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The Chevrolet Volt Should Have Been a Pickup Truck, Says Bob Lutz

Back in 2008, while serving as president of Global Product Development for GM, Bob Lutz said that the electrification of the automobile “is inevitable”. Shortly after, he pushed for the development of the Chevrolet Volt, America’s top selling plug-in electric car.
2011 Chevrolet Volt 1 photo
Despite the vehicle’s success, Lutz says that General Motors shouldn’t have engaged in a battle against Toyota in the compact car segment, but build a hybrid pickup truck instead.

“We started at the wrong end. The whole automotive industry made the intellectual mistake of thinking EVs were all about maximum range, so we all started with small vehicles that are basically very economical anyway. Yes, you do save fuel. You can use a smaller battery, but 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. If you take that to 100 mpg, now you’re really saving money and saving a scarce natural resource and reducing CO2 emissions drastically,” Lutz told The Seattle Times.

“The realization came to me suddenly late that the right place to electrify is at the heavy end, with full-size pickups and SUVs, which America loves but which are a somewhat endangered species with fuel-economy regulations,” the former chairman of General Motors North America added.

Bob Lutz’s plan to develop pickup trucks took shape recently at VIA Motors, a company he joined as chairman in 2011. The manufacturer is set to offer hybrid trucks, SUVs and vans based on GM’s Silverado, Suburban and Express models.


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