Back in the fall of 2010, we reported that GE was planning to convert 25,000 of its fleet cars to plug-in vehicles, and that close to half of those would be Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids. At the time, this announcement was positively received and there was no controversy. After all, isn't it good that a big private company spends its money on more fuel efficient vehicles - saving it cash over the long-term - and helps the nascent electric car market grow through its most challenging phase? And on top of that, the Volt, unlike many other plug-in cars, is made in the U.S. by a U.S. company. Why would politicians not like that?
Well, it's an election year, so politicians have to stoke the fire any way they can to keep potential voters properly outraged. So we've got FOX News making one of their classic "mistakes" and claiming
on air (with text overlay and everything) that it is GM
and not GE
that is using the cars in its fleet and "forcing employees" into them. This whole "forcing employees" thing is ridiculous. Getting a company car is a perk
, and while it's fine to allow more choice in a regular gas-powered fleet, GE's decision to have a plug-in fleet restricts choice simply because there aren't tons of plug-in cars available right now. I'm sure that at some point there will be more choice, and GE is already allowing employees who need to carry tools or have other special needs to get a van or a truck. But if all you need to do is get from point A to point B, the Volt should do just as well as previous fleet cars (while burning a lot less gas). People still not happy can just refuse the company car and pay for their own vehicle...
Then Newt Gingrich piled on the Volt and made this jewel of a pandering statement: "Let me start from a simple premise that Oklahomans will understand: you cannot put a gun rack in a Volt." What? Neither can you in a Corvette, but I don't see politicians singling them out... And if it is shown that you can still carry a bunch of firearms in a Volt, will Newt suddenly reverse his position? All this politically-motived Volt bashing is getting a little much...
Update: Well actually Newt, you can put a gun rack in a Volt:
Via Green Car Reports, Autoblog green
See also: GM to Call Back 8,000 Chevrolet Volt to Strengthen Battery Pack [Updated]
Controversy surrounds GE's decision to use thousands of Chevrolet Volts in its fleet of vehicles.