U.S. Military To Order 1500 Electric Cars, Chevy Volts Included

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2013 Chevrolet Volt

2013 Chevrolet Volt

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It’s a well-known fact that President Obama is a fan of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. 

In fact, Obama has pledged to buy his own Chevrolet Volt when he leaves office, whenever that takes place. 

As Commander in Chief however, Obama will be pleased to see that the U.S. military isn’t waiting for him to leave office before it switches over to plug-in cars. 

According to an article in military newspaper Stars & Stripes, the Pentagon plans to buy 1,500 plug-in vehicles---including Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric cars--to help it become more environmentally friendly. 

The military already operates more than 3,000 plug-in vehicles, but most are low-speed neighborhood electric vehicles that cannot be used on highways.

Thus far, the article says, the military has bought more than 150 highway-capable vehicles, with additional purchases on the way.

This news may cause some media outlets to cry foul, accusing the U.S. military of helping out the supposedly failing, supposedly Obama-backed Chevrolet Volt by artificially inflating sales.

But we have a different take on the news. 

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

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First, as Bob ‘Father of the Volt’ Lutz pointed out earlier this week, it’s just too early to call the Volt either a failure or a loss-leader. 

Second, the fact that the U.S. military want to buy the Volt means that it views the plug-in hybrid as a sturdy and reliable car that can help it reduce its fuel bill. 

That’s because like any government organization, procurement in the U.S. military is a long, complex process. 

These won't be the first Volts to arrive. Earlier this year, the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California, purchased two Volts, while 18 Volts will soon head to the Andrews Air Base in Maryland, where Air Force One is based. 

If the U.S.-made Chevrolet Volt helps cut down dependence on oil, and lowers the U.S. military’s fuel budget, doesn't that make it the ultimate patriotic car? 

Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below. 

NOTE: This article has been updated to indicate that the 1,500 highway-capable electric cars will include Chevy Volts, but are not all Volts. We apologize for the error.

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Comments (43)
  1. In combat zones the dependence on oil is life threatening. I highly doubt the Volts will be used in war zones. However, they do know that the nation's reliance on oil is a national security issue. Also the military has been very forward thinking in it's use of cleaner energy.

  2. Now Fox News watchers will complain that "All Volts" sales are to government supported by the Obama's crony capitalism AND NOBODY want the Volt so they would have to force our Military to buy the "Fire Hazard"...

    And They will continue to whine that each Volt loses $49k for the tax payers and the TAX PAYERS have to shell out additional $40k to purchase this piece of junk that nobody wants...

    Did I cover it all?

  3. You covered it right for a change! I did not think you had it in you! Thanks, I glad you are findly starting to learn the truth from the only accurate news network on TV. Keep up the good work, the truth will set you free!!!

  4. Really? You are really that clueles...

  5. This comes from one of the most clueless's persons on this Web Site, Seriously!

  6. You must be one of those that belongs to the "other half of the IQ curve".

  7. You forgot that the Volt consumes more energy then a Hummer.

  8. I think it is fine. The Total Cost of Ownership of the Volt is likely to be very close to the cost of any other vehicle. Additionally, the government is taking a leading role in supporting lower emitting vehicles which seems appropriate.

  9. Would love a Volt but it has only four seats and there are five in our family.

  10. Well, you can't fit 3 car seats across most sedan's backseat anyway... Unless you are driving with all people "all the time", then Volt is more than fine for most of the time.

  11. Not everybody has the luxury of owning multiple vehicles so they can take the 5-seater whenever required.

  12. get a car share membership like Flexcar, zipcar etc.

  13. Are they all going to be ordered at once, or is this an intention to order over the next year?

    Anyway it is good that government and military purchase American cars instead of helping the imports.

  14. Yhe Volt is 4?% american! If you want an american car buy a Toyota Avalon!

  15. @Pat: Thanks for your comment. Source for the statistic that the Volt is "4% American," please? Since it's assembled in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and the battery pack is also built in Michigan, that seems somewhat low. Looking forward to seeing your citation ....

