More news from the Society of Auto Engineers World Congress here in Detroit. Bob Lutz, GM’s refreshingly outspoken vice chairman, had recently challenged environmentalists who claim that automakers can make alternative fuel vehicles but are engaged in a conspiracy with oil companies (really!) to withhold them.
Said Lutz in a Wall Street Journal interview: “This is a challenge I want to put out to people who think they have a solution, and are so much smarter than we are. Let them come and see us. If the technology were readily and easily available, what on earth would our motive be for withholding it?”
Well, at SAE this week, one David Friedman of the Union of Concerned Scientists answered the challenge, claiming to Lutz in an arranged meeting that GM could build a minivan that would reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent at just $300 per vehicle! Well, maybe. . . but no one would buy it. Which presumably is what Lutz explained since Friedman told the Detroit News
after the meeting that the two sides remained at “loggerheads.” Lutz left the talking to GM spokesman Chris Preuss who gave the press this beaut: “The challenge with the environmentalists is that there is a complete lack of business and technical experience from which they can draw conclusions.” Translation: They’re full of it.