Chevy’s Low Voltage Troubles

July 24, 2014

Chevy’s Low Voltage Troubles

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

“Only 125 Volts” is the first thing that caught my eye in an article I stumbled upon from the National Legal and Policy Center.  As I come from an electrical background, I would agree that 125 Volts is nothing to get too excited about, but this article wasn’t teaching you how to replace a circuit breaker, instead it was discussing the total brown-out of Chevy Volt sales in the month of July.  “Only 125 Volts were sold during the month of July.”   Somehow I doubt this comes as a major shock to anyone with the slightest amount of good business sense.

While 125 Volts is fairly low as far as voltages go, it most certainly will get your attention if you accidently come in contact with it (please just trust me on this).  On the other hand, it’s going to take much higher Volt-age sales numbers to attract investors’ attention and give them confidence in GM’s “business” decisions.

In order for power transmission to work over great distances, power companies must step-up the Voltage to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Volts.  Using a lower Voltage produces too many losses and is simply not sustainable over long distances (speaking of Voltage drop, 1 Chevy Volt can only travel about 40 miles).   Similarly, if GM wants to finally become sustainable it will have to reduce its losses and step-up the Voltage.  In this case it will need to sell many, many thousands of Volts.

In the real world (not in la la land) the way a company does this is by offering a product or service that the public actually wants, and is willing to buy, in a sufficient enough quantity as to make the company a profit (or at least break even).  Following a President’s social agenda instead of listening to the market is very bad business and means that the program will need to be subsidized by the sales of other profitable products or worse.

Electrical safety is no laughing matter and if the rules aren’t properly followed someone is going to get hurt or something will get broken. The same can be said for the rules of economics, which is fine if a company is forced to live (or die) by its decisions, but sadly the last time GM broke those rules it was the US taxpayer who got fried.  Are taxpayers being set-up for another shock at some point in the future?

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