Chevy Volt: A modern day Edsel

On Friday, our president showed up at the GM plant that is responsible for foisting the electric hybrid lemon, the Chevy Volt on the public.

How bad is this car? Let's start with the price; an eye-popping $41,000 - slightly less than the median income of the average American family ($48,000). Then there's the news that it can travel a whopping 40 miles on the battery alone - barely more than the average commute for a very large percentage of  American workers (32 minutes).

But the real bad news is the amount of tax payer money poured into getting this Edsel to market.

Image by Richard Terrell

John at Powerline:

According to Obama, the Volt is the car of the future. That might be true if we apply the model of Obamacare to the automobile industry. I doubt it otherwise. Edward Niedermeyer's New York Times op-ed column declared the Volt an electric lemon. (The Times even supplied a sarcastic illustration depicting the theme of Niedermeyer's column. What's happening here?) Niedermeyer introduces information necessary for the kind of analysis that is warranted, but which Obama spared his audience:

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt's Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for "retooling" its plants, and you've got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

Indeed, of you just can't resist this hybrid beast, the government will give you $7,500 dollars in tax credits to buy it. That will still make it about $3,000 more expensive than the all-electric Nissan Leaf whose range is 100 miles - 2.5 times farther than the Volt. (After 40 miles, a 4 cylinder gas engine kicks in and extends the range to 300 miles.)

No doubt there will be a lot of good greenies who will leap at the chance to show how conscientious they are by purchasing this turkey. They will put up with the underpowered vehicle, brag about how they are saving the planet, and secretly curse the Volt around the dinner table with their family.

If this is the car of the future, our streets and highways will be a lot less crowded soon.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

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