The Chevrolet Volt was a complete bust for General Motors, as Charles Lane explains in today's Washington Post.
GM wouldn't be in quite so deep a hole if it had not sunk a billion dollars, and much of its corporate reputation, into a not-very-realistic plug-in electric hybrid vehicle known as the Chevrolet Volt.
Likely to cost consumers more than $30,000 even after a big government tax rebate, the little four-seat Volt "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," President Obama's automobile task force reported on March 30.
Translation: Unless and until gas prices shoot up, you'd be crazy to buy one of these much-ballyhooed vehicles, which will run 40 miles on a single charge if GM can overcome difficult battery-engineering issues.
To be sure, the green-leaning Obama administration has not ruled out allowing a restructured GM to continue pouring (federal) money into the Volt. But I hope it won't. The Volt and other electric vehicles could gobble up more subsidies than ethanol.