 3 detroit auto companies not just Ford, I just port the Fords though. Volts haven't moved at all)


I never said the Volt was a hot commodity, or that it was a bargain. I was simply saying that the writer of the article was lying about certain things in an attempt to slam GM.

As to whether they cease production of the Volt, that remains to be seen. As of now, I doubt it. If nothing else, they can decrease the production of it and add another car to that assembly line, if need be. But as long as gas prices continue to climb, then you can expect the Volt to be kept around.

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March 20th, 2012, 8:48 am
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
Quote:
Sharon Silke Carty
Chevy Volt Gets New Support From Rogue Conservatives, Could Be Too Late To Save Car's Image
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chevy-vol ... _ref=false
Posted: 03/31/2012 12:15 pm Updated: 03/31/2012 12:15 pm

Conservatives love to hate the Chevy Volt. The plug-in advanced hybrid car seems to annoy Republicans, Tea Partiers and Libertarians alike.

Then this week, one conservative went rogue. Lee Spieckerman, owner of SpieckermanMedia in Fort Worth, Texas, went on Fox News to say the Volt could be an important tool in boosting U.S. energy production and foreign policy efforts.

"There are probably 10 inventions over the past 150 years that were life changing for Americans, and I think the Volt has the potential to be one of those things," he told The Huffington Post. "I mean, a car that runs on American electricity derived from American sources. What will those crazy lefties think of next?"

He joined a wave of backlash within conservative groups against those in their political party who despise the Chevy Volt because of its perceived ties to President Barack Obama. The pushback started with a column a few weeks ago in Forbes magazine written by former General Motors board member and climate-change denier Bob Lutz, who said, "I am, sadly, coming to the conclusion that all the icons of conservatism are ... deliberately not telling the truth."

But it may be too late to save the Volt's image: Sales have been disappointing, selling just 7,671 in 2011, shy of its 10,000 goal. Many have argued that the Volt's sticker price is too high, but the constant hammering of negativity from the political right surely can't be helping sales. Disappointing sales figures prompted GM to close the Volt plant in Hamtramck, Mich., for five weeks starting in mid March. And a major auto industry conference on electric cars was canceled Wednesday due to lack of interest.

To many who've driven the car -- which, thanks to its advanced hybrid system, goes 40 miles on battery power before a gas engine kicks in -- conservatives' passionate dislike is puzzling. The car won both U.S. and European car of the year awards. It looks sleek and modern. Critics say it's fun to drive and it uses just a tiny amount of gas.

Angered by the $60 billion the government invested in GM to keep it from collapsing in 2009, some conservatives say they see the Volt as a symbol of policies they don't agree with being pushed on Americans.

You only have to take a look at Fox News to see how much disdain there is for GM's hybrid sedan. Lutz said he heard one Fox commentator call it an "exploding Obamamobile." The station aired a segment that claimed it ran out of power in the Lincoln Tunnel (it kicked over to gas power during the commute, as it's designed to do), and has said again and again that the car doesn't work, isn't worth the money, and costs taxpayers $250,000 per car in government subsidies.

Spieckerman, a lifelong conservative and sometimes commentator on Fox News, said he kept hearing this message about the Volt being the worst car on the road, and just couldn't take it anymore. He called producers at Fox News and asked if he could have some time on air defending the car. He wanted to explain why the car, and other cars like it, could actually advance many conservative ideals, like energy independence.

He appeared Monday, starting off his appearance telling viewers he loves oil and is a "drill baby drill guy." But then he said conservatives are twisting the facts, making it seem like a debacle when electric cars could really be considered a technology as cool as the iPod.

When the Volt is powered by the battery, the car is often running on American-made coal-powered electricity, he said. What's wrong with that?

Although his message caused a bit of a dust-up, resulting in dozens of news stories and blog posts pointing out how Fox News is now contradicting itself, he's planning on sending it again and again.

"I'll shout it from the rooftop of my house if I have to," Spieckerman told The Huffington Post. "I'll go anywhere to pound this message, because I think it's really important."

Spieckerman said he believes electric cars and plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt are vital to the nation's future, allowing the country to wean itself off oil and use homegrown fuel sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas to power electricity plants, which then would power cars. If you could do that while also expanding the production of oil in the U.S., he thinks that could even push down gas prices.

But he said he knows why many conservatives hate the Volt: Because Obama likes it.

"Almost anything President Obama and his administration endorses is up for criticism," he said. "But we have to decouple politics from what a great technology this is for America … If the environmentalists and Obama like the Volt, so what? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

It might be hard to change conservative minds, especially when the message is already so entrenched. On Wednesday, the Center for Automotive Research canceled its annual industry conference on plug-in cars, saying speakers and other participants said they decided to focus less on networking and more on quietly building their technology behind closed doors.

Brett Smith, co-director of conferences for CAR, said plug-in and electric cars are starting to lose their hype. That's partly because new technology trends in the auto industry are cyclical -- in the past decade, natural gas, ethanol, and electrification have all been hyped as the next big thing, only to quietly fade away.

But people are also losing interest because electric cars have gotten too politicized, he said.

"It went from being a political theme in 2008 to being a political football," he said. "People in the industry now are taking a breath."

And if sales of the Volt don't pick up, could GM discontinue it? "Cars go away, absolutely," Smith said. "That would be, in many ways, disappointing ... But certainly, if a car doesn't sell, it will go away."

GM has been fighting back against some of the criticism, trying to correct the record when it can and launching a blog to fight back against inaccuracies. "It's never easy breaking new ground," said Selim Bingol, GM's head of public relations.

The Volt has had a bumpy start. In late 2011, it faced a safety investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after one Volt caught fire following a crash test. NHTSA ended the investigation in January, saying the cars aren't at any greater risk of catching fire after a crash than gasoline-powered cars.

