Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Government Motors in Action

I've been reading the stories today about GM's new electric car, the Volt. It's another prime example of the government in action. According to just released information, a low-end Volt will cost $41,000. That's right, 41k for a car that goes only 40 miles on its battery charge, before needing a gas generator to go another 340. Also, you have to plug it in each night for several hours -- cost of electricity unknown. This is the wonder car that the Obama administration has been spending billions to help fund. Why would anyone actually buy one?

First of all, it's not even as cost-effective as the competition. Nissan's Leaf is all-electric, goes 100 miles on its charge and costs around 8,000 less. Second, why spend 41 grand for a brand-new, unproven vehicle design, when there are already better options if you want to blow money just to make a statement? Why would you buy this overpriced first-generation product when you can buy a Toyota Prius with its proven design? Here's an excellent comparison of Volt vs. Prius. Neither are cost-effective vs. normal gas-powered cars, unless you drive a huge amount, but the Prius is clearly a better option. 

Today, you can lease a Prius for $199.00 per month, while a Volt lease will soon cost $350.00. ... since you can buy two Prius hybrids for the price of one Volt, there isn’t even a reason to compare purchasing cost-effectiveness. When it comes to purchasing, the Prius is a far better deal. Moreover, the battery pack on the Volt will probably not be as reliable, long term, as has been the much cheaper Prius battery pack.
Also, as the same article points out, even after a decade of production, hybrids have less than 3% of the market. Most people just aren't willing to waste extra money in order to pretend they are being more environmentally conscious. So why are we blowing taxpayer money funding this sort of GM product?

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