GM Kills the Electric Car . . .

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If electric cars are such a grand idea, why is GM killing off the Chevy Volt? It’s the one electric car that actually did make some practical sense, at least.

400-plus miles without stopping and regardless of the weather (other EVs are badly gimped by extremes of heat and cold). Same time to get back on the road as any other car, too.

Other than all the other electric cars, that is.

The Volt is an electric car you don’t need to plan your life around; that you can just get in and drive – on the spur of the moment – and regardless of the state of the battery pack’s charge. If you forgot to plug it in before you went to bed – or just didn’t have time to wait for it to recharge – no worries.

At all.

So what’s the problem?

The Volt – though electric drive – isn’t 100 percent “zero emissions.”

It is only 99-point-something percent “zero emissions.”

Worst of all, it has a tailpipe.

Oh, the humanity!

The Volt is the only electric that solves the range/recharge problems which beset all other electric cars by carrying a generator along with it. There is a very small gas engine – not used to power the wheels but to feed volts back into the Volt’s battery pack, which is what powers the electric motor that makes the car go. The small gas engine kicks on as necessary – when the battery’s charge is running low. So that you can keep on going.

It isn’t connected to the accelerator pedal; it does not rev. It runs at a steady RPM, feeding electricity to the battery pack – very much in the manner of the emergency generator you wheel out when an ice storm downs the power lies.

The Volt goes 50-something miles on a fully charged battery – “zero emissions,” like other EVs. But unlike other EVs, it is not limited by its state of charge, nor does it take comparatively forever to recharge. It can be plugged in, if you like – just like ay other EV. But it can also just be driven, without waiting for anything.

Also, it is not dependent on above-freezing weather to recharge.

All other EVs are – because their battery packs cannot be recharged if it’s below freezing outside or you can’t find a place inside that’s above freezing. This is a function of battery chemistry that will remain a serious EV limitation until – and not unless – a different type of battery than those currently available is developed.

The Volt’s gas engine warms up the car, as well as recharges the batteries which propel the car.

Problem solved.

But the fact that it has an internal combustion engine, however minimal its combustion (and its emissions) and no matter how deftly its presence eliminates the two (the three) most crippling functional problems that come with the key fob to an EV, it gets no love from the nudgers of other EVs.


Sure, it’s expensive vs. otherwise equivalent non-electric cars. But so are other electric cars. Most even more so. The Volt’s base price – $33,520 – is only about $3,500 more than the base price of the least expensive EV on the “market” (in air quotes because there is no real market for EVs; just the fake one created by government mandates) which is the $30,000 Nissan Leaf.

And the Leaf has a best-case range of 150 miles – a range you’ll see only if you drive slowly, in warm weather and without the AC running. If you drive the Leaf at highway speeds, in the winter – with the heat on and the headlights and windshield wipers and AC/fan on (to clear the windshield) it will not go 150 miles.

It will also have to stop, regardless – and then you will wait for the minimum 30-45 minutes it takes to instill a partial charge back into the batteries at a “fast charger.” This is another function of battery chemistry. “Fast” charging is hard on the battery – reduces its useful life – and thus the safeguard of the partial recharge, to about 80 percent capacity.

Put another way, you lose 20 percent of the best case range.

So the Leaf’s real range is about 120 miles. Its best case range. Sunny – and slow. Turn down the AC.

The Volt goes 400 miles – almost four times as far – and takes a couple of minutes to refuel. Isn’t hobbled by weather or use of necessary accessories such as the AC and heat and windshield wipers.

But it isn’t 100 percent “zero emissions.” And that means it’s a non-starter, no matter that it works. It does not count toward the “zero emissions” production quotas being imposed on the car industry, which means on us.

It’s not just the Volt, either. The reason the Volt’s brilliantly practical system hasn’t been adopted by other EVs – to make them acceptably functional, at least – is because of the “zero emissions” idiocy, which smacks of a hysterical religious cult more than anything else. We’ll learn the outcome soon but before that check these.

A vehicle that is 99-point-something-percent free of emissions ought to suffice – if the real cause for the hysteria is in fact emissions. But it’s not. Emissions is the excuse. If other EVs ever become practical – and heaven forbid, affordable – then a new excuse will be found to crush their larynxes, too.

Meanwhile, GM has also cancelled another eminently practical car – the Cruze – which just happens to be the only passenger car remaining (after VW had its larynx crushed) available with a diesel engine. It cost thousands less than the Volt – and could go more than 600 miles on a tank.


. . .

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  1. Eric,

    I saw a prompt to read this article, so I read it again. I have a question though. If the Volt wasn’t kosher in the eyes of TPTB, then why are regular hybrids like the Toyota Prius still around? They emit MORE than the Volt did! The Prius and other hybrids have to use their ICE all the time, whereas the Volt only used it if you ran out of electric range. If the vast majority of your driving is local, then, with a Volt, you could go weeks or months without using the ICE.

    • Hi Mark,

      The Volt differed from all other hybrids, which rely on their combustion engines for primary propulsion (with the battery/motor supplementing the engine’s power at times and powering the vehicle’s systems when the engine cuts off when the vehicle s stationary or just creeping along. A few (plug-ins) can be driven entirely on battery power at normal road speeds for short distances, too.

      The Volt was an electric car that worked – and that’s why it was problematic. It was propelled by its electric motor; the small gas engine it carried acted as a carry-it-with-you generator, recharging the battery pack as you drove – so it never had to be plugged in and you never had to wait for it to recharge. It had the same or better range as an otherwise similar car. Thus, it eliminated the two major practical problems that make electric cars functionally ridiculous.

