March 18, 2011

Good enough for government work

By Good enough for government work

Author: Timothy Sandefur

Patrick Michaels has a sadly hilarious article about the Chevy Volt; it sure does sound awful:

GM has continually revised downward its estimates of how far the machine would go before the gas engine fired, and now says 25 to 50 miles…. It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels—when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds. So the Volt really isn’t a pure electric car after all…. GM…hoped to lure more if buyers subtracted the $7,500 from the $41,000 sticker price. Instead, as Consumer Reports found out, the car was very pricey. The version they tested cost $43,700 plus a $5,000 dealer markup…. In a telling attempt to preserve battery power, the heater is exceedingly weak. Consumer Reports averaged a paltry 25 miles of electric-only running, in part because it was testing in cold Connecticut…. It will be interesting to see what the range is on a hot, traffic-jammed summer day, when the air conditioner will really tax the batteries. When the gas engine came on, Consumer Reports got about 30 miles to the gallon of premium fuel; which, in terms of additional cost of high-test gas, drives the effective mileage closer to 27 mpg.

But given that the federal government now claims it has constitutional authority to control all mental events that have an ultimate economic effect—and therefore can force you to purchase health insurance—it may be just a matter of time before the Department of Transportation just forces everyone to buy a Volt. After all, it would create jobs!

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