• Aug 11, 2010
Rush Limbaugh and Fox News might not like the Chevrolet Volt, but Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will gladly go to bat for the car and for General Motors. She did just that at the Center for American Progress recently after being asked about Limbaugh's comments by Think Progress, saying:
It's just un-American. I can't believe that somebody would say this about this American product. He hasn't even driven it. He hasn't sat in it. You know, why wouldn't you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this. Why wouldn't you be supportive of that? It is mind-blowing to me. And of course, the public is getting paid back. You know, GM has paid back the loan – the bottom line is, is this is a good news story, and somebody who would twist it to be something negative obviously has another agenda. Which we all know he does.
The State of Michigan and Granholm have been strong supporters of the auto industry (how can they not be?), and GM has responded by making the Volt as much of a Michigan car as it can. The battery pack will be made in Brownstown and the Volt itself will be put together in Hamtramck. Design and testing, of course, have been done at the GM facility in Warren, and even some of the non-GM parts will be produced in the state, like the battery cells, which will be made in Holland, MI once that plant gets going by 2013. So, this whole tiff is unsurprising, but worth noting. Watch a video of Granholm's remarks after the jump.

[Source: MLive, Think Progress via Energy Boom]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 116 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why some Americans wish to cannibalize their own country so much I don't know? The Volt is the first time in a long time that GM has had a leg up in the automotive world. They are several years ahead of the Japanese and Koreans for once. That lead will not be maintained by Americans bashing their own product and forcing it to fail before it even has a chance.

      Yes, its a gutsy move in the market. It would be a shame that the Volt may do well but not as well as it could do due to stupid far right wing politics that seems to besiege the American mentality. Toyota is now in bed with Tesla....the Germans are working day and night on EVs....and the Koreans can't be too far behind. Cheap oil won't last forever and Americans must surely be tired of the Arabs having you folks by the short and curlies.

      If Americans do not support the Volt and GM, then GM will fall behind to the Japanese, Germans and Koreans all over again. America will continue to fade into economic irrelevance as China and India start gaining steam in the ever changing world economy.

      Yes, diverse opinions are great....but sometimes really stupid people need to be told en-masse to "shut the %$#! up". Does American want to be great again or do you want to be seen as this ( http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/) in the world's eyes?

      The choice is yours America!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, everyone but the Germans seem to be working hard on plug-in hybrids.
        Kudos to GM for being the first to bring one to market, but the lead is not really that great as everyone and his cat will have one by 2012, with the exception of Nissan.
        Unfortunately for GM, to some degree they may suffer from the perils of being the pioneer, as their development cycle started very early and other products may be better optimises, although the Volt looks pretty good:
        http://www.mychevroletvolt.com/chevrolet-volt-review-and-test-drive

        We know about the Prius plug-in, and Honda have recently said that they will have a plug-in on the road in the US by 2012.
        The one I would watch for though is Hyundai, who are gaining ground with a lot of their conventional cars, are to introduce a Sonata hybrid which looks good, and have confirmed that a plug-in will come in 2012.
        They have settled on 20 miles as being the sweet spot for all electric range, and are using the formidable SK Energy pack, if they go with the same supplier as for the normal hybrid:
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/06/sk-20090612.html

        At 2.3 cu ft this battery pack should enable Hyundai to package the car a lot better than the Volt, with it's somewhat intrusive T-shaped pack.

        Exciting days!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If GM wants to soften the blows the Volt is taking over the price, and the billions of tax payer's money being flushed, really, is Grandholm a good choice to spout off her mouth about this subject. Her state is broke! No signs of recovery. Michigan is the poster child of this nanny state mentality. Basically, Michigan is used as a perfect example of how government sponsored and funded programs are a big fat fail.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Basically, if you are in a Democrat controlled state, you are broke.
        • 4 Years Ago
        California, the mecca of automotive greenies is broke as well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Michigan is recovering, and it's not all failure. My brother is a millwright at American Axle, which is a subcontractor for the auto industry, and their business is booming. He's working seven day weeks and the plant has been hiring 30 to 50 new employees every week (unfortunately at $10 per hour starting wage). GM and Chrysler have both been talking with them about increased production for the future.

        We've gone through a financial collapse. Recessions caused by financial collapse are much harder to come out of than other ones. George W. Bush's recession recovery was very weak in creating jobs. This world-wide recession is even deeper and more devastating. If it weren't for government action worldwide, we would be in another Great Depression right now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be neat if you lefties could actually produce Rush's quotes that you seem to be arguing against. Ok Ok I know I'm asking too much. Type in haste and repent at leisure, lefties. It's always easier to argue against made up comments.
      • 4 Years Ago
      PS
      If people think the Volt is so cool,
      Buy a Leaf, put a tow bar on it and pack a small trailer with a 5kw Honda generator plugged in and you'll have the same thing for $10,000 less.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Except that you'd mock and scorn the Leaf for its limited range, and any such arrangement such as that you facetiously suggest you'd scorn even more for its awkwardness.

        It's OK - you're not morally obligated to hate the Volt just because it came out during the Obama Administration. Work on it began under Bush, at GM's own discretion and not the orders of government. GM would have released the Volt no matter who won in 2008 and even if it had not been taken over by the government.

        As for the tax credit, you expect GM to insist that its customers NOT get it?
        • 1 Day Ago
        Funny, I had thought of the same thing.

