From the Cheap Seats: The Chevy Volt – America’s White Elephant

March 5, 2012
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richardefreeman /Free Photos

The Chevrolet Volt, it turns out, was badly engineered.   And the marketers were every bit as competent as the designers.

A better name would have been the Chevy Dolt.

Granted, that seems pretty obvious. No doubt the joke has been used.

But in this case, the joke works because it reflects a basic truth.  Actually, several of them, the most important being that the president can’t simply order up an electric car.  Even Fidel Castro has figured that kind of stuff out, not that it’s done him any good.

Make no mistake, the Chevy Dolt comes right out of the Oval Office.  Remember that President Obama didn’t have to sell the idea to a board of directors, or investors. He simply decreed it.

Decree a Volt, you get the Dolt.

Here’s why:

Obama didn’t risk any capital of his own. He risked somebody else’s.

Think you haven’t paid for a Volt?  Think again.  You know who owns Government, er, General Motors.  Taxpayers.  And we’re still holding the bag.  So guess who’s not out a dime, despite lousy job performance?  Of course, Obama is as likely to accept blame as Danika Patrick is to check the rearview mirror on race day.

More likely Obama will blame that free market for the Volt’s shocking lack of performance.

Obama seems to think that if he builds the Volt that utilities would come to provide a steady flow of electrons for his master machine even though, and this is key, he did nothing to ensure that there would be enough electricity that would be easily available to consumers who might wish to recharge their Volts.  In fact, Obama has actively discouraged new generation. Ask a coal miner, any coal miner.  A lack of fuel has been known to engender sales resistance in the car biz, a fact that apparently eludes the commander in chief, but few others.

Some observers have noted that the Volt, or the Obamamobile, if you will, used gasoline to run the auxiliary engine, used to recharge the batteries. You read that right. Obama was going to use gasoline to reduce gasoline use. Yup, and the white rabbit was actually not that late for a very important date.

There’s a rumor that the Volt steering wheel was designed to turn only to the left, but that’s unsubstantiated.  Still, you gotta admit, it could happen.

So, let’s see. Poor design, unreliable fuel supply, inexplicable choice of fuels, undisciplined management?  What could possibly go wrong?

One notable thing about the Volt:  It is likely to replace the Corvair, maybe the Edsel, as the worst car decision of all time.

It might be funny if it weren’t so expensive.

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