But conservatives have grabbed the fire issue and aren't letting go. Ben Howe, a blogger and video producer in South Carolina, latched on to the fires to poke at GM. He recently made a satirical video, voicing over a real Volt commercial, joking that the fire problem makes the cars safer because people want to get out of the way. His parody also said the cars are made in China (even though they're made in Hamtramck, Mich.), and said the car was made in conjunction with the Obama administration.

Howe said he knows all of that's not true. He's well aware that GM started development of the car in 2007, when George W. Bush was president. He knows they're assembled in the U.S. (but he suspects a large number of parts come from China.) And he knows the cars aren't flaming masses screaming down the street, but he's skeptical of the government's investigation.

Mostly, "I just wanted it to be funny," he said. "It's a parody."

To him, the car symbolizes the government overstepping its boundaries, first by bailing out GM and Chrysler, and then by offering tax rebates on the cars to buyers who don't really need any financial help (the average Volt buyer makes more than $170,000 a year but gets $7,500 off the $40,000 sticker price.

"It's a great example of when the government believes they know what the market should be, and then they try to force that to happen," he said. "I'm against government meddling in the markets."

If GM wants the criticism to go away, Howe said the solution is easy: Pay the government back for the bailout.

"When you're on your own dime, do what you want," he said. "If they didn't have the bailout money, I don't think I would have anything to say."

Click on the video below to see Howe's parody of a Volt ad:


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April 1st, 2012, 12:12 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
m2karateman wrote:
Once again, the battery never goes to completely dead. If the battery is capable of holding 16kW total, then it may get down to 5kW of energy before the engine kicks in. Check your electric bill to see just how much you are paying per kWh. The article which started this whole debate was COMPLETE garbage because the writer claimed he was paying $1.60 per kWh. That's a complete fabrication.


This is a distinction that only you make, or that only an engineer would make. The fact of the matter is the damn thing isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing. Whether or not its completely drained or not, the damn thing is dead. My phone stops making and getting calls after it gets lower than 10% of a charge, it never gets lower than a 5% charge or it shuts off. I don't tell people on the other end that I have to get off my phone because it's getting down to 10%, I say my piece of sh!t phone is about the phuckin' die, and so does everyone else.

m2karateman wrote:
I also realize the emissions caused by the coal being burnt by the energy companies. However, who has been the whipping boy for greenhouse gas emissions in the past two decades? It HAS NOT been the energy companies, it's been the car companies. While the government pushes and pushes the car companies to decrease the emissions of the vehicles in their fleet, and increase the average MPG of the fleet, it drives the technology to look at other propulsion systems. Can you debate that? I think not. Mini cars don't have much of a market here in the United States. How many do you see on the road? Thought so.


I don't care who the "whipping boy" is for greenhouse gas, I'm just saying that from a practical, real world standpoint the policy directives that are alleged to be attempted by building this piece of sh!t are bunk. This thing doesn't reduce any sort of "green house gas" emissions, and in fact, probably increases them! Don't get me started about what the "government is pushing," because THAT'S WHAT I HAVE THE PROBLEM WITH. I have a problem with the government FORCING THIS THING WHERE IT DOESN'T FIT. I have a problem with the government CALLING THIS P.O.S. "the answer" when it clearly is not. I would prefer that we tax more heavily S.U.V.s and full size trucks than give subsidies to produce garbage, but... how about nothing at all? How about letting the market decide?

As I mentioned, I have no problem with the govt. giving a grant to the "first company that can produce an electric vehicle that can go 300 miles between charges" or something along those lines. I have no problem with the government encouraging or even funding research that will help us "grow." What I have a problem with is the government encouraging these garbage vehicles to be on the road when they're simply NOT READY.

m2karateman wrote:
Fine. Then bash the government and not one company getting that aid. The article bashed the Volt...not the government, not the competitors feeding off the same teet. And since that posting, I've read various persons (not necessarily you) bashing GM, the Volt and anything associated to it. The article was filled with half-truths and outright lies. And it attacked the vehicle and the company behind it, not the government that basically drove GM to do it because of the ever increasing emissions and mileage standards.

You speak as if every research dollar the government hands out to the auto industry is all going toward the Volt. Well, that's a pretty misleading statement. Do you realize that the same research grants that got GM money for alternative energy and propulsion also sent money to rival companies as well? Do you realize that GM hasn't poured all that money into the Volt technology? There is CNG, the Buick eDrive system, the Fuel Cell Technology advancements....all of that has been helped by those grants.

You and I both know petroleum won't be around forever, and that alternatives must be researched and proven. GM was getting bashed in the press for not having hybrids a few years ago, and now they have one and get bashed all over again. People were screaming about the fleet average MPG and emissions going into the atmosphere coming out of CARS and TRUCKS. The government got involved then, but at the public's behest. And that was fine, wasn't it? As long as it didn't cost you money? Got news for you, it HAS cost you and anyone else buying a car here in the U.S. a GREAT deal of money. The government forces the auto companies to meet ever stricter standards, but that's OK. You want a car that burns no gas, gets 400 miles on a charge, and somehow gets it's energy from a non-polluting source. It needs to be comfortable, luxurious even. You want Bluetooth technology, MP3 connections, the latest infotainment technology...right? All that for under $20k....

Let me know when that car comes out. I won't hold my breath.


I have bashed the government, and I think they're the biggest source of the problem. I think the whole Volt initiative is utterly stupid. I think the goals of having an "alternative energy vehicle" are admirable, but the fact is there isn't a "road ready" practical version out there yet, so keep that piece of poop off the road and stop subsidizing their sale. It's that simple.

We CAN and DO have SOME alternative fuel vehicles and they run well, and they run on natural gas. I don't know why that technology isn't pursued more, but it seems a LOT more "healthy" and "viable" than these things.


