GM's Lutz Charged Up on Volt Electric Car

Forbes magazine talks to GM's Vice-Chairman about the new the company's new electric concept car.

Published: 12-Jan-2007

Bob Lutz, General Motors' vice chairman of global product development, is known for his frank perspective on what the company has done — both good and bad — as well as what it needs to do in order to be successful. Lutz sat down with a small group of journalists for an extended roundtable discussion at the Detroit auto show. Here he weighs in on the Chevrolet Volt electric car concept and other alternative-fuel technology: You mentioned in the press conference that the Volt excites you the most of any project you've worked on. Why?

Bob Lutz: Because my whole career I've liked to do the contrarian thing at a certain stage of a company's life. When the whole world was saying Chrysler was going out of business, that we had lost the ability to do anything besides the K Car and couldn't do a rear-wheel-drive car, I said, "Why don't we not only do a RWD car, but the most powerful and most expensive American RWD car ever?" — which became the Viper. The Pontiac Solstice was the same thing. Who thought GM could come up with such a great-looking convertible at such a low price? The Volt is another in that series. It's a radical departure for GM, and it's exciting because it's not a sure thing — there's a possibility of failure here. I'd put the risk rate at 10 percent. It'll keep me around for another three or four years, just to see how it turns out.


Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi test drove the Eliica pictured below and dubbed the eight-wheel electric car developed by a group of researchers at Keio University an energy revolution. The car has a top speed of 370 km/h and a range of 300 kilometers.

Think Nordic has been struggling for survival since the Ford Motor Co literally pulled the plug on it in 2002. Photo of prototype A306 Cabriolet model which briefly toured parts of Canada. Photo courtesy of EVCO.CA.

Faraday has a GVW from 3.5t to 7.5t, a restricted top speed of up to 50mph, up to 4t payload and enough battery power to cover up to 120 miles between charges.


blog comments powered by Disqus