Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Even War and Rumors of War Can't Save Chevy Volt
By John Ransom
A new Congressional Budget Office report tells Obama what the rest of us have known for some time: Your bet on electric cars wasn’t an investment, but a gamble; a dumb gamble.
And now you’ve just come up snake eyes.
“Despite the federal government pumping $7.5 billion into the electric vehicle industry in the United States through 2019,” writes the CSMonitor.com, “overall national gasoline consumption is unlikely to be significantly affected, according to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).”
The CBO says that even if Obama increased the amount of the subsidy, it would make little difference to the gasoline usage or emissions output because automakers would still be required to hit fuel efficiency targets. Instead, the CBO says that either a tax on gasoline or carbon is the only way to increase the attractiveness of electric cars to consumers.
That’s because electric cars don’t save gas, they don’t save money and they don’t save the “planet.”
They are only a vanity-plumping, amenity purchase for the metro-testicled.
“Assuming that everything else is equal” says the CBO, “the larger an electric vehicle’s battery capacity, the greater its cost disadvantage relative to conventional vehicles—and thus the larger the tax credit needed to make it cost-competitive.”
It’s not like none of us pointed this out at the time Obama unveiled his plan to put a million electric vehicles on the road before he destabilized the Middle East.
Ok, so he didn’t tell us that last part.
Dr. Strange-Chu told us about that one.
“Somehow,” Strange-Chu said, “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
Hey? How about a regional civil war? We could lob a few missiles at Libya?
But even with Middle East and North African disorders keeping oil prices high, electric vehicles are still not cost competitive- nor does the consumer seem to want them at any cost.
General Motors essentially confirmed Obama’s bad bet when they admitted over the weekend that the recent rash of “viral” Chevy Volt sales have been stoked by discounts of as much as $10,000 off the MSRP of $40,000.
Two weeks ago industry insiders revealed that General Motors was taking a loss of around $50,000 per Chevy Volt sold. That was assuming a sales price without the new and improved $10k discount. If you add in the $7,500 government subsidy, the Volt’s cost to the consumer is around $22,500.
Cost to the taxpayers is much, much higher.
Before the discount, the Volt cost General Motors- a joint venture between Obama, Inc., and the United Auto Workers that was subsidized by your tax dollars- around $650 million just this year according to estimates by industry insiders. In August alone the discount bumped up the price to GM by another $28 million.
So far this year the company has sold around 13,000 Volts, compared to the 60,000 unit goal that they set at the beginning of the year.
"Let's face it, over $40,000 is asking a lot for a compact car," says Bob Lutz, who helped develop the Volt- and was present when GM was hurling toward bankruptcy.
"Its prime purpose was to introduce a new generation of technology," says the now-retired Lutz, according to CBSNews. "And at the same time ... demonstrate to the world that GM is way more technologically capable than the people give it credit for."
I never knew technology was capable of losing this much money so quickly.
And now so is the Congressional Budget Office.
To read more about Chevy Volts, click here.
To read another article by John Ransom, click here.
Posted by Brett at 12:06 PM