The ex-honcho at GM, Ford and Chrysler says the EV movement in the US came ‘too soon, too fast’ – pushing his drivers back to humble hybrids.

The ex-honcho at GM, Ford and Chrysler says the EV movement in the US came ‘too soon, too fast’ – pushing his drivers back to humble hybrids.

The ex-honcho at GM, Ford and Chrysler says the EV movement in the US came ‘too soon, too fast’ – pushing his drivers back to humble hybrids.

Electric vehicle (EV) production in the US came “too soon” and “too fast” according to auto veteran Bob Lutz, a former executive at Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

Speaking to Fox Business, Lutz said most auto executives agree that a steady EV “evolution” is better than a sudden one. EV “revolution.”

That is because the country does not have the infrastructure – in terms of charging stations and capacity in the electricity grid – to support rapid and widespread. transition to electric vehicles.

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Drivers who jumped on the EV bandwagon have he discovered this lack of infrastructure the hard way. Social networking sites and internet forums are full of complaints about the poor range of EVs, lack of public charging stations, and increasing speed. car insurance costsamong other things – and that’s it after they have already paid for a fully electric car.

But Lutz, who has a firm finger on the pulse of this low-pressure industry, told it Fox Business he thinks there is a solution to the nation’s EV challenges.

EV ‘evolution’

The solution — “very strange,” according to Lutz — is to refocus on hybrid cars, which came before electric cars, “then they went out and now they’re back.”

Hybrid cars experienced a international success in the early 2000s, when the Toyota Prius became the world’s first mass-produced hybrid EV. It was an instant hit thanks to its fuel efficiency and quickly spawned a series of similar vehicles from rival manufacturers, such as the Honda Insight, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Chevrolet Bolt.

That hybrid spirit had a blip at the time Tesla entered the market in 2006 and gradually released a series of luxury, electric cars.

“All electricity attracted more environmentalists and wealthy liberals with ideas for social change on the east coast and the west coast of the United States,” Lutz claimed. “They bought Teslas as if they were going out of style.”

But despite reducing their CO2 emissions and possibly even enjoying it EV tax creditsMany owners of these green cars have quickly become frustrated due to the country’s slow progress towards building an EV infrastructure.

These limitations – which the federal government is trying to address it — have pushed EV drivers back toward hybrid vehicles, according to Lutz.

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An incomplete solution

Lutz said hybrid vehicles are a “wonderful … intermediate step” in the EV evolution. They’ve proven they’ve successfully transported Americans 20 to 50 miles, using the electric part of the engine — which covers “a lot of travel for a lot of people,” Lutz said.

“And after that, you have a gasoline engine and an internal combustion engine that will take you throughout your journey and you will never run out of electricity,” he added. “You can fill a (gas) tank in five minutes (and enjoy) all the good benefits of internal combustion.”

But there is one big problem when it comes to hybrids: the cost of production (which is almost always passed on to consumers).

“You have an internal combustion engine, a petrol engine and all that goes with it, all the emissions controls that are very expensive – and at the same time, you have the lithium ion battery pack and all the control systems,” he said. Lutz.

“It takes a lot of engineering effort to get an electric train and a gasoline train to work together so seamlessly that (drivers) don’t know if one is working or the other.”

By the end of 2023, hybrid vehicles made up nearly 10% of new car sales, a share that has more than doubled since 2020, according to US Energy Information Administration.

This leaves car manufacturers with a difficult choice. There is a huge demand for hybrids, but automakers in the United States must measure the cost of starting their business to make electric cars (hybrid and fully electric) against the large sales of gas cars and meet the demands of shareholders to get profit.

Faced with such a problem, Lutz thinks “for the near future, (hybridization is) how the power supply will be.”

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