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Old 05-23-2012, 09:27 AM  
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True Cost of a Chevy Volt

Just think those of us driving old cars are still helping the cause, and supporting both the Government Motors Corporation and those rich enough to afford a Volt. This is from http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/xdtalk-...hevy-volt.html
Quote:
True cost of Chevy Volt?
Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle
Analyst: 'This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant'
By Tom Gantert
Dec. 21, 2011
(Editor?s note: This article has been updated with a reaction from a General Motor's official.)

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it ? a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors? plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involved in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt?s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.

It?s unlikely that all the companies involved in Volt production will ever receive all the $3 billion in incentives, Hohman said, because many of them are linked to meeting various employment and other milestones. But the analysis looks at the total value that has been offered to the Volt in different aspects of production ? from the assembly line to the dealerships to the battery manufacturers. Some tax credits and subsidies are offered for periods up to 20 years, though most have a much shorter time frame.

GM has estimated they?ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

If those manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That?s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.

Additional state and local support provided to Volt suppliers was not included in the analysis, Hohman said, and could increase the level of government aid. For instance, the Volt is being assembled at the Poletown plant in Detroit/Hamtramck, which was built on land acquired by General Motors through eminent domain.

?It just goes to show there are certain folks that will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,? said State Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. ?It?s a glaring example of the failure of central planning trying to force citizens to purchase something they may not want. ? They should let the free market make those decisions.?

?This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,? said Hohman, referring to the car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.

According to GM CEO Dan Akerson, the average Volt owner makes $170,000 per year.

Response from General Motors:
(Updated Information)
Greg Martin, director of Policy and Washington Communications for GM, wrote in an email, "While much less than the hundreds of billions of dollars that Japanese and Korean auto and battery manufacturers have received over the years, the investments provided by several different Administrations and Congresses to jump-start the country's fledgling battery technology and domestic electric vehicle industries (not just specifically for the Volt as Ford's offering will also use LG Chem batteries and Fisker will use the A123 system for example) matches the same foresight and innovation leadership that other countries are exhibiting and which America has historically taken pride in."

Martin added that the Mackinac Center's math was "simple and selective." However, he offered no data or specifics to support his assertion.

"This is a matter of simple math," said Hohman. "I added the known state and federal incentives that have been offered and divided by the number of Volts sold. If GM has additional information to add to the public data on the use of taxpayer money, I look forward to seeing it."



*******************

I understand and appreciate that development of usable electric vehicles for personal transportation is necessary and - given time - inevitable, but I think that entrepreneurship and privately funded development ought to be driving the research & development and assuming the great majority of cost, as they will derive profit once success is achieved. Historically, setting aside war effort-driven programs such as the Manhattan Project - private development is more cost effective, efficient and productive.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:28 AM  
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Quote:
GM has estimated they?ve sold 6,000 Volts so far.
The article you posted relies on that number, and comes up with $50,000 to $250,000 subsidy per vehicle. With those numbers, yes, I would agree with you, there is a problem with subsidies when the true cost of the $31,645 Volt is far higher.

But, the conclusions that article arrived at are not supported by the data they present. It doesn't even stand up to minimal scrutiny.

The article mentions that those investments are not limited to those 6000 Chevy Volts, but were provided to a variety of companies who produce components for a wide variety of products. The Chevy Volt isn't the only vehicle that utilizes a battery pack, for example. Every modern vehicle in America requires a powerful battery under the hood, and every one of them would benefit from research and development into battery technology.

An honest accounting of that money would be distributed among *all* the products that benefited from those investments, not just the Volt, and not just the 6000 volts that had already shipped.

It would be just as (in)accurate to post these numbers and claim that the first Volt off the line included subsidies of 300 million to 1.5 billion, or that the second was 150 to 750 million. It's ludicrous, it's absurd, and it's dishonest enough to be called a lie.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:53 PM  
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And that is why this comment was made:
Quote:
"This is a matter of simple math," said Hohman. "I added the known state and federal incentives that have been offered and divided by the number of Volts sold. If GM has additional information to add to the public data on the use of taxpayer money, I look forward to seeing it."
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:56 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
And that is why this comment was made:
That comment doesn't say "This entire article is bull****, but we're going to try to pass it off as legitimate anyway". If it did, I'd consider withdrawing my criticism.

The author lied, lied some more, lied again, mislead us, concealed the truth, then said that if GM has a problem with his numbers, they were free to rebut him.

And instead of looking at the author's claims critically, you swallowed them whole. Nice.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:36 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
That comment doesn't say "This entire article is bull****, but we're going to try to pass it off as legitimate anyway". If it did, I'd consider withdrawing my criticism.

The author lied, lied some more, lied again, mislead us, concealed the truth, then said that if GM has a problem with his numbers, they were free to rebut him.

And instead of looking at the author's claims critically, you swallowed them whole. Nice.
I didn't swallow anything, but the article does make some good points..
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:24 AM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
I didn't swallow anything, but the article does make some good points..
Sure, it does make a few good points. Unfortunately, most of those points are lost when the fundamental conclusions are this wrong. It's pretty hard to enjoy the cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, sour cream and all the other toppings on your loaded baked potato when it turns out that the potato itself isn't actually a potato, but a giant turd.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:47 AM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
It's pretty hard to enjoy the cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, sour cream and all the other toppings on your loaded baked potato when it turns out that the potato itself isn't actually a potato, but a giant turd.
Thanks, an apt description of the Volt (and Obamacare, as well).
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:26 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Thanks, an apt description of the Volt (and Obamacare, as well).
36 mile range on electric, and 35-40MPG on gasoline. That's not a turd; that's an excellent vehicle for anyone who intends to use it primarily for commuting, but needs the flexibility of extended range.

As for Obamacare, let us NEVER forget what it actually is: The Democrats accepting a Republican compromise. It's not the socialized, single-payer system in use in the UK, Canada, and most other universal healthcare states. It's not thw kind of system that Democrats wanted. It is an excellent compromise, and it has nothing to do with "ONE Green Energy Success"
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:10 PM  
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I just liked the RA analogy, don't blame me.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:30 PM  
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http://af.reuters.com/article/energy...8GQ1LQ20120526

The price for PV panels, like all technology products, continues to drop.

Wind has already reached or exceeded parity with all other forms of generation save natural gas. Unlike natural gas, though, wind is not a commodity.
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