Now it's going to get fun. Reports are out that the U.S. Department of Defense will buy as many as 1,500 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids from General Motors, and some folks are already in a tizzy about it.
The New American reported that the Pentagon will buy the extended-range plug-ins in order to cut its carbon footprint and save on refueling costs in the process. Fox News followed up by noting that the purchase would be "the latest controversy in the Volt's short life" because the Volts would be purchased "at taxpayer expense." Fox also cited a recent Reuters report saying that GM was losing almost $50,000 for each Volt sold and that sales have been "moribund."
That number is highly misleading, as ex-GM executive Bob Lutz, who led the development of the Volt, said when he disputed Reuters' math and said the car may come close to breaking even before its lifetime is up. Meanwhile, a Defense Department purchase would appear to be further recognition of how the Pentagon is concerned about global warming and how gas prices, which for U.S. troops in Afghanistan can climb as high as $400 a gallon, are eating away at the Defense Department budget.
Either way, a Pentagon acquisition batch of Volts would further help a model where sales have been on an upswing. Last month, GM boosted Volt sales more than ninefold from a year earlier to a monthly record 2,831 units. The automaker has sold 13,497 Volts through the first eight months of the year, almost twice as many as GM sold all of last year.
The Defense Department hasn't made any announcements regarding potential Volt purchases. GM representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from AutoblogGreen. Stay tuned...