GM’s Former Vice Chairman, Bob Lutz, slammed GOP media pundits yesterday for spreading “pure fiction” about the Chevy Volt and other electric vehicles.
Conservative commentators— led by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News— have taken every opportunity to tear down the Chevy Volt, calling it “crappy,” a “Fred Flinstone car,” and an“exploding Obamamobile.” They’ve even called Volt drivers “dorks.”
The attacks have gotten so intense, hardcore Republicans are now slamming the onslaught of ludicrous comments. Lutz, a Republican who once called climate change a “total crock of shit,” has become increasingly critical of fellow conservatives who have undertaken a vicious media campaign against the Volt.
Speaking yesterday at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think thank, Lutz called out the “knee-jerk” pundits who have tried to turn the Volt into a political joke. E&E News reported on his comments:
“The unfortunate thing is that because electric cars are very associated with the left-wing environmental green movement to combat global warming and reduce [carbon dioxide], the idea of vehicle electrification triggers this visceral reaction on the part of conservatives — which is, if it’s electric it must be a product of the left-wing, Democratic enviro-political machine, therefore we hate it,” said Lutz, a self-described conservative.
“This is an unfortunate, knee-jerk reaction because what the Volt and other vehicles like it are about is … shifting portions of the American mobile sector onto a more efficient and domestically produced power source,” he said.
“No electric vehicle has ever caught fire [in use], and yet the right is constantly talking about the flammability, overheating, fire hazard of the electric vehicle,” he told the conservative audience. “Folks, it’s pure fiction. Please get it out of your heads.”
Last month, Lutz wrote a column in Forbes lamenting that “all the icons of conservatism are (shock, horror!) deliberately not telling the truth” about the Volt.
Lutz called Charles Krauthammer— his former “hero-figure on the Right” — a member of the “the list of right-wing pundits I no longer take seriously” for claiming that the Volt was an example of Obama’s “interventionist policies.”
In fact, the Volt has been in development since 2006 — two years before Obama was even elected.
Lutz isn’t the only conservative who is roiled by the GOP punditocracy’s campaign against electric vehicles. Last month, Lee Speckerman, another self-professed lover of Fox News, went on the network’s morning show to bash its commentators’ “fetish for demonizing the Volt.” Speckerman argued the Volt was “the iPhone of the American automobile industry.”
Despite the continued attacks and a cycle of very sluggish sales, March was GM’s best sales month ever for the Volt.
** Stephen Lacey is a reporter/blogger for Climate Progress, where he writes on clean energy policy, technologies, and finance. Before joining CP, he was an editor/producer with RenewableEnergyWorld.com. He received his B.A. in journalism from Franklin Pierce University. The original version of this article can be found here.