It's safe to say that Mark Modica at the National Legal and Policy Center is no fan of the Chevy Volt. He calls sales of the vehicle "horrible" and says that publications like Motor Trend have lost credibility in praising GM's plug-in hybrid.

Now that the General has announced that the Volt will get an upscale cousin in the form of the Cadillac ELR Coupe, is it safe to assume that Modica is not a fan? Yes:

The decision to clone the Chevy Volt is perplexing. There is not enough demand for one Volt badged under the Chevy name, why add a Cadillac version?

Modica voices suspicion that creating the plug-in Cady will require a lot of taxpayer dollars in the form of green energy grants and loans. He also cites those federal dollars as the reason why GM hasn't kicked about rising CAFE requirements. Modica states that the decision to build the ELR coupe must be political and, "could not be based on economic considerations."

Of course, it could be that GM made the calculation that potential Cadillac owners are more willing to cover the cost of the technology involved in a car like the ELR than the average Chevy buyer. Offering another plug-in model could expand the pool of buyers and actually drive down the cost of batteries and other expensive components. GM might also feel that the car is an attractive proposition to high-end green shoppers who might otherwise purchase a Tesla Model S.

These are all options, right? Nah, must be politics.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 81 Comments
      Rotation
      • 15 Hours Ago
      I think the idea of the ELR is to try to scoop up those who will pay extra for what the Voltec system offers. Why leave the high end of the market to Fisker? The ELR could easily be better and cheaper, given GM's ability to leverage their existing investments in the technology. In the end, if you don't like the Volt, don't buy it. You will be far from alone in doing this.
      • 15 Hours Ago
      GM selling electric cars is a good things. Though it maybe be political in part is a logical and forward looking reaction, It is responses to it like this that make it more political as well as sustain the status quo and hinder change. lets just stop arguing for the sake of arguing and move on in the world!
      j
      • 3 Years Ago
      The better that US car makers do with cars that burn vastly less (imported) petroleum, the better the US does. Hard to see that with a gigantic chip on your shoulder though.
      Mark Schaffer
      • 3 Years Ago
      For more on this propaganda group see here: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Legal_and_Policy_Center
        electronx16
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @Mark Schaffer
        Yep, great find. The kind of contribution that makes it worthwhile reading the comment section once and a while. Big oil has many ways to influence public opinion and unlimited funds to spend on safeguarding their multi billion profits. To bad there are people even on this forum that make it their life's work denying this sort of thing is going on chalking it up on "conspiracy theories". I wonder what motivates those people....
          electronx16
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          I love the way you always manage to slip in the personal insults and assumptions about people you don't even know in your quasi knowledgeable rantings defending the viewpoints of the rich and powerful of this planet and attacking those daring to question their motives. Great trick to suggest that people who question corporate behaviour in some fields are one sided anti corporation loons. And yelling "conspiracy theory" usually does the trick to ridicule people and shut them up in shame and go back in mushroom mode doesn't it? Let me tell you: I won't be shut up or bullied into mushroom mode by a guy who stakes out this forum 24/7 peddling the message that the only reason EV's are important for this planet is that they make such neat gadgets that will be brought to the masses in due time by corporations that are entirely motivated by the common good.
          electronx16
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          I guess NLPC is the one even the most fanatic advocate of corporate viewpoints feels he needs distance himself from to avoid loosing credibility. Of course Gulf oil doesn't contribute to nasty NLPC, Sourcewatch is making that up obviously. After all corporations are the good guys and they know what's best for us, don't they? No need to question their motives, that's all just silly conspiracy theories. Why be obtuse? Let's all be good little mushrooms now, nothing wrong with being kept in the dark and be fed s.....