Also, if the Volt "makes sense" for us at $4 per gallon, why aren't they more popular in Europe, Grand Caymen, Jamaca, etc. where gas costs $8 per gallon, or in Canada where gas is $5 per gallon?


April 1st, 2012, 6:16 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
Wjb, you seriously need to take a global economics course, because your last question has painfully obvious answers. There's many, many reasons.

Better yet, go read the book "confessions of an economic hitman"

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April 1st, 2012, 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
wjb21ndtown wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Once again, the battery never goes to completely dead. If the battery is capable of holding 16kW total, then it may get down to 5kW of energy before the engine kicks in. Check your electric bill to see just how much you are paying per kWh. The article which started this whole debate was COMPLETE garbage because the writer claimed he was paying $1.60 per kWh. That's a complete fabrication.


This is a distinction that only you make, or that only an engineer would make. The fact of the matter is the damn thing isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing. Whether or not its completely drained or not, the damn thing is dead. My phone stops making and getting calls after it gets lower than 10% of a charge, it never gets lower than a 5% charge or it shuts off. I don't tell people on the other end that I have to get off my phone because it's getting down to 10%, I say my piece of sh!t phone is about the phuckin' die, and so does everyone else.


It's not about "distinctions", it's about telling the truth. It's like saying if you have $100 on you, and spend $65 of it, you have to earn another $100 to get back to where you were. No, that's not the case. It's the same with the battery in the Volt. If it holds 16 kW of energy, and the battery is held to 35% of the charge, it does NOT take a full 16 kW of charging to get it back to full charge. He claims he's paying $1.60 per kWh. No place in the U.S. pays that much for electricity. So the guy was LYING in his article.

If you can't understand that, then please just stop posting on this subject.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
I also realize the emissions caused by the coal being burnt by the energy companies. However, who has been the whipping boy for greenhouse gas emissions in the past two decades? It HAS NOT been the energy companies, it's been the car companies. While the government pushes and pushes the car companies to decrease the emissions of the vehicles in their fleet, and increase the average MPG of the fleet, it drives the technology to look at other propulsion systems. Can you debate that? I think not. Mini cars don't have much of a market here in the United States. How many do you see on the road? Thought so.


I don't care who the "whipping boy" is for greenhouse gas, I'm just saying that from a practical, real world standpoint the policy directives that are alleged to be attempted by building this piece of sh!t are bunk. This thing doesn't reduce any sort of "green house gas" emissions, and in fact, probably increases them! Don't get me started about what the "government is pushing," because THAT'S WHAT I HAVE THE PROBLEM WITH. I have a problem with the government FORCING THIS THING WHERE IT DOESN'T FIT. I have a problem with the government CALLING THIS P.O.S. "the answer" when it clearly is not. I would prefer that we tax more heavily S.U.V.s and full size trucks than give subsidies to produce garbage, but... how about nothing at all? How about letting the market decide?

As I mentioned, I have no problem with the govt. giving a grant to the "first company that can produce an electric vehicle that can go 300 miles between charges" or something along those lines. I have no problem with the government encouraging or even funding research that will help us "grow." What I have a problem with is the government encouraging these garbage vehicles to be on the road when they're simply NOT READY.


So you have a problem with the government subsidizing the purchase of hybrids, but call the cars themselves s***. Why? Why are the cars called garbage by you? What are you, some kind of engineering expert who KNOWS that the technology is out there and available, but being withheld? The market HAS decided what it wants. When gas was over $4/gallon previously, people were clamoring for hybrid vehicles. Fortunately for Toyota, they had just come out with the Prius and were able to get it into the hands of those folks looking for that type of vehicle. That technology lead to more advanced hybrids, and eventually to the Volt. It's about steps in the development. You don't go from horse and buggy to fuel cell technology overnight. The Volt was introduced because the fact remains that full electrical vehicles are IMPRACTICAL. Where are the charging stations? What is the maximum range for ANY electrical vehicle currently in production? What is your alternative when that battery dies?

Car companies are in the business to make money, just like any other business. They aren't going to develop your dream electric vehicle without being provided some stimulus to develop the technology that acts as a stepping stone along the way. Not many people are ready to just drop a combustion engine vehicle and go full tilt into an electric vehicle. That is why GM developed the Volt. It was supposed to be a vehicle that bridged the gap.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Fine. Then bash the government and not one company getting that aid. The article bashed the Volt...not the government, not the competitors feeding off the same teet. And since that posting, I've read various persons (not necessarily you) bashing GM, the Volt and anything associated to it. The article was filled with half-truths and outright lies. And it attacked the vehicle and the company behind it, not the government that basically drove GM to do it because of the ever increasing emissions and mileage standards.

You speak as if every research dollar the government hands out to the auto industry is all going toward the Volt. Well, that's a pretty misleading statement. Do you realize that the same research grants that got GM money for alternative energy and propulsion also sent money to rival companies as well? Do you realize that GM hasn't poured all that money into the Volt technology? There is CNG, the Buick eDrive system, the Fuel Cell Technology advancements....all of that has been helped by those grants.

You and I both know petroleum won't be around forever, and that alternatives must be researched and proven. GM was getting bashed in the press for not having hybrids a few years ago, and now they have one and get bashed all over again. People were screaming about the fleet average MPG and emissions going into the atmosphere coming out of CARS and TRUCKS. The government got involved then, but at the public's behest. And that was fine, wasn't it? As long as it didn't cost you money? Got news for you, it HAS cost you and anyone else buying a car here in the U.S. a GREAT deal of money. The government forces the auto companies to meet ever stricter standards, but that's OK. You want a car that burns no gas, gets 400 miles on a charge, and somehow gets it's energy from a non-polluting source. It needs to be comfortable, luxurious even. You want Bluetooth technology, MP3 connections, the latest infotainment technology...right? All that for under $20k....