      But it still had a combustion engine. And it still burned gas. Never mind that burned so little gas that whatever gasses it “emitted” were trivial and of no consequence as regards “the environment.” It made other electric cars look bad. And that was its defect.

    • Hi Habla,

      It’s a shame about the Volt – the only practical electric car made to date. I test drove several – before GM declared me persona non grata. Unlike the VW eGolf I just finished test driving (full review will be up shortly) which essentially forced me to plan my driving around recharging and – because of the time it takes to recharge – limited my driving – the Volt could take me anywhere anytime, without wasting my time – just like any other car.

      Even on my relatively long “commute” to the coffee shop where I usually go every day to work on my laptop for a few hours – a round trip of just under 70 miles – the Volt could make it there and part of the way back without burning any gas. And then keep going – burning very little gas – without me having to worry about finding a place to plug in.

      The fact that it failed tells me a great deal about the real reasons for the push – literally- for electric cars that aren’t practical.

      • I still cannot get a straight answer on whether the Volt thing is running on gasoline if it recharges the batteries.
        There is a low miles ugly white one near me for a good price. I cannot plug it in as my wife hogs the single lane driveway that was made for a single horse and a narrow carriage from before there was electricity.

        • Erie, they make these things called extension cords. I have a 100′ and a 200’plus many other lengths. They sure save the day at times.

        • Hi Erie,

          There are 4 drive modes, 2 are EV only, 2 are a mix of ICE and EV. Normal and Sport are EV, Mountain and Hold are a mix of EV and ICE. In either of these modes, the engine generates power for the motors and diverts some to charge the battery. Hold mode keeps the battery at whatever level it was at when put in that mode. Mountain mode keeps the battery at about 50% charge. It will charge it up to about 50% if it is lower and, if higher, run in EV only mode until the battery is depleted to about 50%, then maintain that level.

          In Hold, the car chooses EV only, ICE only or a mix of both, whatever is most efficient. The ICE doesn’t directly power the wheels except in rare circumstances. At high speed and load, the engine can connect with the drivetrain and provide some propulsion. The engine is mostly just an on board generator that provides power to the motors and the battery.

          If the battery reaches it’s programmed limit (about 65% of total capacity), the engine kicks on and the vehicle operates in Hold mode, though it won’t display that on texting dash. If you switch to Mountain, it will gradually charge the battery, when conditions allow, until about 50% of usable capacity is reached. The car cannot bring the battery to full charge but it can hold it at near full.

          All 9f this seamless, under high load you will notice the engine, but not much. At low load you won’t. Also, the car drives the same because it is almost always propelled only by the motors.

          The car really is a marvel, much better than the prius but, if you can’t charge it at home, what’s the point

          Cheers, Jeremy

  2. What you state about the temperature required to operate the batteries is ostensibly correct, however, there is a caveat. On the Nissan LEAF, it is absolutely true that very low ambient temperatures would cause the batteries to become unusable because they are air-flow regulated with no mechanical assistance. OTOH, the Tesla battery packs, as well as the ones in the Volt, Spark EV, and Bolt EV, are liquid regulated, meaning both cooled and WARMED. They use an antifreeze liquid coolant to pump heat inward or outward to allow them to be used in a broader range of temperatures. This, of course, is powered by the very same battery and the 12v pony battery to power the computer and accessories in the case of the GM vehicles, so there can be significant range reduction when the temperature regulation is active. I presently own a Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, a Zero SR electric motorcycle, and a used 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV that I had trucked over to NY from Seattle, WA. There are people in Quebec that drive the Spark EV in the winter, and it works. The range really sucks, but it works.

    • Hi Warp!

      Yup. My bile rises about the range issues because the general reporting is so dishonest. The best-case range (under ideal conditions) is always touted, never any asterisks or caveats to explain to people that the range will be noticeably affected by extremes of temperature as well as driving style.

      This is arguably advertising fraud.

      Imagine the keening – and suing – that would occur if an internal combustion-powered car were advertised as averaging 50 MPG but could only deliver that if you kept speed below 50 MPH and never pushed the accelerator pedal more than a third of the way to the floorboard.

      • So true, Eric. Every time I hear anything lately about an electric car, they are always saying “how fast they are”. Sure, because they realize that they can’t appeal to economy, since there is none; and not one mention is made of how taking advantage of that speed and accelaration will seriously reduce the range.

        Saw this video last night (Clickbait- I thought it was going to be anti-EV) in which the shill was mentioning “What a great deal you can get on a used EV, since they depreciate very quickly- which might make a used one appealing”. Of course, he forgets to mention WHY they depreciate so drastically and quickly- because they cost a FORTUNE to repair, and the batteries, which also cost a fortune, will need replacing, or will seriously reduce the range of the car to that of a ride-on toy.

  3. It’s weird to kill Cruze and Volt. These cars contribute a lot to GM’s CAFE numbers. Cruze by volume and Volt by the great MPGe. Also with Cruze: they sold 100K of them! Isn’t that a money maker?

    • Ah, that’s nothing knew for the bean-counters and suits at GM. Look how they blew Caddy right out of the Limo & hearse market in the 80’s; or how they blew Chevy out of the pig-mobile/taxi market in the 90’s…. They had a huge market in those things, and they just threw them away by making junk, and by not offering suitable vehicles.

      Basically, GM doesn’t give a damn what it’;s customers want; they repeatedly kill off profitable products and replace them with things that nobody asked for…and which few buy.

      Wait and see what a fiasco the 4cyl. 1/2-ton pick-up proves to be just down the road…..
      (Sad thing about that, is that it’s going to make older, viable used pick-ups even more in-demand, and thus more expensive!(.

