Obama Volt Version 1 – A Hybrid by any other Name!

Where do you want to go that is less than 20 miles…

I was watching and listening to the President last week praising the new Chevy Volt as the car of the future;  a breakthrough in technology; the best thing sliced bread.  Well maybe he did not say sliced bread.   After listing to the spiel, I Binged the GM Volt so I could view this ObamaMobile first hand.   After reading through the features and specifications, the light came on.  I then Binged the Toyota Prius. 

Both had an electric motor and a gas engine; 

Both got 50 MPH; 

Both featured EV (electric vehicle) mode to one degree or another;  (The Volt boasted of a 40 mile range on electric power and it only takes 6 hours to recharge the batteries!  Better plan on a long dinner before returning home)

The Prius gas engine runs on regular gas while the Volt requires premium gas;

The Volt boasts a scaled down weight of 3,500 LBS, the Prius weighs in at 3,000 LBS.  (Don’t think Barry should push this as an advancement in weight reduction technology.  GM also boasted of the new plastics technology usesd to reduce the weight.  Great, in a crash I am covered in molten plastic that has been contaminated by the cobalt in the lithium ion batteries)  

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BINGO, the Volt is just a Hybrid!!!  Brilliant!!!  Wow, Obama dusted off a brand new technology” that was first announced by Toyota on January 16th, 1992 under the code name “Earth Charter1”!  The first of the Prius cars were sold in Japan starting on December 10th, 1997, 13 years ahead of the new innovative Chevy Volt.  Oh, the Volt has one very significant feature that far surpasses the Prius, the PRICE.  The Prius costs about $24,000 while the Volt comes in at $40,000 but wait, Government Motors will arrange for a $7,500 tax credit courtesy of the American TaxpayerGee I wonder if a Prius buyer can get the same Tax Credit, NAH!!!

I have to confess that I drive a Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV that gets 32+MPH.  I also have to confess that I think the whole hybrid concept is an exercise in environmental suicide given the size of the batteries and the absolute toxicity of the battery components.  There are no recycling capabilities or any way to safely dispose of spent batteries.  But, in “April, 2000 – The Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization, presented its “Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award” to the Prius1.”  What do I know…?

               You have to hand it to this President; he can sell snow balls in H…..!  He made a 13 year old overpriced technology sounded like the second coming.  He was right about one thing.  The Volt is the quintessential example of a product produced by a government-private sector partnership.  Barry, you may want to stick to community organizing…!

Audacity of Hope?  How about just plain AUDICITY?

RD Pierini

Postscript:  Toyota was building a plant in Mississippi to produce the Prius in the US with real, honest to God American workers and jobs.  (see http://www.insideline.com/toyota/prius/2009/toyota-suspends-work-on-us-plant-set-for-prius-manufacturing.html)  Between the recession and then the trumped up accelerator recalls, Toyota postponed the completion of the plant. 

One can hope that Volt II may actually be innovative so we, taxpayers, can recoup our forced investment in Government Motors.  But if it isn’t, the GM CEO can borrow more TARP funds to pay us back!  Maybe that is the real sequel, TARP II

1http://www.toyoland.com/prius/chronology.html

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