During his campaign, President Obama said he would work to put one million plug-in hybrids on American roads by 2015.
Leora Broydo Vestel - The New York Times
- April 17, 2009
Will GM succeed in selling large numbers of these? --Ed.
Electric car supporters are rising to defend General Motors’ development of the Chevy Volt after the Obama Administration’s automotive task force proclaimed that the car was probably too expensive to be commercially successful in the near future.
G.M. is hoping to launch the Volt in late 2010 with a price tag of about $40,000.
“While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable,” the task force noted in its recent assessment of GM’s restructuring plans. About $750 million is needed for near-term Volt development, according to the company.
Advocacy groups argue the task force’s assessment is shortsighted and worry that the Volt project may land in the scrap heap as G.M. rolls toward bankruptcy. Financial aid for such projects has been put on hold as G.M. and Chrysler struggle to come up with business plans that regulators will embrace.
“Any new technology like the Chevy Volt takes time to become profitable,” said Jay Friedland, the legislative director for Plug-In America, an electric-car advocacy group. “The Toyota Prius took over five years to reach break-even and has gone on to be a wild success.”
Electric car proponents at The California Cars Initiative believe the task force was unduly influenced by “plug-in skeptics” at the Boston Consulting Group, which is under government contract to provide input on... [Read More]