          Marco Polo
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          And I note you are completely devoid of any real evidence, or factual basis for your sweeping generalisations. A careful review of your posts, reveals no actual original information except the same trite platitudes. You would gain respect, I you could could take the time to refute facts. If you had said," Marco what about Gulf Oil's contribution to...whatever.." Or, " I participated in the campaign in my town to ...." that would be both interesting and useful. But just repeating vague, ant-capitalist, anti-US, nonsense, abusively, only appeals to the lazy, and ignorant.
          Marco Polo
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          @Electronix 16 Now you're being just silly! Making false accusations because you don't like some organisation, is exactly what you are accusing the NLPC of doing! Accuracy, is objectivity. Without objectivity, you are just parroting biased dogma. Sourcewatch, is doing exactly the same as NLPC, 2+2 =5 ! In 1066 my Norman-French ancestors invaded England. That hardly makes me a member of the modern French army! Richard Mellon Scaife was actually fired by Gulf oil many years ago, and Gulf have disowned him ever since. Now that's just a simple fact. But, I don't see you rushing to the defence of the LSC ? Who are really act as an effective counter-balance on Corporate misbehaviour. Why? Because you would much rather waste your time, inventing conspiracy theories, than do something constructive! Without corporations, there would be no EV's. Without corporations there would be no modern civilisation. Just irrationally hating something because it makes you feel inadequate, is pointless. Every product, including your beloved solar panels, are the produce of corporate investment. In fact, BP started investing in solar back in 1973, long before it was fashionable, and is still the largest single investor in solar energy. The much hated Chevron, single handedly resuscitated the moribund Geo-thermal technology. One sided-bias, does more harm than good. It serves to alienate mainstream opinion, and drives people away from environmental causes, into the arms of the Rush Limbaughs.
          Nick
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          ". I wonder what motivates those people...." FoxNews, Neil Cavuto, Glenn Beck, Murdoch and the Koch brothers do. You can buy public opinion in this country because a large proportion of people are record-breakingly dumb.
          Marco Polo
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @electronx16
          "Big oil has many ways to influence public opinion and unlimited funds to spend on safeguarding their multi billion profits ". Give a dog a bad name! In fact, both BP and Chevron, have been victims of attacks from the NLPC for refusing to make contributions to the campaign to abolish the LSC. Even Gulf Oil, refuses to contribute to NLPC, and Gulf has distanced itself from the activities of a descendant (Richard Mellon Scaife) of original family who foundered Gulf Oil. Several major US corporations have either distanced themselves from the NLPC, or openly opposed them. A consistent critic of the NLPC has been William Clay Ford Jr. The NLPC derives a lot of it's financial support from Richard Mellon Scaife, who is best known for his relentless and irrational pursuit of the Clinton's. Most conspiracy theories are just silly, however, conspiracies do exist from time to time. But that doesn't mean the US government is covering up the fact that Elvis and James Dean are alive and well and living in Rock Hudson's bath house! Sourcewatch, is not above a little propaganda, and dissembling of it's own dubious conclusions!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @Mark Schaffer
        Good find, Mark! Hey, how come autobloggreen keeps posting crap from right wing "non-profit research "groups I am not a fan of the volt but the fact that this came out of a company with oil money is telling. Remember when hybrids came out and these groups went NUTS spreading FUD?
          Spec
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Because it annoys us, we post a lot of messages, they get a lot of page views. :-/
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Spec, do like i did and install an ad blocker in your browser; there are plenty of plugins available. I installed one and set it specifically to prevent all ads from autoblog and autoblog green. So get annoyed, post comments, but don't give them their ad money because they don't deserve it.... :)
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sheesh, now you guys are anti volt.. did you lose your advertising via blog posting contract with GM today? ;) IMHO... this car, being a luxury ride, for the price tag, makes more sense than the Volt for sure.
        letstakeawalk
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I think it's a lot more attractive, too. People who were turned off by the relatively bland Volt might be much more interested in this.
      hahiran
      • 15 Hours Ago
      I'm convinced that you guys should just let the Heartland Institute have their own daily column here and save you the trouble of recycling conservative hatred here. Might as well be fresh hatred instead of day old stuff.
