Bob Lutz: “Exaggerated Hype and Exaggerated Expectations” Surrounded Chevy Volt


Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

Bob Lutz was and still is one of the leading supporters of the Chevy Volt.  Yes, he does own a Volt, which he says gets over 200 miles per gallon, but that’s not the only reason that Lutz stands behind the Volt.

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

Chevy’s extended-range electric came to fruition under the close guidance of Lutz and he’s often spoke highly of the vehicle.  Even now, long since his days at General Motors came to an end, Lutz is still out there hyping the Chevy Volt.

A fine example of Lutz championing the Volt is in his latest speech at the 2013 SAE World Congress.  Lutz took to the stage yesterday morning to deliver a keynote address before a packed crowd of media, engineers and other automotive types.

While we wouldn’t expect Lutz to still talk of the Volt, the first few words out of his mouth were all Volt.

According to Lutz, the Volt, though widely successful today, was and still is a victim of unrealistic expectations.  As Lutz says, the Volt was never expected to change the world with hundreds of thousands of sales, but the “media” portrayed it that way, which means that now the “media” can call the Volt a failure.  Though, as we know, the Volt never failed.

Here’s what Lutz stated:

“There was exaggerated hype and exaggerated expectations.  The way the media made it sound is that everybody’s next vehicle was going to be electric.”

Lutz didn’t touch on GM’s aggressive and overly optimistic sales projections for the Volt, but at least in the eyes of Lutz, the Volt was never meant to be a volume vehicle.

Regardless of the “exaggerated hype and exaggerated expectations,Lutz fully believes in the bright future of electric vehicles.

Quoting Lutz:

“I personally believe in the future of electric vehicles, because they are very efficient.  They’ve got far fewer moving parts.”

via CBS Local

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22 Comments on "Bob Lutz: “Exaggerated Hype and Exaggerated Expectations” Surrounded Chevy Volt"

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” the Volt was never expected to change the world with hundreds of thousands of sales, but the “media” portrayed it that way, which means that now the “media” can call the Volt a failure.”

AutolineDetroit comes to mind.

Actually.. I am really, really surprised that plug-ins aren’t selling better than they are. Looking back to 2010 I thought people would be switching to EVs en-masse by now. I mean, nearly everyone I talk to thinks it is a good idea. And I live in Texas, home of the bible-thumping, gun-toting, truck-driving rednecks. Despite that, here’s what I tend to see around here:

80% of people still have no idea an electric vehicle exists. But, when I tell them they like the idea. Often they don’t even know the difference between a hybrid and an EV.

14% actually know a bit about the technology, but they are waiting for it to mature, more charging stations, more variety of vehicles to suit their specific needs.

5% are seriously interested in buying one now but can’t either due to finances or lack of a place to charge since they don’t own their own home.

1% are totally against the idea of an “Obama-mobile” citing false claims heard on Fox news, etc..

“I am really, really surprised that plug-ins aren’t selling better than they are.” I’m not all that surprised. There’s a couple things that need to happen: EVs: These need a 100mi+ real world range. Look at how well the Model S is selling with 208-265 mi EPA range despite it’s huge price tag. The fact that there’s really only been two good EVs (LEAF/Model S) without serious packaging compromises has also hampered sales. It will be interesting to see how the Fiat EV sells – it also is well packaged, but the small size will probably keep it from selling more than a couple hundred / month. The RAV4-EV is great – but the fact that it’s a conversion of an old model and only available in California are killing sales. If Toyota stepped up and turned this into a real production EV it would sell a lot better. PHEVs: Packaging remains an issue here, at least with the Volt. If the Volt were just slightly larger I think a lot more people would be open to it. The Prius does a good job of packing in some battery while only losing the spare tire. The C-MAX gives up way… Read more »

Need some time for the newness/weirdness to wear off, and confidence to build.

“he says gets over 200 miles per gallon”

Yeah right. Put 1 gallon in there and a full charge and let’s see how far he goes. Not even 100 miles. Typical trash fluff.
GM likes the mpge unattainable rating. It gets 37mpg when suckling on SandMan’s junk.

I think you don’t understand rates.

I’m currently averaging 189.3 MPG.

My wife’s commute is 32 miles r/t. On some days she then goes shopping or to a church meeting. just occasionally at weekends we may do a longer drive.
So the vast majority of every week’s driving is within the electric range. In a REAL WORLD situation 200miles driven for every gallon of gas purchased is quite realistic.

My average Volt mpg is currently at 250 mpg with 12k miles. I charge at home and charge at work.

