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President Obama with a Chevrolet Volt

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)  (Source:
Despite recent issues with the Chevrolet Volt's battery, GM expects increased Volt sales for November and a recent survey found that Volt customers are satisfied. A GOP lawmaker may, however, ruin EV success by fighting the $7,500 tax credit

General Motors Co. may have hit a few speed bumps this year with the Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV's battery-related incidents, but things seem to be looking up with an expected increase in November Volt sales and a recent survey that confirmed Volt customer satisfaction.

The Chevrolet Volt had its best-ever sales month in October 2011, but according to GM Spokesman Jim Cain, November Volt sales are expected to surpass the previous month.

In October, GM sold 1,108 Volts, which was the first time it had outsold the Nissan Leaf EV since April. For the year through October, GM sold a total of 5,003 Volts.

Experts say that it is now very unlikely that GM will meet its sales goal of 10,000 Volts sold in 2011, but GM predicts increased sales in November over the month of October. The final sales figures for November have not yet been released.

Perhaps the reason for increased sales expectations is Volt customer satisfaction. According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, Chevrolet Volt owners "love their cars."

The Consumer Reports survey, which was released Thursday, is based on over 314,000 opinions of 2009-2012 model year vehicles. The survey found that 93 percent of Volt owners who participated said they'd buy the EV again.

However, the survey was conducted only a few months after the Volt hit showrooms, and mainly consisted of early buyers and enthusiasts. The survey was also taken before the formal investigation of Volt/lithium battery safety began.

Earlier this year, the Volt underwent a series of tests at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) facility in Wisconsin. Three weeks after a side-impact crash test on May 12, the Volt went up in flames while parked at the facility, catching nearby vehicles on fire.

This sparked a NHTSA investigation, where three more Volts were tested November 16, 17 and 18. One battery had normal results while another emitted sparks and smoke, and the third caught on fire one week later. The NHTSA is now conducting a formal investigation of the vehicle's safety.

The Volt may be seeing the upside of a nasty situation for now with a potential sales increase and customer satisfaction, but one GOP lawmaker is looking to throw a wrench in the EV industry's success by fighting the $7,500 tax credit.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) told Congress Wednesday that he wants the $7,500 tax credit for EVs to cease because he says electric vehicles have not met desired goals and the tax credit only benefits the wealthy. He specifically noted that the annual income of Volt owners is $175,000.

"[The Volt] has become the poster child of President Obama's failed green agenda," said Kelly. "Like many green initiatives promoted by this administration and bankrolled by the American taxpayer, the electric car is better in theory than in practice; has limited consumer demand; is heavily subsidized; and has fallen short of reaching targeted goals. Despite the fact that the federal government has no business subsidizing a product that a manufacturer could just as easily promote through rebates and other buyer incentives, the tax subsidies are largely going to the affluent few who can actually afford to buy an electric car, which costs anywhere between $40,000 and $97,000."

Kelly's "like many other green initiatives promoted by this administration" comment was more than likely referring to this year's Solyndra disaster, where the U.S. government loaned solar panel company Solyndra $535 million in 2009 despite warnings that the company would go bankrupt. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on September 6, 2011.

Sources: The Detroit News, The Detroit News

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RE: A Republican in the House
By sigmatau on 12/1/2011 9:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wait a second. I know you are completely insane now.

You actually think people are stupid enough to follow your asinine twisted comment?

The Democrats agreed to spending cuts that included services for the poor, old and sick. The Republicans just out right refused to increase revenue (taxes) without any compromise. In Bizzaro world, you would be right: even though ONLY the Democrats tried to compromise, somehow you think the Republicans are the ones in good light.

Talk about idiotic insanity!

RE: A Republican in the House
By Reclaimer77 on 12/1/2011 9:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're one confused person. Tax policy was NOT on the table, the debt ceiling was. Hello? The Democrats actually wanted to be able to borrow MORE money! They only agreed to some cuts in exchange for an increase to an already astronomical debt ceiling. You call that compromise?!?

In what insane context does this somehow make the Republicans the evil party when they're trying to reign in this spending fever that the Obama administration has saddled us with?

You can spin it all you want, we lost our credit rating because of Democrats. Plain and simple!

"The downgrade from S&P has been brewing for months. S&P's sovereign debt team, led by company veteran David T. Beers, had grown increasingly skeptical that Washington policy makers would make significant progress in reducing the deficit, given the tortured talks over raising the debt ceiling. In recent warnings, the company said Washington should strive to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, suggesting anything less would be insufficient. "

There! How much more black and white can it get?

RE: A Republican in the House
By room200 on 12/2/2011 7:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
Debt ceiling being raised should not have even been a question. this is not new spending. It's only agreeing to pay for the bills that we ALREADY owe. It's not optional. Why would there even be a question as to whether or not we would pay our bills?

RE: A Republican in the House
By Reclaimer77 on 12/2/2011 7:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
In other words it's allowing the status-quo to continue! Hello? And you're wrong, raising the debt ceiling absolutely could lead to more debt.

But did losing our credit rating and facing a looming collapse give the Democrats a reality check? Nope. Time to blame Republicans and get back to business as usual.

RE: A Republican in the House
By mufdvr3669 on 12/2/2011 11:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
You can spin it all you want, we lost our credit rating because of Democrats. Plain and simple!

Since you are so good at googling you may actually want to find out who is responsible for most of the debt. Pretty sure it wasn't under Democrats watch.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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