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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 Masospaghetti on 4/18/2012 9:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yes this car will appeal to a very small population. The problem is that the Volt gets billed as the saviour of our high gas usage. You alone will not save us very much in oil importing. Neither will the other Volt owners. It would take hundreds of thousands of Volts sold to have ANY impact.

The Volt reduces fuel usage by a factor of 2x-3x with essentially no compromises. What other technology can do that? CNG is probably the closest, but even it has severe infrastructure limitations and generally poor performance.

While it's great your Malibu gets 30-33 mpg combined, your combined cycle rating is still 25 mpg (if you have the four cylinder) and even less with the V6. A lot worse than the Volt, even on pure gasoline power.

You're trying to compare buying a new Volt with buying a used economy car. If people bought cars for economic reasons only, everyone would be driving 10 year old Honda Civics. Obviously there's more to a car purchase than that, and if you've driven a Volt, I think you'd realize it's a far nicer car than the $15k econoboxes its often compared against.

Even for the EV haters...think of it this way...I'd rather those who use cars as transportation only to have EVs and hybrids because that reduces oil demand and lowers prices for the rest of us, who love to drive with our American pushrod V8 engines.

RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/18/2012 10:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
I said I get 30-33 mpg COMBINED in my comute, don't tell me what I'm getting.

I'm saying the Volt is not for me, I can't afford it. As a lot cannot afford it. I am not a hater, I'm a realist. The Volt, as I said, will appeal to a small population.

IF YOU ONLY use battery power you will save gas, but it's the fact that it only goes a few miles on battery power, then the mpg is comperable to what I get with my old car. And for me, I drive over 60 miles per day, so the VOLT really does no good for me, and a lot others that have a long commute. And the fact that it's a high price. Like I said I can get a car like I have now for les than $15,000. Meaning for the $40,000 plus you've paid for the Volt I can get 2 cars and have cash in my pocket for gas.

While I do not dispute the fact that the Volt is a good car, I don't want it. What good would it do for me to drive it, when I couldn't buy it? Why can't Volt lovers see that side of it? Same as a Lexus or BMW that are priced at $40,000 plus, I can't buy one.

RE: pathetic
By Masospaghetti on 4/18/2012 10:43:38 AM , Rating: 3
The only thing I'm disputing is that the Volt won't save you a lot of fuel, because it will.

I said I get 30-33 mpg COMBINED in my comute(sic), don't tell me what I'm getting.

Why does this always need to be explained? If you beat the EPA numbers in your Malibu, you should beat the EPA numbers by the same amount in a Volt. The Volt's EPA numbers, even without batteries, are a lot better than your Malibu's.

What good would it do for me to drive it, when I couldn't buy it?

Because the Volt is compared against cars that are far inferior in performance, NVH, and ride quality and then blasted because its too expensive. It's like comparing a Lexus to a Toyota and saying the Lexus costs too much.

RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/18/2012 12:38:52 PM , Rating: 1
You don't get it.
I do not dispute that the Volt is set up to be in the luxury catagory. And so it is high priced.
The mpg of the Volt WHEN the battery is used up and running on gas is AROUND 35mpg if I remember correctly, so it ABOUT the same as my "old" car. I don't care what the EPA numbers are at and will not get into fight over a few mpgs.

The problem I have is the statements that this car will SAVE US THE AGONY OF IMPORTED OIL. It will not by it's own. It can go on many days of battery power if used only a small bit each day, I agree. AND IF you can AFFORD it you can save gas. The big thing is IF YOU CAN AFFORD it. The same as if you can afford a Luxus, BMW, Mercedes, ect...

As I stated it will have a small population that can and will benefit from it. But for the typical mass commute person, it will not help and is out of reach.

If GM just came out and said they have this hybrid and left it at that, I'd have, and most other haters would, not have problem with the car. That fact that it's billed as the revolutionary car that will save the planet is the problem!

RE: pathetic
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 8:40:09 PM , Rating: 3
The mpg of the Volt WHEN the battery is used up and running on gas is AROUND 35mpg if I remember correctly, so it ABOUT the same as my "old" car. I don't care what the EPA numbers are at and will not get into fight over a few mpgs.

So.... you don't care about the EPA numbers... except when it comes to the Volt? The Volt gets 25-40% better MPG than your old car. That's fairly significant. But the Volt is not a Malibu sized car either.

The problem I have is the statements that this car will SAVE US THE AGONY OF IMPORTED OIL.

And that's the problem of your reading comprehension. The TECHNOLOGY could do alot to save us from "Agony" of Imported Oil. If Volt technology suddenly appears in every car and pickup truck tomorrow, the US would from importing ~100 Billion Gallons of Gasoline/Oil yearly to having the ability to export ~50+ Billion Gallons of Gasoline/Oil yearly. All without giving up car size, performance characteristics, flexiblity in fueling, etc, etc, etc. In the long run, people would even be spending -less- on thier transportation. (The short run costs would be very very high granted).

Again, this car is essentially a 30 MPG typical gasoline car. Typically driver would use ~450 gallons of gas a year (at ~30 MPG). A diesel driver would use ~384 gallons of diesel a year. A Prius driver would use 270 gallons of gas a year. A Volt driver? Most drivers would use -90- gallons of gas a year.

So in recap if we switched to 100% Diesel, we'd reduce Oil usage by ~15% and cut imports ~33%. If we used Hybrids we'd cut usage by ~40% and cut imports 90%. If we used PHEV 35 we'd cut usage by 80% and cut imports to -60% (I am using 2010 data from the EIA).

In comparison to the Alternatives place on the market before the PHEV-35 technology promises (if widely adopted) a level of reduction of oil importation surpassed only by pure EV, Natural Gas Combustion, or Hydrogen Fuel cell. The PHEV-35 technology also addressed the principles weaknesses of these technologies such as Limited Range and non-existant infrastructure.

If the goal is to reduce oil importation without sacrificing size and usage habits, PHEV is almost magnitudes better than a existing Hybrids. (The goal of reducing total pollution, energy usage, and C02 emissions are slightly different and more complex, but PHEV is generally winning there are well)

RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/19/2012 9:56:41 AM , Rating: 1
Missed the point AGAIN!

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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