Rush v. Volt

Rush doesn’t like GM, whom he calls Obama Motors. GM is unionized, from a state with two Democratic Senators, and bailed out by the Obama Administration. So when GM came out with the Volt and Motor Trend magazine named it their 2011 car of the year, Rush was incredulous. How dare Motor Trend not share his bias against GM!

Rush questioned the integrity of Motor Trend and one of the magazine’s editors, Todd Lassa, responded:

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?

and then:

Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don’t mix.

Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark.

But Rush is a bully, and a bully is not going to take this lying down. I wish Todd Lassa good luck, he’s going to need it.

H/T: Motor Trend .

-David Drumm (Nal)

30 thoughts on “Rush v. Volt”

  1. i was hoping for more of an electric motor with an aux.gas engine running a generator to extent the charge of the batteries. this way the gas engine can run at one constant rpm optimizing its fuel efficency. plus during braking or downhill the electric motor itself could be used as a generator to charge the batteries.
    main problem would be on short runs without gasmotor assist heating the cabin would use considerable amps.

  2. The government rates the $41K Government Motors “Volt” so-called electric car at 93 MPG, even though we now know that the Volt is simply a hybrid, using its gas engine to contribute power under several conditions. Toyota did this more than a decade ago.

    And Nissan has to accept a 99 MPG rating from the government for creating a true all-electric car that doesn’t even have a gas tank.

  3. Jay,

    Infrastructure for charging by plug type perhaps, but we do have infrastructure (which I’ll stipulate needs some updating of its own) to distribute electrical power. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but this lack of infrastructure is far easier to overcome than building a hydrogen infrastructure from scratch. As to charge vs. distance? There are some interesting battery technologies in the pipeline that could really help address that issue.

  4. Granted the car is not a ‘technological paradigm shift’, but is is still an improvement over the technology used today. If you commute less than 40 mile per day, as most people do, than you will use little to no gas. If you drive more that that, the gas engine kicks in to provide the electricity to power the car.

    Having the true ‘technological paradigm shift’ provided by Tesla or the Nissan Leaf is great except there is no infrastucture in place to recharge the batteries if you need to travel more than 100 miles (on a good day).

    Until the infrastructure is in place to reduce or eliminate range anxiety, then the Volt is a good intermediate step.

    PS – Hey Wayne, do text your grandma with those fingers?

  5. For fuck’s sake: it still burns gasoline! Some “breakthrough.”

    Assuming of course that burning less gasoline doesn’t count for anything.

  6. I won’t go as far as Wayne there, but the Volt – as a gas burning hybrid – is indeed a half-measure at best and not a technological paradigm shift. Tesla has the better mouse trap.

  7. Rush may not be right about many things, but he is right about this: the Volt is bullshit. For fuck’s sake: it still burns gasoline! Some “breakthrough.”

    I have high hopes for the Tesla sedan that should hit the streets next year. But the Volt is only a major “breakthrough” for Detroit, a city that has been peddling the same primitive technology for century.

    I’ll cast my lot with a car designed in Silicon Valley (i.e., the Tesla).

  8. I read that GE has ordered a bunch of Volts as their new company car. I believe the President stated the federal gov’t has done or intends to do the same thing.

  9. Rush simply wants to be invited to the Senators Shelby/Corker “Let’s Destroy America’s Manufacturing Base Ball” held annually in honor of Toyota and Honda.

    What really drives these guys insane is that there is still enough of a middle class left to pay $41,000 for a car. What good is a free market if it doesn’t produce slave labor?

  10. From the Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year report:

    As a result, a lot of the sound and fury that has surrounded the Volt’s launch has tended to obscure a simple truth: This automobile is a game-changer.


  11. I’ve rented many GM cars over the last couple years and I’m impressed by the Malibu and Impala. I am also looking forward to renting the Cruze when I get a chance. IMO GM is doing a very good job in turning around its operations and reputation.

    As for the Volt, I am interested in that as well. While the purchase price may be high, the total cost of ownership should drop dramatically since you should not have to pay for gas very often.

    Of course I’m not sure comparing the Volt to a stripped down $15,000 economy car is a fair comparison, but I recall there were a lot of naysayers when the Prius was released.

  12. -David Drumm (Nal)

    “But Rush is a bully, and a bully is not going to take this lying down. I wish Todd Lassa good luck, he’s going to need it.”


    Yep. Guys like Limbaugh play by different rules than most, which can be said of many Republicans, as well. The Republicans are already “at war” in this country. When the average guy or gal “gets it”, it’ll be too late, if it isn’t already.

  13. “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?”

    It applies to people and places also.

  14. So the future of General Motors (and the $50 billion taxpayer investment in it) now depends on a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car. The company is moving forward on a second generation of Volts aimed at eliminating the initial model’s considerable shortcomings. (In truth, the first-generation Volt was as good as written off inside G.M., which decided to cut its 2011 production volume to a mere 10,000 units rather than the initial plan for 60,000.) Yet G.M. seemingly has no plan for turning its low-volume “eco-flagship” into a mass-market icon like the Prius.

    Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

    In the end, making the bailout work — whatever the cost — is the only good reason for buying a Volt. The car is not just an environmental hair shirt (a charge leveled at the Prius early in its existence), it is an act of political self-denial as well.

    If G.M. were honest, it would market the car as a personal donation for, and vote of confidence in, the auto bailout. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of cross-branding that will make the Volt a runaway success.

  15. I under stand that the Volt can hit 93 mph….maybe thats too slow for rush when he is cotin around town…

  16. G.M. has certainly accrued goodwill from the Volt. It was recently named Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. But the economic challenges of such a costly program are clear. In his book about G.M., “Sixty to Zero,” Alex Taylor III, an editor at Fortune, writes that the Volt, which he describes as a billion-dollar development program, is “about as relevant to G.M.’s economic survival as an electric pogo stick.

  17. GM Overestimates Chevy Volt Fuel Efficiency By…130 MPG?

    In August 2009, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson announced that the new Chevrolet Volt, GM’s first electric car, would get an estimated 230 miles per gallon. The faltering car company hoped that the exceptionally high government mileage rating could give the Volt a major sales boost. “Having a car that gets triple-digit fuel economy can and will be a game changer for us,” Henderson predicted.

    But more than a year later, the Chevy Volt is finally ready to hit sales lots, but may give Henderson his own sticker shock. The EPA mileage rating for the Volt now stands at 93 mgp, significantly less than previous predictions. The Volt‘s rating comes just days after Nissan’s own electric vehicle, the Leaf, received an estimated 99 mpg rating.

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