      Would’ve been wiser to make nothing temporarily, and to merely tell the public “We can’t make what you want because the people whom you keep voting for won’t let us”- but GM (and all the others, for that matter) do just the opposite- they not only gladly comply, at any cost- but they push the philosophy and beg for more!

      Maybe they think it’s O-K, because if you talk to any non ‘car people’ these days, they buy this crap up- “Oh, they’re being socially responsible and protecting the environment, yada yada….”- but what the manufucturers seem to have missed, is that most of the people who think that way, are millenials who live in mommy’s basement, and who will not be buying one of their new vehicles, no matter what their opinion is of them!

      Meanwhile, they think nothing of alienating the people who could buy them!

      It’s really like what is described in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged- the socialists who have taken over industry are only interested in pushing their philosophy- rather than making a profit and a desirable product.

      • Hi Nunz,

        Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, is given (I will not use the word earns) something like $20 million annually – plus various bonuses and perks. She doesn’t care about the concerns of people who make $40,000 a year – because she can’t imagine them. She and those like her at the other car companies are in another world, and are making cars (EVs) for people like themselves, for whom cost is no object.

        Try to get your head in their space. To them, $50,000 for an EV is like you or me finding a quarter under the sofa cushion. They have lost all perspective – and that’s not factoring in malignant motives.

        As much as I loathe the government, corporations are as much a canker on the world – and perhaps worse.

        • I agree, Eric- and it makes poifect sense, seeing that a corporation is really just an “artificial person” which is given legitimacy/legal standing by the government.

          [I hate to use that terminology, as it has been so abused by those freemen/sovereign-citizen kooks….but in this case…it’s the truth!]

        • “As much as I loathe the government, corporations are as much a canker on the world – and perhaps worse.”

          But only BECAUSE of government (limited liability, regulatory driven decisions/products, etc).

          Even big companies would bend to the will of the consumer if they had to fully compete for their business.

          • So true, Freak!

            As an example, it wasn’t that long ago (in my lifetime) that even the MEDIA used to be careful not to offend the sensibilities of their customers.

            Remember in The Brady Bunch, the parents were portrayed as a widow and widower who married each other, rather than divorcees, because the nutwork didn’t want to take the chance of alienating the then conservative majority.

            Conversely, today, rather than respecting the morals and desires of their customers, they instead want to dictate them.

            • Up here in northern New England (NH, MA, ME) there is a regional supermarket chain called Market Basket (originally DeMoulas). There had been a famous family feud over control over the company, which came to a head in 2014 when the company’s board (headed by one brother) fired the CEO (the other brother). The board wanted to pay out $250 million to themselves, which was opposed by the CEO.

              Market Basket (a non union company) employees loved the CEO and staged protests. Warehouse workers and truckers went on strike. But crucially, most customers boycotted the stores as well.

              It took about 2 months before the controlling faction of the board agreed to sell to the ousted brother.

              Had the customers not boycotted, the company would have likely fired any protesting employees and moved on. But they couldn’t without customers.

              Many customers (myself included) participated in an “Ice Bucket Challenge” fundraiser for the warehouse workers and truckers, to support them during the strike.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      It’s only weird until you grok what’s really going on. Which is a massive top-down push to force electric/automated cars – and “ride sharing/transportation as a service” down our throats.

  4. Yep: The Volt, makes a lot of sense. It is the only sensible EV (type) of car out there. A guy at work has one and lives about 25 miles from the office. He rarely uses gas during the week, and he can take off for the weekend however he wants. My BIL w/his Tesla has to plan his route, which always includes at least a one hour lunch break if his trip is on the order of 250 miles…. What about the Volt layout with a hydrogen fuel cell? Or LP gas? These would be even less emissions than the ICE generator. But like you said, it’s not about getting rid of any tailpipe emissions.

    Also, the news I read was that GM sold just over 100,000 Cruze’s per year. That’s a lot of cars! How much profit do they make on each one? 250 bux? Only 100? Even then, it would be $10M profit!!!! WTF?!?!?! Helps their CAFE too.

    Glad I don’t own any GM stock. They *have to* know something is up. Their business model is unsustainable in a market economy. But, that is what Eric has been saying for years….

    • I too have a feeling that GM’s board isn’t dumb and have already got the ‘fix in time’ coming down the shoot for us. On paper it looks like guaranteed bankruptcy in the next 2 years or so but they may have already written the legislation needed for mandate EV’s and Autonomous vehicles, sort of how the Patriot Act was pre-written well before 9/11.

  5. Hey Eric!

    If you ever wonder if anyone gives a damn about what you write, the answer is yes.

    Your articles are crafted with wit and common sense backed up with experience. Each of those is a valuable treasure, not normally available in the marketplace of ideas.

    By the way, yesterday I just turned in my illegal VW TDI Gold Sportwagen (6MT – no options).

    I bought that car in large part after reading an article you wrote a few years back about the Golf TDI. Four days after I bought it in September 2015, Dieselgate erupted.

    Long story short, after some calculations, it was obvious the best option was to drive as many miles as possible up to the last minute. So the TDI went back with 76k on the clock and VW will give me back all of the money that I paid for it.

    While this was the best move for me, I am not pleased with the situation, because it is a gross distortion of a market. And by market, I mean freedom.

    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for the kind words – they’re even better than a good cup of coffee!

      On the VW stuff: It breaks my heart. And it makes me mad. One can almost hear the termites eating away at the structure of our world…

      • Had the VW diesels still been available, I’d have BOUGHT one! They’d have been perfect for me. Alas, I’m not ALLOWED to make that choice…

  6. It’s been said that unqualified women are placed at the head of companies right before the companies collapse – to take the fall.

