Fantastic: Taxpayers Footing the Bill for “Chevrolet Volt-ville” in Texas

By Gary P Jackson

The Chevy Volt has replaced the Ford Edsel as the car no one wants, sales of the $40,000 plus automobile are pathetic. Unlike the Edsel, which was a good car, just butt ugly, the Volt won’t die a natural death. You see the Edsel was built in a time when America’s leadership still believed in free market capitalism. One offered up a product and it either swam or sank on it’s own merits. That’s not the case with Chevy’s Volt.

The American tax payer gave General Motors, and the union thugs billions of dollars to “save” the company. Instead of building nice, energy efficient conventional cars, GM continued to throw good money after bad on the Volt. Even with the federal government putting a big sack of tax payer money in the trunk of every car [there’s a $7500 tax credit] there are few takers.

Now we have more madness. This time from Austin, Texas. [Berkeley on the Colorado] GM’s OnStar has teamed up with a “sustainable living” project to try and move some iron out the door. Even with an additional $7500 rebate from the project, they only sold half of the Volts offered up. Still, they call these 55 cars the “greatest concentration of Volts in the world”. Rather sad for a city the size of Austin. There are probably more Chevy Vegas or Ford Pintos in the city!

Not counting tax credits, or the actual tax payer money funding GM, this little exercise in futility will cost the American tax payer as mush as $24 million, courtesy of the Department of Energy and other agencies. Oh, and for this, people still have to buy the car! You could buy a nice car that gets amazing mileage, AND a motorcycle, which also gets amazing mileage, and is fun, for what one pays for a Volt. And that’s after all the incentives.

From Edmunds:

2012 Chevrolet Volt Becomes Centerpiece of Smart Community

Just the Facts:

OnStar, General Motors and the 2012 Chevrolet Volt have become official partners of Pecan Street Inc., where residents in a Texas community have agreed to be part of a clean-energy smart grid test for sustainable living.

GM calls it the greatest concentration of Chevrolet Volts in the world.

This partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to observe charging details with many real customers in a concentrated setting,” said Nick Pudar, an OnStar vice president, in a statement.

AUSTIN, Texas — Maybe it should be renamed “Chevrolet Volt-ville.” The largest concentration of Chevrolet Volts in the country will play a key role in helping Texas residents in a 700-acre planned community as they test the impact of “smart homes” and other green technology, like electronic vehicles.

GM calls it the greatest concentration of Chevrolet Volts in the world.

This partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to observe charging details with many real customers in a concentrated setting,” said Nick Pudar, an OnStar vice president, in a statement.

OnStar and General Motors have become official partners of Pecan Street Inc., the country’s first nonprofit research and development consortia, where residents agreed to be part of a clean-energy smart grid test for sustainable living. The Mueller community, 3 miles outside Austin, provides a real-life lab for the automaker to observe charging patterns and how consumers and clean-energy technologies interact and support electric-vehicle charging. The project runs for five years.

While Chevrolet made 100 Volts available, only 55 of the community residents took advantage of the various tax credits, including a $7,500 federal tax credit and a $7,500 rebate from Pecan Street on their Volt purchases. Those leasing a Volt for three or more years received a $3,000 rebate.

We’re gathering information from families’ vehicles throughout this community to find out the direct impact the Volt has on the grid and how to get drivers the lowest possible charging rates,” said Pudar. “This project will also help us develop future capabilities of the Volt and other plug-in electric vehicles.

Pecan Street is funded by a $10.4 million grant from the Energy Department and more than $14 million in matching funds from project partners. Although Pecan Street oversees the consortia, it also includes researchers from the University of Texas, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Environmental Defense Fund. It’s housed in the University of Texas at Austin.

Besides the Volt, residents will use smart appliances in conjunction with home-management systems and smart electric meters, energy storage that optimizes the use of solar power, clean energy distribution and green building construction.

We hope Pecan Street’s research will speed up the innovation cycle around smart grid and consumer electronic technology,” said Pecan Street Inc. Executive Director Brewster McCracken, in a statement. “Electric vehicles represent a significant addition to a home’s energy profile, and understanding that impact and how consumers use and charge their vehicles is critically important.

So GM has sunk tens of billions into this lemon on wheels, and they are still trying to figure out how it effects a home’s “energy profile”? Oh my.

Look, I’m not against alternative energy, so long as it’s not tax payer subsidized, nor am I against new ideas for automobiles. Those pushing electric cars claim they are “zero emissions” vehicles, which is nonsense. The Pecan Street Project will be solar powered, allegedly, but most homes still get their electricity from coal fired plants. That shoots the entire “green” argument right in the head.

Those pushing these things act like electric cars are something new and amazing. They’re not. In the late 1800s, before the internal combustion engine had become reliable, there were numerous companies making electric cars and commercial delivery vehicles.

Electric cars were built well into the 1920s, and as the Model T still had to be cranked by hand, and offered up the chance of broken bones for the trouble, had a large female customer base. The electrics were often geared towards women, with plush interiors, special equipment, and the ability to get in and go. No muss, no fuss.

Had I been alive back then, I would have likely owned one. I don’t like hand cranking an automobile any more than I like kick starting a motorcycle.

As soon as an electric starter motor was added to affordable vehicles like later Model Ts, the Model A, and Chevy’s budget offering, the electric car was dead.

