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Chevy Volt Production Stopped March 2012 – What Does This Really Mean?
 © Donald Reinhardt, March 4, 2012
General Motors recently announced, according to Bloomberg News, that the Chevy Volt production lines will closed down for about 5 weeks from March 19 to April 23. GM cited a large Volt inventory and sluggish sales. GM believes that Volt sales issues are related to improper and exaggerated publicity by the media on Volt battery issues. Are other Chevy Volt issues lurking in the background too? 
Chevy Volt – Other Important Issues Related to Volt Sales
The following issues are related in part as to why only about 8,000 Volts have been sold in the last year:
  • the Volt is not an inexpensive car because it lists for $31,645 and with full options approaches about $39,100. This is not a common car for the low- or moderate-income person. Yes, there is a $7,500 current government tax credit, but that only adds to the idea that this car needs to be subsidized by a tax credit and some dislike the fact the USA, already in deep debt, should not be subsidizing production and sale of the Volt or any other hybrid or electric vehicles.
  • the Chevy Volt has a limited battery-only range (30 to 50 miles) and then the gas engine is required to maintain battery charge
  • competition from other hydrid and modern technology cars is intense with the Toyota Prius. Nissan Leaf and emerging vehicles soon to appear from Ford  
  • the battery fire hazard issue of the Volt is not an ongoing and significant factor at this time, nevertheless some are still wary of potential problems with a vehicle so new
  • the failure of  the U.S. Energy Department's solar and battery industry guaranteed loan program with the loss of several billion taxpayer dollars has created a sense that the US government is incapable of promoting energy savings and cost-efficiency in the areas of high-efficiency batteries and solar energy
  • despite massive reserves of coal, oil and gas these energy reserves and resources are not being developed. A large amount of foreign oil continues to be imported and many believe that current energy policies of the US government are not working 
  • consumer anger at wasted federal monies on these and related other projects has fueled citizen and consumer dissent and discontent such as those expressed by joedoakes202 following this transportation news article in The Hill by Keith Laing. 
What Happens Next in the Wide World of Energy?
No one knows for sure how the world of energy in the United States will develop in the immediate future and the distant future months and years. Middle East oil and political turmoils and troubles are expected to continue for a long time and thee various political and national instabilities will affect the price of oil in diverse and unique ways. The Keystone Oil Pipeline Project, which would have brought oil from Canada into the U.S., has been further delayed until next year and this blocks an immediate and more economical oil resource. Meanwhile, natural gas production is abundant but it has not reached fruition for major use in trucks, cars, electric-power generation and heating. The greater use of gas, solar, wind, nuclear and tidal energies as reliable resources can contribute to a reduction in oil dependency but the overall impact is more distant and not as available or immediate as oil and coal. The Chevy Volt is just one small part of a much larger picture that will unfold during this year and the years to follow.

 Chevy Volt Hybrid Electric-Gas Car. Photo: US Dept Labor, BLS