Bob Lutz, the “unlikely father of the Chevrolet Volt,” was General Motors product manager at the time of the cars inception, but now the former GM exec says they got the Volt all wrong.
When asked by the Seattle Times if the Volt should have been a truck rather than a sedan, Lutz said that General Motors “started at the wrong end.” He said that because small cars are already very economical, it’s hard to justify a large price jump for a limited increase in fuel economy. However, pickup trucks, which realistically get about 11-12 mpg in the city, have a larger margin for fuel savings.
“It makes less sense to take a 40 mpg vehicle and make it electric than it does to take a full-size pickup or SUV, which in town realistically gets 11 to 12 mpg,” said Lutz. “If you take that to 100 mpg, now you’re really saving money and saving a scarce natural resource and reducing CO2 emissions drastically.”
It’s hard to say if Maximum Bob is speaking from the heart or plugging his current employer. Since his departure from GM, Lutz has been sitting on the board of VIA Motors, which makes hybrid electric trucks, SUV’s and vans. They showed their VTrux concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, which is a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado with VIA’s own plug-in electric powertrain. The truck can travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone and another 300 miles from the energy generated from the 4.3 liter V6 engine.