Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is GM Playing Games with the Volt?

As I've blogged previously, I want to believe as much as the next guy that the Volt - GM's announced plug-in hybrid - is real. I believe enviros have spent way too much time pushing for higher CAFE standards and ignored alternative methods of getting clean cars on the road. The enviros gave up on electric cars, let the automakers and California off the hook just as the cars were proving themselves viable and popular. Sierra Club, UCS and NRDC should have been indicted along with CARB and Big Oil in the film Who Killed the Electric Car? The ZEV mandate offered a way to get plug-in cars - zero-emission, zero-petroleum, zero-carbon producing cars - on the road outside the CAFE protocol.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. GM wants us to believe they are serious about the Volt, but continue to fight over CAFE. They tell us they will produce the Volt in serious volume. Serious volume is enough to significantly effect their fleet average. If they are serious about the Volt, they've got no reason to fight efforts to raise CAFE. Edmunds Inside Line reports Chevrolet Volt Goes to Washington To Underline GM's Anti-CAFE-Increase Argument.

Joe Romm asks the question on Grist Is the Chevy Volt just more GM greenwashing?.

I'd like to see enviros point out that CAFE can be achieved with plug-in cars.