Elon Musk And Bob Lutz Mix It Up On Charlie Rose

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

From the first part of this clip from Bob Lutz and Elon Musk’s recent appearance on the Charlie Rose, in which the two discuss “The CO2 Thing,” you might guess that the two are at odds with each other. After all, Bob’s the gruff, “Global Warming is Bullshit” type and Elon is the sensitive, change-the-world type. But by the end of this brief clip, the two industry mavericks are falling all over themselves with mutual admiration. But then, both have learned from the other (however indirectly) over the past few years: Lutz’s legacy of the Volt was in part motivated by Musk’s endeavor, and Musk himself has a lot more respect for Detroit’s “old school” manufacturing know-how now that his firm is actually trying to build its own cars in volume. It’s a study in contrasts watching these two iconoclasts from such separate worlds going at it… and yet you get the distinct impression that these two guys aren’t quite as different as you might think.

Watch the complete Musk-Lutz interview here.

Watch Lutz’s one-on-one interview here.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Russification Russification on Nov 11, 2011


    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Nov 11, 2011

      I caught that interview on Bloomberg later that night. Lutz was trying to sell his new book and was the first to appear. In the second half Musk also made an appearance and was hawking his new, lower priced, sedan for the masses. But at $50K-$100K it isn't going to work for the masses. Not now, not 20 years from now. These interviews are designed to elicit controversy and so it was when Lutz praised his accomplishments while at GM, and Musk put the PR spin on Tesla. You gotta take this hype with a ton of salt. They each had their own agenda. You're gullible if you accept everything they said at face value. I don't buy into electric cars at all, and certainly not as a means of transportation 20-30 years from now. There simply are just too many fossil fuels still untapped and for those worried about CO2 gases, plant trees! All in all I found the entire interview entertaining but it glossed over a lot of the problems GM and Tesla had to overcome to get where they are today, bail out and loans notwithstanding. Of the two, Elon Musk was clearly the more impressive because he is currently actively involved in three different ventures and is considered successful by any measure. I do not agree with bailing out failed companies like GM and Chrysler. The US tax payers will never recoup the money lost on those two losers unlike the bail out of the US financial industry whose business it is to actually make money. Loaning tax payer money to Tesla for long-term electric vehicle development 20-30 years down the road? Lost cause. Look at the difference: Volt gets 40 miles on battery. Tesla gets 200 miles. How about putting the Tesla batteries in the Volt? As if..... Keeping the UAW working is not high on my support list either even if it is at the old NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, because we have a thriving auto manufacturing industry in the US that does not involve the UAW. And that in itself is a good thing. That's the same illogical category as lending money to a Russian billionaire to refurb a plant in Michigan to make a type of lightweight steel that is already made in the US by other manufacturers. Separate worlds, maybe. Same government teat? Definitely! Kudos to Charlie Rose! Brilliant expose.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Nov 12, 2011

    So much love and respect in the room... I wonder how much longer before Lutz goes to work for Tesla.

  • Herm Herm on Nov 12, 2011

    Both interviews were fascinating.. Lutz needs to get some cough drops and take care of himself.. love ya you old marine!.. and Musk did a good job.. he usually is not a good public speaker being today's uber geek. He has an excellent point on AGW, one that straddles the line between the Deniers and the Believers very well.

  • Eldard Eldard on Nov 12, 2011

    Ah, Tesla. Never thought I'd see the day when another automaker will be more delusional than GM.