        Honda generators are surely cheaper than the Volt boondoggle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I will never buy a government motors car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Volt seems to perform better than I had feared.
      Here is an enthusiast's comprehensive report:
      http://www.mychevroletvolt.com/chevrolet-volt-review-and-test-drive

      Highlights:
      Space:'So if you had a tall 6’4” person driving in the front with the seat all the way back, you could probably comfortably fit a person who is perhaps 5’6” at the tallest. A good rule I thumb for that maximum tandem seating height I think would be 12’ total height. Meaning two people who are 6 foot tall sitting tandem (6+6=12) would be comfortable. '

      Air-con drain:'One thing I noticed right away on the energy usage screen was that when we had placed the car into “comfort” mod with air conditioning at full blast, the estimated electrical range dropped from 40 miles to 32 miles. This may give you an idea of what to expect depending on your accessory load. After watching the true mileage for a while, the estimator tool seemed to be fairly accurate.'

      Power:'Shifting it into drive, I pulled away from the lot, stopped the stop sign right before the entry to the ride and handling loop. I swung the Volt slowly around the corner, gingerly pressed on the brake to bring it to a near stop, and then pushed the pedal to the floor. Without hesitation, the Volt pushed us into the back of our seats with a constant G Force. 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 56, 60, 65, 70 – During the middle of the acceleration Valerie help me toggle the Volt into Sport mode, and sure enough about another 20% power was unlocked, giving you a little extra spirit all the way along. I didn’t time it, but compared to other cars I’ve driven, the 0-60 felt like it was around 8-9 seconds as advertised. It was quicker than a 4 cylinder compact car (Unless you have a turbo), and probably just a hair less than a new model V-6 sedan that makes over 220 Hp. This was with a 3800 lb car + a full passenger load of 4 normal sized adults. '

      Acceleration:'Once up to full speed, I did some “passing speed” behavior to the extent that the course and the test engineer would let me. When I accelerating from 50 to 65 mph and 55 to 70 mph, the passing acceleration performance overall now felt more like a normal car, but without the downshift and sudden speed boost. Definitely adequate for highway driving and you’d be able to overtake a slower driving car with ease, but in this regard, not as exciting as to 0-45 where you were actually pushed into your seat. Short summary on acceleration, fantastic for freeway onramps, adequate for passing speeds, where adequate is performance similar to a typical 4 cylinder compact car at highway speeds.'

      Mountain mode: no difference in driving performance

      Charge sustaining mode:'I got to experience the normal transition from electric to gas, which as people have described before was totally seamless. You could not sense any vibration as the gas engine game online and with the tire noise at 30-40 mph, you can hardly hear the gas engine if you are just cruising around. I noticed that the gas engine typically stayed around 1200-1600 rpm if you were just cruising around at 40-60 mph on flat terrain, with the AC on pretty hard. For normal, non aggressive, non hill climbing driving, the gas engine for the most part was out of the way. You could hear it, but it was a dull drone with no perceptible vibration in the cabin. Once again, there was no difference at all in driving under those conditions.'

      MPGs in charge sustaining mode:'I’ll give you what I saw as the MPGs in charge sustaining mode. Basically, I watched the energy display over a period of time. In total, during our drive we used 0.40 gallons of gasoline. In that period of time, the estimated miles on gas resulted in an MPG measure varying between 30 and 40 mpg. Keep in mind; this is with the AC on full blast, us driving inefficiently and also an unknown amount of extra charge that was put into the battery from using mountain mode for part of the drive. Of course, given the sample size of actual gasoline used – you’ll have to take this with a grain of salt. However, I suspect that you can get 50 mpg if you are not using air conditioning, and driving conservatively.'

      Apologies for the long post. I was hoping we might get an article on this comprehensive report, but since we did not I thought folk might be interested in this article, which answers a lot we have been curious about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Indeed. I'm sure we'll see more reports forthcoming, but it's nice to see two major questions addressed:

        Regarding charge sustaining mode: "Once again, there was no difference at all in driving under those conditions." Many people expressed concern that performance would diminish in CSM, glad to see that is not the case.

        Regarding MPGs: mid 30s to 40s not terrible, "However, I suspect that you can get 50 mpg if you are not using air conditioning, and driving conservatively." Nice news for hypermilers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Using a ICE plugged into a generator and being able to get 50 mpg with conservative driving is pretty good. The damn thing has got three engines. Gen, ICE and E. No wonder it is so expensive.

        "The body lean at higher speed and tighter corners was a little dose of reality. I guess there isn’t much you can do you compensate for the loads you are putting into the suspension of an already fairly heavy, and loaded down Volt. Compared to other cars in the category I thought that this part – again was average. A well tuned mid size like the fusion felt a little better (lighter) in the corners. It’s the price you pay for the weight of all the electronics/battery on board."

        "You got your EV in my ICE! No, you got your ICE in my EV!" Two great tastes, that taste great together!

        I still take issue with the authors phrasing, "It’s the price you pay for the weight of all the electronics/battery on board."

        Actually, IMO it is the price you pay for the weight of having a ICE, generator and the accouterments that go along with the ICE.

        Still no word on EV production from GM? GM is waiting on Nissan sales results. If they knew in 2006, when the Volt was just a gleam in a engineers eyes, what they know now pertaining to EV demand, I think they would have some EV's in the pipe line. Tisk, tisk. Baby step, always with the baby steps... whaaa

        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, that makes the price tag slightly easier to swallow.. thanks for the post David.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Many of the Obamaphiles think that good intentions somehow trumpet common sense and economics.

      The Volt would not exist without billions in taxpayer dollars and subsidies, and virtually nobody will buy this car...even those who do, understand that it costs at least 80k to make, vs a subsidized sale price of 32k.

      What batteries does it use? Lithium, I think...the world supply of this in in Ecuador, harldy a model for human rights.

      Take home this electric lemon and plug it in...to recharge it from coal fired power plants, since the only "green" alternative (nuclear) is not exactly a popular choice with the envirowhackedouts.

      Face it, your socialist agenda is failing big time.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Dantes, you are totally wrong.

