GM Vice Chairman Gives Props to Tesla For Blazing Electric Car Trail

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During this morning’s 2009 LA Auto Show keynote, GM’s Bob Lutz, often known for saying what’s truly on his mind, strayed from the script a bit and came right out and gave a gracious and sincere thank you to start-up competitor Tesla for paving the way with the Roadster EV and showing that the political will existed to bring electric cars to market.

In the same keynote where he announced that California will be the first test market in which the Volt will be sold, Lutz singled out the California start-up auto maker for heralding in the EV revolution. “In 2006, I can only think of one company that was openly planning to build an electric vehicle based on lithium-ion technology, and that was Tesla,” he remarked. “They gave us a major impetus and I’m thankful to Tesla for furnishing the proof that was needed for those of us who championed the Volt within GM that other people believed in lithium-ion technology as well.”

Most of Lutz’ speech was focused on the dawning age of the electrification of the automobile. “The automobile industry can no longer rely on oil to supply 98 percent of the world’s automotive energy requirements,” he said, adding that finding alternative sources of propulsion from a diversity of energy sources is “a business necessity and an obligation to society.”

Lutz concluded by saying that that the electrification of the automobile will be as important in history as the transition from “horses to horsepower” was.

Image Credit: GM

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.