        Marco Polo
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @hahiran
        Hahiran, I think you do the Heartland Institute an injustice by comparing them to the pernicious activities of the NLPC. Heartland sort of tolerate debate, and have some rational published opinions. The Heartland Institute seems to be deluded, but sincere in promoting an exchange of veiws. Although Heartlands views on smoking and climate change, are pretty weird, some points are valid, and no subject should be above valid criticism. Some of the Heartland positions are quite surprising, opposition to the disastrous effects of US drug policy, being one that spring to mind. The NLPC are a whole different animal. The danger posed by the NLPC, is very real. The NLPC, are attempting to destroy fundamental freedoms, institutions and individuals, by McCarthyist methods.
          Marco Polo
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Danaon, you baffle me! No, until you present some lucid evident that indites the Centre-Left, anti-nuclear, UCS with any terrorist activities, I am not concerned! Byron Spice of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, accused the UCS of being liberal "pro-regulation, anti-business", and John Stossel says the UCS has "left-wing" agenda, and repeats the allegation that UCS conducts a "Jihad" against ,climate sceptics, actually means terrorism! Even Geo.W.Bush's director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, Dr. John Marburger, who is no fiend of the USC, would go so far as to call these mostly elderly Nobel Laureates, "terrorists". But, what I say to the ranting left, is equally true for the raving right! Put up or STFU! I await your evidence with interest.
          Marco Polo
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Danaon. No reply? I thought not ! Easy to talk, not so easy to back it up!
          Danaon
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Marco Polo
          So you're not concerned with the Union of Concerned Scientists, even though they have past terrorist ties? Convenient!
        EZEE
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @hahiran
        Hariran's definition of hatred: 'Anything that disagrees with what I believe in.' Haven't you ever read your own rhetoric? Nothing is black and white, everything is a beautiful shade of gray, we (the left) celebrates diversity, open mindedness, different ideas. You can disagree, certainly, but you really should off the author a beer. Beer is a part of any good celebration, and you celebrate different ideas, right? Logic is a b*tch... :D
      Smith Jim
      • 15 Hours Ago
      I'm going to ingnore this controversy thing and go slightly off subject. Many people complained that the production Volt looked nothing like the Volt concept. One of the major reasons for this change was improved aerodynamics. The ELR (AKA Converj) concept car appears to have a low drag shape. Perhaps the production ELR will look very much like the concept car.
      Arun Murali
      • 15 Hours Ago
      So, what she is saying is dump all the tax payer's money that has already gone into the design and production of volt and go back to making bullock carts to protect tax payers?? In my view Volt has the right next generation hybrid platform. It itself will probably never become cheap, but as batteries become cheaper it will trickle down to other cars giving over 70% reduction in real world oil consumption. A new product needs atleast 5 years time, give this car that much time, I am sure it will proove itself. Think if the Japanese government thought like this, you would never have a Prius. The first gen Prius barely did 40 MPG and sold paltry numbers for years. Tax payers should infact be asking why are there no incentives yet for every commercial building to install a charging ports. Cause Electric or any other hybrid form you need charging ports. To become cheaper they have to sell more batteries. To sell more batteries they can either shove the volt down every one's throat or sell more products that fit in various market demand. Since the Caddy is not in the same market as the Volt it makes good sense.
        Ford Future
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @Arun Murali
        There should be some nice battery improvements in 5 years as well.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 15 Hours Ago
      with less clumsy engineering it could have been a great car. it still has that dull witted air. like an electric motor in a hummer, you can't just put makeup on a pig. to be good it has to be intelligently designed through and through. ask yourself if a Cadillac needs that blockhead look or if a Cadillac with 2030 porsche styling could sell as good or better.
        EZEE
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Radical Right Wing Extremist here... I am an electrical engineer, and if you look at this thing, it is an engineering marvel. You don't have to like the car (Neil Cavuto doesn't like the plug, for example...divorce rates soar!) but engineering? This thing is incredible. Even an evil conservative can see this...
