Originally Posted by stone_axe
GM is not dying and has paid off their government loans at a profit for the government.
GM has been the leader in electric cars and solar technology for many decades. They hold so many patents that companies like Toyota, Nissan/Renault and most aerospace companies license that we could not let a foreign company gain control of them.
Every Formula One car and every hybrid LeMans car run on A123 batteries and they don't seem to have any problems with them. The International Space Station and most rockets and satellites use A123 batteries as well - so it is hard to call them a failure even with their corporate failings.
The problem that America faces with electric cars and solar energy is Japan and Germany. Their governments are spending tens of billions of dollars a year without blinking and are not deterred by losing a few 100 million dollars.
The Toyota Prius is a top selling car in America because its price is heavily subsidized by the Japanese government and now Toyota is employing the Prius technology across its entire line. Toyota is the top selling brand in America and 15% of its cars employ the electric hybrid technology that the Japanese government funded and are now receiving tax revenues on.
Then there is the Nissan Leaf. It is a pure electric car that no one thought would be more than a concept car. It outsells the Chevy Volt by 10 to 1. Did I mention that it is a pure electric car? Clearly there is a market for pure electric cars in America and Nissan is proving that fact. It costs about a third of the Chevy Volt due to Japanese government subsidies. It is a really nice car and I have driven one. Once you drive a Leaf you won't be nostalgic about internal combustion engines.
The Chevy Volt is the class of these new vehicles but it is just too expensive. Its extra charging engine is not necessary and adds too much expense. It lacks the Leaf's 480v quick charge option too. Nissan is keen to exploit the US tax credit to install 480v charging in the home. I've driven a Volt and it is better than the Prius or the Leaf but it is not worth the extra money.
So 3 cars lead the revolution, a Toyota, a Nissan and a GM. Only the GM goes it alone without any subsidies.
Let's look at the facts at reliability. Toyota has destroyed the reliability records with their Prius Gen 2 cab program. 90% of them hit 100,000 miles without anything but scheduled maintenance. 27% of them hit 1,000,000 miles without anything but scheduled maintenance - on the original battery.
Charging a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Volt works out to about 15 cents a gallon and uses infrastructure that we have in place now.
Only hippie idiots would think that we would expand our diesel fuel distribution, much less create a new distribution network for waste oil in our current system. Greasels have been around for over 2 decades now and they have not caught on. No one wants to drive behind restaurants and try to bum iffy fuel.
GM has never paid back all of the taxpayer dollars given to them and they never will. They are 35+ billion dollars in the hole to the american taxpayer. That is the fact of the situation. They paid off the "loans" with money we gave them. Complete smoke and mirrors.
There can be little doubt that Toyota has been the leader in electric/hybrid cars for the last decade or so. GM has not even been a blip on the radar.
GM gets many subsudies from the american taxpayer from free money, tax rebates for taxpayers to very low interest loans.