Rush Limbaugh was right. Again. He actually got it double-right. After Motor Trend magazine declared the electric/gasoline-powered Chevy Volt its 2011 Car of the Year, Limbaugh asked:
‘…[O]f all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold [and] the Volt is the Car of the Year.’ (end of excerpt)
Correct. Because you can’t judge a product that has no record in the market. What if Volt owners start getting electrocuted? What if the Volt turns out to be another Ford Pinto-like vehicle with, say, an exploding battery? Could not Motor Trend have waited just 12 months before its declaration? Or was it an effort to simply to help sell this inefficient ‘green’ car by another liberal publication?
Todd Lassa, Motor Trend editor, replied to Limbaugh in a blog post:
‘So, Mr. Limbaugh; you didn’t enjoy your drive of our 2011 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Volt? Assuming you’ve been anywhere near the biggest automotive technological breakthrough since … I don’t know, maybe the self-starter, could you even find your way to the front seat? Or are you happy attacking a car that you’ve never even seen in person?’ (end of excerpt)
Actually Mr. Lassa, are you happy cheerleading for a car that is unproven in the market? After all, many companies don’t find flaws in their own laboratories until consumers do. History is full of such products, and many are recalled or killed or litigated off the market. Think Chevy Corvair.
Lassa is completely wrong on a second front: The electric car is not “the biggest automotive technological breakthrough since… I don’t know, maybe the self-starter…” (Lassa is referring to the battery starter when you turn the key).
Mr. Lassa, you more than anyone should know that the first electric car was introduced just after the turn of the century. The 20th century that is. In 1902. It is not a new or revolutionary idea. It is an antique idea that never has worked in the marketplace because it is inefficient and far too expensive to drive.
Lassa fumed about Limbaugh:
‘Last time you ranted about the Volt, you got confused about the “range,” and said on the air that the car could be driven no more than 40 miles at a time, period.’ (end of excerpt)
Yes, indeed, that is the range of the electric part of the car, although the car also has a gasoline engine which can take it as far as you need to go, like any other gasoline-powered vehicle. But this is Lassa splitting hairs. Columnist George Will, who also spoke ill of the Volt, repeated the 40-mile figure, gave the source (General Motors itself) and then presented the opinion of Popular Mechanics which says that it can only go 33 miles. That’s not 33 miles to the gallon, but 33 total miles for every charge. And it takes 10-12 hours to recharge. Otherwise you have to use the gasoline engine. Which sounds like it defeats the whole purpose of this magical ‘green’ car.
Listen to Lassa sounding like an angry high-school tree-hugger:
But, harrumph. In its attempt to force cars that don’t use much gas on us — how un-American/un-ExxonMobil/un-Halliburton is that? — the Obama administration is offering a $7,500 tax credit on the Chevy Volt, grabbing tax breaks and credits right out of the deserving, job-creating pockets of America’s richest individuals. How dare he? (end of excerpt)
Halliburton is always the ace up the sleeve of every lefty nut. How about Enron, Mr. Lassa? They must be hiding in the bushes somewhere.
And Mr. Lassa, the electricity for your Volt today is generated largely by America’s coal-fired power plants, which are the nation’s most generous producers of carbon dioxide emissions. So those Volts are creating CO2 much more profusely and using carbon fuel much more inefficiently than the internal combustion engine is.
Lassa then raged about the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision:
‘Thanks to the recently unbridled ability of American and foreign big business to contribute unhindered to their favorite politicians – both Democratic and Republican — you don’t need to worry about rampant left-wing policy coming out of Washington any time soon. (end of excerpt)
Uh, Mr. Lassa, a $7,500 government subsidy for an inefficient car like the Chevy Volt indeed IS left-wing policy.
Lassa then raged about Limbaugh:
You’ve made two king’s ransoms by convincing legions of (listeners) to tune into you every day. I wonder, do you ever ride in anything that’s not German or Anglo-Saxon? Do you have any idea how powerful IG Metal is, and of the size of Germany’s social safety net? (end of excerpt)
What the hell is this guy talking about? Does he have an editor? (Oh right, he is the editor…)
Wrote conservative columnist George Will disdainfully about the Volt:
‘…the federal government, which evidently is feeling flush, will give tax credits of up to $7,500 to every Volt purchaser. The Volt was conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people’s money, to buy this $41,000 car that seats only four people (the 435-pound battery eats up space).’ (end of excerpt)
So if the Volt is so great as to be the Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year, A) Why does it cost so damned much? B) Why does the government have to subsidize it? and C) Why does the battery bank weigh more than an engine in a conventional car, which means you are hauling around that 435 pounds every time you drive, in addition to the Volt’s gasoline engine.
By the way, here’s the truth from George Will about the federal bailout loan that General Motors allegedly has paid back:
‘In April, in a television commercial and a Wall Street Journal column headlined The GM Bailout: Paid Back in Full GM’s then-CEO Ed Whitacre said “we have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.” Rubbish.
GM, which has received almost $50 billion in government subventions, repaid a $6.7 billion loan using other federal funds, a TARP-funded escrow account. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) called this a “TARP money shuffle.” A commentator compared it to “paying off your Visa credit card with your MasterCard.” (end of excerpt)
‘Meretricious accounting and deceptive marketing are inevitable when government and its misnamed “private sector” accomplices foist state capitalism on an appalled country. But those who thought the ethanol debacle defined outer limits of government foolishness pertaining to automobiles were, alas, mistaken.’ (end of excerpt)
This is right on target. Ethanol was a massive fiasco as is all ‘green’ technology’. Including the Volt.
Lassa then attacked Limbaugh personally over his admitted addiction – which he quickly overcame – several years ago to the prescription drug oxycontin:
If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt. I’m sure GM would be happy to lend you one for the weekend. Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don’t mix. (end of excerpt)
If Lassa really had a product he trusted, he would never write like he has in this defensive, angry column. But he knows that Rush Limbaugh is saying more in one sentence than Lassa does in a decade. This in itself shows you that much is amiss in Volt Land.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.