But that’s what seems to be going on with the right wing and the Chevy Volt – well, that and outright lying.
As part of their campaign to fear the future and hate anything whatsoever that Democrats and President Obama are in favor of (even if the Dems adopt the GOP’s own proposals), the right wing has been running a vicious campaign against the Volt, Chevrolet’s cutting-edge hybrid vehicle.
The latest: Claiming “The Volt is Dead” because GM has “shut down production”… when what’s really going on is that Chevy has suspended production for just four weeks while they retool the factory (which is gearing up to produce the brand new Chevy Impala).
They make it sound like GM had canceled the entire line, not just interrupted production for four weeks… because that makes it sound worse for GM, and by extension for the Obama Administration, which both bailed out GM (despite the massive whining of the right wing) and encourages alternative vehicles like the Volt.
- They are VERY unlikely to break even in the first year.
- In the first couple of years, costs can be deceptive. since the up-front research and development of $1.2-billion will need to be amortized over a number of years, and over many different product lines. The nay-sayers claim anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 as the “real” cost of a Volt, but as GM points out, “Estimate of the current loss per unit for each Volt is grossly wrong in part because the reporters allocated product development costs across the number of Volts sold instead of allocating across the lifetime volume of the program, which is how business operates.”
- Likewise, economies of scale kick in slowly – nobody expects the first couple of year’s run of a product to be indicative of the long-term effective costs (battery prices have been dropping rapidly as the technology matures, for instance).
- Yes, Volt sales this year have been lower than hoped; that may have something to do with the fact that we’re still clawing our way out of the Bush recession, with no help from the GOP which continues to block Obama’s jobs bills (the latest: They even refused to pass a jobs bill for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans…).
- There have been a few fires (5!) associated with the Volt, so it must be UNSAFE! Even though a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation said the Volt posed no greater risk than other vehicles.
- They even continue to lie about the Volt’s range, saying things like, “Why then is the Volt struggling so? Perhaps because it only gets 35 miles to a 12-hour charge…” Which is true, but leaves out the fact that the Volt is a HYBRID, and after that 35 miles the gasoline engine kicks in, allowing you to continue to drive while it charges the battery back up (but they sure make it sound like you’re dead on the highway after 35 miles, don’t they?).
- And when the Department of Defense announced it would buy some Volts for its massive auto fleet, Conservatives were outraged… as if that was somehow cheating! But as Chris DeMorro put it at Gas 2.0, “If any entity knows how important it is for America to cease its reliance on oil, it is the U.S. Military.”
What’s the truth?
The Volt is a promising new technology that will take a while to gear up and be cost-effective, but will offer huge benefits to consumers and the planet.
But if it’s something being offered by the Obama Administration, RedState and Breitbart don’t want you to have it. Nyah nyah nyah.
(Image of the Chevy Volt at Vasquez Rocks by Aaron Matthew Kaiser. Trash talk image by Sad Hill News.)