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Former president George H.W. Bush jumps on the Volt bandwagon

The Chevrolet Volt has been battered and bruised over the course of the past six months. The vehicle has weathered an NHTSA investigation into fires, attacks from the members of the media, and production slowdowns. However, General Motors is now touting that the plug-in hybrid had its best sales ever during the month of March.
 
According to Bloomberg, over 2,000 Volts were sold during the month, surpassing the previous high of 1,529 units in December 2011. GM also claims that it sold over 100,000 vehicles during the month that have an EPA rating of 30 mpg or better. Rather conveniently, GM only cites the highway rating instead of the combined rating to reach that 100,000 figure -- the EPA combined rating takes into account both city and highway fuel economy and is closer to what most drivers will see in the real world.
 
"GM's strategic investments in four-cylinder and turbocharged engines, advanced transmissions and vehicle electrification have been very well timed," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "Three years ago, about 16 percent of the vehicles GM sold achieved at least 30 mpg on the highway. Today, that number is about 40 percent, and we have more new fuel-economy leaders on the way."


Former President George H.W. Bush bought a new Chevy Volt for his son, Neil Bush
 
In other Volt news, former Republican President George H.W. Bush bought a Chevrolet Volt. Fox News reports that the former president bought his son, Neil Bush, a Volt for his birthday.
 
In February, current President Barack Obama promised that he would buy a Chevrolet Volt once he leaves office. "Five years from now when I'm not president anymore, I'll buy one and drive it myself," said President Obama in a speech to members of the United Auto Workers in late February.
 
The Chevrolet Volt has a base MSRP of $39,145 before a $7,500 tax credit and can travel for up to 36 miles on battery power alone.

Sources: Bloomberg, Fox News, General Motors



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RE: volt
By gregpet on 4/3/2012 1:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a Republican and I love the Volt - a true conservative would! Be conservative in all aspects (less gas, less pollution, less reliance on foreign oil, support American jobs). It's simple math for me.

The govt electric car subsidies need to be lowered/removed but the govt also subsidizes the oil companies! Where is the outrage?


RE: volt
By Nfarce on 4/3/2012 3:05:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but the govt also subsidizes the oil companies! Where is the outrage?


There will be a lot of it if those subsidies get lifted and the cost of everything that uses petroleum products in both production and transportation goes through the roof. You think food prices and gas prices are high now? You haven't seen anything yet. You can't just instantly take away nearly 100 years of this and expect there to be no massive unforeseen consequences that roll downhill into our laps.

In any event, when you actually understand the what and the how accounting for oil depletion (also same for any other mineral mining), it's not a "subsidy" in pure form; it is a method to factor in the cost of materials to arrive at gross margins. Sen. Robert Menendez's (D-N.J.) oil subsidy removal bill failed in the Senate because common sense won over the politics of demonizing our own industries - which the forward thinkers knew would ultimately wind up doing nothing but hurting us all.


RE: volt
By Nfarce on 4/3/2012 3:09:23 PM , Rating: 1
And I actually like the Volt and am a conservative. However I do not see it worth $40 grand, and keep in mind it has received $3 billion in government subsidies to stay afloat (even after laying off 1,300 employees temporarily due to low sales):

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16192

So the bottom line here is that it's not Republicans so much bashing the car as they are bashing the way the Volt was rammed down America's throats by the federal government with our tax dollars (gee that sounds familiar doesn't it SCOTUS?). The Volt has hardly been the revolutionary game changer in main stream "Green Energy" transportation as it was envisioned by the current administration.

And unlike petroleum products being in just about every aspect of our lives somehow from HDTV/PC monitor bezels to transporting chicken to grocery stores, a Chevy Volt is not affecting our daily lives - subsidized or unsubsidized.


RE: volt
By Keeir on 4/3/2012 6:33:23 PM , Rating: 4
I'd like to take a second to aside that link.

It's based on an "analysis" done by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy with a rather "flawed" center piece. That any and all subsidies given to a Volt supplier are 100% accountable to the Volt program.

Lets look at noted examples in the article. "GM Brownstone Plant" got a grant from the DOE. Yes, this plant produces Chevy Volt batteres. It is also slated to produce batteries for a variety of cars, including Buick LaCrosse Hybrid. Hamtramck recieved funding as well. Of course, it produces Volts, Malibus, and planned next gen Impala. Compact Power produces battery modules for both GM and Ford. So it's unclear why thier entire subsidy is accounted against just 1 GM product.

But you know what the most telling thing is? I go to the Mackinac website and I am unable to find the study . Apparently this Hohman felt so confident in his analysis, he needed to keep the details to himself. So I did some digging. James Hohman usually analyzes Pensions and Unionization of Local Michigan Government. His public bio doen't mention much besides he has a BBA in economics from Northwood University (Bachelors of Business Adminstration... school does not offer BA/BS/BSE degrees). He is ~27 years old, and he is career has essentially been working for a think-tank only. (I am unable to find any other employment history).

