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ACM Opinion

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

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Chevy Volt

Credit: GM

GM's current commitment to electric vehicle technology reminds me of the introduction of the personal computer in the 1980s. I recall my father buying our second PC. It was a Commodore64 — which by today's standards wouldn't even qualify as a doorstop. It had 1/1000th the power of my kids' iPods but yet it cost us $2,400 . . . that's 1981 dollars.

Had we all laughed at the value of the personal computer in the early '80s and not accepted this new technology, you and I would not be able to communicate in the manner in which we do today, and companies would not nearly be as productive. Our acceptance of the PC made it possible for the high-tech industry to continue to invest in new ideas and technologies, reaching the point where computers today are less costly, much faster, smaller, and more powerful then ever. Win-win-win? You bet.

The very same economic forces apply to the Chevy Volt and its technology. If America were to accept the vehicle, despite the fact that it is more costly compared to current alternatives, the price of the Volt would fall dramatically — and General Motors would continue to invest in the R&D of Voltec technology.

From GM Authority
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