        Bob Lutz was the GM executive responsible for the Volt, and he was in place before, during, and after the bankruptcy. He recently retired, citing frustration that federal bureaucrats were pushing GM to build cars that government wanted, not cars that the public wanted. (This was NOT a reference to the Volt, but to other things.) In other words, if Obama had lost, and federal bureaucrats hadn't taken over GM, Lutz would NOT have retired, and his baby the Volt would have been even MORE certain to have been released than it is now.

        Also, it was the CHRYSLER bond-holders that got it in the teeth, not GM's.

        The Volt is IRRELEVANT to Obama. I'm even more angry at Obama now for rushing to have his picture taken with it in hopes that its futuristic coolness will rub off on him, because he's so unpopular that his unpopularity is rubbing off on and may ruin a very important product that will help point the way to breaking OPEC and defeating our enemies.
        • 1 Day Ago
        The article you cite is long on rhetoric and short on facts. I'm aware that Obama treated the Chrysler bondholders outrageously, demagoguing them and even implicitly threatening them because they were legally supposed to be first in line to get paid. I'm unaware of GM bondholders being similarly cheated of their due; if you have a coherent article that clearly states that and backs it up with verifiable sources, I'll admit you've scored a point.

        Back up your claim that the Volt is a lemon, or back down. You have no basis for your opinion than a desire to have it. Look up "confirmation bias" sometime.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Dantes, you're just making "stuff" (and I use that word for lack of a better one) up. Aggressive ignorance is one thing, DELIBERATE ignorance and fantasizing is contemptible.

        And now for some facts.

        Bob Lutz was the GM executive responsible for the Volt, and he was in place before, during, and after the bankruptcy. He eventually retired, citing frustration that federal bureaucrats were pushing GM to build cars that government wanted, not cars that the public wanted. (This was NOT a reference to the Volt, but to other things.) In other words, if Obama had lost, and federal bureaucrats hadn't taken over GM, Lutz would NOT have retired, and his baby the Volt would have been even MORE certain to have been released than it is now.

        Also, it was the CHRYSLER bond-holders that got it in the teeth, not GM's.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Stop making the Volt an Obama-mobile. I'm sure he'd love to take credit for this breakthrough product; why are you so easily fooled by him?

        The Volt began in 2006, during the Bush Administration and when Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress. The GM executive who shepherded it into being began pushing for it back in 2003, when word first began circulating of Tesla Motors, a small Silicon Valley startup making big breathroughs in battery-electric vehicle design that seemed to have potential for the mass market. In other words, the Volt owes its origin to old-fashioned capitalist competition. GM would have released it even if McCain or Romney had won in 2008 and had not been taken over by the feds.

        Stop mindlessly automatically knee-jerk hating anything positive that happens between the years 2009 and 2013. I voted for McCain Palin myself and anything that can break us free from OPEC is good in my book.

        And NO domestic drilling won't do it - we have only 3% of world reserves and falling while OPEC has 78% and rising.
        • 1 Day Ago
        If GM had gone through the normal process of bankruptcy and allowed to be run as a company coming out of bankruptcy, the Volt would have been shelved. It only exists because of Obama's unwarranted interference in the market by taking over GM, screwing the bondholders, etc. So it is an Obamamobile, whether you voted for McCain/Palin or not.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Unless something changed, Obama screwed the corporate bondholders out of their dough. But, whatever, the Volt is a lemon. Let us know how you like yours.


        http://www.nlpc.org/stories/2009/05/01/obama-administration-arranges-takeover-gm-and-chrysler-auto-workers-union-gets-hu
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't like the care for the same reason I don't buy lottery tickets from the Mob. Its production is based on force, fraud, and theft under color of law. I don't support that kind of behavior. Neither should you.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker said, "All we need is a bit more oil for a bit more time."

        Until when? And why is the status quo of funding our enemies OK until then? We're at WAR, remember?

        "Yes, they can cut their oil, but that also cuts their income"

        Wrong. As I just carefully explained, I believe more than once, by cutting their production, OPEC can spike the per-unit price high enough to make just as much as before even with lower sales volume.

        "Fischer Tropp process can product oil from coal. It also can produce oil from natural gas. Prices are moderate."

        Prices are MUCH higher than ordinary oil. How would you overcome this, since you scorn subsidies so strongly?

        Plus, it's a lot cheaper to make methanol from natural gas and coal. Methanol is a liquid fuel and can be used interchangeably with gasoline in fully flex-fueled vehicles.
        • 1 Day Ago
        By pumping more oil domestically we increase supply, and lower the price. That has the same effect as reducing demand, and need not be subsidezed.
        • 1 Day Ago
        "First, electricity is not a source of energy, because the electricity has to be generated. If your electricity is generated by oil, you are no less dependent on oil."

        You have no idea what you're talking about. Stop embarrassing yourself. Only a tiny percentage of the electricity generated in America comes from oil, between 3% and less than 1%, depending on the year. So turning on the lights, or plugging in a plug-in car, doesn't fund terrorism; but swiping your card at the gas station does.

        If a car lets you accomplish 95% of your driving without using a drop of petroleum fuel, that's a good thing, genius.

        "Second, GM should have gone bankrupt rather than accept stolen money, or counterfeit money. The pieces would have been sold, and the world would go on. Chrysler is on the frequent filer plan, having accepted its second bailout."

        I agree, but all that's TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to the issue of the merits of the Volt, and whether the Volt is some evil Obama scheme, or a breakthrough product of American capitalism.

        "Third, the right thing to do is to produce more of a product that is scarce. That way everyone benefits."

        Last I checked, full size family sedans that can let you do nearly all your routine commute and errand driving without using ANY oil, from a major manufacturer, and affordable at least to the upper middle class, are pretty darn scarce.