Let me know when that car comes out. I won't hold my breath.


I have bashed the government, and I think they're the biggest source of the problem. I think the whole Volt initiative is utterly stupid. I think the goals of having an "alternative energy vehicle" are admirable, but the fact is there isn't a "road ready" practical version out there yet, so keep that piece of poop off the road and stop subsidizing their sale. It's that simple.

We CAN and DO have SOME alternative fuel vehicles and they run well, and they run on natural gas. I don't know why that technology isn't pursued more, but it seems a LOT more "healthy" and "viable" than these things.


So now you're an expert on CNG too? Damn wjb, you are a man who wears many hats. You know everything there is to know about electric vehicles, and whether or not they are any good. You know all about natural gas vehicles, and every detail that goes with putting them on the road. Wow. It must be really something to know all the answers like you THINK you do.

Tell me, where are the natural gas filling stations along the highway? In your neighborhood? How does one protect the tank and ENSURE that it won't be compromised in a high speed crash and kill every living thing within 50 feet of it? What happens during various thermal cycles of the vehicle in a state like Michigan, where it can be cold in the morning and then very warm later in the day?

I don't think you have clue one of what kind of questions have to be asked and answered when it comes to developing an alternative fuel vehicle. Yes, there are a FEW natural gas vehicles on the road. But there's a reason for that. The technology is still in its infancy, and there is absolutely NO supportive infrastructure for that type of vehicle.

And if you are going to be a fan of an alternative energy for vehicles, be a fan of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Should that technology ever come to fruition, it will be a great thing all around. The fuel is plentiful, and the emissions out of the tailpipe is just plain water. However, the technology is very, very expensive right now.

And by the way, the government does pay vehicle companies grant money to research both CNG and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
Also, if the Volt "makes sense" for us at $4 per gallon, why aren't they more popular in Europe, Grand Caymen, Jamaca, etc. where gas costs $8 per gallon, or in Canada where gas is $5 per gallon?


Apparently you haven't been reading all of my posts. The Volt has NOT been shipped and sold everywhere in the world. It has just started getting shipped outside the United States into Mexico and Canada. It was only marketed to 7 states in 2011, and has been expanded for the 2012 model year to most of the rest of the country. Europe and other continents outside of North America will start seeing the vehicle for the first time later this year. In Europe, it will be sold under the Opel brand, as the Ampera.

Not every vehicle is available in every country.

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April 2nd, 2012, 12:23 am
Profile
Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
m2karateman wrote:
It's not about "distinctions", it's about telling the truth. It's like saying if you have $100 on you, and spend $65 of it, you have to earn another $100 to get back to where you were. No, that's not the case. It's the same with the battery in the Volt. If it holds 16 kW of energy, and the battery is held to 35% of the charge, it does NOT take a full 16 kW of charging to get it back to full charge. He claims he's paying $1.60 per kWh. No place in the U.S. pays that much for electricity. So the guy was LYING in his article.

If you can't understand that, then please just stop posting on this subject.


Liar!... You're a LIAR! He said he's paying $1.16 per kWh, not $1.60!!! LIAR! LIAR!

M2, you just did what he did... He took an unpleasant experience and warped the terms in his head. It's normal and common. You just exaggerated his claim by almost 50%.

Bollinger also states that it was a "seasonal adjustment" that he "looked up." Whether that's true or not, we'll never know. Do we honestly know what they charge in Manhattan in peak hours, if you're not willing to take a part in the "off peak" program or whatever the hell it is that allows them to shut off your a/c and whatnot for a few hours per day? I don't know what that cost is, but I bet they stick it to you pretty good.

He's basically claiming that he's paying 4Xs Hawaii's rates, but I can see that being the case in peak hours with "seasonal rates." Still, I would agree that he's greatly skewing the results knowing that he's paying almost 20Xs as much for electricity than the average American.


m2karateman wrote:
So you have a problem with the government subsidizing the purchase of hybrids, but call the cars themselves s***. Why? Why are the cars called garbage by you? What are you, some kind of engineering expert who KNOWS that the technology is out there and available, but being withheld? The market HAS decided what it wants. When gas was over $4/gallon previously, people were clamoring for hybrid vehicles. Fortunately for Toyota, they had just come out with the Prius and were able to get it into the hands of those folks looking for that type of vehicle. That technology lead to more advanced hybrids, and eventually to the Volt. It's about steps in the development. You don't go from horse and buggy to fuel cell technology overnight. The Volt was introduced because the fact remains that full electrical vehicles are IMPRACTICAL. Where are the charging stations? What is the maximum range for ANY electrical vehicle currently in production? What is your alternative when that battery dies?

Car companies are in the business to make money, just like any other business. They aren't going to develop your dream electric vehicle without being provided some stimulus to develop the technology that acts as a stepping stone along the way. Not many people are ready to just drop a combustion engine vehicle and go full tilt into an electric vehicle. That is why GM developed the Volt. It was supposed to be a vehicle that bridged the gap.


The cars are sh!t because the cars are sh!t, period. I don't mind non-plugin hybrids, at all. In fact, I think they're great. I just can't stand the Volt or these electric vehicles that are WORSE than gas only vehicles.

You say that the Volt is supposed to "bridge the gap" for people that are "unsure" of electric vehicles. Who's the dillusioned one that "doesn't get it" here? Starting to sound like it's YOU! THESE THINGS DON'T WORK. THEY DON'T SAVE ENERGY. THE DON'T SAVE EMISSIONS. THE DON'T HELP THE ECONOMY. THEY DON'T HELP THE ENERGY PROBLEM. THEY'RE JUNK!