So lets look again, a 27 year old professional think tank employee with little experience in automobiles, manufacturing, technology or even government incentives makes an undocumented statement that is picked up by new sources. That's not really a good basis for forming an opinion. While I usually don't condon focusing the individual, without his study or analysis, all I can do is form a reaction based on his personal credentials... which don't show a reason to trust his word about this type of analysis.


RE: volt
By Nfarce on 4/3/2012 8:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah there is no "official" study of the true Volt cost by an entity like the CBO because the government has hidden the true costs from all. Take note that we do know how much failed Big Green energy companies like Solyndra received in that 2009 "stimulus" bill (http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/06/8325/energy-b...

But for the Volt and subsidies, not much "official" info is out there. Don't you find that just a little bit suspicious? What does the government have to hide there? Or is it because so many different hands were in this pot that the cost can never be truly tallied? But even if the study is a half-truth at best, it's better than no truth at all. It's not a matter of if the Volt got subsidies...it's a matter of how much it got.


RE: volt
By Keeir on 4/4/2012 12:12:21 AM , Rating: 4
Hah.

You misunderstand.

A THINK-TANK produces STUDIES.

That's their PRIMARY FUNCTION.

For A THINK-TANK to not produce a STUDY is ODD since its thier PRIMARY FUNCTION.

The CBO on the other hand is the Congressional Budget Office. Its PRIMARY FUNCTION is to run financials on direct budget items voted on by Congress of the Untied States. Since the majority of Volt subsidies were not DIRECT decisions by Congress, the CBO would never produce a study focused on just the Volt, it would be outside thier duty statement. The GAO is the Government organization that would be more likely a source. But even the GAO would prefer to focus on say the ATVM loans rather than a single car.


RE: volt
By KCjoker on 4/3/2012 5:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
I just want more info on how the electricity is produced that the Volt relies on. It's got to be a lot from coal which is heavy pollution.


RE: volt
By Keeir on 4/3/2012 7:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you take a little look at

www.eia.gov

This government site maintains tons of data about electricity.

For example, ~39% of US power is currently supplied via Coal.

But a large question to view is where you view the electricity as coming from?

Do you view it as coming from a baseload? from the averages? from an marginal source? When do you plan on pluging in and where?

Californina through the www.caiso.com maintains a good website for this type of data. But its all relatively confusing.

When you demand 1 kWh of electricity from your wall, your are in demanding 1.35 kWh of Coal and .64 kWh of Natural Gas be burned and .23 kWh of Nuclear and .14 kWh of Renewables to be produced. This is a total of ~2.4 kWh of resources for each 1 kWh demanded. That's equal to a ~53 MPG car. Of course that based on efficieny. If you talking CO2 "pollution", then the US power grid is similiar to a 60 MPG car. If you talking real forms of pollution like NOx, etc. Then most electric cars range from ~35 MPG cars to 125 MPG cars without localization effects.

The net end is that to have an "electric" car be worse than the best traditional cars like the Cruze Eco, you need to

A. Live in an area with High Coal Power Usage
B. Live in an area with Old Power Plants
C. Have a Power company that will not use NG as the "new" demand tool
D. Live in an area where power plants are located close to population centers

While there are states that meet A-D, the vast majority of the US population doesn't have the above criteria. For more than 50% of the US population, an electric car is better in every way than a Strong Hybrid. More than ~90% of the US its better than even economy oriented tradational ICE cars.


RE: volt
By RepublicansAreTheProblem on 4/3/2012 8:50:35 PM , Rating: 1
Interesting math you have there. You do realize Oil Refineries are one of the largest consumers of electricity in America don't you? Or do you think that oil is just sucked out of the ground and straight into your gas tank?

This calculation shows that 1 gallon of gas uses more electricity than the equivalent of direct electricity to move the car the same distance. That is not even taking into account the energy to get the oil out of the ground and to the refinery and all the greenhouse gas emissions that are non-existant with direct electric.
http://electricmini.blogspot.ca/2011/10/it-takes-l...

Oh and there is the fact (which any 1st year engineering student can tell you) that large stationary generation plants are far more efficient than 1000's of cars driving around burning fuel. Also taking into account transmission losses.


RE: volt
By Keeir on 4/4/2012 12:25:08 AM , Rating: 3
Blah Blah Blah Blah.

That Peder is not really a great source. The worst part, the Argonne National Laboratory (a Plug-in car "advocate") has already done alot of the work

http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/637.PDF

A refinary uses alot of NATURAL GAS. To produce Hydrogen used during the actual process. And as a heating source. It uses very little actual electricity.

Now, I imagine that ANL didn't take into account the offices used to support the refinary. The ANL study focuses directly on the refinary. Now, where was that taken into account for electrical production? I didn't. I don't have that data.

The data I have is feedstocks and production.


RE: volt
By mars2k on 4/6/2012 2:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
How completely refreshing! I have always wondered how that sentiment was lost on so many so called “conservatives’. After all you can still want to balance the books and help the environment. In fact, those two ideas may actually go hand in hand when you think about it.
Instead of parroting the claptrap of the political class, think for ourselves and deal with the real problems facing us in the near future.


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