  16. The data comes from Autoweek 9/17/12. The Volt is 46% American. The Toyota Matrix 95% American #1 and Avalon 85% #2. Only American trucks are in the 80's. Do not tell "Li" it will it will pop his bubble!

  17. @Pat: Aha. You wrote "4?%" where it would now appear you intended to write "46%"?

    There is also an argument about where the sales receipts and any profits go. Toyota's are largely remitted to the Japanese parent company and its owners, whereas GM's are more likely to stay in the U.S. Shareholders of both companies are in many countries, of course.

  18. really? 9/17/12? Today is 9/14/12. You can predicate the future I guess...

    Show me the link. I am still waiting to see it...

  19. There are more comments in this thread
  20. I did a little research. Most of the "Domestic content" is by "value" as in cost of the parts.

    So for your 46% number:

    1. We know for a FACT that Volt's battery is expensive. It is built in MI. But the Cell itself are from LG Chem. At $350/KWh quoted by Bob Lutz, that is $5,600 already.

    2. The engine is made by GM's global platform factory in Austria. So, here goes another $4,000.

    3. The Power electronic module is designed by GM engineer's spec but made in Japan. That is another $2,000

    That is $11,600 already in 3 major components. Two of them don't exist in Toyota Avalon.

    $116000. Reuters (dumb) estimate said Volt cost $20k-$32k to build. 36% are due to 3 major parts. 46%+36% = 82%. Plus other shared parts and labor.

  21. You apparently do not get magazines, or you would not have ask such a silly question. Could someone please explain it to Mr. Li, and what does your made up numbers have to do with the Avalon American content! $350 /KWH battery's in the Volt, go to the Chevy dealer an get a price quote please!

  22. You apparently do NOT own the car or KNOW any facts about the car. Made up numbers? Go and read Bob Lutz's bio on the car development.

    I was pointing out that YOUR BELOVED content number is based on "content value", not part count. Volt's battery are expensive and the cells are built by LG chem. That additional "value" content is what lowers the domestic content of the value due to how expensive it is.

    You need get a clue first before you post anything...

  23. Domestic electricity versus foreign oil. Cost of electricity much less than gas. Gas prices volatile but overall trend increasing. And who knows what will happen to oil prices as current events evolve in the Middle East. Conflict between Israel-Iran (and likely US involvement were that to occur) could go on for many yrs and lead to even higher world oil prices.

  24. Short term thinking Caroline. Iran is currently unable to sell its oil directly to many western nations due to sanctions. A small ignorant percentage of the US embassy protesting nation peoples is not going to halt oil exports. These protests are more grandstanding by those that want to riot against the US for other reasons besides one kook's dumb flick.

    Oil prices and hence gas/diesel prices will go up for many years/decades to come for two primary reasons:
    China and India

    With nearly half the world's population and fast growing middle class populations that want finer materialistic things like cars, China and India will continue to gobble up larger and larger shares of the world's fossil fuels. Lets hope they both switch to EVs soon

  25. I think you have made the fatal flaw of assuming markets react to real, rather than perceived threats. With two carrier groups, and who knows how many drones watching the Straight of Hormuz, I find it unlikely that Iran can significantly disrupt oil flow from the gulf. still, futures traders still takes these threats as an excuse to boost prices.

  26. The military WANTS the Volts? Why? Because the CIC says so. He is nuts!

  27. what are the other plug in hybrids that the military is buying?

  28. Normal everyday driving in my Volt has, thus far, yielded 1,250 mpg. My average daily electricity costs attributable to the Volt are 96 cents per day. 'Nuff said.

  29. Nornal driving on my Prius yelds 50+ mpg on gas. My daily cost for gas 75 cents, Nuff said!!!

  30. @Pat Butler, is your brain really that bad in Math? well, I guess that is expected since you watch Fox News.

    50+mpg for daily cost of gas of 75 cents at $3.50/gal means you drive 10.71 miles per day...

