USA Today Interview with VIA’s Bob Lutz on Extended-Range Electric Vehicles

In the News, Media, News

May 9, 2012

Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz thinks pushing back against right-wing criticism of the Chevrolet Volt had an effect.

Conservatives are starting to see the benefits of electric cars, he says. And he notes that he, too, is a conservative.

“It’s unfortunate the Volt became the target of the right-wing propaganda machine,” he said at the Electric Car Symposium, EVS26, in Los Angeles. After hearing the criticism of plug-in cars from Limbaugh and O’Reilly, he says he took the offensive. Besides speaking out against them in public, he made the rounds to conservative think tanks. The message: There is nothing “sinister” about energy security for the U.S.

He urged electric-car advocates not to argue the benefits of electric vehicles from a global warming perspective, but rather with an energy security argument.

Yet he notes the economics of electric cars aren’t favorable enough for most consumers to make them want to plunk down their hard-earned cash to buy one these days, Lutz says.

“Range has to go up. Price has go down,” he said at the Electric Vehicle Symposium, EVS26, in Los Angeles today.

For the moment, only large vehicles that can see bigger fuel savings make sense. That gave Lutz an opening to promote his Via Motors electric truck, an extended-range hybrid built on a full-size Chevrolet pickup base.

Lutz wears his affection for the Chevrolet Volt, GM’s extended range electric sedan, literally as a badge of honor these days. He has a Volt pin in his lapel. So he’s no electric-car detractor.

* Written by Chris Woodyard. To view full article with images, please visit USA Today.