You make it sound like electric cars work, and we just need to get people use to them. BS! Snopes did an article on Bollinger's piece. They brought up the same point you did about the battery only ever going down to X% or w/e, but they drained their battery down to 7kWh left, needing 9 for a full charge, and it took something like 13.6 kWh to charge. There was almost a 50% power loss from how much electricity was put into the battery to how much electricity the battery actually received.

Even the Snopes article said that the Volt costs more to drive ($0.07 per mile for gas vehicles and $0.11 per mile for the Volt... Which highlights the reasons that Obama wants $5 gas, because then it may tip the scales in the Volts favor, albeit arbitrarily and unnecessarily).

Now don't get me wrong. I love the technology and I'm glad we developed it. My problem is PUTTING THESE GARBAGE VEHICLES ON THE ROAD in MASS QUANTITY. It's stupid to put these things out there in the 10s of thousands when they're WORSE than traditional gas powered vehicles. We're literally subsidizing a car that's worse than a 34mpg Focus. We're PAYING for cars that get LESS gas mileage to be on the road. That's just stupid!


m2karateman wrote:
You speak as if every research dollar the government hands out to the auto industry is all going toward the Volt.


No I don't.

m2karateman wrote:
Do you realize that the same research grants that got GM money for alternative energy and propulsion also sent money to rival companies as well? Do you realize that GM hasn't poured all that money into the Volt technology? There is CNG, the Buick eDrive system, the Fuel Cell Technology advancements....all of that has been helped by those grants.


I already said that I don't have a problem with research grants.

m2karateman wrote:
You and I both know petroleum won't be around forever, and that alternatives must be researched and proven. GM was getting bashed in the press for not having hybrids a few years ago, and now they have one and get bashed all over again. People were screaming about the fleet average MPG and emissions going into the atmosphere coming out of CARS and TRUCKS. The government got involved then, but at the public's behest. And that was fine, wasn't it? As long as it didn't cost you money? Got news for you, it HAS cost you and anyone else buying a car here in the U.S. a GREAT deal of money.


I never said it was ok then, and I bashed the govt. regulations on the matter.

m2karateman wrote:
So now you're an expert on CNG too? Damn wjb, you are a man who wears many hats. You know everything there is to know about electric vehicles, and whether or not they are any good. You know all about natural gas vehicles, and every detail that goes with putting them on the road. Wow. It must be really something to know all the answers like you THINK you do.


I never claimed to be an expert on CNG, but I don't need to be. These things have been on the road since at least the 1980s in fairly large quantity. There are at least 100 used CNG vehicles for sale on Craigslist right now. One is a 1980 El Camino. In the 90's GM made an S-10 that ran on CNG that was very popular, BMW makes a CNG vehicle, passenger buses, etc. have all been developed with CNG. It is a WORKING TECHNOLOGY that MAKES SENSE AND is CLEANER than electric vehicles and petro vehicles, and we have over 100 years worth of fuel. It is idiotic that this isn't pursued more heavily.


m2karateman wrote:
Tell me, where are the natural gas filling stations along the highway? In your neighborhood? How does one protect the tank and ENSURE that it won't be compromised in a high speed crash and kill every living thing within 50 feet of it? What happens during various thermal cycles of the vehicle in a state like Michigan, where it can be cold in the morning and then very warm later in the day?


If the govt paid BILLIONS for 'filling stations' we'd have them. As far as car crashes go, didn't stop the govt. from putting out the Volt! Further, they've been around for over 30 years and to a much higher degree than the Volt and I haven't heard of one "killing everyone within 50 feet" of it. You tell me what happens in Michigan's thermal cycles... WE HAVE THEM HERE ALREADY AND THEY SEEM TO DO JUST FINE!


m2karateman wrote:
But there's a reason for that. The technology is still in its infancy, and there is absolutely NO supportive infrastructure for that type of vehicle.


The tech is only in its infancy because the govt. hasn't gotten behind it. "Zero pollutant" electric cars are their goal, idiotically. The infrastructer would be there if the govt. wanted it to be there. In 1980 the technology for natural gas vehicles was light-years ahead of electric vehicles, period.


m2karateman wrote:
And if you are going to be a fan of an alternative energy for vehicles, be a fan of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Should that technology ever come to fruition, it will be a great thing all around. The fuel is plentiful, and the emissions out of the tailpipe is just plain water. However, the technology is very, very expensive right now.


I love hydrogen fuel cell technology.

m2karateman wrote:
And by the way, the government does pay vehicle companies grant money to research both CNG and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.


I know - at pennies on the dollar when compared to the Volt.

m2karateman wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Also, if the Volt "makes sense" for us at $4 per gallon, why aren't they more popular in Europe, Grand Caymen, Jamaca, etc. where gas costs $8 per gallon, or in Canada where gas is $5 per gallon?


Apparently you haven't been reading all of my posts. The Volt has NOT been shipped and sold everywhere in the world. It has just started getting shipped outside the United States into Mexico and Canada. It was only marketed to 7 states in 2011, and has been expanded for the 2012 model year to most of the rest of the country. Europe and other continents outside of North America will start seeing the vehicle for the first time later this year. In Europe, it will be sold under the Opel brand, as the Ampera.

Not every vehicle is available in every country.


I don't care what is being done, I care about WHY it's NOT being done. WHY wasn't this thing "tested" somewhere like Grand Caymen first? It's an island full of rich, enviornmental nazis and it has $8 gas. Seems to me that it is a perfect place to "test" the Volt without these ridiculous subsidies. Why the U.S. before Europe? Europe seems to have less stringent vehicle standards and double our gas prices. Why not offer it there FIRST, where it makes more sense?