    $0.96 electricity at $0.20 per KWH (very expensive rate) mean 4.8 KWh. Volt is rated about 3.5 miles per KWh. That is AT LEAST 16.8 miles. 16.8 miles for your imported Prius 50mpg would cost $1.17.

    Are you really that bad in math or logic or basic reasoning? I guess it is probably true since you watch Fox News...

  31. My math is fine! He never specified miles driven! As a good progressive, you of all people should understand that you always give only half the facts! Fox News usually gives all the facts, that's why you do not like them.

    PS, You might want to get yours eyes checked but remove your rose color glasses first!

  32. Really? Your statement clearly SHOWS YOU HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE ON HOW VOLT WORKS.

    Did Fox News provide you with that math? Did Fox news show you how to calculate the cost of EV ownership? Apparently NO and NO.

    So, maybe you need to go back to grade school and learn some basic math before you post here again.

    The other user has provided plenty of information. Rest of the such as miles per KWh and estimated electricty cost can be easily found if you have the skills to understand or find. Apparently, being "Fox News" watcher, you have lost all skills of understanding anything to do with physics and math...

    Fox News do reports things, just NOT "all" the facts. Apparently, they forget to teach you how to do math...

  33. @ Pat Butler,

    Silly you, you never specified miles driven either... The only way I can deduct your miles driven is from your MPG and your "claimed" cost. The same can be with his numbers...

    Apparently, again, Fox News didn't teach you any deductive reasoning...

    Please finish your GED before you argue with me again.

  34. Big military trucks.

  35. what a tease!!

    lets see the estimated breakdown by model. bet ya Uncle Sam gets a RAV EV and takes it to DC

  36. Normal everyday driving in my Volt has, thus far, yielded 1,250 miles per gallon. My average daily electricity cost attributable to the Volt is 96 cents. 'Nuff said.

  37. I have over 4986 miles on my Volt and has ONLY used 20.7 gallon of gas. My electric bill at per KWh is $0.12. ($20.7 x $4.20 =$87, + $145 in electric bill) So total is $232.

    See if Prius can do that... ($349 in gas cost) And My Volt is a great ride with good performance and high tech features...

  38. I have covered many miles on by bike, I used $0 gas and $0 dollars of electricity! See if your Volt can do that!

    PS, Please return the $50 Billion and the $ 7500 tax payers money please.

  39. I have bikes too and my bikes are better than your stupid bikes... What is this? 5 years school yard argument?

    If you are comparing your bikes with my Volt, then you maybe I should compare my Dog's brain with your brain. My dog is smarter...

    I am a tax payer and I pay far more tax than you do... So, shut up until you pay your fair share...

  40. @Pat Butler,

    Let me also address your "ps" concerns.

    1. $50 Billion is a loan and now has been converted into stock options into GM stocks. The "tax payer" and government can sell their shares and get their money back. Sure, at today's GM stock value, there will be about $20 Billion loss. But that is "investment risk" associated with the loan. If Government sold all their shares of AIG 2 years ago, they would have loss too. But they waited until today and now they will have a profit. So, timing determines the loss. It is currently an investment decision.

    Now, are you complaining about the Ford $5.9Billion DOE loan and Nissan's $1.2Billion DOE loan too?


  41. 2. $7,500 is tax credits. It means it is ONLY a credit if you have at least that much "tax liability". So, tax payers themselves are getting their own tax back. Has nothing to do with you. Do you also complain about the $7,500 that Toyota eRaV-4 owner getting? Ford E-Focus? BMW EV? Nissan Leaf?

    According to GOP, (Fox News already reported it). 47% of American don't pay any Federal Income tax. Also, GOP and Fox News said that "rich people" paid too much tax. Well, in order to claim the $7,500, someone has to have at least that much liability so that person do makes money and pay taxes. It is their own money. According to GOP, that is just a tax break for those who paid too much tax.

    George Bush Sr bought a Volt too...

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