TTAC In The NY Times: "GM's Electric Lemon"

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ttac in the ny times gm s electric lemon

Noticed that things have been a little slower around here this week? Yes, well, it’s summer and I’m much harder to motivate in the summer. Also, I’ve been working on this op-ed on the Chevy Volt for the New York Times. My conclusion on the Volt?

In the end, making the bailout work — whatever the cost — is the only good reason for buying a Volt. The car is not just an environmental hair shirt (a charge leveled at the Prius early in its existence), it is an act of political self-denial as well.

If G.M. were honest, it would market the car as a personal donation for, and vote of confidence in, the auto bailout. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of cross-branding that will make the Volt a runaway success.

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  • Jmatt Jmatt on Aug 02, 2010

    >>> She told me when products are sold for less than cost, the maker’s government makes up the difference Oh, well if your *wife* says so, it must be true. lol Feel free to interrupt me with facts at any time. >>> One more thing: you went to college with government subsidized loans at a government subsidized college... Viva la revolucion! I didn't make this system, I just have to live in it. If I were to invent a system, it would have complex ideas like when people earn money, they get to keep it. Or even this radical concept: that people wouldn't be able to use the government to steal other people's money. I know, not very advanced by a socialists standards... I am sure the UAW would not approve, since they are so fond of corporate welfare.

    • Misha Misha on Aug 02, 2010

      "Or even this radical concept: that people wouldn’t be able to use the government to steal other people’s money." Social Security is pure socialism. Roosevelt got the idea from von Bismarck, who got it from Karl Marx. If you are that unhappy, move to Costa Rica. They allow immigration. I had an aneurysm and major hemmorage at 49, and had to take SSD. Glad people like you are not in charge.

  • Jmatt Jmatt on Aug 02, 2010

    So let's see, your wife soaks up tax dollars at a defense contractor and you soak them up on disability. Not hard to see where your coming from. So, you can sit at a computer at home and argue on the internet. You just can't sit at a computer in an office and work a spreadsheet. Do I have that right?

  • Prometheus Prometheus on Aug 02, 2010

    I'm amazed that so many people cannot see the place of en electric vehicle. Phrases like "An electric car won't succeed, it won't work for my 3 hour commute." - You're right, it won't work for you. But then no one car or truck does work for EVERYONE. It would be crazy to think that an electric car can work for everyone... when no gas car or truck can do that. If one could, we'd all be driving a Yaris, or an Expedition. (examples only). The Leaf, for example, can get 100 miles to the charge. For a number of people... that's plenty for a day. And if you get 30 minutes of a booster charge, say during a lunch hour, you can get another 15 miles. Just get an all-electric car onto the market, and the after-market will exploit them. In no time, there will be extended batteries you can buy or add on, mods that you can do. It will take on a life of it's own. Anyone that has witnessed the cellphone age knows this. That 100 mile battery will quickly be modified. Plus, an electric car will last so much longer and cost less to maintain. Look at all of the things you don't have to worry about: No radiator, no pumps, no alternator, no belts, no ignition, no muffler, no exhaust system, no catalytic converter, no transmission, no timing chains, no clutches, no head gaskets, no spark plugs, no valves, no injectors, no fuel lines, no filters, ... we can go on and on... and it generates far less heat to wear adjacent parts out. Auto parts stores and service centers won't welcome electric cars being on the road. I completely agree with the original story... the GM Volt is a flop, and it's not even out yet. It still has an engine. It missed the target while it was still on the design table. GM did a 100-mile per charge all electric car in 1991, and it was successful in their test market. Tesla far exceeds that now with a high-end sports car, and it's successful. Nissan (if they ever get their @ss in gear!) will do it with the Leaf. I don't understand what GM's excuse is?

  • Jmatt Jmatt on Aug 03, 2010

    Yeah, I didn't think so. That whole "everybody is living off of the government" schtick was way too practiced, like you say it to yourself every morning when you look in the mirror. When your kids or relatives visit, do you think they talk about how you should just get a job instead of living off their taxes as they drive home? I'm betting they do.