Historical EV Quotes by the Car Makers

GM Press release from FEB, 1998

"we plan to have a production-ready hybrid electric vehicle by 2001 and fuel-cell electric vehicle by 2004, or sooner."

Pulling the plug
Car makers scrap electric vehicles

"The auto industry, and that includes GM, sees no future in battery-powered cars," said Donn Walker, a GM spokesman in Thousand Oaks. "The reasons are not technical. The reasons are economic. It's that simple. There's no market for these vehicles."

"Battery-powered cars are a technology whose time has come and gone," Walker said, estimating the car cost his company "north of $1 billion" to develop and would cost each driver more than $120,000 if the leases reflected "the true cost of manufacture."

And that, he said, doesn't even count the substantial R&D expenses it took to create GM's latest trailblazing relic.

San Francisco Chronicle October 10, 2002 full article

GM: Hybrids, Fuel Cells, and the Lawyers - Showtime ETIC 2001 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2001
Ken Stewart, Brand Manager

“We think we’re going to win.” So says General Motors Advanced Technology Vehicles brand manager Ken Stewart of the automaker’s legal challenge to California’s zero emission vehicles sales mandate for 2003, a lawsuit that appeared on the eve of ETIC to the company’s main strategy in battery electric vehicle compliance. GM has made it clear that it sees no viable market for battery EVs. Unlike Ford with its Th!nk vehicles, and DaimlerChrysler with its new Global Electric MotorCars subsidiary, GM has as yet unveiled no product for California in 2003, and instead is suing the California Air Resources Board over the legitimacy of the state’s mandate. “GM has trouble with the direction that CARB has taken,” Stewart understates. “This mandate as it’s been turned around is really not producing cleaner air.” GM’s argument is that battery EVs are too expensive to produce, and if they’re mandated will force up price of other cars. Older dirtier cars won’t get replaced as soon as they otherwise would, and the net result will be dirtier air. “Their mandates don’t create demand,” Stewart says of CARB (which clearly disagrees with the OEM’s assessment). “Their mission is to provide cost-effective solutions for cleaner air,” he says. “We want the freedom to be able to provide cleaner air and better economy through a variety of options.” “We’re bringing out the hybrids,” Stewart says, in reference to electrically assisted light trucks promised for 2004 and beyond, and fuel cells. GM has its own fuel cell development effort, and in recent weeks has gone head-to-head with Ballard over the fundamental quality and power of their respective stacks. Here at ETIC 2001, GM is on the defensive, not only for suing the state over its mandate, but because of word earlier this year that the company would be scrapping some of its older EV1s. The EV1, of course, is GM’s high-performance battery EV1, beloved by the relatively few people that were able to lease them, but never brought into full-scale production. “We’re going to eventually have some vehicles that don’t have any use and these are going to be recycled,” Stewart says, with reclamation of both components and materials. “Nowhere in this plan am I going out and taking cars off the road from customers,” he says, “without the customer requesting it first.” (<- Darell, who's EV1 was taken back under duress, asks that you read that last line again!)

Why is GM Crushing Their EV-1s?
The Continuing Fight against the California ZEV Mandate

Jeff Kuhlman, GM's director of energy and environmental communications was quoted in the Detroit free press as saying "GM can and will crank out another batch of EV1s if the market wants them".

Noel Adams, December 2, 2001 full article

Hybrid Cars Make No Sense.

General Motors Corp. has no plans to try to answer the success of the Toyota Prius, the critically-acclaimed gas/electric hybrid car, said Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman of product development. It just doesn't make environmental or economic sense to try to put an expensive dual-powertrain system into less expensive cars which already get good mileage, Lutz said at the North American International Auto Show.

Toyota insists the Prius will be profitable, but Lutz said he believes the only way a company can shoulder the extra cost of a hybrid system is by putting it on a higher-priced, higher margin vehicle such as a pickup or sport/utility vehicle. He argues that developing hybrid SUVs and pickups will have a great positive environmental impact because those vehicles can save more fuel with hybrid technology than can already fuel-efficient small cars.

Lutz also argues that it doesn't make economic sense for consumers to pay several thousand dollars more for hybrid cars that get up to 30 percent better fuel economy.

"Hybrids are an interesting curiosity and we will do some," he said.

GM: Hybrid Cars Make no Sense January 6, 2004 full article

The delay in consumer sales until after 2010 means Toyota must endure taunts from GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz. He told reporters at the Los Angeles auto show in November that his company will test-drive plug-ins in March 2008 and mass-produce them in November 2010.

``We'll find out who is right -- and whose credibility takes a serious dent,'' Lutz said.

Bloomberg, January 23, 2008

GM did not fail to succeed with the EV1 program. GM succeeded to fail. - Darell Dickey, 2006

Quotes specifically about PHEVs from major auto makers


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