#1 cleantech news, reviews, & analysis site in the world. Subscribe today. The future is now.

Cars lutz volt

Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Conservative Bob Lutz Slams Conservative Liars, Asks “who am I going to believe now?”

March 22nd, 2012 by  

lutz voltIt must be a shock to strongly believe in conservative ideology (I understand that) and then slowly realize that leading conservative talking heads in the media and politics spout lie after lie… after lie. We’ve seen it happen on a number of issues and with a number of people, such as with conservative D.R. Tucker, who realized the deep tragedy and ignorance of global warming denial once he dug into the science; or Republican MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel, who’s had himself and his wife threatened for expressing how ashamed he is of the anti-science focus of current Republican politicians; or Republican Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina who is shocked at most of his party’s global warming denial and its policy of basically ousting politicians from office who try to do something about this pressing matter or support clean energy too much.

Now, it looks like you can add Bob Lutz to this group. Before getting into this story though, a few quick points:

  1. Ever heard about a gasoline-powered car bursting into flames? Of course you have.
  2. Aware that you should not smoke at a gas station and that gasoline is highly flammable? Of course you are.
  3. Aware that a Chevy Volt battery caught fire weeks after the Volt was deliberately destroyed in safety tests in very rare circumstances, and that the result was the company addressing the issue so that it won’t happen to a Chevy Volt driver (even though it would be extremely unlikely to happen anyway)? I hope you’re aware of those details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you aren’t, since they weren’t exactly reported on clearly by most media agencies.
  4. Aware that conservative media and politicians have absurdly acted as though the Chevy Volt is dangerous and flammable because of that single safety test, and that they do not even try to put the issue in context or show how much safer the Volt is than a conventional vehicle? Would be hard to have missed that — one of the favorite anti-cleantech talking points these days (yep, they don’t have much to legitimately complain about when it comes to cleantech).

Now, conservative Bob Lutz, as a former Vice Chairman at GM, is intimately familiar with the Volt. And as a former upper level manager at GM and several other car companies, Bob knows cars, in general. Also, from his high prestige and conservative ties, he has tried hard to inform conservative media and talking heads of their errors when it comes to the Volt. Guess what — no success there.

The result? Lutz has essentially given up on his conservative colleagues altogether. Here’s a full piece by Lutz published this week in Forbes (remainder of this article is from Bob Lutz via Forbes):

I’ve expended a lot of effort trying to point out the truth about the Chevy Volt fires, knowing I might not reach a broad audience but might get the chief disseminators of misinformation (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, et al) to say “Wow! I guess I didn’t realize that no Volt, (other than ones deliberately destroyed), ever showed as much as a wisp of smoke! I guess I had better retune my rhetoric!”

Such were the musings of my politically naive brain, especially since I knew O’Reilly has seen my writing because “his people” talked to me.

What happened, instead, was more cruel disappointment: In his nationally syndicated column Saturday, the intellectually gifted and highly respected Charles Krauthammer, my hero-figure on the Right, joined the rest of the prevaricators. The topic was Obama’s failed energy policy, and the litany of drilling bans and incomprehensible failure to approve the eminently useful Keystone Pipeline. So far, so good.

But, just as I was savoring Krauthammer’s prose, I see … WHAT!? … the Volt cited as yet another example of Obama’s misguided, interventionist energy policy. To make matters worse, Krauthammer could not resist attaching the adjective “flammable” to the Volt.

Now, Krauthammer is a smart, highly educated and well-informed individual. I have to assume he knows the truth. The fact that he persists in the myth of Volt combustibility and Obama-conception of the vehicle cannot be in error.

I am, sadly, coming to the conclusion that all the icons of conservatism are (shock, horror!) deliberately not telling the truth!

This saddens me, because, to this writer, conservatism IS fundamental truth. It only damages its inherent credibility with momentarily convenient fiction.

So, Mr. Krauthammer joins the list of right-wing pundits I no longer take seriously. After all, how do I know they’re telling the truth when the subject is one I’m not as familiar with as the Volt?

That does leave everyone’s trusted favorite, though. The disarmingly modest, low-key, warm, fuzzy, dependable, kind of your favorite uncle when you were growing up … the Reverend Huckabee! He wouldn’t unjustly attack the most celebrated example of American engineering of the last 30 years — or would he?

The other night on Fox, he, too, had his way with the Volt!

So who am I going to believe now? Good question!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

  • Jersey McJones

    Conservatism never stands up to reality.


  • waldo1949

    Krauthammer is not, in my view, a serious journalist, but rather is a propagandist. They are very different.

    Bob, I love my Volt, #4142.

  • Ldoogan

    As a long time conservative IAgree with Bob Lutz 100 percent. I have felt the same way about Fox propaganda for quite some time now..No truth,Just any thing they an think of to discredit the President.

    • Yeah, that seems to have been the top agenda since Day 1.

  • Pingback: Shocker: Conservative Fox News Guest Tears Up Conservative Lies About Chevy Volt - CleanTechnica()

  • AnneButterfield

    Dear Jach — I figures out a long time ago that Krauthammer cannot be trusted due to his ridiculous assertions about fossil fuel availability and about climate change. Glad you’ve joined the rest of us.

  • Bob_Wallace

    More good Lutz.

    “Bob Lutz, a UC Berkeley business school graduate who championed the Volt when he was vice chairman at GM, wrote in his blog, “the loony right has its jaws sunk into the Volt with all the stupid determination of a terrier who has locked his teeth into the mailman’s butt. And with the same result: painful, but without any useful purpose.””

    Why do right-wingers hate American companies?

    Then some other tidbits…

    “Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar.com, a vehicle pricing and research site, said he lives in Tarzana (Los Angeles County) and commutes about 17 miles to his office in Santa Monica.

    He test drove a Volt for one week. “Did not use a drop of gas,” Toprak said. “Charged it every night. Normally I would spend about $80 on gas every week.” He said it cost him $1 a day to charge the Volt, using night-time electricity pricing. That’s $30 a month, versus $320 for gasoline.”

    “Toprak of Truecar.com said the 18,000 electric cars sold in the United States last year, mostly the Volt and the Nissan Leaf, make up just one-tenth of 1 percent of new car sales.

    Still, electric cars are outperforming the first-year introduction of hybrids, said Roland Hwang, the San Francisco-based transportation program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

    “If the electric vehicle market is dead, then why did Toyota start to deliver a plug-in Prius a week and a half ago?” Hwang said. “Why will Ford this year enter the market with a pure battery Ford Focus? Honda is coming to market with a pure battery Fit subcompact. BMW’s Active E is an electric version of their One series and it’s sold out here in California.””


  • Fred K

    Bob I bought a Chevy Volt and I want to thank you for a fantastic car. It’s worth it to me just to stop supporting Middle East dictators, and wars for oil. Its worth it to me to stop dumping CO2 into the air from my tailpipe (I’m getting the solar panels on the house soon). Last month I drove 292 miles on electric and 5 miles on gas! With the rising price of gas going higher, it could make this car a very hot seller. GM has gone a long way to repair its image from the days of the EV1.

  • Hey Bob Lutz, They’re are also lying to you about climate change. When will you figure that out??????

    • Hopefully he’s getting a sense of it now. 😀

      • Ross

        He was still firmly in denial mode a few weeks ago as the token Republican on Bill Maher’s show, spouting some of the usual misinformation.

        • Glad I didn’t see it.

          This piece was in response to an article just last weekend — it really seems to have got him down. I hope he goes with this a bit further.

Back to Top ↑