        "We have been waiting for electric cars for 90 years, and they still are 5 years away."

        Um, no. The Leaf is being released this year (Nissan by the way was working on it from the early 90s, in JAPAN - can't blame Obama or US Democrats for that one); and the Volt as well.

        "Hybrid cars have a place"

        Not unless they're plug-ins. Regular hybrids are just complicated expensive ways of using less gas. And that wil lmake zero difference in the world. Even if we all bought a Prius and used 10% less gasoline, OPEC could just cut production to match, spike the per-unit price of gasorine, and make just as much money as before on reduced sales volume - and the maniacs trying to kill our soldiers over there and us over here would get just as much money as before too.
        • 1 Day Ago
        you claim that socialist economies have control over markets. That claim shows that you don't know what a market is. When you establish a market, the seller does not have control, he gets what he can from those who are willing to pay. The buyer also does not have control, he pays what he must from those who are willing to sell. The market is where those two parties agree. The oil sellers have control in the same way that the buyers have control.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker said, "When the volt is not plugged in, as it can not be on a long trip"

        Long trips that are very infrequent compared to everyday driving.

        "100% of its electricity will be generated by electricity."

        Um, I presme you mean, generated by oil. And you're of course right that on long trips the Volt will be running a gasoline-powered generator, and thus burning gasoline. But that's no worse than a gasoline car, and overall on most trips you're not using gasoline at all.

        Furthermore, future model years of the Volt will also be flex-fueled, so the generator will be able to run on ethanol.

        "Even if electrictiy can not be generated by oil, it may be generated by coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric. Compared to these others, oil has a far lower footprint. "

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Even a dirty coal plant charging up a fleet of Volts results in less pollution than a same-sized fleet of ordinary gasoline-burning cars. Nuclear and hydro power are even cleaner than that.

        And while cleaner air is a wonderful thing, my primary motivation for getting off oil is to save our economy from the threat of more oil shocks like in 2008, and to de-fund and defeat our oil-funded enemies.

        Which part of that do you oppose: the cleaner air, the growing economy, or the bankrupted terrorists?

        I share your assesment of what contributed to GM's fall, but all that's irrelevant to the issue of the merits of the Volt. As for subsidies and market intervention, why don't you and other mindless parrots of oil-funded think tanks worry about OPEC?

        That's a gang of state-socialist tyrannies, who have PERMANENT and UNFIXABALE control of the world oil market, since their oil is the cheapest to get and they have 78% of world reserves. World oil prices are set by OPEC, whose member states produce oil not in response to market demand, but state fiat, deliberately under-producing so as to artificially drive up the price in a giant tax on the rest of the world. If Obama had raised our taxes hundreds of billions to spend on universal college or something, conservatives would be waving torches and pitchforks. When OPEC does it to take that money out of our country to fund luxury and repression overseas, and terrorism aimed at us, conservatives yawn.

        "Hybrid trucks have a place. When you need to generate electricity at the site, it can be practical to have the vehicle do that, rather than drag a separate generator. Hybrid cars are overpriced to help people feel smug. Volt is another hybrid, depending on government subsidies to make up for its failure in the market. Subsidies gained through coercion and fraud."

        That paragraph above is a hilarious sad muddle showcasing your aggressive loud ignorance.

        The electric motor in a hybrid truck cannot be used to generate electricity for any other purpose.

        And ordinary hybrids are mostly gasoline cars, with a little electric engine for slow-speed travel to stretch out the gasoline. The Volt is mostly an electric car that can travel at full speed on electric only, with a little gasoline engine to stretch out the electric charge when necessary. Also, the key breakthrough nature of the Volt is that it is a PLUG-IN hybrid, so its battery can be recharged by plugging it in at home or elsewhere to the electric grid.

        As for the subsidies, ten thousand Volts times 8,000 per car equals $80 million. And yet you have a bigger problem with this piddly amount than you do with the we paid OPEC hundreds of billions last year to crash our economy and murder Americans?

        Congratulations on being a useful tool of our enemies, "When the volt is not plugged in, as it can not be on a long trip"

        Long trips that are very infrequent compared to everyday driving.

        "100% of its electricity will be generated by electricity."

        Um, I presme you mean, generated by oil. And you're of course right that on long trips the Volt will be running a gasoline-powered generator, and thus burning gasoline. But that's no worse than a gasoline car, and overall on most trips you're not using gasoline at all.

        Furthermore, future model years of the Volt will also be flex-fueled, so the generator will be able to run on ethanol.

        "Even if electrictiy can not be generated by oil, it may be generated by coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric. Compared to these others, oil has a far lower footprint. "

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Even a dirty coal plant charging up a fleet of Volts results in less pollution than a same-sized fleet of ordinary gasoline-burning cars. Nuclear and hydro power are even cleaner than that.

        And while cleaner air is a wonderful thing, my primary motivation for getting off o
        • 1 Day Ago
        Attempt #3 to place a post without mysteriously duplicated paragraphs (ABG please try to delete my prior two attempts, since you deny this ability to your users):

        Donmeaker said, "When the volt is not plugged in, as it can not be on a long trip"

        Long trips that are very infrequent compared to everyday driving.

        "100% of its electricity will be generated by electricity."

        Um, I presme you mean, generated by oil. And you're of course right that on long trips the Volt will be running a gasoline-powered generator, and thus burning gasoline. But that's no worse than a gasoline car, and overall on most trips you're not using gasoline at all.

        Furthermore, future model years of the Volt will also be flex-fueled, so the generator will be able to run on ethanol.

        "Even if electrictiy can not be generated by oil, it may be generated by coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric. Compared to these others, oil has a far lower footprint. "

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Even a dirty coal plant charging up a fleet of Volts results in less pollution than a same-sized fleet of ordinary gasoline-burning cars. Nuclear and hydro power are even cleaner than that.

