Around six months ago, Forbes' Jerry Flint took the sales prospects of the Nissan Leaf to the woodshed, saying the electric car, "is more likely to be a sales failure than a sales success." This week, Flint's partner in green car hate, Rich Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes, came up with a list of "Twenty Better Values Than A Chevy Volt." Apparently, no one at Forbes likes the coming generation of plug-in cars. How far they've come since honoring the Tesla Roadster back in 2006 as the year's "new car that lived up to the hype."
Karlgaard's list of 20 vehicles – ten that cost less than the Volt's pre-tax credit price of $41,000 and ten that cost less than the after credit $33,500 – covers everything from a new mid-model Lexus RX350 to a Ford Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid is a good, efficient sedan, but it's simply not in the same category as the Volt because it lacks a plug, to say nothing of most of the other cars on the list. Karlgaard also gets the amount of the federal tax credit wrong – he writes that you, "can happily drive [a Volt] off the lot for $33,000 ... if you can ignore those guilt pangs knowing your fellow Americans have chipped in $8,000 to your new ride" – but that's less egregious than comparing a Volt to a Chevy Silverado 1500. Ironically, Karlgaard's list does include the Leaf. Oh, what would Jerry Flint think?