Thursday, November 17, 2011

Low Volt-age

President Obama said electric vehicles would be popular--the Administration predicted over 1 million of them would be on the road by 2015, including 120,000 Chevy Volts sold in 2012. Well, how's that working out? Mickey Kaus answers:
General Motors is sticking by its prediction that it will sell 10,000 electric/hybrid Chevy Volts by the end of the year. Only 5,000 had been through October, meaning GM has to double that amount in just the final two months of the year. Until now, Volt production seems to have been wildly outstripping actual sales. But GM CEO Dan Akerson says sales are "starting to hit the pace," some reporters claim the Volt is "hot," and the company has made a big show of allowing dealers to sell off their demo models, allegedly to supply the now-insatiable "customer demand."

So where will all these Volts actually go? There seem to be three possibilities:
1) Akerson is right. The Volt is a "home run" and they’ll all soon be in the hands of satisfied customers!

2) They’ll be recorded as "sold" even though they’re sitting unwanted on dealer lots. "Sold" in GM parlance means sold to a dealer, who then may or may not succeed in reselling the car to an actual paying customer.

3) They’ll be pushed out to corporate fleets, as big businesses seek to please the Obama administration by doing their part to help bailed-out GM unload this overpriced showpiece pioneer our nations’ green future. Call this the corporatist solution.
I'll go with door number three. Unless, combining the worst features of crony capitalist automotive bailouts and uneconomic green subsidies, the Obama Administration buys them. Or -- though unlikely -- all Chevy Volts are recalled as a fire hazard.

(via reader Warren)


OBloodyHell said...

>>> Unless, combining the worst features of crony capitalist automotive bailouts and uneconomic green subsidies, the Obama Administration buys them.

I'd go with door number four -- The Great Big 0'll heavily subsidize them by somehow offering substantial tax incentives (thus hiding the actual payout as subtractions from revenue rather than as budget expense items) to any corporation which obtains a fleet of them.

As far as the Volt being a "big success", expect reporters to crow at the beginning of next year about the number sold, not bothering to compare that to the underwhelming of projections.

On the one hand, I do believe at this point that corporations ARE the best target for something like the Volt (usage more likely to be local, usage more likely to be solely during the day, allowing the needed hours for a full charge during the night), but I think that, absent subsidies or stupid faux-Green proclivities (yeah, those batteries are REAL "Green"), there's no real reason for any corporation to actually buy them.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., These things have much, much shorter range -- what do you do if you run out of power in the middle of the street?

Are you going to have to have it towed to a power outlet? LOL.

If you run out of gas, the towing company can just bring you a gallon can of gas to get you going.

If there was any locale with a high count of these, the smart towing operator would invest in some additional trucks.

LOL, word verif is "stroggl" (struggle)

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

I'm with O.B.H. above.

Our gummint will buy them as a "cost-saving" "energy-conservation" measure; they'll sit unused on some lot somewhere for a year or two, until they're bundled with old military hardware and auctioned off.

OBloodyHell said...

I don't think they'll sit unused, I just think they are the last cars in the motor pool which anyone will take anywhere unless you have an office full of Greentards who get off thinking they're being "extra Green" by using them.

I don't argue that they are useless as cars, just that they are sufficiently sub-optimal vs. IC vehicles -- even hybridy ones -- that no one with any brain will prefer them over IC-driven cars.