Volt Revolt

Yesterday I posted one of my several hundred anti-Volt screeds.  The most recent one had the following points.

  1. The Volt is so ridiculous that I can’t help myself.  The way all those subsidies have produced so little is just begging for it.
  2. In recent testing Volts caught on fire…Ha ha ha.

#2 is something of an issue.  In all actuality I don’t care if a Volt catches on fire.  I just like making fun of Volts and catching on fire is hardly a good thing.  But one of my six loyal readers took me to task:

“honestly I had thought better of you, sir, than to attack the Volt on a false premise: namely, that they “burst into flames after crash testing”. Not that, strictly speaking, that is false — three of them did — but it implies that this is normal behaviour of the Volt in a crash, which it is not;”

He’s right!  Part of being adaptive is recognizing fault in oneself.  I enjoy bashing the Volt so much that I went ahead and let a cheap shot past my atrophied ethics circuits.  So I’ll back up a bit and clear the air:

“I, Adaptive Curmudgeon, did wrong by making light of the Volt’s ‘crash test fire’ issues.  I don’t really care about them.  There are many reasons to ridicule a Volt but fire hazard is not among them.  We’re accustomed to gasoline in a car but, because they are alien, are a bit oversensitive about batteries.  That’s unwise and I shall henceforth go back to bashing the Volt for more realistic faults.”

Wow!  I feel refreshed and honest; like an anti-politician.  I might as well double down and mention another of my favorite whipping boys; the compact fluorescent light bulb.  I don’t believe I’ve ever fretted about the mercury in them but mercury is a common gambit used by incandescent fans.

“I dislike CFLs whenever someone tries to force me to buy them.  Partly because they’re inferior in certain situations but mostly because I hate being bossed around.  However the tiny risk of mercury from a broken CFL is a tempest in a teapot that bores me.  Whenever I bitch about CFLs I’ll let the mercury thing slide.”

Yeah!  Clean slate baby!


P.S.  I should also add that the Volt (and the Leaf and even hybrids like the Prius) are  victims of my high expectations.  Ever since the oil embargo during the Carter years I thought an electric car could be a “neato” compliment to the nation’s vehicular population.  Now, after all these years and endless subsidy, they advertised the wimpy uninspired blandness that is the Volt in the middle of the Superbowl as a sort of vote buying for Government Motors.  I just plain have never forgiven them.  When I was a kid I imagined an electric car as “awesome” and instead it’s overpriced, weak, and as inspiring as tapioca.  Maybe if I’d expected a $40,000+ crappy little commuter-box I would be more forgiving.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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11 Responses to Volt Revolt

  1. hpx83 says:

    Fighting the good fight. I HAAAAATE CFLs because they light up so slowly, and make my apartment look like a frikkin hospital corridor. I’m going to buy german heat-bulbs instead….

    Also, the Mercury thing has made the greenie-movement implode with cognitive dissonance, as the amount of Mercury leaking out into nature is now increasing again. HAH!

  2. Anonymous says:

    My problem with the Volt is that the entire idea is pinheaded.

    Let’s assume that tomorrow, as a result of a Super Secret Project kept under wraps until they were SURE it worked, GM unveils an all-electric car that outperforms any comparable standard car, and sells for $!.98.

    Where are we going to get the electricity to charge them all?

  3. Joel says:

    Hee. I recall – many, many moons ago – that the Ford Pinto developed a reputation for bursting into flames in rear-end collisions. Whether the rep was deserved or not, I don’t know. Who cares? It’s a Pinto, ferchristsake.

    This reached its pinnacle in some comedy movie whose title, plot, and everything else I’ve long since forgotten. The occupants of an out-of-control car (bad guys) are struck with horror as they collectively realize that the car they’re about to plow in the rear is…A Pinto! Desperately the driver struggles to stop, to avoid the collision, and he almost succeeds. The car’s front bumper touches the Pinto’s rear bumper slightly, tenderly, a butterfly kiss. At which point both vehicles are utterly destroyed in a horrific explosion.

    The audience, as I recall, convulsed with laughter. Without the Pinto rumors the scene wouldn’t have been the least bit funny, and it didn’t matter at all whether or not the rumors were true.

  4. jefferson101 says:

    I also thought that the concept of an electric car was neat, back in the day. The reality, however, sucks scum.

    Even assuming that I had a spare $40k floating around to buy one, (and in the Obama economy, what are the chances of that? I’m non-union and don’t work for the .Gov.) exactly how much gasoline am I going to actually save? The answer would be possibly three or so gallons a week.

    I’m about seven miles from work, and am currently on 4 ten hour days/week. OK. So I could drive it back and forth to work, and use it to run into town when I need to go there, which would probably add up to another two or three round trips of 15 miles or so per week.

    Let’s see here…where’s my calculator? 56+45=101. Hotay. 101 miles/week that I could use the electric car for. Given that I’m currently driving my wife’s old 1997 Neon that gets about 31 MPG, that means that I’m saving about 3 gallons and a cupful or two. (She wanted a new vehicle. I wasn’t offered enough for the Neon to bother trading it in. Hey…Free Car! My truck only gets about 24 MPG, so it generally sits, unless I need to haul something.)

    If I go anywhere else, I’m still going to have to have a gasoline powered vehicle. Some of my running buddies live outside a 40 mile range, and any trips to Home Depot, or much of anywhere I’m going to purchase anything other than Wally World or the local grocery stores runs 50+ miles each way.

    Since I’ll probably be retiring in about 10 years, I’d never save enough on fuel costs to make an electric vehicle anything like cost-effective, and that’s ignoring the probability of replacing the whole battery pack for umpteen grand in six or seven years.

    Oh, well. I get to pay for them for the wealthy enviro-weenies anyway. I hope they appreciate it. I’ve never gotten a thank-you card or anything yet, though.

    Don’t even get me started on CFL’s. I’ve got enough 100 watt incandescent bulbs put back that there will probably be several hundred go as part of my estate.

  5. asm826 says:

    No reason to hate the Volt or CFLs needed beyond government intervention.

    The Volt would have never made it to market. A few would have been built for testing and once it was clear that it was a kludge of a car, it would have been quietly dropped or completely redesigned to make it competitive. Instead we have a car that a quarter of a million dollars in government subsidies for every one made and it still won’t sell.

    The CFLs might have made it on their own merit. If the price dropped enough to make them attractive and R&D came out with a version that didn’t leave people feeling like their lamps were giving off light from an alien sun. The idea of a light bulb that didn’t give off a lot of heat and used less electricity is a good one. Instead, we’re trapped by government intervention, forced to buy the inferior product in the name of Green Energy, with no market incentive for a genuinely better product to be developed.

    In both cases, it’s government meddling that created the actual problem and keeps the problem on the market. Remove the regulations and subsidies and this problem corrects itself.

  6. Man Mountain Molehill says:

    There’s just a tiny bit of mercury vapor in one of these things, so don’t break one in a paper bag and huff the results.Other than that, no biggie. Plenty of other reasons to hate CFLs.

  7. Pingback: What gun for a Chevy Volt’s gun rack? | Les Jones

  8. Pingback: Washington Post Encourages My Bashing Of The Volt | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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