Global warming? Don’t blame the electric car  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The SMH has an article on the chief of GM's Volt initiative who, bizarrely, is a climate skeptic - but thinks electric cars are inevitable anyway because of peak oil - Global warming? Don’t blame the car.

Senior General Motors executive Bob Lutz has slammed scientists and environmentalists, saying global warming has little to do with humans and more to do with solar flares and sunspots. The self-confessed petrolhead and man who proudly claims to be a progenitor of the Chevrolet Volt electric car (due in Australia in 2012) still scoffs at global warming.

Lutz, who in 2008 memorably described global warming as a “crock of shit”, once again aired his views while meeting with a group of Australian journalists at the Detroit motor show last week. "I am not going to give a speech on this because everytime I do I get in trouble,” Lutz said, then immediately began explaining his views. ...

So why is Lutz such a strong proponent of the Volt and the electrification of the automobile? Peak oil is the answer.

Lutz argues that continued dependence on oil as demand inevitably increases will simply exacerbate boom and bust economic cycles. That’s especially the case as Chinese car sales grow. In 20 years he estimates the China market will equal the rest of the world combined.

"At that point we have to have alternative drive systems, which to me have to be electric,” Lutz said.


MrMr. Lutz says a lot of things that conflict with his companies stated intentions. And he may think global-warming is or is not caused by man, but no one can deny the massive energy and environmental problems caused by a century of fossil fueled vehicle fleets.

Stating that they have not harmed people or the environment significantly would be a epic lie I do not think even Mr. Lutz would state.
So the whole 'warming/cooling thing is irrelevant'

While I am not sure what kind of person or leader this makes him... I know it does remind me he is just a salesman.

And clearly a great salesman at that... as we continue to write his firms billion dollar checks.

This years prediction in our nation put electric cars at between 1-3% of the US fleet, this would put us in a 'dangerous situation' by 2020 to say the least.

Considering nearly half the US car fleet was electric at the beginning of the century, GM is not the only one who has failed with electric.

I would also point out that without drastic steps in energy and transportation sectors even a world of electric 'commuter cars' will be short lived.

But, predicting our nation can make it past 2030 running on 80-90% fossil fuel fleet... there must be a few salesmen out there even greater than Mr. Lutz ;-)

China is about to start a massive suck of oil for transportation use. India is right there with them. Booming economies are going to see lots of new ICE vehicles on the road and rising demand.

Look for fond thoughts of "the good old days when gas was $5" in the not too distant future.

If the Nissan Leaf really does give us a 100 mile range and if Panasonic can produce a battery that increases that range by 50% and for half the current prices per batteries look for a rapid move away from ICE vehicles. (Panasonic has stated that both will happen within four years or so.)

GM is talking about a Volt EV, simple job - just don't install the ICE part of the PHEV and put in larger battery packs.

Normally it takes about 20 years to essentially turn over our car fleet. But significant rises in gas prices could drastically shorten that two decade 'normal'.

If/when gas prices rise much above $5 look for lots of gas guzzlers heading to the crusher before they are totally used up. Big gas pump prices will make people reluctant to do the multi-hundred dollar repairs to keep their expensive to fuel vehicle on the road.

They'll look at what they are spending each month for gas and decide that the repair money would make a decent down payment on an EV.

Don't worry about supplies of electricity. Charging EVs at night will create off-peak demand and that will greatly increase our installation of wind turbines. Daytime/peak hours can always use more cheap wind power and by creating a larger nighttime/off-peak market profits for wind farms will increase.

More profit = more players.

More activity = more innovation, more efficiencies, and lower costs.

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