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Bob Lutz
Bob Lutz and his pals tout the benefits of domestic oil production, electric vehicles

The last time we visited commentary from former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, he was firing back against the "Right-Wing Media" for its assault on the Chevrolet Volt. Lutz was a huge proponent of the Volt while at GM, and he helped spearhead the development of the gasoline/plug-in electric vehicle.
Now, in another column for Forbes magazine (written in conjunction with FedEx CEO Fredrick Smith, and U.S. Marines commandants General P.X. Kelley and General James Conway), Lutz is switching gears slightly to tout the positive benefits of oil independence and electric vehicles instead of attacking the "attackers".
Lutz and his posse argue that moving to vehicles that are more efficient or rely solely on electricity for power will boost the United States' national security. In addition, U.S. military manpower and financial resources are being strained to protect vital oil distribution points around the globe.
From a national security perspective, the U.S. military is forced to protect the world’s vital oil infrastructure… Protection of the sea lanes of commerce has become an American burden and will remain so, costing the United States Treasury an estimated $80 billion per year while taxing our military, which is already engaged on multiple fronts.
“Lutz and Friends” go on to say that the U.S. needs to produce more oil domestically (to isolate the country from global oil price spikes) while at the same time moving the U.S. transportation sector away from oil dependency. "The only way to fundamentally solve this problem is to break oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector, which accounts for 70 percent of the total oil consumed by the United States and relies on oil for 94 percent of its fuel," states the quartet.
As we reported nearly a year ago, Frederick Smith is definitely onboard with reducing our “addition” to foreign oil in an effort to boost the domestic economy. And like Lutz, Smith is hip to the idea of electrifying America’s transportation sector.

Chevrolet Volt enjoying a dip in the pool with the ladies. [Source: TECHVEHI]
Not surprisingly, the column throws a shout-out to the two primary players in the electric car market: the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf:
Regarding electrification, the beauty of plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf is that they are powered by electricity, which can be generated from many sources: nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables. Best yet, these are all domestic energy sources, meaning OPEC won’t be able to corner the market. And the retail price of electricity is far less volatile that the price of oil.
It seems inevitable that electrification will by the end game for vehicles in the future, but the question is should the government be footing the bill to jumpstart the process?

Source: Forbes

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RE: pathetic
By jfish222 on 4/17/2012 7:37:22 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, I've never jumped in on the these threads re. the electrification concept (to much trolling) but I can't let ignorance go unaddressed . . .

Up Front:
I don't own a volt (or hybrid) and until they reach the performance of my Sonata Turbo while providing a reasonable efficiency margin (based on my mood and gas prices) I will not be buying one (ie: They may have finally finished that Space elevator).

Reality Check:
The 35 mile range is marketed to the average US commuter of 16* miles each way or less.

Of course, survey respondents gave an avg, so lets say you fall close to 16 miles on the bell curve. Your cutting it damn close, so in a pinch you have the gas engine to fall back on. For the Volt to be worth the investment you should ideally fall a little further to the left of the curve (I, for one, don't always head straight home!).
Given that many Volt respondents report filling up once a month, this does work for some.** (Stat. provided from GM so take it for what its worth.)

Is there a market for this vehicle?

Is it a large market?
Based on sales projections of 10k/yr, no. But that was always expected***. The high price partly relates to its low volume (yes, yes, and the batteries, R&D, etc.)

Is the Volt a success?
No but there is potential. It was a multi-year development project where gas prices were projected to be over $4. The debut came during a down turn (slower global economy = less fuel demand)where prices were around <$3.50. Notice that sales increased in December when prices hit some psychologically relevant $4.00 mark.***

Argue all you want about whether or not the US should be funding alternative fuel initiatives or the auto-industry bailout.

But when you twist reality to meet your views you're just being . . . pathetic.




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