The Volt Has No Juice

  I have written here many times that Delaware is little more than a scaled down version of the national agenda of the liberal Democrat party, and Gov. Markell is merely a puppet for the Obama administration. Not really surprising since Vice Pres. Biden runs the Democrat party here in the state.   Well it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote about the fact that Fisker Motors,the creator of a hybrid electric car, would be laying off about a quarter of their Delaware employees due to faltering sales, this even as gasoline prices continue to rise. Fisker was touted by the Markell administration as being the center piece of economic recovery here in the state of Delaware. It was seen, by liberals, as  the jewel in the crown of greeny technology ment to replace traditional energy sources.   Like the Obama administration, Gov. Markell here in Delaware has been attempting to force this green technology onto the people and the market by subsidizing such technology in an attempt to make the new untried and unproven green technology seem competitive. It hasn’t worked here in Delaware any better than it has worked on the national level.   Just as we have seen here in Delaware with Fisker and Blue Water Wind, we have seen on the national level these green subsidized companies going under, or struggling at best, Solyndra is the most notable of the federally funded companies that have failed.   That was until it was announced that GM will again suspend production of the Chevy Volt, another plug-in hybrid electric car meant to replace our need for reliable transportation with a product that can travel around forty miles between charges.   When you factor in the $41,000.00 sticker price, or even the price of $33,00.00 after government subsidies meant to encourage sales, it is no wonder that no one is buying this product. There is also the fact that the Volt has been under the micro-scope of a federal investigation to see if there is a risk of the car’s batteries catching fire. Of course the government found that there is no more risk of fire than in a normal gasoline run car, not surprising since the federal government has a vested interest in GM.   This latest suspension of production on the Volt is the third since the car went on sale, due to the fact that dealers already have more on their lots than they can sell. This suspension will mean that 1,300 workers will be out of work at the Detroit plant were the Volt is assembled.    The Obama administration can’t even blame lagging sales on the economy since U.S. auto sale have been surging.   It is time that the liberals and the Democrats face the fact that no amount of government subsidies can replace the tried and true facts of supply and demand. The people of the United States don’t want this technology which is not a car that is convenient for everyday use.   It is time that the voters in Delaware and the nation send a clear message this November, that we want lower gasoline prices, so we want increased domestic oil production along with the lifting of other regulations and mandates that have added to the cost of gas at the pumps. That we want the government to get out of the business of picking winners and losers in the market by trying to manipulate through artificial pressures who is and isn’t competitive and to stop propping up with stolen tax dollars those companies that the government seeks to promote.   This means no state dollars for Fisker Motors Gov. Markell, and no federal dollars for GM Pres. Obama .

12 thoughts on “The Volt Has No Juice”

  1. I agree with you Frank, that these electric cars are victims of supply and demand, a simple concept really.

    I’m not sure I agree with you that nobody wants electric cars. I’d buy an electric car in a minute if it ran cheaper than my gasoline fueled vehicle. I’d buy it with a smile if it could be recharged easily, if it would drive me the distance, if I could be comfortable and safe it.

    In short, if it gave me everything a gas car gave me and maybe a little more.

    Heh. Kinda like supply and demand goes.

    But all this GREEN nonsense is nought but a way for the OBamer admin to pass money back and forth from his donors to him and back.

    Americans will buy it if it benefits them.

    Period.

    Though you could, throwing it out there, disallow drilling in your own land, veto pipelines to deliver the fuel, allow and encourage gas prices to go through the roof.

    Just throwing it out there.

  2. By the way, the Volt is not an all-electric vehicle with a limited range. After the battery discharges to a certain level, it runs a gasoline generator to keep the charge up. It’s more like a diesel-electric locomotive that burns diesel to generate the electricity. The advantage is that the gasoline engine is optimized to run at constant speed and torque for the purpose it serves. The full tank and charge range of the Volt is 379 miles. Where are you commuting to?

  3. “Though you could, throwing it out there, disallow drilling in your own land, veto pipelines to deliver the fuel, allow and encourage gas prices to go through the roof.”

    Pat, can you explain why the US exported a record amount of gasoline last year?

    The government doesn’t control what the oil companies do with the product after it is extracted.

    Read it at Bloomberg, which is not a left-wing source:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-29/u-s-was-net-oil-product-exporter-in-2011.html
    “U.S. Was Net Oil-Product Exporter for First Time Since 1949”

    You are being had. Not only did we export more last year, but our reliance on imports was the lowest ever.

  4. Rick is right. It is too pricy for what you get. Frank is right in that the subsidies are a poor use of tax money.

  5. Rick is right, it is overpriced. Nissans Leaf isn’t exactly flying off the lot either. And they are a total electric plug in.

    On the other hand, Toyota and Honda have been pretty successful at selling hybrids. The Volt costs twice as much. GMs plan was similar to Toyota and Honda hybrids, start small and increase sales. Toyota started with one hybrid, now the technology appears in a whole series of cars, including Ford and Lexus. It took YEARS for hybrids to get this far. GM is trying to springboard to catch up. Ford just outsources most of its hybrid and electric technology.

    Oil prices are a product of the free market, not because of Washington. We are competing with Europes’ needs as well as emerging industrial nations like China and India. Not to mention a pipeline explosion or a rocket fired into an oil tanker affecting prices.

