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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 Brandon Hill on 4/18/2012 11:33:44 AM , Rating: 1
The point is, you make it seem like we're all driving around in gas guzzling pickup trucks when in fact, 7 of the top-selling vehicles aren't even pickups. And six of those are compact or midsize sedans that get good fuel economy.

While many Americans DO buy pickup trucks, a large portion of the ones sold in America go to fleets and businesses and not consumers.

So again, I still don't see your point.

By heffeque on 4/18/2012 1:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever traveled to Europe? You'd see right away the difference there is in size compared to the States.

The point is:
- FOUR out of the top 10 selling vehicles are big ass oil guzzlers in the US, three of them in top 5.
- ONE out of the top 10 selling vehicles are big ass oil guzzlers in the UK, and it's not even in the top 5.

What point don't you get? Are you blind?

Also American cars tend to have bigger motors, bigger chassis, larger wieght and less modern diesel engines.

Saying otherwise is just living in denial.

By quiksilvr on 4/18/2012 1:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that within the past few years we have become more efficient, but that doesn't excuse the fact that numbers 1 and 2 are pick up trucks. Granted a "large portion" goes to businesses, but none of us can deny the fact that virtually at every intersection, we see way too many SUVs and trucks with no load on them and one person in them.

We are transitioning out of that ($4 a gallon is a good incentive to do so), but that doesn't excuse the fact that there are too many of these gas guzzlers for our own good.

RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/20/2012 7:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed Spuke, he's wrong. With the exception of pickups which are always big sellers for contractors and fleets, the best selling vehicles for 2011 are mostly efficient midsize and compact sedans

What your really saying is akin to the following:

Despite the fact that 4 of the top 10 best selling cars are indeed massive oil guzzling SUVs, I'm just going to completely ignore this salient fact and instead focus on the sedans, which consume more fuel than hatchbacks anyway.

Americans have a cultural aversion to any vehicle that is smaller than a sedan. This is reflected in the sales. Do you deny this?

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