What price Volt?

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Mackinac reports on the study here at its Michigan Capitol Confidential site.

Mackinac sought a response from GM, which it has added as an update to its story. I was expecting something that criticized the analysis for failing to spread the costs over the millions of Volts that will be sold in the future, but no. After clearing its throat noting foreign subsidies of auto and battery manufacturers — hey, you may have noticed in the news that furriners are profligate too — GM complains that the analysis leaves out Ford:

Greg Martin, director of Policy and Washington Communications for GM, wrote in an email, “While much less than the hundreds of billions of dollars that Japanese and Korean auto and battery manufacturers have received over the years, the investments provided by several different Administrations and Congresses to jump-start the country’s fledgling battery technology and domestic electric vehicle industries (not just specifically for the Volt as Ford’s offering will also use LG Chem batteries and Fisker will use the A123 system for example) matches the same foresight and innovation leadership that other countries are exhibiting and which America has historically taken pride in.”

Martin added that the Mackinac Center’s math was “simple and selective.” However, he offered no data or specifics to support his assertion.

GM’s response lends credibility to Hohman’s comment recalling the automobile formerly produced in Communist East Germany: “This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant.”

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