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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: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 2:03:15 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It should cost much more than that.


Why?

Gasoline should cost the amount require to pump oil from the ground, refine the gasoline and ship it to the pump, plus a reasonable profit defined by markets willingness to pay for it.

In the US, we have decided gasoline should also include a significant share (75%+) the cost of maintaining Federal and State roads.

Potentially, gasoline should also include the costs of cleaning the pollution, etc. I'd support that if someone could do a good estimate of these costs.

quote:
NO, you're not paying too much. You only pay about 50% of what we pay, and you think that's too expensive? Lol... Get real.


What does that have to do with anything?!? You're nation choices about how to tax gasoline are clearly responsible. Heck, the US exports to Europe refined Diesel/Gasoline. I am fairly sure European government just pocket the tax money and its not earmarked typically for a specific service. How strange.

quote:
No oil business in their right mind would greatly overproduce to artificially drive down the price. That'd be financial suicide from a commercial standpoint, and just not how a capitalist system works.


And this is where you show your true ignorance. If I wanted to fetch the highest price for my good... I would produce one and only one of it. Or maybe 10, just to get some positive reviews. Businesses all the time produce far more than required AND have low prices. It depends on the marginal production price and marginal change in price. The idea for most businesses is to MAXIMIZE revenue per capital invested. Not to Maximize revenue per unit.

quote:
You bawww about oil cartels and whatnot, but what you sound like is a bloody communist. You want price-fixed gas, move to Soviet Russia a quarter century ago... That's the only way you'll succeed.


What? Oil cartels are against capitalism. That's a socialist/communist ideal. Oil cartels want price-fixed gasoline... high price fixed.

Just because the original post was off base and crazy, doesn't give you license to be as off base.

quote:
Oil is a precious resource, and have much better uses than simply being burned in extremely inefficient internal combustion engines.


Oil is so precious, its leaking onto the Ocean Floor and onto Beachs in dozens of places... and no one will spend the money to fix it.

But overall, your really have this backwards.

Oil is a precious resource, because we burn it in internal combustion engines. The only other wide scale use of Oil was in oil-lamps. So... if we suddenly stopped using Oil in cars where would it all go? Would air travel become super cheap then? Is that the thinking? Or do you mean other uses than transporation? What is the super valuable use you would put it to?


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By RubberJohnny on 4/18/2012 5:10:41 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Oil is a precious resource, because we burn it in internal combustion engines. The only other wide scale use of Oil was in oil-lamps. So... if we suddenly stopped using Oil in cars where would it all go? Would air travel become super cheap then? Is that the thinking? Or do you mean other uses than transporation? What is the super valuable use you would put it to?


Are you farking serious? probably half the items in your house and office are made from oil!

http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Pet...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/11/9-shockin...
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/la...


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 11:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yes.

While many items are made from Oil in my household,

What percentage of Oil consumed in the US is in the transporatation section? The EIA claims .66! Now, since there are millions of other uses for oil, each of these uses just uses a tiny slice of oil production.


By Solandri on 4/18/2012 1:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
The vast majority of oil is burned as fuel. About 3% is used for asphalt and lubricants. About 2% ends up in other products like plastics and waxes.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/PainAtThePump/story...


By ncalipari on 4/18/2012 7:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What? Oil cartels are against capitalism. That's a socialist/communist ideal.


Why some people are so naive?

Next time will be the nazi that drive the price up.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By bah12 on 4/18/2012 9:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
Those items you listed are all from oil BY-PRODUCTS. In other words without the cars' need for the base product, it would not be worth the effort to pump it out of the ground for plastics. In other words in a world with no cars, everything on your list would be REALLY expensive as everything on your list were inventions to use the non-fuel parts of oil.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/20/2012 8:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
Really? So no-one was trying to create plastics before the invention of the combustion engine?

Far more effort is expended in refining oil to a usable fuel than it is obtaining other useful materials from it. Crude oil is useless as a fule on its own - it goes through many, many stages of refining and distillation before it becomes usable in cars.

Most synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and others, are also made from plastic precursors derived from oil.


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