          Smith Jim
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @EZEE
          Perhaps it takes an engineer to appreciate the virtures of the Volt drivetrain. I'm also an EE. If a person does not understand how the planetary gearset blends the power the ICE and the motor/generators they don't really know what they're criticizing. By the way, there are also left wingers who hate the volt for equally irrational reasons. (Conspiracy!)
        Smith Jim
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Clumsy engineering? I'd say a car that can operate as an EV or a series hybrid or a parallel hybrid (for increased efficiency) is quite clever engineering. Are you an engineer , Dan? What have you designed in your engineering career?
          Noz
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Smith Jim
          I think you're both missing Dan's point..it's a BRUTE FORCE method to making an EV...it's still not an EV in true nature. It may be a very complex marvel of engineering...but it's over-designed and forces its way into functionality. Engineers can be blinded by complexity and believe complex designs are better than simple ones....no need to look further than the ridiculous contraptions the Germans are designing these days.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Smith Jim
          I'm comp sci Jim. and I know some physics, some ME and some EE. enough EE to make the power electronics in electric cars. and I do know how the Prius style power split device works which is also used in this Voltec drivetrain. I know its strength and its weaknesses. it is clumsy engineering because the car is made with overweight parts of weak heavy materials and it has poor aerodynamics. the grill styling is similarly unintelligent although the rest of the car is fairly elegant. because it is so unintelligently engineered you pay dearly in batteries and fuel usage which keeps it from shining and holds back electrification of the world.
          Ford Future
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Smith Jim
          The Tesla Model S is also excellent engineering. A Pure EV with a 300 mile range. But, here's the thing, only the top 10% can afford it. Rather then wait for an Affordable Model S, the Volt is a nice intermediate Product, with Excellent Engineering. And yes, for long trips it's nice to know you can just stop into a gas station, even if you only use that capability once a year.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Evil Right Winger here.... Why on earth do these cars bother people? If they bomb, they bomb. If they succeed, they succeed. The market place will decide. Why worry prior to it coming out?
        Marco Polo
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @EZEE
        Exactly!
        letstakeawalk
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @EZEE
        Many BEV people are anti-GM, because of the EV-1 incident. Nothing GM ever does will make amends in their minds. Then there are the people who think that investing in one particular drive train reduces the amount of money that can be invested in their particular favorite tech. Therefore, they see investment in and production of PHEVs as a direct attack on BEVs. I'm all for a variety of options; BEV, PHEV, and FCV. Nobody really knows which will take off and which will stagnate, but each of the technologies possesses the capability to wean us away from imported oil, to reduce GHGs, and to create new jobs in new industries.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @EZEE
        you mean like the market place decided to kill the electric car? from your indifferent and ignorant perspective whatever they do is cool.
        Dave
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @EZEE
        I would agree with you, except for the $7,500 that the gov't is kicking in for each one. So the market place isnt really deciding.
          writofreplevin
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          The marketplace isn't deciding on gasoline either. The true cost of gasoline never appears to the consumer. Otherwise, the trillions we spend on military wars in the middle east and the foreign aid given would appear in the price per gallon. Also, the true costs of roads would appear in the fuel tax or a per mile use tax, depending on the vehicle. To be miffed about a tax break on an electric vehicle yet not be miffed at receiving your own subsidies, seems a little self-serving. If you want the market to reflect true costs, be prepared to pay them.