    We’ll see if that’s the plan with diversity-Mary. The end is near.

    • Hi Liberty,

      At the least, there is going to be less GM. If all they’re going to sell (except Corvette) are crossovers, SUVs and trucks, I see no future for Buick and Cadillac – especially Cadillac.

      • So, I guess the way they’ll make their CAFE is to have only electrics besides the trucks/SUV’s. Or are the trucks/SUV’s going to be neutered too? (Maybe that answer is yes w/the 4cyl Silverado…) It’s funny as time goes on for new cars, ‘frinstance I *really* don’t want to buy a car w/lesser than a 2.5L or (if it’s a small car) a 2.0L engine.

        • GM can only neuter the pickups so far before nobody buys them. There is still a significant market for pickups to actually do some work, such as hauling hay bales and big gooseneck trailers. Of course those are all going to be 2500/3500.

          But …. at this rate they might as well just cancel the half-tons altogether and just replace it with some sort of Avalanche/Ridgeline abomination with fwd and hybrid propulsion. It’s getting pretty close to where the 1500 buyers are all urbanites who just need a two foot long bed(open top trunk) to haul a bag of peat moss or maybe a 5 gallon propane bottle for their grill.

          • Anon, you’re right. I remember back in the 80’s+ everyone was going FWD. I think the Caprice left us in mid 90’s, then the Crown Vic stayed a while but it never had a decent engine enough for me to buy it.
            Soooo, I did what a lot did, went pickup and burb to get RWD based vehicles. GM didn’t care cause I was still buying. Then disaster struck when they lumped light trucks into CAFE and here we are with these ridiculous $50-60K trucks, that only get 5mpg +/- more than they used too.
            Glad I found, and like a lot, the current 300/Charger. I think they too were FWD back in the early 2000’s ?
            BTW, a nice late 90’s K1500 was $18-20K msrp.

            • I only ever had pickups, suburbans, and bigger from 1974 up to about 10 years ago when gas got over $3/gallon when we got our hands on a car. I only like it at the gas pump.

              BTW, trying on some names ….

      • Eric, I see that shift you describe and saw it began in the 70s. While owner/operators were the backbone of the industry. When the price of fuel doubled in several months every one was hanging by their nails and still it got worse with no meaningful increase in freight rates.

        Meanwhile the RRs were getting a $B/year. That would have been enough to keep most owner/operators in the game but they weren’t rich like the owners of the rail system.

        Dec of 75 saw me working 48 hours for a single load and having a $20 bill left after fuel.

        Time to stick me with a fork, I was overdone. Cleaned the old Blue Rabbit up, stuck a For Sale sign in the winshield and took various jobs to simply eat.

        Some friends with a scrap yard bought my truck in 76 but even they knew it was going to be rough.

        When the dust sorta settled 75% of O/Os had folded in 75 and 75% of those left did same in 76.

        RRs were rolling in dough and I knew several railroaders. It soon became evident no truckers need apply.

        Next thing you know Chrysler is in dire straits and GM is so paranoid….and had been for a couple decades they’re more than ready to keep a noncompetitor afloat.

        I agree that what we’re seeing is a major shift by the deep state to take over even the largest corporations who can affect the freedom of the masses.

        There’s an old film with Ryan Gosling and Russel Crow with a time genre of 1977. Plenty of deep state involved. It leaves you going hhhmmm

    • That might be so. But if this is the case, then unqualified men have been placed in the management even before the unqualified women were placed there. Nonetheless, I definitely get and appreciate your point.

      • Hi Jone,

        The foundational problem is that the car industry is no longer a market driven industry. It is becoming (effectively) a state-owned entity, analogous to the various “bureaus” in the old Soviet Union. The state decrees what is to be designed, the people forced to accept it because free market alternatives are not permitted.

        • Eric, I basically see almost nothing but pickups and other trucks and lots of class 8 trucks so brands and different sorts of crossover and similar vehicles are on the periphery for me.

          Yesterday I had a full day in the closest large town to me, a bit over 100,000……people. I needed to hit Sam’s Club located at the edge of town surrounded by gated communities. The vehicles I saw for the most part I’d be hard pressed to identify by type and almost never by brand.

          It struck me if you’d tried to sell ugly stuff like that 40 years ago people would have wondered if most of them had been in a wreck and in the process of being repaired or modified in some ugly way.

          No flowing lines and tacked on body parts or so they look. If you need a fender flare for a pick-up or dedicated 4×4 I get it but when some very ugly thing looks like your kids made it from a kit with various parts you can tack on everywhere, we’re in deep shit stylistically. Cars are just flat àss ugly. Ford is the only company to bring back a classic car and make it look like the original, the Mustang. All those vehicles that look like 4th grade projects are just ugly, butt ugly.

    • Liberty,

      Or maybe, the douchebags are just the final nail in the coffin of already shaky corps. i.e. they don’t just take the fall…they hasten it. And no wonder Uncle has long pushed Soviet-feminism…. These ‘women’ are the perfect creatures of the state- they do what they have been programmed to do, with a vengeance, because they always have ‘something to prove’- and being women, their emotionalism overpowers their logic. Be they cops, politicians, or CEOs, it’s the women whom we always want to avoid; who are always over the top; and who always cry to Uncle and use the “sexism” and or “sexual harassment” card to get their way and make up for any lack of competence or performance. Notice, you’ll NEVER see a member of the mainstream press ever criticize a woman in any position of power…..

