Outrage Follows Pentagon Purchase Of 1,500 Hybrids Including Chevy Volts


If any entity knows how important it is for America to cease its reliance on oil, it is the U.S. Military. With dozens of different alt-fuel projects in the works, the military is exploring all options when it comes to reducing their use of oil. This apparently includes a large order of 1,500 plug-in vehicles, a large majority of them Chevy Volts.

Cue the outrage!

While many outlets, among them Fox News, are reporting that the Department of Defense is purchasing 1,500 Chevy Volts, the real story is that the DoD is purchasing 1,500 plug-in vehicles…most of them Chevy Volts. These vehicles will be sent to bases nationwide, most likely to supplement or replace an aging fleet of less fuel-efficient vehicles on and off base.

The United States Military is the #1 consumer of energy in the world, including oil. The DoD has repeatedly stated that securing a sustainable, domestic supply of fuel is of paramount importance to national security. That is why we have programs that include hybrid tanks, biofuel-powered warplanes, and diesel-electric HUMVEEs.

The military has already purchased more than 3,000 hybrid and electric vehicles to testing on their bases already, in an effort to reduce energy consumption. But only when the Chevy Volt enters the fray does the outrage rear its ugly head. Of course this has conspiracy theorists arguing that Obama is trying to pump up the Chevy Volt and GM ahead of the election…and he might be. Then again, can you see a bunch of Marines piling into a Toyota Prius? Me neither.

The Republican Party has made no bones about their oil-only energy plan, oil that funnels money to America’s enemies and lines the pockets of corporate interests. Meanwhile, the GOP is attacking the military for supporting domestic production of alternative fuels. The irony here of course is that the Chevy Volt will actually save the military a fair chunk of change in the long run; many on-base trips are well within the Volts 35-mile EV range, and recharging the Volt costs just a $1.50, compared with the $4.00 or so a conventional gas-powered car would cost. Yet it matters not to Republicans, who seem determined to derail the Volt, facts be damned.

Of course the Volt also retails for $39,995, which ain’t cheap by any measure…unless you’re talking about the military. If you use the same misguided math Reuters used to claim the Volt loses GM nearly $50,000 per car, you come out at a figure of around $678 million per plane, for an air superiority fighter with no real use.

But ya, the military buying a few hundred Chevy Volts? That is totally a waste of taxpayer money.

Source: Stars & Stripes

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • “liens” should read “lines”

    Good article though.

  • t_

    The military usually spends tons of money with no real return. But to spend mnoney for vehicles, which burn 60 – 70 % less as their current fleet??? Nice move, I think. A heavy used Volt will cost at the and of its life less than a heavy used big sedan with 12 – 15MPG rating.
    As it is a big purchase, maybe the military got lower rates also???

  • scottcooney

    Yes, Republicans are 100% ok with huge military budgets that have no return on investment, but once you start getting a return on investment, they’re against it. Several military bases are developing renewables on site, so that during a terrorist strike or supply line disruption, they could continue to operate. Renewables and getting off oil are huge national security measures. Thanks for a great article!

  • The cost estimate is bullshit.
    A Reuters reporter took the upfront costs and divided by the number of vehicles sold to date, rather than dividing over the lifetime sales estimate for the Volt line.
    Plus many of those parts are already being used in other GM vehicles.
    See: http://redgreenandblue.org/2012/09/16/conservatives-fear-the-future-so-theyre-lying-about-the-chevy-volt/

  • Pingback: Conservatives fear the future, so they’re lying about the Chevy Volt()

  • danwat1234

    Good move as long as the ROI is there. Maybe they should have waited for a Volt that comes with a more efficient (Atkinson) generator so if they are doing long trips they can achieve MPG close to the Prius.

  • Makes me a little ashamed to say I am a Republican…

    Some people are simply ideological idiots!

  • Pingback: One-Minute Bio-oil from Algae?()