Conservatives fear the future, so they’re lying about the Chevy Volt

  • Published on September 16th, 2012

The right wing hates the Chevy Volt - image Aaron Matthew Kaiser.It’s very confusing when supposed free-market capitalists fail to understand the basic functions of markets and economics.

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.

Meanwhile, right-wing outlets like and continue to blow off or misrepresent several important economic realities about the introduction of new technologies, such as:

  • 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).
  • Conservatives love to hate the Chevy VoltYes, 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.

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(Image of the Chevy Volt at Vasquez Rocks by Aaron Matthew Kaiser. Trash talk image by Sad Hill News.)


About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
  • Tom

    I love my 2013 Volt. Fell in love with it after the first test drive. Traded in a prius. The volt has the feel of a larger car and a solid ride compared with the prius. I never could adapt to the prius seats. Seemed like i was sitting in a bucket. This is my first American car since the 70’s. i have had it since September and still have half a tank of gas. Got the 240 charger and i can take it with if i move. I can’t understand why the right wing hates so much. They seem to never stop complaining. Hey, we had to endure BUSH for 8 years (the village idiot). STOP COMPLAINING!

  • Eric E

    I’m averaging 170 mpg. 🙂
    LOVE my Volt!

  • Paul

    I’m a US Volt owner. You can find me on as 2012-09453. I have a 41.7 mile round trip each day to work. I’m averaging 800+ mpg over 5,000 miles and am still running on the original gas that was in the tank when I purchased the car. Do you think that I’m happy? The Volt is one awesome American-made vehicle, politics be damned.

  • PaulK

    From over here in the UK it does look like the US rightwing are going insane. They seem to be in a constant battle with reality and in denial of a growing list of facts and science.

    Given their love of guns, it’s a little worrying.

  • TorontoVoltDriver

    Well written. All though you must admit, it has turned out that it would have been hard to find a tougher target than the chevy volt. Any other car on the market would have crumbled under the multi million dollar right wing media assault spewing out of groups like the National Legal and Policy Center ( funded by one of chevrons biggest shareholders ).
    The volts safty record, its happy owners and brilliant engineering takes the slander and lies and tosses it right back at the nut jobs trying to smother them.

    I am a canadian volt owner and when i bought the volt I was unaware of the circus going on south of the border.
    It was cheaper than the audi i was going to buy and I fell in love with it on the first drive. Awesome America tech at its finest !

    I don’t need a level 2 charger, I just use a normal 120 v plug In my garage and the level 1 charger that came with my volt. I plug it in every night, if I runout of juice during the day I just use gas. 81% electric after 7700 miles .

    I have found that my volt is a near bullet proof car that really has brought the EV into the main stream here in Toronto.

    But I got to tell you nothing is as funny as reading some of these post with folks who have never even driven a volt making up cost and performance numbers to convince the volt owners of operating costs.

    Come on people, for starters in addition to the routine emails my car sends me via onstar on stats ( like that 81% number ) I have a daily read out of exactly how much juice I am burning and a monthly total of how much it is costing me (averages $25 a month )
    Check out my stats up on volt 2012-00926 !

    And btw, in 17 years, when the Saudi Arabia becomes a net oil importer, ( citi bank estimate ) exactly where are you planning to get the gas for that moster truck you are using to drive to the twinkly store?

    Not from us, count on it…. Unless you want to pay for it with more volts!

    • Bob G

      Deal. We’ll send Volts – well, except the tires. They are made in Canada. :}