Volt Jolt

 

This? In the New York Times? Yes, I know. I’m behind the cycle here–I’m only just now getting to the morning newspapers. But jeepers. A column that subjects to the most withering ridicule the Obama administration, environmentalism, the stimulus package, and the overhyped Chevy Volt–all in the pages of the grey lady. Get a load of this:

…G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks … but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

I doubt the author intended it this way, but he’s not merely providing automotive commentary. He’s illustrating an ontological truth. Common sense is impossible to suppress. It pops up in the oddest places.

There are 19 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Where I live, 60 miles from the nearest grocery store, this would not even make a practical <em>fourth</em> car.

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  2. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Soeey. I keep forgetting that Ricochet provides a handy menu of options and I don’t need to do the “<></>” business.

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  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CasBalicki

    Want to bet that these cars get retro-fitted with gasoline engines and rebranded as the Chevy Revolt.

    Be the first in walking distance to your local 7-Eleven to bolt to the Revolt!

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  4. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter

    And it takes (I think) four hours to charge the battery in order to go 40 miles. Wouldn’t that be a top rate of only TEN miles an hour… at the most (not counting labor)?

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  5. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesPoulos

    This is a bummer, Peter. The Volt had promise. Now, it makes Tesla look like Nikola Tesla — at least from the sound of it. Looking for a picture of the dumbed-down styling, I came across this studiously composed promo shot, which couldn’t be much more of a self-parody if it tried.

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  6. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Forget the text of the column – the associated graphic alone might be the most scathing anti-government thing ever to appear in the NYT!

    Even before the UAW bailout the Volt was a heavily subsidized “good” project, and it’s got all the makings of a disaster. Hard to lay all the blame for that on General Motors.

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  7. Profile Photo Member
    @
    James Poulos, Ed.: I came across this studiously composed promo shot, which couldn’t be much more of a self-parody if it tried. · Jul 30 at 7:00pm

    Is it me, or does the President look like he has to hunch in order to avoid his head smashing against the ceiling of the car?

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  8. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MollieHemingway

    It was an amazing op-ed. It also reminded my husband of this brilliant IowaHawk piece on “the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition” It was set to video here.

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  9. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter

    And he labored and brought forth …a 21st Century Yugo.  But have no fear, that government health care thing will also turn out just ducky.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @

    A slogan contest for the Chevy Volt. Sorry, no prizes :(

    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=30826

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  11. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesPoulos
    mesquito: Where I live, 60 miles from the nearest grocery store, this would not even make a practical <em>fourth</em> car. · Jul 31 at 2:43am

    May I ask if you might happen to be in a rural area, mesquito? One of my ongoing arguments with my friends over at Front Porch Republic concerns the idea that it’s not suburb-dwellers who need and rely on cars the most.

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  12. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottR

    You know, it’s funny. All along I figured the American economy was so powerful, had such inertia, that it would be able to absorb most of whatever silliness these guys could dish out, and eventually the recovery would take off, and the Administration would take the credit. But these guys are so off-the-charts bad, they might just blow it.

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  13. Profile Photo Member
    @
    James Poulos, Ed.

    mesquito: Where I live, 60 miles from the nearest grocery store, this would not even make a practical <em>fourth</em> car. · Jul 31 at 2:43am

    May I ask if you might happen to be in a rural area, mesquito? One of my ongoing arguments with my friends over at Front Porch Republic concerns the idea that it’s not suburb-dwellers who need and rely on cars the most. · Jul 31 at 8:28am

    Yes. I Live in the Texas country. Near a town of about 300 souls. There is no public transport. There aren’t even sidewalks, for Pete’s sake.

    I ride a bicycle because it is what I enjoy, but life here without internal combustion would be impossible. I friend of mine is a self-employed maid, with clients spread over a thousand sq. miles. When gas hit $4 she was really hurting.

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  14. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Mollie Hemingway: It was an amazing op-ed. It also reminded my husband of this brilliant IowaHawk piece on “the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition” It was set to video here. · Jul 30 at 7:05pm

    I love that Iowahawk parody, too. I posted it on Marketwatch today.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Dietlbomb

    What a Soviet monstrosity. It seems that whenever you apply Lysenkoism to automobile design–be it 1930 or 2010–you get total crap. (This is part of a continuing series on the idiot mindset that created the Rochester Fast Ferry.)

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  16. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Only the collective genius of GM and the Obama administration could produce a vehicle so utterely useless and overpriced at the expense of billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidy. Retired central planners all over the former Soviet bloc must be laughing up their sleeves.

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  17. Profile Photo Member
    @
    John M Dietl: What a Soviet monstrosity. It seems that whenever you apply Lysenkoism to automobile design–be it 1930 or 2010–you get total crap. (This is part of a continuing series on the idiot mindset that created the Rochester Fast Ferry.) · Jul 30 at 9:38pm

    Amusing that you and I posted Soviet allusions simultaneously.

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  18. Profile Photo Member
    @

    That 40-mile range isn’t what it’s cracked up to be either. From what I’ve read, that’s the car’s optimal range. Turn on your A/C or the radio and you’re pulling juice and the range will go down.

    I live in a suburb of Washington, DC. If I wanted to drive the Volt into town for a little sight-seeing, I’d need to plug it in somewhere in town or I wouldn’t make it back home. Under optimal conditions, that is. If It was a hot day and I wanted to listen to some tunes, I might not even make it to the Memorials.

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  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Dietlbomb
    Kenneth

    Amusing that you and I posted Soviet allusions simultaneously. · Jul 30 at 9:40pm

    Amusing, yet sad. It seems so obvious that government sponsored green technology is doomed to fail, yet it remains popular enough that it isn’t laughed away. The Chevy Volt is no doomsday machine, but it is a powerful symptom of our anomie.

    This whole situation is like watching a slasher film and shouting at the screen “Don’t go in there. There’s an axe murderer in there. Don’t you know you’re in a horror film?” I think the irony is lost on our betters.

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