By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
January 17, 2013
Former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has been know to speak his mind. At the Detroit Auto Show this week, Lutz told Autocar that he thinks that the technology in the Chevrolet Volt should have been put into a larger vehicle first.
“Frankly, unless that customer is philosophically, religiously or economically affiliated to buying an electric vehicle, then they can’t be convinced. The first two types of buyer will buy whatever’s built, but the latter is a harder case. The obvious answer is to electrify as big a vehicle as you can, because that’s where the fuel and running cost savings make the most sense," Lutz said.
Lutz goes onto say, “If I had my time again at GM then I would have started with the Cadillac Escalade for the range-extender technology, and brought the Volt in later. The more gas-guzzling the vehicle, the more economic sense of electrifying it. Car companies need to get their minds on that: electrifying an Opel Corsa that uses virtually no fuel anyway and then lumping a huge premium on it to cover the battery costs is nonsensical. Why bother? It uses virtually no fuel anyway."
Lutz is part of a new company called VIA Motors which takes GM full-size trucks, SUVs, and Vans, and converts them into plug-in hybrid vehicles. Its first vehicle is due out sometime in 2013.