September 16, 2012

Regarding the Sept. 13 editorial “Car crash”:

The Chevrolet Volt represents the same level of long-term commitment and investment in other leading American industries such as aerospace, computers and telecommunications. Great companies innovate and show vision and resolve. The technologies that drive the Volt — and will be adapted for use on our future cars and trucks — offer solutions to reduce our dependence on imported oil, address carbon dioxide and help save consumers money at the pump.

We believe that these trends will increasingly influence the market, and we accept that fuel economy and emissions rules will become stricter globally, so there’s a huge cost associated with not doing vehicles such as Volt.

Other automakers developing electric vehicles and plug-ins have the same challenge of commercializing these technologies profitably. But we have a head start and a clear lead in key areas of design, manufacturing and marketing, which are things we’ll use to our advantage.

No doubt other countries and our competitors would like nothing more than for us to heed The Post’s forecast that “there is no [EV] market, or not much of one” a mere 700 days into the Volt’s launch. Be assured, we are not that shortsighted.

Selim Bingol, Detroit

The writer is vice president for global communications for General Motors.

●It’s far too early to declare that electric vehicles are “failing.” Sales of electric cars are already outpacing the initial sales of now-popular hybrid vehicles, and more major automakers will introduce new models over the next two years.

Electric vehicles won’t solve all our problems, but they are a promising component of a broader strategy to reduce our oil dependence and the carbon emissions changing our climate and contributing to extreme weather.

There’s always room to quibble, particularly in hindsight, about the wisdom of particular public investments. But the reality is that most of the investment to date in electric vehicle technology has been private, not public. The industry remains strongly committed, and consumer interest is growing.

Now is not the time to pull the plug.

Eileen Claussen, Arlington

The writer is president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.