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GM's Great Electric Car Ruse

Updated on December 15, 2008

In previous Hubs, I've stood firmly on the sidewalk of the luminous streets of the future where GM's Chevrolet Volt illusion-car is supposed to be circulating triumphantly, while yelling that the Emperor Has No Clothes. My point has been that the Volt simply does not exist in any way whatsoever other than an engineering mule which is nowhere near ready for production, either in 2010 or at any time in the forseeable future. General Motors has been using the Volt as the carrot to prevent its own corporate extinction: "If we don't get the taxpayers' billions and die, look at the great car you'll be missing out on." The problem is that the Volt is really nothing much more than a Chevy Aveo with even uglier styling and a few hundred pounds of more batteries that essentially don't do much at all.

The batteries for the Volt don't exist. Period. Even at the outrageous estimated sales price of over $45,000 (in the middle of the greatest recession in generations), the bottom line is that the technology to create the batteries to run the Volt for the much-ballyhooed 40 miles and price them into a non-subsidized vehicle even at half a 100 large sticker price are not available now, they will not be available in 2010, and they are likely not going to be available in 2011, 2012, 2013 and maybe not for that entire decade.

Therefore, the nice people at Grifter Motors are bamboozling, conning, defrauding, cheating, tricking, swindling, hustling, hoaxing, deceiving, suckering and generally ripping off the poor unsuspecting Joe Taxpayer for a few bills since, hey, what the heck, AIG sucked up five or six times as much money as Wagoner is asking for, and all that got Uncle Sam was a bill for a few exec retreats at luxopalaces.

However, let's imagine (or hallucinate... which may be more accurate) that GM is actually able to turn water into wine or lead into gold or heavy, expensive, semi-useless giganto battery packs into a legitimate propulsory unit for the Volt by tapping into the money that the IRS and RevCan suck out of the bank accounts of innocent working people like you and me: The Chevy Volt is now in my garage. Yippee! So it's now first thing in the morning, and I am proudly marching towards my garage, Chevy Volt keys firmly in hand, ready to engage in the 39.9 mile trip that I plan on doing on electropower only.

Er... there is one little tiny problem. You see, the temperature in my garage is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But the temperature outside of my garage is currently - 24 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, - 24... don't forget that very important minus sign. And at those temperatures there isn't a battery pack technology even remotely foreseeable that is going to provide that amount of power. Not unless it has a nuclear powerplant fueling it, or one damn long extension cord.

Sure, if I lived in L.A. or Miami, the operating temperature's stultifying effect on battery power wouldn't be much of an issue. But as I look at this morning's weather map, I see that the temperatures in quite a few U.S. states right now are pretty close to the ones outside my door right now in Cryogenic Canada, so this is hardly a Frozen Moose Crap Canuck issue. Therefore, perhaps GM should withdraw its demand for billions in financing on the United States Government and instead approach the Government of the Confederate States Of America. The South may not rise again, but it pretty well may be the only place you can run an electric car.

Electric cars don't work. They don't work now, and they likely won't work two, three or even five years from now, if by "work" we intend to interpret a car as a somewhat affordable vehicle which can provide somewhat reasonable commuting and traveling range on electric power alone 12 months of the year in most of North America.

Both Canadian and American taxpayers are about to be taken to the cleaners by General Motors and its wonderful, fantastic, revolutionary and complete fantasy, trick, hallucination, mirage, delusion urban auto fanboi wanker dream Volt. I don't remember voting to support General Motors with my hard earned money, and I, for one, don't want a single penny to be taken out of my bank account to feed this blatant, outright scam ripoff. How about you?


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      The Volt will not work. Period. :)

    • JakeAuto profile image


      9 years ago from Calif.

      One academic study concluded that a 40 mile plug in range is not the most cost effective design, they recommended using small lighter batteries providing a 15 mile all electric range, to achieve best average resource utilization.

      Another big tax payer rip was the Chrysler line of electric car designs which vanished once they secured government assistance.

      If you want to have a look at the Chevy Volt test lab, including their battery environmental testing chambers, check out the 54 minute Charlie Rose interview, not exactly a penetrating investigating.

      At least Chevy is using larger lithium cells that have the potential to become cost effective if produced in volume, in contrast to Tesla who adapted existing power tool technology in the form of some 6400 individual battery cells.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      Well, they certainly don't work as reasonable substitutes for a conventional internal combustion vehicle, and likely won't until 2015 or even much further in the future.

    • quicksand profile image


      10 years ago

      "Electric cars don't work" - That's shocking!

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      I believe that at least the Japanese are being honest about the pace of their development. Right now there is no "affordable" way to build a practical electric car. The only options are to go the Tesla way and end up with a vehicle that costs over a hundred grand, and at $45 a barrel, that pays for a LOT of fuel.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Very interesting, Hal-- I've been wondering why we heard so much about the Volt and nothing about similar cars being developed by the Japanese automakers. Now I know the answer. Meanwhile, the big 3 in Detroit continue to march towards the edge of the cliff -- hope they don't take us with them.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      By all means give the Volt and its even more outlandish Chrysler competitors a wide berth. As the haxors like to say PHAIL! :)

      My writing business has suffered from the recession and my incomes are down. Could someone please arrange a meeting with the treasury secretary to discuss tossing a few billion dollars towards the LONG SUFFERING WRITERS? :(

    • pressingon profile image


      10 years ago

      I agree! If the government decides to reward companies who fail, they'll all line up and then what?! Where I come from rewards are given to those who are successful.

    • Netters profile image


      10 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      Wow, this is good information to know. I had my doubts about the car, but not any more. Thank you.


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