  6. Nitpicker asked in #3:
    “Pat, can you explain why the US exported a record amount of gasoline last year?”

    Because the economy was so bad, fewer people were driving fewer miles.

  7. The problem with hybrids is that self-important executives in US car companies DID NOT COME UP WITH HYBRIDS. So instead of adopting a proven technology that works, US car companies have to chase unproven solutions that don’t involve admitting that someone else came up with a better idea.

    Hybrid cars run on gasoline, but do so much more efficiently. They use the same conceptual design as a diesel-electric locomotive: A regular engine drives a generator, which charges a battery, and the electricity drives powerful motors at the wheels. This same system drives massive freight trains. The gas engine shuts off when not needed, such as at stop lights, saving gas. The brakes are electric generators which recapture energy when the brakes are activated.

    Because a hybrid runs on a gas engine, its range is unlimited as long as you can fuel up at a gas station. Widespread adoption of hybrid technology could cut America’s oil usage by roughly 20%. I think it was the University of Delaware that has a grant to develop hybrid technology for city buses.

    But what US executive can take credit for what was not invented here? Unacceaptble. So we have to waste time and mony chasing after improbable ideas just to serve the egos of business executives. Washington should not cooperate with this ego trip.

  8. Oil prices are a product of the free market, not because of Washington.

    That’s true but look at the Alaskan example. If they approved pipelines and so on and put conditions on their approval then even if the oil was exported due to market forces it would still leave Americans wealthier. But instead they’re tending toward sacrificing our wealth and sources of energy based on their pseudo-scientific view of things while stimulating Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt and so on.

    Ener1:

    Vice President Biden visited Ener1 one year ago, January 26, 2011. . .On several occasions, Biden called the company “Enron one” during his visit, invoking a seemingly unintentional but ultimately prescient reference to the collapse of the energy giant Enron. The company was also ranked number 67 in the White House Report: 100 Recovery Projects that are Changing America.

    Beacon Power:

    Tyngsboro’s Beacon Power, an energy storage company that got a $43 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy last year, filed for bankruptcy yesterday.
    Besides funding from the same DOE program that supported failed solar-panel maker Solyndra, Beacon Power secured a $5 million loan in 2008 from MassDevelopment, the state’s quasi-public financing agency…

    Evergreen Solar:

    Evergreen Solar Inc., reportedly received $5.3 million of stimulus cash through a state grant to install 11,000 photovoltaic panels installed at 11 colleges and universities, a recycling facility and an education center in Massachusetts.
    The company, once a rock star in the solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection last month….

    SpectraWatt:

    SpectraWatt, based in Hopewell Junction, New York, has sought bankruptcy protection from its creditors under US Chapter 11 rules and wants permission to hold the auction next month.
    ….
    SpectraWatt becomes the second significant US solar group to seek Chapter 11 protection in a matter of weeks, after module and wafer-maker Evergreen Solar took the same route.
    Like Evergreen, SpectraWatt was in line for millions of dollars in aid from local and federal grant schemes to support its PV manufacturing efforts….
    As recently as November 2010 SpectraWatt was being lauded by the local business community, receiving a Business Excellence Award for operating the first solar-cell plant in New York, which it planned to build-out to up to 200MW of production capacity.
    It even starred in a CNN report headlined “Keeping Solar Jobs in America”.
    But by the end of December, SpectraWatt had already served notice that the factory was on borrowed time and more than 100 employees faced being laid-off.

  9. In contrast:

    The Alaska Permanent Fund Gains 20.6% in FY 2011…
    ….each qualified resident now receives the same annual amount, regardless of age or years of residency. In effect, this equal-amount aspect mathematically means a greater percentage of added income for people of lower incomes. …. The PFD payout, which comes in or near October of each year, is acknowledged to have a substantial effect on Alaska’s economy…. (Wikipedia)

    It is the poor who will pay when those who sit at the type of the pyramid scheme demand “shared sacrifice.”

  10. Ironically if they just gave the money and wealth they’re wasting to the people at the bottom instead of those closer to the top then that would “stimulate the economy” more.

    Think about it this way, when you waste wealth in this way or “bail out” a banker what will they do with the money? They’ll tend to keep it as a form of security in uncertain times while “saving and creating” no jobs at all. But if you “bailed out” a poor person then they’d be more likely to spend it, which is what the tin-pot planners want in theory. Even if the poor person spends it on beer and cigarettes which destroy things of value in their lives that would still “save or create” a job for those who produce beer and cigarettes. If you’re going be corrupt and “stimulate” people then why not stimulate them to do something at least a a tiny bit productive within the context of your overall destruction of things of value?

    In any event, the amount of wasted potential and the destruction of wealth in America is staggering…. and it can only be “afforded” by slaves who don’t even know the difference between liberty/wealth and coercion/debt.

  11. So instead of adopting a proven technology that works, US car companies have to chase unproven solutions that don’t involve admitting that someone else came up with a better idea.

    They did the same thing with front-wheel-drive. Rather than copy (and pay a nominal royalty) to a company like Lancia, who had been building FWD for decades, the Toronado, Cadillacs and so forth used a GM design that was, quite simply, junk. And those type of engineering decisions coincided with greatly increased market share for Japanese manufacturers.

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