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September 4, 2009

Audi of America president calls Chevy Volt "a car for idiots," slams electric vehicles

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When an automotive executive says something brash and outrageous, we sometimes call it “Going Lutz.” The green car world has it’s own special phrase – “Going Musk” – and we always look forward to the next item that makes us go, “Huh? Really?” They’re so much more exciting than the daily press releases.

Today’s edition might make people use “Going Johan.” Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen, a big diesel vehicle fan, recently gave veteran auto journalist Lawrence Ulrich a few choice morsels about how terrible electric cars, including the Chevy Volt, are.

To start, he said the Volt is “a car for idiots.” It’s too expensive, he said, adding that “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla. So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.” He predicted that the Volt will fall fail, which will cause the federal government to have to step in and subsidize the Volt in order to save face and boost sales.

As for pure electric vehicles? “They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.” de Nysschen isn’t completely against plug-in hybrids, but believes that diesel technology should be a much bigger piece of the puzzle (big surprise, considering Audi’s diesel push). He also claimed that a huge shift to EVs will give us a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions thanks to all of the coal powered power plants. He can have his opinion on the Volt, but science tells us that he’s wrong about the CO2 emissions.

UPDATE: as several readers have pointed out, Audi is, of course, going to
introduce an electric car concept in Frankfurt in a few weeks. Perhaps de Nysschen will change his tune by then.

[Source: Exhaust Notes]

Audi of America president calls Chevy Volt “a car for idiots,” slams electric vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 03 Sep 2009 11:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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