April 2nd, 2012, 1:23 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Liar!... You're a LIAR! He said he's paying $1.16 per kWh, not $1.60!!! LIAR! LIAR!

M2, you just did what he did... He took an unpleasant experience and warped the terms in his head. It's normal and common. You just exaggerated his claim by almost 50%.

Bollinger also states that it was a "seasonal adjustment" that he "looked up." Whether that's true or not, we'll never know. Do we honestly know what they charge in Manhattan in peak hours, if you're not willing to take a part in the "off peak" program or whatever the hell it is that allows them to shut off your a/c and whatnot for a few hours per day? I don't know what that cost is, but I bet they stick it to you pretty good.

He's basically claiming that he's paying 4Xs Hawaii's rates, but I can see that being the case in peak hours with "seasonal rates." Still, I would agree that he's greatly skewing the results knowing that he's paying almost 20Xs as much for electricity than the average American.


$1.16 or $1.60....either way that's over 10X what the national average is that's being paid. I highly doubt he paid that much, because of the litany of lies that were forthcoming in the article. The fact that you choose to defend his ridiculous statements is testimony to what I was saying, that uninformed people will take him on his word as a journalist and make their decisions based on lies and falsehood.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
The cars are sh!t because the cars are sh!t, period. I don't mind non-plugin hybrids, at all. In fact, I think they're great. I just can't stand the Volt or these electric vehicles that are WORSE than gas only vehicles.

You say that the Volt is supposed to "bridge the gap" for people that are "unsure" of electric vehicles. Who's the dillusioned one that "doesn't get it" here? Starting to sound like it's YOU! THESE THINGS DON'T WORK. THEY DON'T SAVE ENERGY. THE DON'T SAVE EMISSIONS. THE DON'T HELP THE ECONOMY. THEY DON'T HELP THE ENERGY PROBLEM. THEY'RE JUNK!

You make it sound like electric cars work, and we just need to get people use to them. BS! Snopes did an article on Bollinger's piece. They brought up the same point you did about the battery only ever going down to X% or w/e, but they drained their battery down to 7kWh left, needing 9 for a full charge, and it took something like 13.6 kWh to charge. There was almost a 50% power loss from how much electricity was put into the battery to how much electricity the battery actually received.

Even the Snopes article said that the Volt costs more to drive ($0.07 per mile for gas vehicles and $0.11 per mile for the Volt... Which highlights the reasons that Obama wants $5 gas, because then it may tip the scales in the Volts favor, albeit arbitrarily and unnecessarily).

Now don't get me wrong. I love the technology and I'm glad we developed it. My problem is PUTTING THESE GARBAGE VEHICLES ON THE ROAD in MASS QUANTITY. It's stupid to put these things out there in the 10s of thousands when they're WORSE than traditional gas powered vehicles. We're literally subsidizing a car that's worse than a 34mpg Focus. We're PAYING for cars that get LESS gas mileage to be on the road. That's just stupid!


Coming from someone who obviously has no clue as to what it takes to develop a vehicle, test it, etc., I find it hilarious that you continue to call the car names, but haven't the first clue as to the specifics.

Oh, and you better check your snopes facts again. The Volt is the one costing around $0.07 per mile, not the gas vehicle. And since that article was written in snopes, the national average cost of gas has gone up about $0.50 per gallon.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
I never claimed to be an expert on CNG, but I don't need to be. These things have been on the road since at least the 1980s in fairly large quantity. There are at least 100 used CNG vehicles for sale on Craigslist right now. One is a 1980 El Camino. In the 90's GM made an S-10 that ran on CNG that was very popular, BMW makes a CNG vehicle, passenger buses, etc. have all been developed with CNG. It is a WORKING TECHNOLOGY that MAKES SENSE AND is CLEANER than electric vehicles and petro vehicles, and we have over 100 years worth of fuel. It is idiotic that this isn't pursued more heavily.


They are not manufactured in "fairly large quantity". Who is BSing now? I'll bet a few of those CNG vehicles for sale were no different than many bio-diesel vehicles, that were made with aftermarket kits. There are issues with large scale manufacturing. I work in fuel systems, I know the people at GM working on CNG technology, and there are more issues than you can possibly be aware of. I'll just leave it at that. Whether you want to accept it or not, there is a reason why CNG vehicles are not being made in large quantities, because the fact remains if it was that much of a "breakthrough" technology, every car company would be doing it if it were possible.


wjb21ndtown wrote:
If the govt paid BILLIONS for 'filling stations' we'd have them. As far as car crashes go, didn't stop the govt. from putting out the Volt! Further, they've been around for over 30 years and to a much higher degree than the Volt and I haven't heard of one "killing everyone within 50 feet" of it. You tell me what happens in Michigan's thermal cycles... WE HAVE THEM HERE ALREADY AND THEY SEEM TO DO JUST FINE!


And if the government paid BILLIONS for recharging stations, we'd have those too. What's your point? As for the car crash consideration, you are still missing the point. Volts don't explode on impact, never did. It took weeks for those batteries to catch fire, and it happened because they were stored improperly. Making CNG vehicles in small quantities to ensure their safety is easy enough, but doing it on a large manufacturing scale is a far different story.

wjb21ndtown wrote:
The tech is only in its infancy because the govt. hasn't gotten behind it. "Zero pollutant" electric cars are their goal, idiotically. The infrastructer would be there if the govt. wanted it to be there. In 1980 the technology for natural gas vehicles was light-years ahead of electric vehicles, period.


So blame the car companies because the government didn't do what you wanted to do? Wow...

wjb21ndtown wrote:
I don't care what is being done, I care about WHY it's NOT being done. WHY wasn't this thing "tested" somewhere like Grand Caymen first? It's an island full of rich, enviornmental nazis and it has $8 gas. Seems to me that it is a perfect place to "test" the Volt without these ridiculous subsidies. Why the U.S. before Europe? Europe seems to have less stringent vehicle standards and double our gas prices. Why not offer it there FIRST, where it makes more sense?