        • When ya think about it, Blue, as soon as women were given the vote, that is exactly when everything started going to Hell. They voted in FDR and kept him there. It basically put a socialist in every house, ’cause the majority of women are socialistic at heart- since they operate via emotion (and socialism appeals to emotion), and since it has traditionally been the left who proffer extra privileges and power (by destroying/limiting the power of others)- I mean, it really completely rearranged the social structure- the very nature of families and interpersonal relationships.

          And actually, [assuming that government is somehow legit, and that it has the right to impose “democracy” on anyone] just giving ANYONE -man or woman- a vote who does not pay taxes/have any skin in the game, was the beginning of the end. It used to be that only property owners could vote (Since there was no income tax, and only property owners paid taxes); then any citizen could vote, even if they were the recipients of other people’s taxes; and now it’s gotten to where even non-citizens can vote!

          Utter absurdity. And we are seeing the results before our eyes.

  7. Years ago, I had an idea to take a little Datsun/Toy pickup and stick a bunch of truck batteries and generator in the back, and replace the engine/transmission with an electric motor.

    • A company here in BC has been doing that for decades. Unfortunately the finances make no sense unless you can’t use an ICE vehicle.

      Basic conversion equipment runs around $6500US, plus batteries, plus generator, plus vehicle. So probably $20,000 for a basic, limited range, econobox.

      I looked into it back in the late 90s and the cost vs. savings was terrible. Not much better now.

      If interested, – check the conversion page.
      They do make some neat vehicles, just nothing that makes sense for the average driver.

      • Froggie: ” Unfortunately the finances make no sense unless you can’t use an ICE vehicle.”

        Hehe……that’s the summation of the whole EV debacle……. None of ’em make any sense, unless there are subsidies and mandates; and the artificial gimping of ICE vehicles. So of course, that is exactly what the government does- it creates an artificial market for vehicles which wouldn’t otherwise exist, by molesting the vehicles and the functional marketplace which exists quite happily, and which did so (and which worked well for everyone with no real detriments) very efficiently for all involved.

      • My idea was to just prove the concept, long before the term “hybrid” was ever conceived in relation to a motor vehicle.

        I figured maybe a grand back then, plus the cost of a little pickup with a blown engine. Would have had to figure out the controller which I really didn’t quite know how to do then, but mostly I just had other things to do.

        The batteries provide for acceleration and hill climbing, while the generator provides a steady low cost power. Level cruising takes relatively little power.

      • My brother built one from a old honda accord. He spent about $20K total, just an E-car, no IC engine at all. He was so excited, but it never worked out. As soon as he had to run the heater, power steering, figure out how to get the brakes to work, etc…. his range went to I think 20-30 miles. parted the car and batteries out to recover some of the costs.
        We had a lot of great debates about it. fun.

  8. Then the railroads were conquered by Nixon….Heck,loss of the red car trains in SoCal.As a kid,in portland,ore,we lived on the outskirts.The buses were so cheap,clean and efficient we could catch one like every 20 minutes on the corner of our street.We took it to downtown to shop,and we were a 2 car family.Couldnt get me on a bus today.I dont need TB or hepatitis or pneumonia.

  9. Taking the problem of not being able to charge below freezing one step further, those of us in a northern clime would have to have a heated garage (if we have a garage at all) in order to even charge the damn thing. How would the garage be heated you ask? Well, it certainly wouldn’t be heated with “zero emissions” that’s for sure. The failed logic of these people knows no bounds. But like you say Eric, this isn’t about emissions, it’s about mobility.

    • Yeah, I have enough trouble cutting eight or so cords of wood every year just to keep my house sort of warm. At about 46* 13′ N.

      And emissions? Well, sometimes I fill the whole valley with smoke! Ha-ha-ha-ha!

  10. They stopped building cars because they aren’t able to compete with Kia/Hyundai. They weren’t able to compete with the Japanese, so they fell back. They couldn’t compete with Germany so they fell back. Pretty soon there won’t be anywhere left to fall back to.

    Or, maybe they’re jealous of the cable and phone companies. They see the monthly bills from “service providers” and want to get in on the act. Apple’s been pushing for renting your phone for a few years now, which is one of the reasons they feel comfortable selling a phone that’s got a list price of $1300. Anyone who complains about the price can just go on the monthly rental plan. They already have leasing plans, and they’re screwing around with letting you swap out vehicles whenever you wish, so in their mind why would someone buy a car outright? Change your car when you change your underwear.

    • RKilowatt-stopped building cars because they aren’t able to compete with Kia/Hyundai…100% true…Nunzio-No more supporting stupid businesses with taxpayer loans…100% again spot on.

  11. GM is wasting billions on ride sharing and betting the future on ev’s and autonomous vehicles. Please let them die after they go bankrupt. No more supporting stupid businesses with taxpayer loans. That only perpetuates stupidity. The big 3 and regulations make it almost impossible to start up a new auto manufacturing company. They killed the Elio and pushed out other international competitors like that 7K renault that one could buy in cash. The entire auto industry is controlled by insiders so that they really don’t give a hell if you even buy their product anymore.

    • Hi Moeeing,

      I am friends with several ex GM executives… like me, they are appalled by what GM has become. It used to be a great company that made some truly great cars. Today? Other than the Corvette, most of what they sell is derivative, duplicative and mediocre.

      • Light Ford pickups are shites but I see we why heavier Fords are making inroads into GM territory.

        Personally, I don’t see much difference except Ford’s aren’t owner repairable.

        That used to mean something when light truck owners did their own wrenching. Now that underhood anything is a nightmare, GM is better in that respect, but few can wrench on anything these days.

