The Volt is a joke.
In pure electric form, the Volt will be charged by a wall outlet in the garage. Save the few cases where Volts will be charged by confirmed renewable sources, this vehicle merely shifts carbon footprints elsewhere, often to filthy, coal-fired generating stations. At best, electric vehicles (EVs) charged from these sources are 5% cleaner than their conventional counterparts. You can reduce your emissions by 5% by driving 5mph slower on the highway.
The Volt has a gas engine on-board to generate electricity for the motor and batteries when needed. GM states this to be at the 40 mile mark, but if they’re being as optimistic about this figure as they were about paying back their loans and bailouts earlier this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath. If Volt drivers are anything like the Prius owners I see every day during my commute – one person in the car, drag racing away from the metered on-ramp, aggressively cutting across four lanes of traffic to the HOV lane – I definitely wouldn’t hold my breath.
To make things more appealing to potential consumers, GM has announced exciting lease terms! $350/month for 36 months, $2500 due at signing. Many media outlets will be quick to point out that this lease pricing is competitive with the Nissan Leaf, but it strikes this gearhead that people who buy into this scheme will be giving GM almost $15,000 and, at the end of three years, won’t actually own anything of value. American taxpayers should be used to this by now!
Speaking of American taxpayers, aren’t there millions of us unemployed going on a year these days? Aren’t there millions of us facing foreclosure, eviction, and bankruptcy? Come to think of it, isn’t the whole, global economy in the shitter right now? Perfect time for GM to demonstrate they’ve been paying attention. They understand the market, especially the American market. That’s why they’ve just announced the Volt – which costs over $40,000.
Let me put that in perspective for any non-gearheads still reading at this point. $40,000 will buy you any one of the following vehicles:
- Audi A5
- BMW 5-series
- Land Rover LR2
- Lexus IS C Convertible
- Saab 9-5
- Volvo C70
- Porsche Cayenne
Okay, so that last one starts about $3000 more than the Volt and for that price, you get the crappy, poseur V6 model, but whatever. The point I’m trying to make is the economy sucks, everybody’s broke, but GM, the great American car company, who builds $100,000 Corvettes that are almost as good as Ferraris, who builds $60,000 Cadillacs that are almost as good as BMWs, now brings a $40,000 compact car to market that’s almost as good as a Hyundai.
In the interest of being fair, the Volt isn’t going to end up costing you $40,000 if you buy it outright. You see, Uncle Sam has promised a $7,500 tax credit to anyone who purchases one of these things. This brings the price down to somewhere in the low thirties, but when do we stop funneling money to GM? The bailouts weren’t enough? The cash for clunkers fiasco wasn’t enough?
I’m sure there will be plenty of people lining up to lease or buy these things in the initial markets later this year. Some of them might recharge the vehicle from certified renewable sources and they might carpool with others and within the 40 mile range of this thing, but many will buy into the false environmental impact benefits, many more will simply buy into nu-math miles per gallon estimates, and the rest of us will just watch more cash end up in GM’s undeserving hands.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Stupid.