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Chevrolet Volt Energizes the Rich

January 17, 2012

Chevrolet Volt Energizes the Rich
Jose Mesa
José Mesa Auto Wholesale, LLC

The Chevrolet Volt is far from being the everyday driver for the average American. In fact only 7,671 were sold in 2011 which is just short of General Motors goal of 10,000 vehicles. It has an average price of over $40K which immediately eliminates many buyers. The average Volt buyer earns about $170K per year so I guess you can call them rich. As of 2011 you could get $7500 federal and $1500 Oregon tax credits to assist with your purchase. This is a nice chunk of change and is about 25% of the overall cost of the car!

Electric vehicles as well as hybrids are here to help with overall fuel consumption and the dependence of foreign oil. This of course is a good thing to many but in the end I would like to pose this question. Should those that make far less than those that can afford these vehicles pay taxes to the federal government so that they can turn around and give them to the rich as tax credits to buy these types of vehicles? I am not picking on Chevrolet Volt but using it as an example. The Nissan Leaf falls into my point as well even though it has an average cost around the low $30K’s.

It is President Obama’s goal to get 1 million electric vehicles on the road within four years. At current figures this amounts to $7.5 billion in subsidy that is paid by the US taxpayer. Maybe seeing this in long form might make a grander statement. That’s $7,500,000,000. This is a lot of money regardless of how you look at it! If the rich or anyone for that matter wants one of these electric vehicles then let them buy it on their own without the subsidies.

I am all for advancing technology but I really do not think these subsidies are needed on vehicles that cost this much money since it really is not helping most Americans. If anything let’s stay on track to build vehicles that get great miles per gallon for the majority of Americans including low and medium income households that can afford them. Going green is great but putting green bills in the pockets of rich Americans is not what it is all about!

This article was written by José Pinomesa who is the owner of José Mesa Auto Wholesale, LLC. JMAW is a retail auto dealer in Portland who has been selling new and used cars and trucks since 1992. For more information please visit

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Bob Clark January 17, 2012

Right on, Mr. Mesa!

The same also goes for roof top solar panels in the Willamette Valley. The latest numbers for roof top solar panels are about $18k in capital investment (before subsidies) to serve about ten to thirty percent of a typical household’s electricity consumption. The unsubsidized cost of the solar power generated power is 40 to 50 cents per Kwh. The federal government will pick up one-third or so of the $18k. Oregon continues to leak out subsidies for those lucky enough to win a solar lottery, and so some folks in some cases are being subsidized by taxpayers by over 80%. Many of these folks live in middle to higher income homes. In another twisted instance, PGE ratepayers are forced to buy electricity from some homeowners with these roof top solar panels for 37 cents per KWH. This against a going rate for power in the wholesale markets of only about 5 cents longterm for natural gas generated power. Heck, you could plant enough extra trees in Oregon to offset all current carbon dioxide emissions coming from man made sources in Oregon, and still probably have natural gas-fired power for less than ten cents per KWH.

Here’s a middle ground for both Man-made Global warming believers and deniers in Oregon: Plant more trees, harvest them into logs for lumber to sequester the carbon indefinitely, and stop letting forests burn down effectively from lack of sustained harvesting. You get more jobs in lumber making (even if indirectly through log exports), and you achieve a comfort level in carbon dioxide emissions while doing it at reasonable cost. (I remember the BPA when contracting for new natural gas power supplies back in the 1990s actually included a significant segment of tree planting as an environmental offset; and the costs of power delivered were rather reasonable.)

The low cost solution for Oregon regarding the decades long war over carbon dioxide emissions may be right outside our windows. TREES! I am a Denier myself but I believe in this war we Deniers can’t be too greedy as to think we can defeat the Believers into totally giving up. So, instead Deniers should manage to lowest cost of taming the Believers.

Scott January 17, 2012

Absolutely AGREE with your points here. Free Enterprise involves people willing to take risks, knowing sometimes it may not work out. I do not think that the late – Henry Ford, got Tax dollars too build and sell Fords. To this day, in Fact, Ford is the only us auto co. too not take Gov’t $$$ to survive, they don’t need to.

My/our State & Fed taxes, BILLIONs in total, should not be used for this purpose, especially ONLY forpeople that could buy the darn thing with their own money anyhow.

I will hope that Mitt Romney will stop this taxpayer theft, starting about Jan. 2013.

Tim Lyman January 17, 2012

Until you can get an electric car that can go 300 miles between charges, and recharge in 15 minutes at a nationwide network of charging stations for about the same price as a non-electric, they will be nothing but toys for rich greenies.

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Montana Chevrolet January 21, 2012

I suppose it depends on the area. We sold both of our Volt’s right away, and we sold them to the Middle class. However, we are in a very green area, and have a lot of Toyota Prius around.

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