There is no reason to "test" the Volt. The fact is it was the American consumer who was demanding hybrids and electric vehicles. Are they asking for these in Grand Cayman? I don't know. But you don't like the fact that the US government is subsidizing the sale of the vehicle here, but GM is supposed to undergo the cost of shipping vehicles to the Caribbean Islands to "test" that extremely small scale market for viability? That's ridiculous.

Your statements about emissions, and the Volt being worse than standard gas vehicles, is ignorant in the extreme. You have no clue, none whatsoever, of what you speak. You read some article here and there written by some "journalist" with a political agenda, and you accept it as fact and even go as far as to defend him when he gets outed on Snopes. Then you compound that by making statements that are just pure rubbish.

Tell me, what kind of emissions systems does a standard gas vehicle have as compared to the Volt? What amount of hydrocarbons is allowed on average for each vehicle? What is the amount of permeation allowable as a fleet average to each vehicle manufacturer? What kind of fuel permeation and emissions takes place on an average Volt during its electrical travel versus the times when it is running its engine?

Answer those questions before you pretend to know anything about the emissions of standard gas vehicles versus hybrids or the Volt.

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April 2nd, 2012, 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
great debate fellas, i dont know enough of the specifics to really take a side or not. personally, i enjoy driving a vehicle with an internal combustion engine and i drive that vehicle hard but i also dont like paying rising gas prices - a phenomenon that undoubtedly will continue. i wont drive an electric or hybrid until the performance is comparable AND the cost is equal or less. IMO this isnt the case now but as gas costs rise and the technology is improved and made more efficient i think it will be in my lifetime.

there is a cost to advancing technologies and the idea behind the volt seems to make sense but i think its wrong to put all the eggs in one basket - so to speak - on a technology that seems to be still in its early stages and not really ready for the masses just yet. probably though, there will be bigger expenditures in the future, and GM and the govt would GENUINELY debate that the costs have been excessive. the fate of this car will not be as a long term success but the volt in my eyes is something im willing to accept as a step toward figuring out what the vehicles of the future will be - whether they are electric, CNG, hydrogen, more efficient versions of the ICE, etc. things can only be tried out in the lab and on tracks but at some point it comes a time to introduce it to consumers and see what happens. sure, there are costs along the way and people both in GM and the govt have probably made some mistakes but advancement of alternative energy technology is essential


April 3rd, 2012, 12:51 am
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
Legend, no car company is putting all its eggs in one basket. Toyota has a huge success with the Prius and the technology behind it, but they still continue to advance that technology into plug in designs. GM is no different. They continue to pursue other hybrid technology, such as the eAssist technology on the Buicks. The have various hybrid mode vehicles on the road, in addition to the afore mentioned CNG and HFC vehicles that are scattered about to gather information on those technologies in an effort to make them better and more publicly affordable and accessible.

In the automotive world, if you are sitting still it's much like sitting in a boat on a river. If you aren't going upstream you get swept downstream. There is no such thing as sitting still.

In my seemingly vain attempt to help wjb understand why the Volt was developed and put on the road, he fails to understand that the car is very much a niche vehicle. People have issues with electric cars, for much the reasons previously pointed out. People have range anxiety revolving around electric cars. It's a very real fear, and GM did what they could to address that fear by having the engine as part of the system. Now people can have a car that will get them to most everywhere they want to go, without burning any gas, on any given day. However, if there is a black out in their area, or if they need to go further than they typically do, the car can still handle getting them there without any requirement to be within an electrical outlet before the car goes into tennis shoe mode. That is why I say this vehicle was designed to bridge the gap.

There are reports of people out there going weeks, months, and in one case I've heard of, an entire year without refueling that car. Imagine how much you could save over the course of a year if you didn't have to fill up your tank? And what's more, imagine the reduction in fuel emissions, in vapor during refueling events, permeation through the fuel system, and in burnt off hydrocarbons, if you never had the engine kick in.

Expensive car? Yes. Does it have a place in the market? Absolutely.

No one is putting a gun to anyones head and forcing them to buy the car. The government giving out tax credits for the purchase of the car doesn't thrill me one bit. But as I stated before, the government has spent MILLIONS more on those tax credits being allotted to Prius purchasers than to those who have purchased a Volt. Calling the Volt a POS or garbage is a testimony to the ignorance and bias behind the comments. I work for GM, but you'll never hear me call the Prius a POS, or the Leaf garbage. They have their good points, and are very good cars in their own right. But the Volt bridges the gap between those two vehicles. That's what it was made for.

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April 3rd, 2012, 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Cost To Drive a Volt
m2karateman wrote:
$1.16 or $1.60....either way that's over 10X what the national average is that's being paid. I highly doubt he paid that much, because of the litany of lies that were forthcoming in the article. The fact that you choose to defend his ridiculous statements is testimony to what I was saying, that uninformed people will take him on his word as a journalist and make their decisions based on lies and falsehood.


No, the "decisions that he made" were based on his experiences driving the thing, which he hated, then frustrated he ran some spurious numbers and got the conclusion that he wanted. I don't contend that Bollinger didn't do his due diligence, but he didn't need to. He knew he hated the damn thing from his EXPERIENCE driving it. I would have been nice if he would have researched a bit further and pointed out real problems, but I understand his frustration with the government sponsored piece of sh!t that GM is putting out. Further, Bolling is NOT a journalist and he doesn't claim to be. He is a TV personality. He's no different than Jay Leno bashing the Volt (which he has).


m2karateman wrote:
Coming from someone who obviously has no clue as to what it takes to develop a vehicle, test it, etc., I find it hilarious that you continue to call the car names, but haven't the first clue as to the specifics.


