Who’s Trying to Kill the Electric Car Now?

Mark Holthoff writes at Edmunds.com:

One of the last sounds Dave Muse probably expected to hear as he drove his Chevrolet Volt past the massive crowd at the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise in Detroit was the sound of people booing. But there were indeed catcalls for his car, although it was Detroit-built and one of the most technically advanced and highly acclaimed vehicles ever to come from that city.

To be sure, there were also plenty of cheers for the Volt from the crowd, which annually numbers more than 1 million. But the undercurrent of condemnation was clear.

It was clearer still for Muse when a stranger approached him in a parking lot, “complaining loudly about my choice of transportation,” he says. As Muse attempted to exit the Volt, the stranger pushed his car door closed, forcing him back into the driver seat, and then stormed off.

During a polarizing election year, the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt has become an unexpected focal point, touted by supporters of President Obama as a shining symbol of a resurgent American auto industry and a model choice for climate-conscious drivers. At the same time, it’s been painted by right-wing pundits as an icon of big government excesses, a sentiment that officially entered the presidential race when Republican candidate Herman Cain proclaimed the car “Obama’s baby” and alleged the President is “subsidizing the sale of every Volt to the tune of $7,500 in taxpayer money.” The right-leaning Drudge Report recently highlighted an Edmunds/Inside Line news story on the Volt’s involvement in a Texas “smart home” project as an example of wasteful government spending. The story drew more than 200 comments, many of them politically charged.

Volt owners like Muse are finding themselves caught in such crossfire. Some have reported acts of vandalism — tires slashed, expletives on the windshield — and one even found himself being intentionally run off the road. General Motors spokesperson Michelle Malcho says she is not familiar with these stories, but notes that “the car isn’t political” and urges people to drive one before making strong judgments against it.

Read more here.

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  • David Howe

    The Righties are propagandized to commit violence.

    • Aleph Omega

      What else is new?

  • Anarchy Pony

    Needs more hamsters under the hood!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    I smell even more class divisions emerging–the electric class versus the gasoline class. The banksters must be laffing all the way to the..erm…bank?

    • Anarchy Pony

      All the way to their office.

  • BuzzCoastin

    the electric car
    powered by the grid
    should be run off the road

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    A one time $7500 credit OR billions on petro wars and environmental cleanups. But whatever.

  • RefuseResistRevolt

    Maybe some people should just grow the fuck up…going by this logic, we should be torching every Walmart, Target and other big box store in America for selling Chinese-made goods, as well as trashing the Apple stores and every iPhone carrier since most of their products are end-result of forced child labor (all of these by choice of the parent companies themselves, based in the US, mind you)…So you wanna go give someone hell because their car is electric and doesnt fit with your limited and narrow political views? Get fucking real.

  • 5by5

    Just want to make sure I understand this.

    Consumers get a $7,500 tax rebate on an electric car, and somehow that’s worthy of personal violence, but massively-profitable oil & coal companies take $75 BILLION in yearly SUBSIDIES from the gov’t, and that’s just fine.

    Uh-huh. Whatever, Cons. You step to me and my hybrid, and I’ll happily electrocute your punk ass.

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    Its definately not the coal industry since that’s technically the fossil fuel these cars run on in most areas.

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