Obviously today’s electrics, like the Volt, offer up all the modern conveniences of air conditioning, and can achieve a higher top speed, the actual driving range, the distance one can go on a single battery charge, is unchanged from the 1920s. Billions upon billions spent, and not much improvement.

There’s got to be a better way!

Oh wait, there is. It’s called compressed natural gas. It’s cheap, clean, and plentiful. It’s mature technology that doesn’t require tax payer dollars to create, nor does it take upwards of $15,000 in incentives to bribe buyers into taking a look.

In fact, natural gas creates jobs as it saves money for the consumer. It’s how America USED to work.

Hopefully we can send some adults to Washington this November and end this wasteful nonsense.


Filed under In The News, Politics

11 responses to “Fantastic: Taxpayers Footing the Bill for “Chevrolet Volt-ville” in Texas

  1. Plenty of nonsense in this blog. If you want to get the real scoop, visit

    • Gary P Jackson

      Seriously? This gigantic failure isn’t even hitting 10% of it’s projected sales. It’s a HUGE money loser, as is Nissan’s Leaf, an all electric car.

      No sane human being could call this car anything but a waste of money, time, and effort.

      The Volt is a huge waste of money. More importantly, a serious waste of TAX PAYER MONEY.

      If people want to buy these things, more power to them, but stealing billions from TAXPAYERS, while we are borrowing 30 cents out of every dollar from China, and a almost $16 TRILLION in debt, is immoral.

      Any way you slice it, the Chevy Volt is a failure from a company that knows failure. GM used to be the best car company in the world, now it’s an absolute mess. A mess that has taken billions from the tax payer and will never, ever pay it back.

  2. Pingback: John Stossel and Eric Bolling Talk About the Failed Chevy Volt | A Time For Choosing

  3. Sounds like a Potemkin village. Or is that Potemkin Voltage?

  4. I think Eric & John had the right word for this whole kefaffel – namely, “reVOLTing!!” Yes, it truly boggles the mind… I don’t think that even if the gov’t actually GAVE me one for FREE would I want to have it!

    • Gary P Jackson

      It’s a dumb idea. It’s based on a lie, that global warming is real, and in actuality, almost all of these cars will get their electricity from coal fired plants! It’s just stupid.

      Compressed natural gas is the way to go. Of course, there isn’t a single thing wrong with oil either.

  5. Aaron Allen

    Hi Gary: If you didn’t read the brief msg by ‘Voltdriver’, pls do and see just
    what was discovered in Volt tests…Then, pls read the article on Volvo’s hy-
    brid car [actually an electric vehicle like Volt, with a backup turbine genera-
    tor]–at: [scroll/click to find article with 4-5 photos] Altho called a
    ‘hybrid’, the Volvo ECC was an electric vehicle like the Volt–only better…
    Instead of a gasoline-powered ‘onboard-recharger, fit a small diesel or
    turbine engine and run it on CNG–plus HHO–no money goes to the shieks suits, Opeckers, big-bank speculators,any excessive middlemen…I have
    another msg after you read ‘voltdriver’ and the Volvo ECC stories: Men-
    tally put politics, Big Oil, and ‘plug-in-and-pay-up folks aside when you
    read these–Remember drivers’ seat adjustment memory? Think of 3-4
    selectable ‘performance-programs’ so a whole family [Mom/Dad/kids] can
    run ‘the best way, their way’ whilecommuting, errands and in-town, on
    road trips…My next msg will deal with the political BS this ‘project’ has be-
    come Highschool kids in an autoshop class cud fix this one without turn-
    ing the sky black or blowing all of the fuses and breakers…Aaron Allen…

    • Gary P Jackson

      Oh there’s all kinds of things you can do with these cars, but why? None of these cars make sense, and if governments weren’t wasting tens of billions of tax payer dollars, none of them would exist. You’ve got this deal in Austin where these Volts come with $15,000, tax payer dollars, loaded in the trunk, and they still can’t sell them all. And this is in Austin, Texas.

      Austin, Texas is where every old hippy, environmental whack job, and nutty liberal lives. If they can’t sell them things there, even at an insane discount, they should give up!

      I love technology, and cool technology, but electrics and hybrids are absolutely nonsensical projects created to combat a non-existent problem, and an artificially high fuel price.

      If we want to get serious we need to start drilling for oil, and converting our fleet to natural gas! We have enough oil and gas to be energy independent for over 300 years without importing a single drop. We have about 250 years worth of coal.

      To waste blood and treasure on these nonsensical projects, and refuse to drill for oil, creating millions of jobs in the worst economy in generations is immoral.

      Sorry, but few things get me angrier. I mean fighting mad.

      What we should be doing is getting out of the car makers ways, and allowing them to pursue mature, common sense technology, like compressed natural gas. With modern engine management systems, high pressure direct fuel injection, and other efficiencies, CNG is the miracle fuel people claim they want. And other than plumbing for CNG vs gasoline, and a bit of a tweak to the computer profile, you don’t have to change a single thing to a normal, well sorted automobile.

  6. MidBosque

    Trust but verify.

    • Gary P Jackson

      So you just make up numbers based on what you THINK they should be and that’s supposed to mean something? How much does GM pay you to spam websites with that lunacy?

      The Volt is the biggest waste of blood and treasure in automotive history. I achieves NOTHING.

      We should be using natural gas. It’s cleaner, greener, and CHEAPER.

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