        And while cleaner air is a wonderful thing, my primary motivation for getting off oil is to save our economy from the threat of more oil shocks like in 2008, and to de-fund and defeat our oil-funded enemies.

        Which part of that do you oppose: the cleaner air, the growing economy, or the bankrupted terrorists?

        I share your assesment of what contributed to GM's fall, but all that's irrelevant to the issue of the merits of the Volt. As for subsidies and market intervention, why don't you and other mindless parrots of oil-funded think tanks worry about OPEC?

        That's a gang of state-socialist tyrannies, who have PERMANENT and UNFIXABALE control of the world oil market, since their oil is the cheapest to get and they have 78% of world reserves. World oil prices are set by OPEC, whose member states produce oil not in response to market demand, but state fiat, deliberately under-producing so as to artificially drive up the price in a giant tax on the rest of the world. If Obama had raised our taxes hundreds of billions to spend on universal college or something, conservatives would be waving torches and pitchforks. When OPEC does it to take that money out of our country to fund luxury and repression overseas, and terrorism aimed at us, conservatives yawn.

        "Hybrid trucks have a place. When you need to generate electricity at the site, it can be practical to have the vehicle do that, rather than drag a separate generator. Hybrid cars are overpriced to help people feel smug. Volt is another hybrid, depending on government subsidies to make up for its failure in the market. Subsidies gained through coercion and fraud."

        That paragraph above is a hilarious sad muddle showcasing your aggressive loud ignorance.

        The electric motor in a hybrid truck cannot be used to generate electricity for any other purpose.

        And ordinary hybrids are mostly gasoline cars, with a little electric engine for slow-speed travel to stretch out the gasoline. The Volt is mostly an electric car that can travel at full speed on electric only, with a little gasoline engine to stretch out the electric charge when necessary. Also, the key breakthrough nature of the Volt is that it is a PLUG-IN hybrid, so its battery can be recharged by plugging it in at home or elsewhere to the electric grid.

        As for the subsidies, ten thousand Volts times 8,000 per car equals $80 million. And yet you have a bigger problem with this piddly amount than you do with the we paid OPEC hundreds of billions last year to crash our economy and murder Americans?

        Congratulations on being a useful tool of our enemies.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker said, "you claim that socialist economies have control over markets. That claim shows that you don't know what a market is. When you establish a market, the seller does not have control, he gets what he can from those who are willing to pay. The buyer also does not have control, he pays what he must from those who are willing to sell. The market is where those two parties agree. The oil sellers have control in the same way that the buyers have control."

        OPEC controls the supply, and deliberately produces less than market demand to drive up the price. It gets away with this because, atypically and in contrast to your general principles, oil demand is very price inelastic. Oil sales went up and up throughout the 9 year run where OPEC increased the price 14-fold. The means people "agree" to pay OPEC whatever it demands up to a sky-high, economy-crashing level, because they have no choice - they MUST pay if they want to move about.

        That's the problem. If the Soviet Union had had 78% of world oil reserves, I doubt most conservatives and free market advocates would have opposed moving heaven and earth to ensure we break free of a Soviet dominated commodity so we could stop funding them. The same principle should apply to OPEC.
        • 1 Day Ago
        First, electricity is not a source of energy, because the electricity has to be generated. If your electricity is generated by oil, you are no less dependent on oil.
        Second, GM should have gone bankrupt rather than accept stolen money, or counterfeit money. The pieces would have been sold, and the world would go on. Chrysler is on the frequent filer plan, having accepted its second bailout.
        Third, the right thing to do is to produce more of a product that is scarce. That way everyone benefits. We have been waiting for electric cars for 90 years, and they still are 5 years away. Hybrid cars have a place, and I have worked on one application where a hybrid truck provided electrical power after transporting its load. That military application owed its rationale to the high cost of transporting military materiel to a war zone through limited airlift.
        • 1 Day Ago
        But oil can be made using FischerTropp process from coal, or natural gas, so as demand goes up, other fuels can be used to make substitute fuel. AF has proven that fischertropp fuels work just fine by turbine engines. Germany demonstrated (I knew some of the Donath family personally) that FT fuels work in diesel or otto cycle engines... And it is elastic in the sense that we have many alternatives for transportation, and even can not travel, using netmeeting or other internet/phone means of communication.
        • 1 Day Ago
        There is no oil monopoly. There are many producers, and could be many more if our government had a sensible oil exploration policy. Rather than spend more money on alternative fuels, I would free the market to produce more fuel, in the amounts demanded by the market. When alternative fuels make sense, it will be produced for profit, without subsidies. Until they make sense, charlatans will demand subsidy to make up for bad decisions, while hiding behind patriotism to convince the fools.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker, unless you are still confused as to nature of the trucks you used, I stand corrected on whether hybrid trucks can generate electric power and apologize.

        But you went on to say, "I don't see how spending 20 dollars to replace 2 dollars of oil helps the country."

        1) Even if ethanol did cost ten times what gasoline does, if it were necessary to shoulder that burden to defeat our enemies, why wouldn't you support that? Do you want them to win and us to lose? Yes or no? Is that the spirit that won World War 2?

        2) Ethanol does NOT cots ten times what gasoline does. Its retail price is quite competitive (check http://e85prices.com/ ) - costing less than gasoline per gallon, and a little more per mile or month because of mileage. And even mileage is being solved - the new 2011 Buick Regal is able to use ethanol's higher octane to get the same mileage from both fuels.

