Feed on


GM idles the Volt. This despite a $7,500 (regressive) subsidy to green peacock car purchasers, subsidies for suppliers and engineers throughout the production chain, a government bailout of the company and an era of record profits for car companies. I can only shudder to think what comes next.

3 Responses to “Discharged”

  1. Rod says:

    Next? The Corvolt, a sporty model that Ralph Nader will declare safe at any speed.

  2. Samuel "The Truth" Samuel says:

    Is it cheaper to drive Volt? Sure it is. It uses ~10kWh to drive 40 miles (up to 80% of all daily commutes). 1KWh=$0.1, so the cost to drive 40mi ~$1. With charger efficiency, higher electricity rate,- still will not be more than $1.5. Next comes! Prius! –same distance =~1 gallon or ~$4. Reverse the situation: A gas station would be stormed if it sells gas for $1.5/Gallon (what about black Friday crowd every year trying to save $20?)
    Will we have buying frenzy if Volt costs $10K– I bet we will. Even for $20K. At $25K the situation gets murky, but probably the crowd will still be impressive with this $7500 “regressive subsidy”.
    The major cost for Volt is a battery pack,- current costs is ~$(1000-1300)/KWh, that makes the battery alone ~$20,000! It is still novel and delicate technology so some car’s resources (energy+weight=cost) are devoted to service the battery.
    The industry goal is to achieve $300/KWh, making the battery cost ~$5K. If GM did not kill EV1 over a decade ago and would not start Volt from scratch we could be there ($5K/battery 20K/car) already. But it could not work either, according to Kramer from Seinfield, these greedy capitalists will jack up price to double its profit bringing Volt costs to the same $40K.

  3. wintercow20 says:

    The electric car is subsidized up and down the production chain, with the ugly truth that battery firms have eaten more subsidies than the carmarkers themselves. Perhaps without the subsidies we’d actually see the promised $300/kWh batteries, which ironically have been promised for two decades.

    But to put “regressive subsidies” in quotes is incorrect. These are subsidies. And these are regressive. Poor people are not buying Volts. The bulk of tax revenues (across all sources) come from the middle class. And the wealthier folks are buying the cars.

    Plus, all of this seems to ignore the fact that in many parts of the country, like the Northeast, it would be just as correct to call a Volt an electric car as to stamp onto its doors, “50% coal powered.”

    Electric cars nearly won the race 110 years ago. There are still efficiency gains to be had with fossil fuels, and the continued abundance of those fuels is going to make it hard to see electric cars taking any sizeable (let’s agree on 15%) market share in the next two decades.

Leave a Reply