I came across an article yesterday that has prompted me to start watching for one of the Chevy Volts. That will probably not be anytime soon as there are very few people buying the darling of the environmentalists and certain government people.
In fact, there have been claims that GM hoped to sell 10,000 of those vehicles this year. Oops….ain’t gonna make it. I have heard, but not yet found the articles yet, that part of GM’s Volt sales have been helped with fleet purchases by GE and, get this, the federal government. So, with federal government purchases, there goes MORE of our money.
So, if you happen to be in the Oklahoma City area and I spot your Chevy Volt, don’t be surprised if I insist on driving it around a block or two. After all, we taxpayers are really being soaked on this one.
Here is the story for your reading pleasure, which if you are a proponent of GM, probably won’t really be a pleasure. Now, in fairness, others besides GM have taken subsidies from the government for electric vehicle technology, but as this article points out, GM is still 26% owned by the government, thus the taxpayers.
Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle
Analyst: 'This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant'
By Tom Gantert
Dec. 21, 2011
Michigan Capital Confidential\
Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.
The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involved in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.
It’s unlikely that all the companies involved in Volt production will ever receive all the $3 billion in incentives, Hohman said, because many of them are linked to meeting various employment and other milestones. But the analysis looks at the total value that has been offered to the Volt in different aspects of production – from the assembly line to the dealerships to the battery manufacturers. Some tax credits and subsidies are offered for periods up to 20 years, though most have a much shorter time frame.
GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.
If battery manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.
The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.
Additional state and local support provided to Volt suppliers was not included in the analysis, Hohman said, and could increase the level of government aid. For instance, the Volt is being assembled at the Poletown plant in Detroit/Hamtramck, which was built on land acquired by General Motors through eminent domain.
“It just goes to show there are certain folks that will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,” said State Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “It’s a glaring example of the failure of central planning trying to force citizens to purchase something they may not want. … They should let the free market make those decisions.”
“This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,” said Hohman, referring to the car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.
According to GM CEO Dan Akerson, the average Volt owner makes $170,000 per year.
Here is a link to a story about buyers of Chevy Volts. Look for the references to what GE has committed to buy. Great, a subsidized car powered by subsidized power generation.