Would you feel guilty buying a Volt?

So what do you think? Are you a buyer at $41,000 ($33,500 after rebate)? This is supposed to be the savior, at least for GM. It will be the 2011 Motor Trend car of the year. It will get an unprecedented advertising blitz. It will be subsidized by your fellow taxpayers to the tune of $7,500 per copy. I have to wonder, does that bother you at all if you’re a buyer? We all know how tough times are and the huge problem our debt and spending is causing. You could buy many different cars in the mid $30 grand range, either GM or not, so it’s not a buy American issue . For example, a Cadillac CTS starts at just over $35,000. They won’t put the taxpayers on the hook for your subsidy. I’m talking about someone who is already making a car purchase anyway. Does the feeling of being “green” offset the fact that you are increasing our debt to own this car?

It’s estimated to take 10 years of average driving to recoup the price penalty paid for going electric. And let’s face it, the car is just an ordinary 4 door sedan. Nothing special as far as design minus the electric technology. The battery packs will cost GM nearly $15,000 per vehicle alone. There are several things that could happen in the Volt’s favor. New battery technology could emerge driving down the cost. A barrel of oil could again rise over $100 which starts to take the price at the pump back up to that very uncomfortable range, the range where we forcibly change our driving habits and the cars we choose to drive. Then of course there is the government which can further tax and regulate the oil industry into forced higher prices.

Other factors are the tax credit. Once GM hits 200,000 sales of the Volt, the government will start scaling back the subsidy. On the other hand, GM is offering a $349 lease deal on the Volt. Since the average new car payment is about $450, that would seem to bode well for sales. However, even that requires $2,500 down to get the 36 month lease. GM also offers an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the batteries. The reliability had definitely better be there or GM will eat approx. $10,000 per battery pack replacement.

People probably forget that Obama told us that the Volt was not a viable option for profitability. This was when the White House was making its case for bankruptcy. Now that the government owns GM, the tune is different. The jury will certainly be out. GM may be outwardly projecting that this car is the future and the savior, however, the marketplace will make that decision.

8 thoughts on “Would you feel guilty buying a Volt?”

  1. It doesn’t help that GM lied their posteriors off about the Volt. I remember those days; from when the Volt appeared as a concept, and until just a few months ago, we were told that the engine didn’t drive the wheels. Then, suddenly, they did! It seems to me that this could not have been a quick design change, it was built in from the start. So, we started having something that was new and really different, to having a glorified (and more expensive) Prius.

  2. It seems to me that the government is trying to everything in it’s power to force things like the Volt upon the American citizen, instead of letting the market decide what goes and what stays. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them manipulate the price of oil to drive up the price of gasoline, trying to make the Volt appear more viable. I think I’ll pass.

  3. It remains to be seen just how many years taxpayers will have to eat the subsidy. Not to mention the artificially low lease price. Just doesn’t make sense that GM gets the clean slate through screwing their investors in bankruptcy and now they are banking on a loss leader car to save them. I have an idea. How about concentrating on selling cars at a profit rather trying to force a technology on us we really don’t want.

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