        I’m open minded. Correct me if any new pickups are wrenchable.

        Does anybody want to remove the front clip and entire cab…..just to change a head gasket?

        .New vehicles are insanity time.

        I like wrenching, and being a gearhead.
        Take that out of the equation and I don’t even care anymore.

        It’s like computers. I once could do something with them and even write programs. I no longer have the time to jack with them nor the ability. I can’t waste much time fixing one not to mention writing code.

        • Hi Eight,

          It’s possible to work on modern vehicles, but the bar to entry is higher. For many cars/procedures special tools/diagnostic equipment are needed and these are often too expensive for non-professionals. And it’s not s much the wrenching that’s the issue – though that has been made more difficult by both tight packaging as well as the multiplication of systems/parts.

          It’s the diagnostics. Figuring out what’s not right. Purely mechanical things are easier because they can be physically examined, handled, tested. Electric/computer problems can be intermittent and hard to trace.

          One almost needs to be an electrical engineer (as well as a mechanical engineer) to be good at diagnosing/working on modern cars.

          • Yes, it’s to the point where even most stealership meck-i-niks now just take edumacated guesses and swap in various parts until something’s “fixed”- even with all the manufucturer’s diagnostic equipment and all…

            “Is it the module receiving a bad signal from the computer, or the module receiving the right signal and putting out the wrong one? Is it the main module or one of the ancillaries? Or is it just a loose/failing fire causing an intermittent signal….the one we can’t isolate, because it’s in a harness with 7000 others and tucked inside the body panel? Let’s just replace the various components till it’s fixed!”.

            And Chevy is just as bad as any of ’em. It’s all the same crap. GM actually was at the forefront of a lot of this- even with the mechanical stuff, which should be simple. Take there Envoy (Please!) that has the front axel running THROUGH the oil pan……

          • I don’t think the tool entry bar to fix cars is that high. Today’s smart phone using OBD2 gadgets are cheaper than those ‘engine analyzers’ (I have three now: Mine, My dad’s, and my grandfather’s) everyone had to have to work on cars back in the day. With the tach, dwell, etc. Then the timing light.

            Most everything can be accomplished with OBD2 software on their phone, the bluetooth thing for it to connect to the car, and a multimeter. A functional but crappy multimeter is free at Harbor Freight with any purchase and the coupon for it.

            The bigger barrier I think is the old school learning of how an engine works. How we learned to worked on cars. If the computer gives them a clue they have a shot but when it’s time to bust out the vacuum gauge they don’t even have one let alone what engine vacuum is.

            • Brent, the OBD II is fine for older cars, and basic stuff on newer ones- engine controls and stuff- but until you get into the real expensive pro quality scanners (c $5K) that can do CANdus (and know what to do with the info) you’re blown out of the water now-a-days, with all of the body control modules; climate control; airbags; suspension crap, etc.

              Can’t even bleed the brakes properly on most Chrysler products of the last 15 years unless you take it to the dealer…independent shops even have to take ’em to the dealer….

              It’s a nightmare, for all but the most basic stuff…. [Basic stuff being the traditional OBD II stuff you can now do with a good cheap scanner on 90’s and early 00’s).

              Ya know it’s too good to be true when ya can get a good scanner, that can do live data and graphing and everything, for under $60 now…..

  12. Across the board, corporations seem to be operating on a different premise than they used to. The premise is not profit or long term viability. It’s virtue signaling. It didn’t take long for GM to follow Fords jump off the cliff by not making cars. I have no idea of what they intend on producing. Beginning in the early 1990s, I have viewed auto companies with deep suspicion. They will still have to pry my steering wheel away from my cold dead hands.

      • Eric,
        You watching Trumps twitter today? He just mentioned the truck tariff. While nothing may happen, glad to see him calling this stuff out that few knew about. Same for the fake news, FOX is guilty of it too but at least it is getting people to start doubting narratives.

    • swamprat,

      “The premise is not profit”

      Profits are associated with freedom.

      Since we live in a full fledged police state, profit is not the concern of “leaders of industry.” The health of the state is what one concerns oneself with if one desires to remain unmolested.

      My guess is right now there is someone in Warren working on a gunpowder/firearm/IED detector for our safety.

      Just think of the benefits of a car that will shut down in the event of a carjacking. Onstar will alert the authorities and we can live in perfect harmony.

      • Tuo, just listening to an ad for for a new pickup yesterday, think it was Ford,but their New system wouldn’t seen to give up any information to On star or probably any brand.

        That was I think, the entire point spun as a good thing.

        Whether it sends real time info back as GM has been bragging for years I couldn’t say. GM crowed about their vehicles always communicating to corporations ostensibly so they could monitor individual parts allowing real time and long term parts assessment.

        The truth is with or without constant communication they’ve recorded everything going on with a vehicle for decades.

        I knew a kid with a Duramax dually he was hauling almost semi weight loads with. He was using the warranty as a financial coverage for horrible abuse. After toasting the 2nd transmission in a truck less than a year old the dealer downloaded his entire driving history and refused another free transmission. This has been about 15 years ago.

        I can’t imagine everything they know these days and try not to think about it too much since it’s depressing.

        I can imagine the information center warning your child is lactose intolerant by vehicle sensors. Maybe they’ll contact CPS so you won’t be able to abuse this baby in the future.

        Not hard to imagine a vehicle to not start if it thinks your BAC is too high or if your driving is erratic and notifying the proper AUTHORITIES. I’m not even getting close to what they know when it comes to where the vehicle has been at all times nor even recoding a driver And passenger change.

