Michael Schaus

Another $5,000 dollars loped off the sale’s price of the Chevy Volt. And there are still far more fiducially responsible ways to invest hard earned dollars. In the financial world there is a saying: Buy things when no-one else wants them. The person who coined that advice clearly never saw a Chevy Volt sitting on a car dealer’s lot. As GM struggles to prove that Obama’s “saving of Detroit” was not a thinly veiled handout to union workers, and that the “green movement” is backed by economical alternatives to cheap fossil fuels, it has decided to cut its Volt prices yet again.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The sticker price on the lowest-cost 2014 Volt will fall to $35,000 from $40,000 and could cost as little as $27,500 after federal tax incentives.” But don’t rush out just yet. . . That tax “incentive” – also commonly referred to as government funded bribery – of $7,500 will show up on your next tax bill; not your dealership receipt.

The price cut is another attempt to convince would-be-green-hearted liberals, with more money than brains, that the Volt is the vehicle for them. While the auto industry has made significant strides in the green-car market, the Volt has been largely absent from that progress.

Altogether, auto makers sold roughly 7,500 battery powered and plug-in hybrids in July. (Which is still less than 1 percent of total light vehicle sales for the month. . . But aside from investors, companies, and dealerships, who’s counting?) GM’s Volt sales, however, represented a 3 percent drop from last year’s July sales. In contrast, Nissan’s Leaf saw a 500 percent increase in sales over the same period. Even Tesla continues to sell almost 1,500 new cars per month.

Much of the Volt’s challenge lies in its ridiculous price point. Starting at $35,000 after the latest price cut (the second this year) it still remains more than $10,000 more expensive than its gasoline powered counterpart, the Chevy Cruze. And, before anyone talks about the additional savings earned because of its electric (if flammable) motor, the battery is over $8,000 to replace. And while those batteries are expected to last an average of 8 years, it does raise the overall cost of ownership.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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