General Motor’s Bob Lutz, the exec that helped lead GM while it was being vilified in “Who Killed the Electric Car,” is now being lauded for leading production of GM’s Chevy Volt, a plug-in electric car due out in 2010. Newsweek writes a standard turn-around story about Lutz and GM’s electric ambitions, but the part of the article that sticks out in my mind, after covering Silicon Valley’s cleantech community closely, was Lutz’s nod to Tesla.
Lutz says that when he proposed the idea of the Volt back in 2003, he had no support, so when Silicon Valley’s electric vehicle startup Tesla first launched in 2006, he took the move as a call to arms:
“That tore it for me,” says Lutz. “If some Silicon Valley startup can solve this equation, no one is going to tell me anymore that it’s unfeasible.”
Tesla may be behind schedule on full production of its vehicles, but clearly the Silicon Valley tradition of disrupting traditional industries remains in full force.