        I hear Bad Boys playing in the background as it shuts off for some perceived action.

        Seriously, does anyone think that display in the dash is just One Way?

        Still looking for a 92 or 93 Turbo Diesel with mechanical injection and not a damned computer on the vehicle.

        Every Time I see a vehicle with an antenna for OnStar or any other thing such as WiFi hotpot I hear that other song, I Put a Spell On You. It’s a full blown NSA World and like Waylon said Stop the World and Let Me Off.

        • 8, as if [Mor]On-Star isn’t sickening enough, ya know what’s even sickeningier[sic]? Seeing freaking 7 year-olds walking around with phones!

          • It’s not the phones per se, but rather, that cesspit known as social media. As I said before, the goal of social media is to distract the masses from the real agenda.

            • True, Blue,

              But those phones are a multi-faceted evil of which social media is just one point. Not just phones even…but gadgets in general. They don’t just distract from the evil agendas…they distract one from real life and from independent thought.

              You always have something to listen to.
              You always have something to look at.
              Games to play.
              Instant communication with all your familiar friends regardless of where you go.
              Instant knowledge via the internet……

              There’s no room for being quiet and THINKING without outside stimulation.
              There’s little observation of that which is around you.
              Little chance to get lost and discover new things unexpectedly.
              You can see where you’re going before you get there.
              You can get advice from your friends who aren’t even there.
              No need to remember anything, you can take pictures, and your device can later tell you where you’ve been and when you were there.

              All of the above and more are bad enough for anyone….but for CHILDREN it is extremely detrimental, as kids learn by exploring and interacting in new situations and discovering new things, and being on their own and learning to rely on themselves in strange places/circumstances.

              It severely affects development. And have you seen these kids, since this became the norm? A 12 year-old seems more like a 20 year-old…but without the maturity/experience…only the confidence and knowledge of the world- which is scary- and thus they are perpetual children who never mature- and at 20 or 30 are still nothing but children who outwardly act like adults.

              I thank God this crap didn’t exist when I was a kid!

              There’s a reason that they give Obamaphones to welfare queens…. Might as well call ’em slavemakers.

              Between the group-think schools and the phones from an early age, these kids today will NEVER be independent; will never seek freedom; will never pose even the least threat to the tyrants.

              And then the social media just makes it that much worse….. And now every communication; interaction and expressed emotion, is funneled through a big corp, and the government. No privacy. No independence. And it was achieved not at the point of a gun, but voluntarily (or so they think).

              • So true, Nunz. You hit the nail on the head about this all being voluntary. Depressing, isn’t it?

                There’s a lot of peer pressure when it comes to electronics. People think you’re poor or old-fashioned if you don’t have a smartphone. I say smartphones compliment dumb people!

                Now the dumb, debt-enslaved masses are wearing those stupid Apple Watches. I’ve yet to figure out how those watches actually improve our lives. They’re essentially electronic cattle tags.

                My niece and nephew don’t even play with toys as they’re totally addicted to smartphones. It’s no wonder why the toy/hobby industry is dying. I always wanted to run a hobby shop, but I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet this day in age! How many of today’s kids have built a model car or plane?

                The future looks very depressing. Nobody will know how do anything except obey their masters!

                • Hi Handler,

                  The original Matrix movie was prophetic (and perhaps predictive programming, too). People submerged in a manufactured reality, not only incapable of seeing the truth but violently resistant.

                  That was 1998.

                  And here we are.

                  • “People submerged in a manufactured reality, not only incapable of seeing the truth but violently resistant.”

                    And a film titled Eyes Wide Shut debuted a few months later.

                  • Eric, we just watched The Matrix a few days ago. It gets watched every 2 or 3 months. I never cease to be in awe of its prophetic accuracy.

                    I see we…….here, what I view as the older crowd in the right here and now as being the holdouts.

                    Eyes Wide Shut indeed as we can only observe the propogandized masses and try to illuminate them while also attempting to keep them at a safe, which may only be Our illusion, distance. With more governmecnt mandates by the day our ever decreasing choices dwindle accordingly. I hung my head, I hung my head. Keep your powder dry and “endeavor to persevere”…..if you remember where the last line was spoken.

                    • Morning, Eight!

                      Josey Wales – of course! Another brilliant movie that tells the story of our dilemma, which is the same as Josey’s (and Ten Bear’s).

                    • Dammit eric, it did my heart good for you to nail that. Day started mighty cold so it looks like I’ll have to endeavor to persevere.

  13. Eric,
    Also to add to GM’s woes the RAM truck has started to outsell and gain ground on the Silverado, bad news for GM investors. As a member of the forums I have seen a lot of complaints about the last batch of trucks from 14′-18.5′. Mostly ranging from serious body rust issues off the lot, random truck shutdowns (me included in a rental!) and other issues. One big thing I’ve noticed when I got my 13′ back in 13, people were buying the 14’s pretty fast and trading in their nnbs style trucks. I haven’t seen a single new 2019 Silverado on the road here in Houston yet and maybe only 2 guys on the forums have bought a 19′ and posted about it.

    • I agree Bb. I think GM trucks are in for a rude awakening, they just don’t know it yet. And I’ve been a GM truck buyer for 30 years, 15+ trucks. They were always the best, for me. Not anymore.
      Again, GM did it to themselves. Sad.

      • Definitely the “Windows 8” version of the Silverado. I think Barra will have eyes on her in 2019 if cash flow dries up.