“I personally believe in the future of electric vehicles, because they are very efficient. They’ve got far fewer moving parts.”

…agreed, as long as you don’t mean a Volt with this sentence, Mr. Lutz. HEVs, PHEVs, and EREVs have more moving parts than either BEVs or ICEs alone. I’m also a fan of the fact that a BEV is an enclosed system which is not using fuels that can bring degrading contaminants into the system as air and gasoline/diesel do for an ICE.

Agreed! For now either pick a Leaf or a Model S, it’s really the best way to go, unless you’re leasing, then there’s no real risk…

Once the warranties run out on HEVs, PHEVs, and EREVs watch out for the repairs bills to soar like no ICE ever has. Odds are that with so many moving parts, they will be so costly to maintain!!!

Thx Bob,

I think you are an asset to the movement even though you don’t believe in Global Warming (wink, wink) but I think you do.
you just aren’t saying yet

There’s something I don’t understand about the climate change deniers. 99% of them are fundamentalist conservatives. And they believe climate change is a lie by the liberals to create a fake problem so that people will elect them to solve it (sort of like an extortion scheme). I’ve argued with these people before and this is, in a nutshell, what they believe. The only thing is.. If that were true, then why has just about every other country in the world also taken steps to reduce their impact on climate change? I mean, why would Japan, Russia, or China be in on this scheme to help our liberals gain seats?

They hate Omama, and don’t like the idea of inconveniencing themselves, more than they dislike the idea of their children’s weather patterns being massively screwed up.

I believe Mr. Lutz has stated he does not believe in man-made global warming, not that the earth has not become warmer the last x years. I think with the ice-caps melting, and all of the extreme weather, no one can deny the earth is getting warmer. The debate is on the cause. Personally, I don’t know enough to make a statement, but I figure, if there’s legislature reducing CO2 that also get’s rid of all the other crap in the air, why not do it? What’s the worse that will happen? More EV’s, and cleaner air.. darn 🙂

I love my Chevy Volt.

My Volt is the best car that I have ever owned.


Bob Lutz has repeated stated Manmade global warming is a pile of crap and I agree with him. What I really don’t understand is the people here all hyper worried about Global Warming, yet:

Don’t care that the EPA has just raised the allowable exposure rate of IODINE 131 “in an emergency” 27,000%. I 131 incidentally has a half life of 8 1/2 days, so fissioning is still occurring.

Don’t care they are being “Chem trailed” to the tune of 35 million pounds of Aluminum oxide, Barium and Strontium, which is turning northwest forests brown, (basically killing them – the planet’s ‘lungs’) , causing Global Dimming, and punching a hole in the ozone layer at the poles.

Don’t care they are being continually exposed to the ongoing Fukushima Disaster (the worst man made industrial accident EVER, where 3 “China Syndromes” have occurred, melt down, then melt through (the 3 coriums are under the plants somewhere, constantly contaminating ground water and ultimately, the entire Pacific Ocean and all the living things in it)).\

For a 28 minute primer, scroll down on this link and watch the movie, then watch the embedded movies “What and Why in the World are they Spraying?”.

At present, I believe range extender equipped EV’s are the best balance between affordable but still decent battery range and a small generator to go further when needed. BMW i3 or Audi A1 E-Tron fit the bill, but there need to be more choice of sizes and styles. It would also help to let people chose Tesla way the size of the battery and the size of the generator.

I find it very amusing that people who condemn the Volt, are the same people who don’t own one nor have ever ridden in one. I was skeptical when I originally heard about the Volt. I followed the chatter on the internet, weeded out statements by uneducated Neanderthals, looked into real-world data, did the math and I decided a Volt would be perfect for my daily commute, 43.1 miles one way, to a second place I own, where I was able to instal a second 220 volt charging station. I’m recharged in 3 hours, and then zip back home for pennies, instead of what used to be measured as $40 per day in gas for the round-trip. If you don’t believe me, Google this and find my actual accumulated data on a place called “VoltStats” just Google “Voltstats Dusty” and you’ll find me, and you’ll find a link to my Flickr account where I am documenting HONEST FACTS and not the malarkey that Neanderthals are spreading about electric cars. Oh, and if I wanted to drive my Volt from Barstow to Bangor, it would make the trip easily, because as a duel-fuel vehicle, I have the option to use either… Read more »

Love it!

I own a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe, and a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is by far my favorite car to drive on a daily basis. I look around at all of the other cars on the road when heading in to work and think that I am superior. The car accelerates, drives, and performs better that my other two vehicles combined.