Bob Lutz may no longer work for General Motors, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the Chevrolet Volt's back.

The developer of the extended-range plug-in, in an interview with Plug In America's Jeff U'Ren, blasted what he called "the right-wing talk show guys" for what he said was a deliberate attempt to trash the Volt in the wake of a vehicle fire that occurred weeks after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test. NHTSA in January concluded after a two-month probe into the situation that neither the Volt nor other electric vehicles are a greater fire risk than conventional vehicles.

Lutz, who spearheaded the Volt development as GM's former vice chairman, said such efforts "put a severe kink in the sales curve" of the model and necessitated the five-week production shut-down that began earlier this month. Lutz was also somewhat critical of GM's marketing approach, calling early advertising efforts "a little bit tepid." GM fell about 2,400 units short of its goal to sell 10,000 Volts in 2011, though the Volt boosted sales to 1,023 vehicles last month from 603 cars in January. Lutz predicted that March would be "a record month" for Volt sales.

He also hoped that the Volt's recently being named European car of the year would like help sales. "You would think that would get a little attention in the media, but don't wait for (Bill) O'Reilly to say it," Lutz cracked. See for yourself after the jump.



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  • 93 Comments
      RC
      • 2 Years Ago
      European car of the year, bi!tches (:
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RC
        I didn't realize this was the first time an American car won that award. Nice job GM.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay for Lutz ! Down with the brain-damaged far-right scum on Fox !
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Ahhh yes. Open minded and accepting of other people's beliefs. Good good.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @Ezee, Nick does respond to political philosophy, much in the same way as fan at a football match, but he does have a sense of humour......
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Some people believe that pain is good. I don't have to accept that. I have an open minded, but being whipped by the masters is not something I like. I would suggest that those that do are brain-damaged, and typically far-right. Scum may be inaccurate. They may be freedom loving americans just trying to share their pleasure in pain with everyone else.
      CaptTesla
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lutz needs to realize he designed a hybrid car and not an electric car. Stop fooling people and pretending you have a true electric car. If you have a gas tank you have either an ICE or hybrid but not electric.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CaptTesla
        Ugh. Purists are so annoying.
          kEiThZ
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Why? Honestly, he's not wrong. People are selling the Volt like some big leap forward when it's more evolutionary than revolutionary. It's a welcome change from GM to be sure. But hardly the huge leap that some make it out to be. Had they not come out with the Volt and got moving on hybridization, Toyota would have eaten their lunch when the high gas prices materialized in the years to come.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          GM doesn't "pretend they have an electric car". It is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, Agreed, it's as though they are revealing some clever knowlege, over, and over, and over .......
      Chris M
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hydrogen fuel cells are more efficient than internal combustion engines, so it might end up with a per-mile fuel cost close to, or perhaps even below, the fuel cost of the equivalent gasoline vehicle. But the per mile "fuel" cost of driving electric is well below the cost of hydrogen or gasoline, and always will be.
      mylexicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      This might have to do with sponsorship. I believe some of the big right wing talk show hosts were sponsored heavily by GM at one point. Lower advertising revenues and sour grapes are probably at play for all parties involved.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've noticed that AB hasn't posted this article or the article about Bush giving one to his kid. Over here we already know that the FUD was a bunch of crap. But most on the AB side still think the Volt is a "stupid green" car and could use articles like this to show them the other side of the coin... Just sayin'...
      Scambuster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Record Volt sales in March? More like record disappointment. The Volt is a piece of junk typical of the vehicles coming from GM,Government Motors. Compared to the Prius or even the Korean hybrids, the Volt is dated and an inferior product. Lutz is delusional. If the Prius had the kind of trouble inauguration the Volt had, the Toyota would have been hounded out of existence.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        Yeah, that's why it has won so many car industry awards. Derp.
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        The first year sales of the Prius in the US, in 2001, was just over 6,000. A decade later, and it is one of the top selling vehicles, with over 2 million on the road. The first year sales of the Volt were over 7,000. Hmm, wonder how well it will be selling a decade later, with fuel prices up and production costs down...
        noevfud
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        There is probably some huge dealer incentive to buy cars or a huge fleet deal. Sure is easy to predict record sales on things like that. My guess is there is some new variable in the mix, pricing, whatever.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        -19 Dan is impressed. Seriously, one can say it is too expensive. Maybe heavy. But junk? Not really. Brand new technology. Great range. Engineering marvel. But junk? Feel free to dislike anything, but this is not junk, by any stretch.
        dax777
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        Sorry to disagree with you Scambuster, but I own a 2012 Volt and love it. My last three cars prior to the Volt were Prius vehicles. I traded my Prius in on the Volt after just one test drive. There is no comparison, the Volt is far better at driving comfort, raw power and fuel economy, if you drive less than 40 miles per day. Test drive one and be prepared to be amazed. I just see the point of putting down and excellent American made tech vehicle, by an American company, employing American workers. The Europeans are standing in line for this car to arrive over there, are they smarter than us?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      The right tool for the right job. If you want to haul stuff or need to take long trips, the Mitsubishi-i is definitely NOT the vehicle you need. But if you just need to commute back & forth to work, drive the kids to school, buy groceries, buy flat packs from IKEA, then the Mitsubishi-i does it all with without burning a drop of gasoline. And that is what cars are used for 90+% of the time.
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Spec. Yes I agree. I have driven both versions of the iMev, and I wasn't terribly impressed. A pretty basic little car, and the range drops dramatically, with more load, and a few hills. But I agree with you, in Southern California, it's certainly an affordable vehicle.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      "To be fair if you don't have an outlet available and can't get one installed then it's not the car for you." The Volt recharges on the road, or via 120V - it doesn't need 240V to keep topped up.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hydrogen costs $14/gal equivalent : yes, drive a hydrogen fuel cell car (none which you can own, they are all low volume experimental prototypes) and your fuel (whether you pay for it or not) costs north of $14/gal equivalent : its costly to take natural gas and to break the hydrogen away from the nitrogen and then energetically inefficient to pressurize the hydrogen. Furthermore, fuel cells are very susceptible to poisoning, so they have to have very pure hydrogen gas to run on (increases cost). Hydrogen fuel cells are not ready for prime time yet to compete with current automotive class lithium batteries.
      dax777
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fox news, Bill O'Relly, Eric Bolling, Neil Cavuto are the mean Volt haters. They either lie about the Volt because they are greatly uninformed or just tell a half truth like Bolling did when they test drove the Volt and attempted to infere the Volt ran out of Battery in the lincoln tunnel and just stopped right there. Never bothered to mention the Volt will continue for an additional; 250-=300 miles generating its own electricity. I own a Volt and love it. Traded in my Prius after just one 5 mile test drive. This car is fantastic...
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