“After a year’s success in casting bankrupt Fremont solar maker Solyndra as the prototype for President Obama’s energy policies, Republicans now are targeting what they have dubbed “Obamacars.”
OBAMACARS? THAT’S A NEW ONE ON ME. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA INDEED HAS A PROBLEM ON HIS HANDS WITH THE VERY UNPOPULAR DETROIT BAILOUT. I’M NOT SAYING IT WAS HIS IDEA BUT HE CERTAINLY SUPPORTED IT AND IT WAS BAD IDEA, IMO. FOR SOME REASON, HAVING SOMETHING TO DO WITH OBAMA, GM MADE WILDLY UNREALISTIC FORECASTS FOR THE VOLT PLUG-IN HYBRID. OBVIOUSLY, THERE’S GOOD AND BAD FOR OBAMA TO BE SO INVOLVED WITH DETROIT.
For some GOP members of Congress, the Chevy Volt, made by General Motors, is a fire hazard and a job loser, while Palo Alto’s Tesla Motors is a crony capitalist purveyor of toy cars for Silicon Valley millionaires.
FIRE HAZARD? NO. JOB LOSER? NO. BUT CRONY CAPITALIST PURVEYOR OF TOY CARS FOR SILICON VALLEY MILLIONAIRES? YES! DING DING DING!
The campaign has tainted Energy Secretary and UC Berkeley physicist Steven Chu and his agency’s renewable energy loan programs, rupturing a consensus under former President George W. Bush, who started the programs to end America’s addiction to oil.
I DON’T KNOW IF THE CAMPAIGN DID THAT. WE’VE WASTED A LOT OF MONEY ON A LOT OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS – THIS IS TRUE WITH OR WITHOUT ANY CAMPAIGN.
But it may not stop the electric car. The assault has enraged General Motors. On March 1, the company opened an unprecedented campaign to re-introduce the Volt in California, the biggest U.S. auto market, even as it temporarily halted production because of slow sales.
THE CHEVY VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” SORRY. IT’S A PLUG-IN HYBRID, IRL.
GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson has complained about the political atmosphere that surrounds the Volt.
UH, DOESN’T HE OWE HIS JOB TO THE “POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE?” I THINK SO.
“Sometimes I feel bad for President Obama,” he said this month after an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
AWW. AND SOMETIMES SMITHERS FEELS BAD FOR MR. BURNS. SOMETIMES.
The automaker accused Republicans and the media of hyping claims that the car caught fire during testing, which forced temporary layoffs at the Volt plant in Detroit.
IF THE VOLT WERE WAAAAAY CHEAPER, IT WOULD SELL SOMEWHAT BETTER. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NEWS OF FIRES. GM, FOR POLITICAL REASONS, WAS WAAAAAAAY OFF ON PREDICTIONS OF SALES FOR THIS MODEL.
Tesla, which received a $465 million Department of Energy loan, has dropped pursuit of new federal loans, raised private cash and plans in July to start deliveries of its $50,000 S car, claiming it is on its way to the mass car market.
“We applied during the Bush administration, and we were approved under the Obama administration, so as far as we’re concerned, we at least had a bipartisan relationship for the loan,” said Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes. “We got one of first loans and we used it to build the car that is now going into production in a U.S.-based facility. … I’d like to think we’re pretty much a case study on what the loan program was designed to do.”
THE FEDS SHOULD NOT HAVE PUT ANY MONEY INTO TESLA. SORRY.
Showing photos of a charred Volt, a panel of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), held a hearing in January called “Volt Vehicle Fire: What Did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It.”
NOW WE’RE INTO THE POLITICS. BUT I THINK ELEMENTS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PLAY THE EXACT SAME GAME, RIGHT?
“Without a doubt, the antics have hurt sales, which has probably contributed to the need to shut down the plant for a few weeks and temporarily lay off 1,300 employees,” said GM spokesman Shad Balch. “It’s just blatantly wrong information. You get some of these folks on national news shows making outrageous statements about batteries catching on fire and cars randomly exploding.”
THE “BLATANTLY WRONG INFORMATION” ABOUT THE VOLT MOSTLY COMES FROM GM. MOSTLY. THE VOLT IS AN UNPOPULAR CAR. DEAL WITH IT, GM. WHAT IF THERE WERE A HEARING SOMEWWHERE IN DC ABOUT EXPLODING APPLE IPADS? DO YOU ALL THINK THAT WOULD MAKE THE IPAD AN UNPOPULAR PRODUCT ALL OF A SUDDEN? THE EXPENSIVE VOLT IS THE EXPENSIVE VOLT. DEAL WITH IT.
An independent analyst at TrueCar.com, a new-vehicle pricing and research firm, said what is slowing Volt sales is GM’s failure to tout its economics as gasoline prices soar past $4 a gallon.
TRUECAR.COM IS A BIG POS OF A WEBSITE. WHY IS IT BEING CITED IN THIS FASHION?
The Energy Department’s loan programs have been plagued by politicization, bankruptcies and bureaucratic bungling.
OH, HEY. HEY, THAT SHOULD BE THE HEADLINE. NOW YOU’RE ON THE TROLLEY!
Electric car maker Fiskar Automotive of Anaheim, which produces the luxury Karma in Finland and is aiming to produce a mass market “Project Nina” car in the United States, was approved for a $529 million loan guarantee. But it has drawn down just $193 million and was blocked in May by the Energy Department from further disbursements for failure to meet project milestones. It has stopped work at its Delaware plant.
WHAT A FIASCO. WHY DO WE GIVE MONEY TO CARMAKERS?
Toprak of Truecar.com said the 18,000 electric cars sold in the United States last year, mostly the Volt and the Nissan Leaf, make up just one-tenth of 1 percent of new car sales.
TO REPEAT, THE VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” REPETICION: EL CHEVY VOLT NO ES UN COCHE ELECTRICO. IT WAS GOING TO BE, BUT THEN THINGS CHANGED.
What the Chevy Volt looked like back when it really was an electric car. As seen on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2008:
Later on they added in a gas engine and they made it look lame and then they jacked up the price waaaaaay high.
That’s GM for you…
Tags: 2012, Barack Obama, bay area, california, car, Carolyn Lochhead, cars, Chevrolet, chevy, chronicle, David Baker, DAVID R BAKER, electric, general motors, gm, hybrid, S-Car, San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, tesla, volt