        Yes, ethanol is subsidized, but

        a) that subsidy is only about 50 cents a gallon, not 20 dollars, so if ethanol really cost that much to make no one would sell it because they'd lose huge money even with a 50 cent subsidy;

        b) the subsidy merely serves to offset our tariffs on cheap foreign ethanol. If we let Brazil and the Caribbean sell us cheap sugarcane ethanol we'd undercut gasoline with no need for subsidies. What excuse would you have for sharing our enemies' hatred of ethanol then?

        "If GM had a good idea, or good technology they could have sold that, rather than sucking in money from the government gathered through taxes. Since they didn't have a good idea or good technology they end up having the govt tax people with good ideas to subsidize their bad ideas."

        The problem here is that good ideas sometimes take a long time to percolate through the market. It took 30 years for the "you go first" standoff between cell towers being built, and ordinary people buying cell phones, to gradually be overcome in most areas, and the process is still working its way through.

        But we don't HAVE a long time. We're at WAR and each year we give our enemies hundreds of billions of dollars. Every time we swipe our credit cards at gasoline pumps we are buying propaganda, training, and weapons for fanatical enemies who are trying to kill not only our soldiers but you and everyone you love. The fact that this crazy situation has been going on for way too long doesn't make it "normal", or less hair-on-fire urgent to end it ASAP.
        • 1 Day Ago
        But oil demand is elastic. People decide to go, or not go on summer vacations. Of course we could decide not to waste money on ethanol. People can cut home heating costs by wearing a sweater. As prices go up, people change their behavior. And as prices go up, more alternative sources of energy make sense, making supply as well as demand elastic.
        • 1 Day Ago
        When the volt is not plugged in, as it can not be on a long trip, 100% of its electricity will be generated by electricity. Even if electrictiy can not be generated by oil, it may be generated by coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric. Compared to these others, oil has a far lower footprint.

        The reason GM should have gone bankrupt is it could not make a product its customers wanted at a reasonable price. The reasons why are many: Union corruption, government CAFE standards, misunderstanding the market, bad assumptions leading to bad financial decisions. Now, as "Government Motors" when people don't want the product, it can continue in business as a government welfare bureau, doing what doesn't need to be done, for the people who don't think their product worth their money. A fine business model.

        You mentioned the Tesla. The market will sort out if it is a fine product or not. When they get government money it becomes another way to use coercion and fraud to enrich the undeserving. Hope it doesn't go that way, but when the government is so generous with its coercion and fraud, well there is always plenty of government fraud to go around.

        Hybrid trucks have a place. When you need to generate electricity at the site, it can be practical to have the vehicle do that, rather than drag a separate generator. Hybrid cars are overpriced to help people feel smug. Volt is another hybrid, depending on government subsidies to make up for its failure in the market. Subsidies gained through coercion and fraud.
        • 1 Day Ago
        All we need is a bit more oil for a bit more time. Yes, they can cut their oil, but that also cuts their income, which is the point, no?

        Fischer Tropp process can product oil from coal. It also can produce oil from natural gas. Prices are moderate.

        national petroleum reserve can also help: merely buy when the price is low, and sell when the price is high. That way if OPEC produces too much for Fischer Tropp process to be profitable, NPR buys more increasing demand, raising the price. If they cut production, then Fischer Tropp process is profitable, and produces more, and NPR sells to moderate the price. Of course there would be some place between where NPR would neither buy nor sell.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Sorry, the hybrid truck I worked on for the Army did indeed generate electricty for other purposes. Such a truck would be used for air defense radars, headquarters and other purposes where a generator would normally be used to generate power. A simple inverter could convert DC to AC where that was helpful. That was the point of that particular hybrid arrangement.
        I don't see how spending 20 dollars to replace 2 dollars of oil helps the country. If GM had a good idea, or good technology they could have sold that, rather than sucking in money from the government gathered through taxes. Since they didn't have a good idea or good technology they end up having the govt tax people with good ideas to subsidize their bad ideas.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker said, "But oil demand is elastic."

        Wrong. Oil demand is highly price-inelastic. Yes yes yes that doesn't mean it's TOTALLY price inelastic, but there it is.

        Oil is the ONLY source for transportation fuel. Aircraft cannot fly without it. And rare exceptions aside, automobiles cannot move without it either. Even ships and trains, which once ran on coal, now nearly all run on oil-derived fuel.

        Once again, even when the price of oil skyrocketed 1,400% in only 9 years, demand and usage was still up. That's just astounding, and a huge example of how much OPEC has the world by the, ahem, throat.

        We have to break oil's monopoly status as the only source of transportation fuel.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Whan an unholy combination Internet Explorer 7 and the craptacular, non-editable, non-deletable AOL/Blogsmith comment system is.

        Let me try that one again:

        donmeaker said: "When the volt is not plugged in, as it can not be on a long trip"

        Long trips that are very infrequent compared to everyday driving.

        "100% of its electricity will be generated by electricity."

        Um, I presume you mean, generated by oil. And you're of course right that on long trips the Volt will be running a gasoline-powered generator, and thus burning gasoline. But that's no worse than a gasoline car, and overall on most trips you're not using gasoline at all.

        Furthermore, future model years of the Volt will also be flex-fueled, so the generator will be able to run on ethanol.

        "Even if electrictiy can not be generated by oil, it may be generated by coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric. Compared to these others, oil has a far lower footprint. "

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Even a dirty coal plant charging up a fleet of Volts results in less pollution than a same-sized fleet of ordinary gasoline-burning cars. Nuclear and hydro power are even cleaner than that.

        And while cleaner air is a wonderful thing, my primary motivation for getting off oil is to save our economy from the threat of more oil shocks like in 2008, and to de-fund and defeat our oil-funded enemies.

        Which part of that do you oppose: the cleaner air, the growing economy, or the bankrupted terrorists?

