Thursday, July 29, 2010
Ever since the Government and the United Auto Workers took over General Motors (using taxpayer funds), we've been looking forward to seeing the synthesis of their keen planning abilities and stringent cost-containment measures. And now it's here.
The Chevy "Volt" is a theoretically enviro-friendly car which runs on electricity and taxpayer dollars. The price starts at a heartstopping $41,ooo...and buys you a car that can only travel 40 miles on its internal electrical power.
Yes, that means you can easily drive all-electrically coast-to-coast across America (3,452 miles), stopping only 86 times to recharge!
Fortunately, the electrical power is supplemented by an internal combustion engine...which still uses fossil fuels and pollutes just as much as the engines in less expensive cars. Except this engine will actually deliver less efficiency, because of the significant extra weight created by the Volt's battery array.
And it is those same batteries that make the Volt something of an environmental nightmare, because the component materials cannot be easily recycled, and are far more damaging than the materials which go into a standard automobile - releasing up to 60 times more lead into the atmosphere.
Adding to the Volt's potential problems: Nissan Motors has just introduced their own electric car, the Leaf, which (with subsidies) will have an entry level price as low as $21,500.
The New GM: Your tax dullards at work.