M2 - you DON'T GET IT. I DON'T CARE what it takes to develop a vehicle, to test the vehicle, etc. GM HAS DONE A TERRIBLE JOB WITH THE VOLT. Any dolt can see the Volt is a flop! If Johnny Cochran were still around he would tag the line "If you like the Volt, you're a dolt!"


m2karateman wrote:
They are not manufactured in "fairly large quantity". Who is BSing now? I'll bet a few of those CNG vehicles for sale were no different than many bio-diesel vehicles, that were made with aftermarket kits. There are issues with large scale manufacturing. I work in fuel systems, I know the people at GM working on CNG technology, and there are more issues than you can possibly be aware of. I'll just leave it at that. Whether you want to accept it or not, there is a reason why CNG vehicles are not being made in large quantities, because the fact remains if it was that much of a "breakthrough" technology, every car company would be doing it if it were possible.


"A few" of them probably are retro-fits, but most, especially models 1997 and newer, are generally factory CNG vehciles. Furthermore, they were marketed IN large quantity for municipal vehicles and smaller army vehicles, and they were PRIMARILY manufactured in the mid-90s. There are over 100k CNG vehicles in the U.S. right now, and many many more over seas, yet none of these huge disasters of EVERYONE dying within 50 feet of a crash. Who's exaggerating the dangers? Who "doesn't know" and "doesn't understand"? Where are these "more issues than can POSSIBLY be known" if there are already 100k vehicles on the road? Why haven't we heard any horror stories? Don't say "more than you know" and leave it at that. That's a ridiculous cop out, especially when there's plenty of evidence to the contrary, not the least of which are retro kits.


m2karateman wrote:
Making CNG vehicles in small quantities to ensure their safety is easy enough, but doing it on a large manufacturing scale is a far different story.


So, for CNG it's a manufacturing issue, for the Volt it's a lack of technology. Which is easier to improve upon, manufacturing standards or tech? Hmmmm....


m2karateman wrote:
So blame the car companies because the government didn't do what you wanted to do? Wow...


I'm not casting "blame" I'm calling a piece of sh!t car a piece of sh!t car. I don't care who's "fault" it is, I don't care whose taking the "blame" this garbage shouldn't be marketed and we as tax payers shouldn't be subsidizing this garbage.


m2karateman wrote:
There is no reason to "test" the Volt. The fact is it was the American consumer who was demanding hybrids and electric vehicles. Are they asking for these in Grand Cayman? I don't know. But you don't like the fact that the US government is subsidizing the sale of the vehicle here, but GM is supposed to undergo the cost of shipping vehicles to the Caribbean Islands to "test" that extremely small scale market for viability? That's ridiculous.


There's PLENTY of reasons to "test" the Volt, marketability is just ONE of them. The American consumer was demanding vehicles that get better gas mileage and non-plugin hybrids have been received with great success. This piece of junk, not so much. Who says that GM is supposed to undergo any cost to ship? And you really think that the price of shipping is going to be significant on a $50k vehicle? What I'm saying is that IF there is a market for these things it would be on an island that is LESS than 25 miles wide (you could drive the whole damn thing on one charge) AND has $8 per gallon gas. What BETTER place would these things be received in? And if not Grand Caymen, how about Europe where gas is nearly as expensive?

Further, as Legend said, there was a need and reason to get them out of the factory and onto the road, and there are STILL long-term questions that need to be answered. Yes, DEFINITELY the vehicle DOES need to be tested, and your assertion otherwise simply exemplifies your ignorance and blindness on the issue, that said, it COULD HAVE and SHOULD HAVE been done on a much smaller scale, sort of like the electric car test that GM or Chrysler did and took back in the 80's - They retained ownership of the vehicle and its tech, leased them to the general public, allowed them to be driven and "tested" and took them back when it was over. That's a great solution and it can be done in small runs, rather than building a sh!tload of this POS car, not being able to sell them, and offering millions in tax credits to try to get them sold - ridiculous.


m2karateman wrote:
Your statements about emissions, and the Volt being worse than standard gas vehicles, is ignorant in the extreme. You have no clue, none whatsoever, of what you speak. You read some article here and there written by some "journalist" with a political agenda, and you accept it as fact and even go as far as to defend him when he gets outed on Snopes. Then you compound that by making statements that are just pure rubbish.


You're being short-sighted and blind, again - what I'm referring to is the collective emissions that these things inevitably burn by their use of coal fired electricity.


m2karateman wrote:
Answer those questions before you pretend to know anything about the emissions of standard gas vehicles versus hybrids or the Volt.


I think I just did.



M2 - You're not getting it. You fail to understand that, even as a niche vehicle, the Volt is a failure, and that most people would prefer a straight non-plugin hybrid, and that's what the market is showing. You fail to understand that people don't want a vehicle that has a time clock of 25 miles on the odometer before they start getting screwed and getting LESS gas mileage than a REGULAR NON-HYBRID GAS VEHICLE. THAT'S how the general public CORRECTLY sees the Volt, and its ridiculous price-tag. I understand that as an engineer you're fascinated by the technology that's going into the vehicle, and as an employee of GM that you're fed your own level of propaganda and lies, but you sir are blind about what the people want, and the real limitations of this piece of junk.

The fact of the matter is that we all know what happens to our cell phones and laptops after a year or two of use, and the Volt ALREADY HAS approximately a 40% power loss just from charging alone (remember, it took 13.4kWh to add 9kWh of power to its battery), and that's with a NEW battery. These things shouldn't be mass produced until tested, and they sure as hell shouldn't be shoved down our throats. Like it or not, that's how the general public feels about this thing.


April 3rd, 2012, 3:41 pm
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