Conservative Vs. Conservatives: Bob Lutz Fires Back At Fox News' Chevy Volt Coverage

General Motors announced last week that Chevrolet Volt production is being shut down for five weeks to balance dealer inventories of unsold cars. Production suspension prompted Fox News political commentators Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly to say it was due to reduced demand because the electric car may “catch fire.” Former General Motors adviser and car guy Bob Lutz decided it was time to fire back yet again.

Last month, Lutz predicted that Volt production would slow because of reduced demand due to the influence of right-wing “talking heads” who deliberately misinterpreted NHTSA crash test results. Lutz also asked, “Where is the outrage over the fact that roughly 178,000 conventional gasoline-powered vehicles are subject to either partial or total incineration each year?”

In his response, Lutz also reiterated some facts he said the political commentators “spin” for their own agenda – including the claim that the Volt is “the poster child of President Obama’s socialist meddling in the free automotive market.” Here is what Lutz had to say:

  1. The Volt was largely my idea, and I was its undeniable champion. Work on it was started in 2006. Obama was elected in 2008.
  2. No Volt in service has ever shown as much as a wisp of smoke. Not in normal service, and not in crashes. The three Volt battery fires all occurred under extremely destructive experimental conditions. Two of the fires were induced in batteries not mounted in cars.
  3. Those who know me will vouch for my credentials as a conservative and vocal global warming skeptic. I spent 11 years as a Marine attack aviator trained and ready to take out Communists during the Cold War.
Lutz also pointed out how the political commentators asserted that it was a shame that the Opel Ampera (the European market Chevrolet Volt) won the European Car of the Year award. The winner is selected by 59 of Europe’s top auto journalists. Lutz says the win should be “a source of national pride” because the Ampera is the first American-engineered and produced car to win European Car of the Year.

Source: Forbes (1, 2)

Go bob go! An awesome car that goes farther on the electrons used to refine a gallon of gas that an average car can on the gas! Even better it exposes the billions in yearly tax payer giveaways to the oil industry in the name of energy security as a fraud! The real question is who else has the backbone to stand up to big oil and its well greased media lobby ?
Oh yes, a marketing expert who has bankrupted nearly a dozen American Institutions defending a President whose energy policy is getting cars powered by coal. What's next? another parts bin roadster or the 7th Hummer or 4th flavor of Corvette. Ford is winning by building simple cars with interchangeable parts for actual household budgets. This guy's approach is the Tomahawk and 16 cylinder Cadillacs when others are now doing a better job with only 3. Seriously, it's like hearing Richard Ramirez speak about the death penalty; related but irrelevant to today's realities.
I own a Volt in one of the coldest climates in North America and its a pretty cool car. I'm not an environmentalist (previous ride was a Ford Expedition) but it's not as expensive as one would think. With incentives and saving $2000 a year in gas and maintenance (oil changes once every 2 years, brakes last 100K minimum) over 5 years that's lots of $$$ towards the purchase. So about $25-30K for a really advanced car is actually in line with the average cost of a new car these days. And it isn't a Cruze - more like a 3 series bmw! And as for incentives - kill any for big oil and gas, mortgage deductions etc and then we can talk. Its range is pretty good - 45 miles in the spring / summer / fall on battery - more if you use gas. If you charge at work or in between drives you can actually go 70-100 miles per day on electric - basically you get to give the oil companies the middle finger when you drive by the gas station. Weird to spend more on car washes than gas. And my hydro bill has gone up about $30-40 a month. I also love the fact I am using a domestic source of fuel and not relying on sources of energy produced by hostile regimes. One more thing - the battery will likely outlast the car as the battery and all electrical components of Volt, Leaf, etc are warrantied for 8 years. Bottom line is the Volt is a great fun car with great service and support from GM. People really need to get out and test drive one. And it looks great to. Ottawa, Canada

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