Volt Birth Watch 5: Toyota and GM Play the Dozens
The gloves are off; GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and Toyota's U.S. VP for Communications, Irv Miller, are having an alternative powerplant smackdown. On a company web site today, Miller wrote "the advanced lithium-ion batteries that the Volt would use, batteries suitable for the long-term rigors of everyday automotive use, don't exist" while pointing out the Prius uses "market-ready" technology. Lutz, never one to let facts come between him and his opinions, still insists the Volt will be ready for the market in 2010. He countered Miller's remarks in an interview with Bloomberg at the Frankfurt Auto Show: "People have a very simplistic [view]: Toyota … are saving the planet from certain destruction, whereas General Motors … is the anti-Christ that's trying to plunge us into the abyss. The only way we can get out of that is by being more environmental and leading with more environmental technology than Toyota." Uh, hello? Bob? It's hard to lead when you're relying on technology that doesn't exist yet– and that the competition has publicly stated they'll also adopt, you know, as soon as someone invents it.