Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Chevy Volt

Hybrid Owners Trading Them in for SUVs

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 24, 2015:

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!...

A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!nk electric

 

Back before his credibility had been so greatly tarnished along with his confidence in government as a solution to every problem, President Obama made a promise in his 2011 State of the Union speech that realists knew he couldn’t keep: he was going to put one million electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2015:

With more [government funded] research and [tax credit] incentives, we can break our dependence upon oil … and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

The Department of Energy (DOE) called his proclamation a “key milestone toward dramatically reducing dependence on oil and ensuring that America leads in the growing electric vehicle manufacturing industry.” The agency boasted that already those manufacturers were ramping up to produce more than 1.2 million EVs by 2015, thanks to government subsidies, consumer tax credits, federally funded programs to help cities prepare for the growing demand for EV charging stations, as well as continued and increasing “support” [read: grants and loans] for R and D.

It’s 2015. The manifesto proclaimed from on high in January 2011 has fallen a little short:

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Left Coast car buyers still like IC engines, shunning EVs despite Obama and his greenies

This is quite extraordinary: new car buyers in Los Angeles still like cars with internal combustion engines, despite efforts to move them into electrics. Galpin Ford in Los Angeles is having its summer sale: 10,000 new cars in the next three months. When asked how many of them will be electrics, Beau Boeckmann (whose family ownes the dealership) estimates about

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Taxpayer-funded Battery Plant Closed Before Making a Single Battery

Testing lithium-ion batteries at Argonne

Testing lithium-ion batteries (Photo credit: Argonne National Laboratory)

Isn’t this amazing? The excessive hubris of government bureaucrats thinking – no, knowing – that they can provide products that people will buy continues to disprove the thesis.

Newsmax reported about the million construction jobs that have been lost during the reign of the Obama administration. But what happened in Holland, Michigan, is sufficient proof of this hubris:

Two years after a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President Obama, a Michigan plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds to make batteries for hybrid vehicles is putting workers on furlough — before a single battery has been produced…

The plant — run by LG Chem, a South Korean company — was opened in July 2010 to make batteries for the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid vehicle built by GM. But the car has seen sluggish sales, despite a $7,500 federal tax credit for each vehicle, and fewer than 25,000 Volts had been sold by September. Production of the car has been plagued by several plant shutdowns.

Well, not exactly. Production of the car has been plagued by

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The Chevy Volt: King Obama and King Canute

John Ransom -The Chevy Volt: Another Obama Green Investment Loses a Billion

Today, I’m very pleased to announce that I have a new reason to dislike the Volt.

And it’s probably the best reason of all.

The Chevy Volt costs close to $90,000 to manufacture while it retails for $40,000 according to information gathered by Reuters.

Chevrolet Volts, Washington DC

Chevrolet Volts, Washington DC (Photo credit: mariordo59)

King Canute, as you remember, tried to “rule the waves” by commanding the tides not to come in. Here is Wikipedia on Canute:

Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, tells how Canute set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. Yet “continuing to rise as usual [the tide] dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person…”

King Obama has the same obsession: “If we force General Motors – now Government Motors – to build it [the Volt], they will come.”

Well, not so much. First of all, each vehicle costs $89,000 to build, but it sells for about $40,000. That’s bad enough. But it gets worse. When a vehicle is leased, the lease terms have been made so attractive – in order to draw people into leasing one – that it costs the owner just $5,000 over a two year lease! That’s the only way the Volt makes any sales – by essentially giving them away!  Ransom does the math:

10,666 Volts were sold in the first seven months of 2012. At an average loss of $49,000 per vehicle that’s a loss of $522,634,000.

A $523 million dollar loss on a car that won’t sell 20,000 units in 2012?

To put this in perspective, the company has probably shaved at least $4 billion off its market value by squandering money on the Volt. Right now the company is trading at about 8.31 times its earning.

Assuming GM didn’t produce the Volt at all and just held on to the cash savings, the $523 million in cash multiplied by the market value of 8.31 times earnings comes out to $4,343,088,540 in lost value for the shareholders.

Those shareholders are you and me.

It would be cheaper for the company to quietly ask potential Volt buyers if they would take a $40,000 check just to go away.

Of course GM is putting the best lipstick it can find for this pig:

We’re really seeing momentum continuing to build,” Michelle Malcho, a GM spokesman told the press a few weeks back according to the Detroit Free Press. “As people see their neighbors have one and as they start to understand the technology and are able to drive it, they put it into their consideration.”

You bet. That’s why Volts are flying out the door.

New Fuel Economy Standards Imposed: Separating Hype From Reality

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt (Photo credit: cseeman)

The hyperbole surrounding the White House’s announcement that vehicles must get 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025 or else their manufacturers face fines and other sanctions was nearly suffocating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said:

When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles current on our roads.

In total, the Administration’s national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.

President Obama was equally ebullient:

These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption.

By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last.

Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood added:

Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther, and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before — all while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America. Today, automakers are seeing their more fuel-efficient vehicles climb in sales, while families already saving money under the Administration’s first fuel economy efforts will save even more in the future, making this announcement a victory for everyone.

It seemed, briefly, as if all the unintended consequences of government intervention into the marketplace had either been

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Each Chevy Volt Costs Taxpayers $250,000

English: 2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the ...

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy just released a study showing that by the time all federal and state loans, grants, subsidies, and tax credits are figured in, each Chevy Volt costs taxpayers upwards of $250,000.

James Hohman, the center’s assistant director of fiscal policy, counted a total of 18 government “deals” but didn’t include the fact that one-quarter of Volt’s manufacturer, General Motors, is owned by the federal government.

He counted not only incentives offered directly to GM or to the ultimate buyer, but also those offered to suppliers of parts and technology for the Volt. The Department of Energy, for example, awarded a $106 million grant to GM’s Brownstone plant that assembles the Volt’s batteries. The State of Michigan awarded $106 million to GM to retain jobs in its Hamtramck assembly plant. And Compact Power, the company that makes the Volt’s batteries, received $100 million in “refundable battery credits.”

Some of the subsidies and credits are extended over varying periods of time and some are dependent upon certain production “milestones” being achieved. He counted them all along with subsidies to companies vying to provide batteries for the Volt such as the support provided to A123 Systems. A123 lost the battery contract to Compact Power, but Hohman included their subsidies in his study as well.

The total of all subsidies, grants and credits is $3 billion: $2.3 billion in federal money and $700 million in Michigan’s money. That’s enough to purchase

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Government to Sell GM Stock Before It Declines Further

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Wash...

Image via Wikipedia

When the federal government took over General Motors in July of 2009, it was “the only way to avoid an economic calamity,” according to President Obama.

Stuffed full of $50 billion of taxpayers’ money, GM began to revive, a little. It had lost an amazing $103 billion over the previous five years, partly by acceding to union demands for generous compensation packages (including payments to workers even when the plants where they worked weren’t even running!), and partly by

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Chevy Volt Misses the Mark

Chevrolet Volt plug-in

Image by Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr

Now that the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ electric car, is about to arrive in selected dealers’ showrooms around the country, it has been getting a lot of press. Some are puff pieces, one of which appeared in USA Today, while others are much more critical.

According to James Healey of USA Today, the Volt “represents a staggering amount of engineering…which combines an electric motor…and a small gasoline engine to create a drive train that uses no gasoline for 25 to 50 miles, [and] then sips it.”

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.