        • Someone posted on another site his 2003 Ram diesel crewcab 4×4 was 27,000 new(seems cheap,what he said,I paid more than that for a jetta in 2001).Who can afford 50-60G trucks??? Since the car makers here are such a small part of the economy IMO,they can kill themselves.But rest assured,we taxpayers will bail em out.
          Im all in for Japanese cars now unfortunately.I dont have money to spin a roulette wheel on a German or American car.
          Then again,Im not buying any new(er) car at all.For all the reasons we list here.

          • Hi Fred,

            Yes, indeed. And who can afford $50-$60k EVs? That’s what they really cost… the “inexpensive” ones, like the Leaf and Bolt and Tesla3…

          • Yeah, no way Fred. A 4×4 single cab half-ton gas Ram in the late 90’s was in the low $20K’s when they were having promos*…ain’t no way anyone got an ’03 diesel anywhere near that…..

            [*=I know, ’cause my best friend bought one…just sold it about a year ago]

  14. Boy I didn’t vote for Trump but his tweet about pulling all of GM’s subsidies including for EVs and calling out the TARP bailouts they got gave me a serious hard-on. If only he would do it across the board we’d have some normalcy.

    • BB, yeah…that sure sounds good, doesn’t it? But talk is cheap, and Trump knows it- so he can say these things to please us ‘deplorables’ , while he knows damn well that they’d never let him actually do that- so he pleases his supporters, and at the same time, doesn’t have to worry about angering his real bosses/the establishment, ’cause they know, it’s just idle talk.

      Just like “Mexico’s gonna pay for the [stupid] wall’- and now he’s petitioning Congress for more of YOUR money instead, to pay for it.

      That’s politics for ya….. Say what your supporters want to hear, while knowing there is zero chance of actually accomplishing it….. Sadly, it seems to work even on many of those who should know better- so you can bet it works 100% of the average Bubba.

  15. I’m convinced gm made backroom deals and know’s what coming via regulation. I hope I’m wrong.
    The Cruze is another headscratcher. The 1st gen was a great car. I used to ask for it at the rental counter. That car ran great, even compared to the competition, I drove almost all of them. Even got a lot of friends to buy it, I liked it that much for a small/affordable car.
    Then the 2nd gen cruze came out and I stopped asking for it. Don’t know what they changed under the hood, but I’ll guess GM did what they’ve become famous for lately, chasing mpg, smaller engines, mpg-specific tunes, etc…. To hell with drivability………………
    So sad.

  16. GM apparently is wanting to take the lead of the ever growing pack of virtue-signalling, pussy-whipped, brown-nosing, govt-boot-licking, socialist tree-huggers. This continent was conquered by the railroads, and domesticated by the automobile. Now, it seems, it is time to castrate it with politics and socialism. Never should have given them shoes….

      • And it’s funny, but no one seems to give a rat’s ass about the pollution standards or fuel economy of the locomotives, except the railroads, and only for reasons of reducing overhead costs. Not that anyone other than the railroad should have any business dictating what they buy or use to get the job done. Yet, they ARE a commercial transporter, and yet private ownership and transportation is what is primarily under attack! The job of the govt was supposed to provide security for private interests, and refrain from any infringement of individual rights. Instead, the opposite is being done, and aggressively so!

        • gtc,

          The EPA is all the way up the ass of the railroads.

          And of course the more regulated a locomotive is, the more a pain in the ass it is to operate.

          The ones with all the EPA stickers are the ones the engineers have problems even starting.

          As far as mpg goes, a “pig train” (carrying piggy back intermodal units) is supposed to be around 8 times as efficient as a semi pulling the same thing down the road.

          Keep in mind that the Diesel engine doesn’t drive the train. It just runs the generator.

          • I know, just referring to the public knowledge, in general. Most people don’t know the first thing about actual locomotive propulsion, or the fact that, as you noted here, Electric motors are actually the tractive effort, and not the diesel itself. This would have the railroads operating “hybrids”, as the layman’s terminology goes, 75 years before the concept made it into the automobile market. Worldwide, railroads are decades ahead of automobiles in the computer automation department, and they are still experiencing traffic control headaches most people have no clue about. The reality of automated highways and automobiles is far more complicated and farther away than people understand as well, again, ask the railroads how long and how much money it has taken them to get to where they are now, and with fixed point-to-point transport, which addresses only a fraction of the logistics of automation independent, omni-directional personal transport.

            • The problem with RRs is government control via they control the government.

              I go all my goddam life without a wreck in a big rig, then in 2014 I have 2 erecks,one involving sitting at the rear of a long line of stopped traffic in a construction zone, getting run over from behind, getting highly poisoned from CO2 with an exhaust leak and m as malfunctioning signals on a blind crossing with the Northern Pacific. The first responder arrived long before anyone else and was shickeled titless was alive. He said the last encounter 2 weeks before had them digging the big rig driver out from under the rig.

              I simply took the road least traveled, jumped from the cab and ran faster than I thought capable to the end of the trailer and well beyond since I could hear the train/big rig collision happening behind me.
              I kept running to the point I dared look to see if the rig would end on top of me. I was lucky. It could have gone the other way. Thank someone for making my old àss……haul àss. This was a fuckup of the state making a big mistake creating a blind crossing and the RR not giving a shit. I

              I ran with a guy when first getting started who had his new rig destroyed at a malfunctioning crossing that had been going on for weeks not far from his home.

              This was a typical occurrence back then and to this day.

              Big,govt sponsored corporations colluding with big government to not be liable for anything. Since I Worked for an LLT, I got prrmanently Injured With M
              no one to blame. It didn’t go as might have been expected..

              The saying of “If you want to play you have to pay.” This is more of the collusion between government and corporatocrasy.


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