Bob Lutz in Conversation with Plug In America

It felt like a scene from Revenge of the Electric Car when I met Bob Lutz at the North American International Auto Show in January. I was in Detroit to preview the new electrified cars for Plug In America. After just seeing 3 screenings of Chris Paine’s documentary, I had images of Bob riding a rocket and doing everything necessary get the Volt into production. To me, Bob Lutz is larger than life. I grew up in Michigan and take pride in the automotive industry. I am also an EV advocate who up until 2 years ago wasn’t convinced that major car manufactures were going to support plug in cars.

On press days at the auto shows, reporters move in herds from one car unveiling to the next. I bumped into Bob on his way to the VIA booth, when hardly anyone was in that area of the exhibit hall. I asked him if he would be willing do dedicate a copy of his book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, for my friend s father, Doug Korthof. Doug was one of the original EV activists that clashed with General Motors over crushing the EV1s, and is mentioned in Bob s book. I informed Bob that his former protagonist was losing a battle with mesothelioma, and that I set up The Doug Korthof Memorial Fund through my non-profit, Adopt a Charger, to install fee-free charging at Cal State University Long Beach and Bolsa Chica Wetlands in remembrance of Doug s contribution to the EV movement.

When we got to the VIA booth, we came upon Rob Peterson from General Motors who had stopped by to talk to Bob about the misleading information being spread by Fox News regarding the fire after a NHTSA crash test of the Volt. I mentioned that my friend Jeff U’Ren was just on Fox News as a satisfied owner trying to defend the Volt, but due to creative editing he never got to properly state his case. The conservative media was failing to mention that the Bush administration initiated the EV tax credit because, America was addicted to oil , and that the Volt program was developed years before President Obama took office.

Bob Lutz wrote a couple assessments of the situation for his Forbes blog: The Chevy Volt, O Reilly, “the Postman’s Butt”, and “I Give Up on Trying to Convince the Wrong Headed Right”. The EV community was looking for ways to address the proliferation of propaganda and highlight the bi-partisan support of plug in cars. Jeff U’Ren suggested interviewing Bob to present all sides of the story, and agreed to lend his Emmy winning skills for the task and to enlist the help of his son Jed. When we approached Bob, he was happy to help Plug In America’set the record straight.

Jeff U’Ren assembled clips from our interview where Bob Lutz addresses the political aspect of the Volt, and discusses the first year s sales and marketing for the car. He shares his vision of the future of plug in cars, and talks about the new extended range VIA Motors EREV, a full size pick up truck with the same technology used in the Volt. Miraculously, Fox & Friends recently had a change of heart regarding the Volt, and what was once known as the exploding Obamamobile is now the car that might help us win the war on terror. I’m not sure how we got here, but I am glad we can finally come together for the greatest good for all concerned. It is time to move forward as Americans to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and keep money in our local economies instead of sending those dollars overseas.

Here is a link to clips from the interview that Jeff and I had with our mutual hero, Bob Lutz.

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