Former Big-Three auto legend exposes the ‘colossal mistake’ made with America’s EV push

If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely not the owner of an electric car.

According to Experian data, as of the third quarter of 2023, only 1% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. are electric. Former Big Three automotive executive Bob Lutz explained why the EV push isn’t resonating with buyers or suppliers to Fox News Digital. 

“The idea of EVs, gradually, adoption over time, with ever longer battery range, ever quicker recharge time, so that over the next couple of decades, EVs take a bigger and bigger slice of the pie, that’s fine. But trying to get it done overnight was a colossal mistake, and it just plain is not going to work,” Lutz said.

Keeping in mind that the EV debate has become a “politically charged” subject, Lutz argued that legitimate pros exist in terms of driving an electric car, but there seems to be more cons in today’s market.


“We’ve had 125 years to perfect the internal combustion engine, and we’ve had roughly 15 years so far on doing modern electric vehicles with modern batteries,” Lutz said. “Electric vehicles are fun, they drive well, they’re silent, they’re fast.”

Bob Lutz on electric vehicle mistake

Former Ford, Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz speaks to Fox News Digital about the market and political polarity around electric vehicles. (Getty Images)

EVs also have fewer moving parts, their brake systems are more durable and, overall, it’s intelligent technology, according to Lutz, but they’re expensive and unreliable when it comes to charging.

An energy report released last October by the Texas Public Policy Foundation concluded that EVs would cost tens of thousands of dollars more if not for generous taxpayer-funded incentives: the average model year 2021 EV would cost approximately $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without the staggering $22 billion in taxpayer-funded handouts that the government provides to electric car manufacturers and owners.

Additionally, as of December, only eight EV chargers were reportedly being built with funds from President Biden’s infrastructure law that earmarked $7.5 billion for 500,000 chargers nationwide.

“Tesla and many other electric vehicles nowadays, as far as design, road behavior and so forth, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s just that the American public is stubborn, and they happen to like gasoline engines,” Lutz said. “It’s just a question of convenience and infrastructure.”

Just over one year ago, Toyota’s president and chairman was forced to resign after telling the Wall Street Journal that he questioned whether the push for the auto industry to phase out gas-powered vehicles was the right decision.

“Turns out he was right,” the former Big Three exec reacted. “So all we’re seeing is that everybody is pulling back on their EV programs. And both Jim Farley of Ford and I believe Mary Barra of General Motors have said: we have to admit, we were all consumed in this wave of EV euphoria, and we all thought it was going to happen much faster than it actually did.”

“But they’re flexible. They’re still making predominantly internal combustion engines. So, as long as production facilities are still there for internal combustion vehicles, which they manifestly are, they’ll still keep producing gasoline-powered Explorers and Equinox,” Lutz expanded, “despite the government’s best efforts to make these things go away as fast as possible, which is not going to happen.”


The former exec also made the distinction that a liberal, environmentally focused crowd is “pushing the heck out of” EVs, while conservatives typically “reject” EVs as another example of government control.

“A lot of it’s become like Second Amendment gun rights, you know, ‘Nobody is going to take my gasoline powered pickup truck away from me, and they’ll have to come and get it at the same time that they pry my shotgun out of my cold, dead hands,’” Lutz said.

“One of the reasons why EV sales are down is because center-right conservative America is beginning to see them as a political statement, that if you buy an EV, it kind of means that you’re siding with the Biden administration on their environmental and social policies,” he emphasized. “And many Americans don’t want to do that.”

Pointing to a “long-term positive trend,” the self-deemed “father” of the first extended range EV believes the solution includes segmented improvements when it comes to mileage and charging supply over the next 10 years.

He also advised current and future executives and CEOs to use their resources and look ahead three to four years to consumer demands, but admitted “nobody is very good at that.”


“Don’t over-plan. Your best friend is the ability to react fast and keep your flexibility so that you can keep your options open and swing with the marketplace,” Lutz said.

“I’m hoping that common sense will prevail regardless of political parties. EVs will be available… the issue of range anxiety, recharge times, the number of recharging stations, all of that is going to be handled over time, and internal combustion engine vehicles will gradually decline in importance as the EVs increase.”


FOX Business’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.