        Ford Future
        • 15 Hours Ago
        @EZEE
        The right wing is no longer an intellectual party with a logical argument. They are simply the bought out political wing of big oil. Does it burn less oil? Yes. Then Exxon will fund a PR campaign against it. Same with Climate Change: Could Exxon make Green Money on Solar panels? Yes. Do they? No. Easier to sit back and buy a politician, or to pay for a Climate Change Denial Show on Fox. I mean it's blatantly obvious. If Exxon's Check is late Fox starts talking about the real damage Global Warming Could do to America, One Week Later, the check clears, and the whole tone on Fox changes. This has happened 2 or 3 times now. The Volt helps America in many ways: - Technological Leadership: Success means Future Jobs will be in America. - Jobs In America - Lower Pollution - Local purchase of Power, Grows our Electrical Infrastructure, and makes your local utility more profitable, whereby it can hire local people for local jobs. - Reduce's our Balance of Trade Deficit: { Notice that the right wing has stopped reporting Balance of Trade? especially Oil Dollars? ] - Cuts the funds flowing to the Saudi's: the Funders of All the 9/11 Terrorists.
          Nick
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Ford Future
          EZEE Tax cuts make sense, except the tax cuts we are talking about are for the richest American corporations, NOT the people or the small/med sized business. The whole trickle-down theory is pure bogus, and sadly, only Fox-watching, Beck-worshipping mo--ons still believe it. All it does, is it puts more money into fewer hands, bigger individual bank accounts. That's it. Everyone else doesn't see a dime from it. The unemployment rate went up during the Bush years..despite all the made-up propaganda the GOPers are spreading.
          Nick
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Ford Future
          EZEE In fact, it is proven that RAISING taxes on large corporations RAISES employment rates. How s that possible? Corporations would rather spend money on hiring than on paying taxes.
          EZEE
          • 15 Hours Ago
          @Ford Future
          In many cases the do (I am one of them after all) but people on the left automatically think they are wrong, since, they dont accept the left's view. This is what we mean when we say elitist... Example - tax cuts increasing revenue to the government by growing the economy. Obama even admitted this is true, but, said that taxes are not about revenue, but about fairness. In many cases, the other side is not evil for disagreeing, they just see things differently. They may be wrong, but, not evil, stupid, or crazy. With $1.6 trillion deficits, is the tea party truly crazy or evil for saying we should spend less? If the system falls apart, there will be no money for the various social programs, and, before you say it, you could tax the rich at 100% of their incomes and we would still have a deficit. It's that bad. But, I digress...let the marketplace decide on these cars. That is the capitalist thing to do...
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 15 Hours Ago
      Let Modica toot his horn all he wants - it'll just make the crow he will have eat that much sweeter (fairly soon on the Volt since 2012's only just started getting to dealers at the end of August after 2011 production stopped at the end of June - yeah no wonder sales were really low, duh...). God, I love that Cadillac - what a mean looking car (has Lutz written all over it). GM will sell a bunch. Thanks goodness GM management saw the light on this and is bringing it to production (and bringing Lutz back on as an advisor as well, I don't agree with his assessment of some things, but on designing cars he's awesome).
      Ford Future
      • 15 Hours Ago
      This is typical right-wing hysterical rant about someone who sees government conspiracy when the Democrat's are in power. - Volt not selling: It's only on sale in a handful of states. - GM not complaining about corporate fuel economy standards: Does GM know China is Growing at 10%? Does GM see the Peak Oil issue? Does this author know that oil was only discovered 100 years ago, and now after a big build out, we're now mining the dirtiest only on the planet: Canadian Tar Sands? IT's game over for oil. - GM also going electric: Does GM see the need to grow the US economy? Does America need less pollution? So that Americans can buy GM product? EV's will grow US Utility profitability, and allow US Utilities to expand, creating Utility Jobs in America. Hasn't the US produced enough jobs in Saudi Arabia, China and India yet? - Motor Trend losing credibility? Looks like unintelligent writer losing credibility. - Taxpayer money: These auto products save Consumers a Fortune in gas, and have better returns then Stocks and Bonds. The US government should implement purchase of hybrids across All Governmental Agencies to save US Taxpayers a Fortune. And Build US Competitive Advantage. This is about the US LEADING, and building and maintaining a Real US Competitive Advantage in this Economic Segment.
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