Unexpectedly Intriguing!
20 February 2014

How many of the 250,000 Chevy Volts that President Obama promised would have been sold by this point in time have you seen driving around on the nation's roads?

It's time to update the picture for Chevy Volt sales in the United States from our previous snapshot last August! The chart below shows the monthly sales for GM's flagship product through the third anniversary of its arrival on the U.S. market:

Chevrolet Volt Sales per Month, December 2010 through December 2013

Ouch! With monthly sales numbers like those, it's a pretty safe bet that GM has fallen far short of President Obama's sales target for his preferred electric vehicle. Our next chart shows just how far off President Obama's marks those sales have fallen:

Cumulative Chevrolet Volt Sales, December 2010 through December 2013

As we noted in our previous installment, there's about an 80% gap between what President Obama promised and what he actually delivered. Or if you prefer, President Obama can only apparently deliver one-fifth of what he promises.

Which is something that at least one other historian has noticed.


U.S. Department of Energy. One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015, February 2011 Status Report. February 2011.

InsideEVs. Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard. Accessed 15 February 2014.

Previously on Political Calculations

  • Is the Government Subsidizing the Chevy Volt Enough? - we find that the $7,500 tax credit that the U.S. government was giving every buyer of GM's Chevrolet Volt was more than adequate to cover the relatively higher cost to the consumer for the Volt's electricity-driven engine.
  • Comparing MPGs for Alternative Fuel Vehicles - GM claimed the Chevy Volt will go 230 miles for every gallon of gasoline that it consumes. We built a tool to determine just what kind of mileage that consumers could really expect to get out of the electric car with the backup gasoline-powered engine.
  • Barack Obama: Crony Capitalist in Chief? Part 2 - after setting the stage in Part 1, we tell the sad story of a failing car company and how its electric car concept was used as the bait to commit a willing politician looking to grease the wheels of crony capitalism in America for political advantage into providing a massive taxpayer-funded bailout of the company.
  • Is GM Headed Back to Bankruptcy? - despite the President Obama's bailout of the company, we find that GM's financial situation is such that it is still in the danger zone for going through bankruptcy again.
  • The Twenty Percent President - using the sales of the Chevy Volt as an example, we note that President Obama's promises tend to fall about 80% short of what he actually delivers.


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