        I share your assesment of what contributed to GM's fall, but all that's irrelevant to the issue of the merits of the Volt. As for subsidies and market intervention, why don't you and other mindless parrots of oil-funded think tanks worry about OPEC?

        That's a gang of state-socialist tyrannies, who have PERMANENT and UNFIXABALE control of the world oil market, since their oil is the cheapest to get and they have 78% of world reserves. World oil prices are set by OPEC, whose member states produce oil not in response to market demand, but state fiat, deliberately under-producing so as to artificially drive up the price in a giant tax on the rest of the world. If Obama had raised our taxes hundreds of billions to spend on universal college or something, conservatives would be waving torches and pitchforks. When OPEC does it to take that money out of our country to fund luxury and repression overseas, and terrorism aimed at us, conservatives yawn.

        "Hybrid trucks have a place. When you need to generate electricity at the site, it can be practical to have the vehicle do that, rather than drag a separate generator. Hybrid cars are overpriced to help people feel smug. Volt is another hybrid, depending on government subsidies to make up for its failure in the market. Subsidies gained through coercion and fraud."

        That paragraph above is a hilarious sad muddle showcasing your aggressive loud ignorance.

        The electric motor in a hybrid truck cannot be used to generate electricity for any other purpose.

        And ordinary hybrids are mostly gasoline cars, with a little electric engine for slow-speed travel to stretch out the gasoline. The Volt is mostly an electric car that can travel at full speed on electric only, with a little gasoline engine to stretch out the electric charge when necessary. Also, the key breakthrough nature of the Volt is that it is a PLUG-IN hybrid, so its battery can be recharged by plugging it in at home or elsewhere to the electric grid.

        As for the subsidies, ten thousand Volts times 8,000 per car equals $80 million. And yet you have a bigger problem with this piddly amount than you do with the we paid OPEC hundreds of billions last year to crash our economy and murder Americans?

        Congratulations on being a useful tool of our enemies.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker made the absurd claim: "There is no oil monopoly."

        Wrong on two levels.

        1. On a macro, geostrategic, significant level, oil, is for practical purposes at present the only source of transportation fuel. We used to use coal for trains and ships, but even those now use oil-derived fuel. Oil is also basically the only fuel for automobiles and aircraft.

        2. Because OPEC has 78% of world oil reserves, acts as a unified body in concert, and has the lowest extraction costs, it controls the world oil market and the price of oil. Because OPEC is expending its reserves at a lower rate than the non-OPEC producers, its share of what is left is constantly rising.

        "There are many producers, and could be many more if our government had a sensible oil exploration policy."

        The presence of non-OPEC producers does not make the realities I described above go away. Nor would our problems be solved, or even mitigated, if the federal government flung aside all restrictions on domestic drilling. Our oil is much more expensive to access, extract, and refine than OPEC's. Also, we have only 3% of world reserves, while we have 25% of world demand.

        As I have already explained to you, even if we radically expanded domestic production, OPEC could just cut its production to match to drive up the world price of oil, and make as much money as before. Or it could turn on the taps and undercut and bankrupt our producers. Either way, OPEC's control over the market continues.

        I don't like that these things are true. I'm a free market conservative. Regulation makes be break out in hives. But I'm willing to do what it takes to free us from dependence on a sinister cartel of foreign tyrannies, especially when they are spreading a death cult at war with us, with our own money.

        Look up "confirmation bias" sometime. Just because you don't wish something to be true doesn't make it false. Abandon child-like hiding from reality. Grow up and face it like an adult.

        "Rather than spend more money on alternative fuels, I would free the market to produce more fuel, in the amounts demanded by the market."

        "When alternative fuels make sense, it will be produced for profit, without subsidies."

        They "make sense" now, unless you like funding terrorism.

        If the USSR had 100% of the world's oil, and we had a domestic alternative fuel that cost a penny less per gallon than oil, would you have opposed a two cent subsidy for that alternative, so as to bankrupt an aggressive totalitarian empire that sought to conquer and enslave the world, including us?

        National security trumps free market purity, at least for the sane, freedom-loving, and patriotic.

        "Until they make sense, charlatans will demand subsidy to make up for bad decisions, while hiding behind patriotism to convince the fools."

        What bad decision? Breaking free of Enemy Fuel?

        As for fools, our enemies will not be grateful to you for your being useful to them - they will still seek to kill you and everyone you love, with the money you insist on not only you but other Americans give them.
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker, I addressed your "points" already.

        Making oil via coal or natural gas is much more expensive than drilling for it. How, then, do you propose to make doing so profitable, especially since you revile subsidies? What, other than a bizarre attachment to using oil in all possible circumstances, even when it's more expensive, could justify preferring such a program to simply switching to alcohol fuel, especially when methanol is so much cheaper than gasoline, even after accounting for the lower mileage?

        The "elasticity" you refer to is obvious, but sharply limited. Since there so often no alternatives to actually moving a person or thing, there will always be a degree of oil demand that cannot be eliminated by price increases, at least not without ruinously high prices. As indeed we saw, as I have repeatedly pointed out, from 1999 to 2008, when the price of oil went up 1,400% but demand kept rising.

        There's no escape from reality. There's no getting around or denying the urgent need to break the oil monopoly and make other sources of transportation power (alcohol fuel, electric vehicles) as widespread and mainstream as possible.
        • 1 Day Ago
        The Volt is not a result of force, fraud, or theft.

        It began in 2006, during the Bush Administration and when Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress. The GM executive who shepherded it into being began pushing for it back in 2003, when word first began circulating of Tesla Motors, a small Silicon Valley startup making big breathroughs in battery-electric vehicle design that seemed to have potential for the mass market. In other words, the Volt owes its origin to old-fashioned capitalist competition. GM would have released it even if McCain or Romney had won in 2008 and had not been taken over by the feds.

