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Tesla is Still Best-selling Electric Car for 2013 : News : Headlines & Global News

Bob Lutz has worked for BMW, Ford, Chrysler and, most famously, General Motors, where he served as vice chairman until 2009 before retiring from GM altogether in 2010.

He now serves on the board of Utah-based VIA Motors, which will soon start production on an extended-range electric truck, cargo van and passenger van using a similar powertrain to the Chevrolet Volt. The VIA Motors VTRUX can travel 40 miles as a pure electric vehicle and up to 400 miles using a gas generator.

The 81-year-old Lutz talked about his legacy and his latest business venture in a recent interview.

Q.: Do you think the Volt should have been a truck, not a sedan?

A: We started at the wrong end. The whole automotive industry made the intellectual mistake of thinking EVs were all about maximum range, so we all started with small vehicles that are basically very economical anyway. Yes, you do save fuel. You can use a smaller battery, but it makes less sense to take a 40 mpg vehicle and make it electric than it does to take a full-size pickup or SUV, which in town realistically gets 11 to 12 mpg. If you take that to 100 mpg, now you’re really saving money and saving a scarce natural resource and reducing CO2 emissions drastically.

The realization came to me suddenly late that the right place to electrify is at the heavy end, with full-size pickups and SUVs, which America loves but which are a somewhat endangered species with fuel-economy regulations.

Q: Do you think electric vehicles would have the same marginalized, tree-hugging reputation if they had started with pickups instead of small passenger vehicles?

A: It would have changed it. Bigger trucks are the only electrified vehicles that I know of that make instant economic sense because the fuel saving is so large that you will more than get back your monthly lease price.


Tesla is Still Best-selling Electric Car for 2013

By Julie S | Dec 29, 2013 04:41 PM EST

Tesla Motors’ Model S sedan, amidst multiple fire issues, is still 2013’s best selling electric car. (Photo : Reuters)

Tesla Motors’ Model S sedan, amidst multiple fire issues, is still 2013’s best selling electric car.

According to the Seattle Times, despite federal investigations involving three Model S cars that went on fire in October and November, one by collision and two after hitting objects on the streets, the company’s array of electric cars prove to be the most sought after cars for this year.

The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), a trade group based in Washington, D.C., said that it expects to see a nearly 100 percent increase in the plug-in and battery electric cars compared to 2012’s sales.

However, though the sales augmented that much, it is still fewer than 100,000 vehicles, in a year when the automobile industry aims to reach 15 million sales.

The total sales clearly bring a positive sight for many environmentalists. However, the high points of 2013 were sometimes counterbalanced by impediments. One example would be the subdued sales of EV models and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid that prompted automakers to cut down its prices by thousands of dollars.

Along with that, Tesla’s Model S sedan showed that it could stand on its own in the automobile market, gaining total sales of more or less 20,000 cars in the U.S.

It has been a successful year for Tesla so far. In August, Tesla Model S has received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which proves that it is one of the safest vehicles in the U.S. The 5.4 star rating to be exact, means that the Tesla Model S has the lowest possibility of causing injuries to its passengers. The electric sedan is joining the one percent group of cars awarded by NHTSA with a similar rating in the safety category.

A few weeks after the award from the federal agency, the California New Car Dealers Association released a report showing that Tesla S sold more units compared to luxury cars in the area leaving behind Porsche, Land Rover, and Volvo. Come November, revealed that the Model S has become the newest favorite in the U.S wealthy communities.

Evidence that Tesla S has been in-demand is the rapid broadening of public charging stations. There were 6,712 charging stations in the United States in mid-December, the Energy Department.

This year, said Eric Evarts, senior associate autos editor at Consumer Reports in an e-mail to the Seattle Times, is the year in which electric vehicles have “captured the public imagination” and turn out to be “more practical for the mainstream.”

Copyright @ Headlines & Global News.


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