Daily Podcast: In Praise of Bob Lutz
Perhaps I should explain why I gave GM Car Czar Bob Lutz his nickname "Maximum Bob." Nah. Why bother? TTAC's archives are suffused with the demented ramblings, patently absurd pronouncements, wildly inaccurate analysis and stupefying statements of GM's resident bodacious braggadocio. He really is God's gift to TTAC. We [also] thank GM CEO Rick Wagoner for appreciating his own true nature as a Harvard-trained beancounter; a realization that led him to place the entire global product line of the artist once known as the world's largest automaker into the hands of an ill-informed, ADD-addled executive. An automobile executive who couldn't name all VW's brands. But I digress. Automotive News [sub] reports that Lutz is tired of fighting. The Car Czar wants to know why can't we all just drive E85? "There's no reason the automotive industry can't go to 100 percent E85 vehicles, and the world we love doesn't have to change." You see, the thing is, the automotive world already has changed. A funny-looking car called the Prius has outsold the once mighty Ford Explorer– and that's just for starters. Shhhh. Don't tell Bob. TTAC wouldn't be half as interesting without him. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you're a GM employee, dealer, customer or stockholder), it's only a matter of time before Maximum Bob unfurls his bankruptcy-proof golden parachute and floats off into a gilded retirement home (or three), proclaiming himself the architect of GM's product renaissance. He will be missed, but in a different sort of way by a different kind of people. If you know what I mean.
Kevin on Jan 17, 2008
Well I'm ready for a plug-in since my electricity is 100% wind powered, and cheaper than the natural gas electricity I was getting before I switched. However I'm leaning towards thinking a mandate for E-85 fitment (aside from diesels) might not be a bad idea. Do it, eliminate the subsidies, eliminate the tariffs & restrictions on importing sugar-ethanol from Latin America, and see how the market responds with cellulosic ethanol, methanol (which an E85 car could use) and the new sugar industry for all our friends to the south. Of course I know the government won't eliminate the subsidies, but my main question is what's the real cost of fitting cars for ethanol? It's more than ethanol proponents claim, but not sure how much for real
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