        As for the subsidies, what do you think GM should do, refuse them? In any case, if the USSR or Nazi Germany had had 78% of world oil reserves and rising, as OPEC does, wouldn't any patriot support some steps to break free of oil dependence, on national security grounds?
        • 1 Day Ago
        donmeaker said, "By pumping more oil domestically we increase supply, and lower the price. That has the same effect as reducing demand, and need not be subsidezed."

        Multiple problems with this. First, OPEC is depleting its reserves at a lower rate than non-OPEC producers, such as us. That's why it has 78% of world reserves AND RISING, while we have 3% AND FALLING. If we pump more oil, we'll just reduce our share of reserves that much more quickly, placing ourselves totally at OPEC's mercy that much sooner.

        And we wouldn't even realize a temporary benefit of lower oil prices in the short term, because OPEC could just cut production to match our increased production, meaning the total supply of oil available for sale on the world market at that time would not increase, and thus the price would not decrease.

        OPEC, our enemy, controls oil, now and permanently. Face this fact. Splash cold water on your face. WAKE UP.
        • 1 Day Ago
        The problem is you know so much that isn't true. A long term energy policy would have long term contracts that would not be open to price manipulation. The largest oil exporter is not Arab at all, but rather Russia.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's all try to remember that the US government subsidizes oil and gas exploration 10 to 1 compared to its subsidies for green technology. Not to mention the fact that we have sold our children's future for a war to save cheap oil. Limbaugh spreads FUD to protect oil subsidies and the profits of military industrial complex.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Here's a good explanation of oil industry subsidies from that den of raging liberals, the Texas State Gov. http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/subsidies/

        • 4 Years Ago
        I own a small (verrrry small) oil company. I am still looking for the subsidies that I keep hearing about. All I get to do is deduct my expenses from my revenue. We do pay special taxes for items like reseach. Maybe those expenses are thought of as subsidies, but they come out of my hide.
        • 1 Day Ago
        AggieMike,

        I keep looking for all these government handouts to big oil that all the greenie treehuggers tout also.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Coming myself from the so-called "stupid far right" I've still got to say Rush has got the entire auto industry ass-backwards and always has. He's simply not a car guy.

      The conservative argument AGAINST the Volt should relate to the government's backing and bailout of the company behind it, and certainly not the features of the car itself or the massive step forward it represents. That's called arguing on principle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      gee, did any of you "progressives" actually hear what Mr. Limbaugh said about the Volt ?
      Did any of you read the NY Times article that labeled the Volt a lemon ?
      The question to the Guv responded to claimed that Limbaugh said the Volt was a lemon which was a falsehood ... The NYT said it was a lemon and Limbaugh quoted the NYT and said he thought the car was not economically viable ... He was asking why it needed a $7,500 tax break to try an compete in the marketplace ...
      I would suggest information over ignorance ... Rush used have ads for GM but decided to stop doing so after the Government took over GM and trampled on the right of the bondholders in the process ...
      Oh and Rush proudly owns several GM products and hopes for the day when he can again by a non Government Motors car ...

        • 1 Day Ago
        The Volt "needs" a tax break because too many people are too short-sighted to understand that the higher up-front cost of an EV is, if not fully paid for, then greatly mitigated, by the eliminated or greatly reduced need to buy gasoline and pay for regular oil changes. Also because modern EVs are a new product category, and since we are AT WAR with an oil-funded movement, it's worth it to spend a little bit to break oil's monopoly on transportation and help a new method gain traction and market share.

        Fascinating that so many on the right are shrieking about a tax cut to defeat our terrorist enemies. Which part annoys you - cutting taxes, or defeating our foes?
      • 4 Years Ago
      What UnAmrican ? Limbaugh and his oil addicts are closet terrorist supporters. For all their blistering attacks on "Muslims" - they actually aid and abett terrorists by making sure alternate energy can't take the place of petroleum.
        • 4 Years Ago
        These aholes aren't terrorist supporters...THEY ARE the terrorists. Read Synthetic Terror...all these bombs, attacks, etc are all state sponsored. With chaos and instability comes control. It's that simple.
        • 4 Years Ago
        E:

        "If you don't like $41,000 for a compact car, you are unamerican, and (reading the comments above) a terrorist, or terrorist supporter."

        If the entire premise of someone's anti-Volt tirade is false and obviously a ploy by Big Oil to manipulate the opinion of the masses, then yes I consider this to be unpatriotic. Limbaugh does not have a legitimate opinion, it is bought and paid for by Big Oil.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ahh I long for the days when one could disagree or debate and not have their patriotism questioned! When people were open minded and although they might disagree, they did not have to resort to questions if another was 'American.'

        I quote Hillary Clinton:

        I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.

        Evidently that is no longer true. If you are a Tea Party person, you are racist and unpatriotic. If you don't like socialized medicine, you are racist. If you don't like John Kerry (according to his wife), you are unamerican. If you don't like $41,000 for a compact car, you are unamerican, and (reading the comments above) a terrorist, or terrorist supporter.

        What part of 'open minded' do you people not understand anyway?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Volt is overpriced for the performance it delivers.

        There, now I can just kickback and wait for that "Big Oil" check.

        Yep, yep, yep. I'm in the money now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What is unAmerican is being the thought police.
        unAmerican is supporting the 9/11 myth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What is unamerican is selling a car that goes 40 miles, costs $41k,and requires an $8k subsidy to market. It is a car only the government could love. Oh wait, that's why we have it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wrong forum, guys. This is about cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MIKEW:

        Spoken like a typical ignorant "American" who has no clue about the involvements of its country's activities anywhere else in the world.

        Learn some history, get a clue.
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