Volt Cost to Taxpayer: $250,000 per Car

To artificially goose Government Motors’ Chevy Volt sales, the Obama administration is not just handing $7,500 to its wealthy buyers (buyer demographic: incomes over $200,000) —  it is also ghost-buying Volts via stimulus funds for townships and corporate cronies like General Electric. Including the federal government’s own purchases of the plug-in electric, some estimates put 20 percent of the Volt’s first-year sales as Big Government purchases.

So much for demand.

Now James Hohman at Michigan’s Mackinac Center has added up the numbers at the supply end and found the public subsidy for the Volt amounts to a $3 billion, putting the public subsidy per car at a whopping $250,000 per car. Mackinac’s Capital Confidential reports:

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involed in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.

GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

Read more here.

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