Currently reading: Audi boss clarifies Volt attack
Audi America boss doesn't remember calling Volt a car for 'idiots'
1 min read
4 September 2009

Audi of America’s boss Johan de Nysschen has moved to play down his earlier comment that the Chevrolet Volt is "a car for idiots".

De Nysschen made the comment to an American journalist, but has since clarified his stance via Audi USA’s Facebook page.

In the post, he highlighted the economic argument against purchasing GM’s plug-in hybrid family car, but chose not to comment further on the kind of person who might buy one.

“The 50 per cent or so price increase that the Volt represents over a similar gasoline car cannot be off-set through the savings from reduced fuel consumption,” he said.

The Audi boss also acknowledged that his own company is exploring electric power, such as the R8 ePerformance car that is expected to appear at this month’s Frankfurt motor show.

“Let me clearly state that in my opinion, electric vehicles will be part of the future transportation of society – but only if we go about it the right way. In fact, Audi is working on electric vehicles," he said."

De Nysschen also apologised if he had been "unclear" about the fact that he isn’t opposed to electric vehicles, and said he didn't remember specifically saying the Volt is a car "idiots".

Richard Webber

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blowerbentley 6 September 2009

Re: Audi boss clarifies Volt attack

Hear the crunch of gears as Audi boss hastily engages reverse. Was it fast enough to save his job? Who looks the idiot now?

jackjflash 6 September 2009

Re: Audi boss clarifies Volt attack

Clearly there are different philosophies on the best way to build an electric car. Aside from Tesla who got the ball rolling, GM was the first large manufacturer to start a serious electric car effort. GM chose a battery pack that would get the average driver the 40 mile range that he would require and on the occasion that he needed extra range he could still get it using petrol at about 50mpg. The Nissan Leaf and every other Johnny come lately claim a 90 – 100 mile range and that is true if at the end of your journey you have some time to spend waiting for your battery to recharge, if not you have about the same range as the Volt running pure EV because after 50 miles you better turn around and head for home unless you want to sleep in the car waiting for the tow truck. The Volt could replace your current car as your only car, everything thing else is just an over glorified golf cart until charging infrastructure is in place, and even then you would still lack the convenience of a quick fill up on the occasion you needed it. When the price of a battery pack comes down (and it will) and the energy density for batteries increases (and it will) you would have to be an idiot to buy a diesel. There is no denying that the first generation Volt is going to be expensive and only purchased by early adopters, but what first gen technology is not expensive?

beachland2 6 September 2009

Re: Audi boss clarifies Volt attack

that's like saying your jealous of a tramp who finds a £50 note then spends it all on a lottery ticket with a maximum prize of 10p. the synergy is that both are idiots, with deranged expectations. i think GM are running on some kind of subsidy, thats how they are trying to make this work. even comparing electric to electric i have heard that their car has about half the distance range of other upcoming rivals.