Bailout Watch 341: GM's "Partnership" Proposal (PNGV II)

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bailout watch 341 gm s partnership proposal pngv ii

GM’s VP For R&D Larry Burns has a new post up at Fastlane, calling for a “partnership between the U.S. government, auto manufacturers and suppliers, the energy and infrastructure industries, and other key stakeholders focused on transforming the automobile.” After all, as Burns says “we all seem to be coming to the conclusion that the automobile as we know it — powered by a combustion engine — must eventually go the way of the horse and buggy. It is simply not sustainable.” And so Burns humbly offers GM’s solution: The Cadillac Converj, A concept car that is powered by electricity. Unless it wants to go more than 40 miles, in which case it’s back to the ol’ ICE. But luckily “significant challenges” are actually a good thing when you are going for government handouts and not the Standard Of The World.

After all, just as GM needs help working out the kinks in its wondercars, the politicians need help convincing consituents that they are working “deliver a broad set of societal benefits, including enhanced energy security, sustainable mobility, increased competitiveness and significant economic and jobs growth.” Win-win, right? Uh, yeah, they tried that. It was called the Partnership For A New Generation Of Vehicles ( PNGV). It didn’t work out so well. As in $1.5b of your tax money wasted with nothing to show for it. Unless GM is considering filing for 501c3 status, we’ll take a pass on “sharing the public/private risks and rewards” as Larry puts it.

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Jan 14, 2009

    The USA needs a comprehensive Energy Policy that provides a clear path for; efficiency everywhere, renewables, research and independence. Companies and governments can make decisions and get on with business. The USA needs to communicate to citizens that the use of fossil fuel energy is very likely to be extremely expensive, or hold the nation captive to outside interests. Obama might be the man....

  • Usta Bee Usta Bee on Jan 14, 2009

    I don't know what everybody's bitching about, they did make an energy efficient car, and it's a BUICK too !.....

  • Mekira Mekira on Jan 15, 2009

    Blast from the past (kinda)~~~~I actually saw the car in the picture at a Mobil station of all places in Livingston County when I was 11 in 2001. All the GM research person cars that were following it had to fill up I guess. While my mom was filling up our car I got out and talked to the people in the Precept and told them I knew what the name of the car was under the camouflage. They seemed really nervous. Didn't they know Popular Science published a whole spread about it two months earlier???

  • Kurt. Kurt. on Jan 15, 2009

    @Rev Junkie, "How one tunes to get adequate power out of a little 1.4L engine, God only knows, but..." I may be getting old but I (fondly) remember when the mightiest cars in the world were 1.5L fire breathing monsters. We called them F1 cars. In Europe, most cars - including diesels are less than 2L (due to taxes and artificially high gas prices). Just one more thing - city and highway seems are comparable to the US. A 750cc Smart Roadster would be just as fun on I40 as it is on the Autobahn and that would equate to even more fun than a Solstice! I know, it's off your point about the Volts drivetrain but small engine performance CAN be more than adaquite. If you get a reliable car with 100 HP from 750cc just think what you could get from one of the new clean burning 2 strokes of the same displacement!