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Electric Car Costing Taxpayers As Much As 250K per Unit

Chevy Volt on assembly line in Michigan
(photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A report from the Makinac Center for Public Policy, (a non-partisan think tank group) claims each Chevy Volt is costing taxpayers up to $250,000 due to incentives for the builders.

Layered underneath the Chevrolet umbrella are a series of companies sub-contracted to build various elements of the car, from the battery, to financial incentives to GM and Chevy, as well as the plants themselves, for retaining jobs.  According to the Makinac Center, if fully utilized, the incentives mean each of the Volts sold so far have cost taxpayers 250K.   Many of the 18 different government incentive or bonus programs might not fully be utilized because some are performance based,  but Michigan State Rep. Tom McMillan says “it just goes to show there are certain folks who will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,”   referring to Obama’s pledge a while back to get tens of thousands of hybrids or electric cars on the road.  GM officials called the Makinac report simplistic and countered that other car makers have been given various incentives over the years, but the GM reply did not specify what has been done for others.   Rep. McMillan says if GM wants to build this car, they should let the free market system decide if it will succeed, or fail.   So far, GM estimates they have sold just over 6,000 of the cars.   As for Obama’s dream, and enviornmentalists as well, about having everyone ride around in “cheap energy” electric or hybrid cars, the average Volt owner, according to GM, makes about $170,000 a year.

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