2012 Chevy Volt Owner Goes Head-To-Head With Fox News, Survives

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2011 Chevrolet Volt on test in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2011

2011 Chevrolet Volt on test in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2011

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If we could name one person who epitomized those who hate electric cars it would be Fox News’ Senior Vice President of Business News and presenter Neil Cavuto -- but in a recent segment on his show Cavuto met his match in the form of 2012 Chevrolet Volt Owner Eric Rotbard.

Playing off the hype and shoddy reporting following the abysmal 20 MPG gasoline-only EPA rating for the 2012 Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid, Cavuto introduced a segment on the 2012 Chevrolet Volt with his usual derisive tones, but soon discovered that interviewee Eric Rotbard wasn’t going to rise to his passive-aggressive ways. 

Cavuto’s first blow came while introducing Rotbard, when he expressed his concern that Rotbard’s 2012 Chevrolet Volt was in the shop, but had it skillfully deflected when Robard disclosed that his car had only been there for a software upgrade intended to improve the car’s gas mileage and performance -- not because it had broken.

Tackling what he claimed was “a lot of money for very little”, Cavuto then tried to unsettle his interviewee with claims that no-one but the Federal government was buying the car, and that the Volt just “didn’t work”. 

But Rotbard stood firm, and dismissed Cavuto’s claims that the Volt was too expensive in a matter-of-fact way. 

“When you buy a car, why does anybody buy a BMW 3 Series?” Robard pointed out, using the similarly-priced German car as a cost-comparison to the Volt.

The interview continues in a similar vein, with Cavuto’s continued efforts to trip up Rotbard drawing carefully thought-out, calm responses. 

By the middle of the interview, Cavuto is clearly troubled by his inability to catch his guest out, and goes for the jugular: the topic of range anxiety. But instead of catching his guest out, Cavuto betrays his own ignorance on the car.

Neil Cavuto Targets Chevrolet Volt Owner Eric Rotbard

Neil Cavuto Targets Chevrolet Volt Owner Eric Rotbard

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“So when you are on the road, or you take a longer trip, where do you charge up?” questions Cavuto, obviously trying to imply that the range-extended plug-in hybrid can’t cope with long distance trips -- despite its ability to travel 379 miles on a full tank of gasoline and a full battery pack. 

By the end of the interview, Cavuto starts with the cheap jokes, asking Rotbard if his Volt had a Flintstone-esque hole in the floor, as well as claiming that in order to fit in the Volt’s rear seats you’d have to be shaped like Gumby

Rather than get caught up by Cavuto’s taunts, Rotbard joins in, joking that that the interest from other road users in his car might be the huge, long lead extending from his car. 

Bringing the interview back on track, Rotbard tells Cavuto about the acceleration of plug-in vehicles, and extolls the virtues of not having to rely on gasoline. 

To end, he politely thanked Cavuto for his interview and said it was “an honor” to be interviewed by the notorious electric-car hater. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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We love the way in which Rotbard kept his composure throughout the six-minute interview, and met each of Cavuto’s smug, disbelieving questions with total calmness. 

Will Cavuto change his opinion of electric and plug-in hybrid cars? It’s unlikely. After all, he’s already attracted more than enough attention -- and his own YouTube showreel -- highlighting the years of negative comments aimed squarely at electric cars. 

But perhaps just this time, Cavuto met his match. 

It seems, just like the school yard, that bullies don’t like it when you fight back. 

How would you deal with an interview about electric cars with someone as jaded as Neil Cavuto? Let us know in the Comments below.


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Comments (14)
  1. Clearly not too much goes on between Mr. Cavuto's ears so maybe Mr. Robart should have turned things around asked Mr. Cavuto some questions like:

    -Why do you think it's better to send huge amounts of money to countries like Iran, Russia and Venezuela than buy a Volt
    - Why do you think it's a better idea to keep betting on fossil fuels which are clearly getting more scarce as the soaring prices indicate than to buy a Volt
    -What do you think is better for your health: driving in a traffic jam made up of gasoline powered vehicles or one that consists of Volts
    -Why is it better that many people die in oil related conflicts (like Iraq) than to buy a Volt

    Questions like that could have spiced up things a bit I think. Still: good job Mr.Rotbard!

  2. Kudos to Ms. Gordon-Bloomfield's article on FOX's negative approach to any industry that challenges fossil fuel. Typical FAUX, I mean FOX, news approach to any technology that competes against the gasser industry.

  3. Fox News - if Obama might like it, we're going to hate it.

  4. @Chris O... Kudos, put extremely well, to say the least. But rational thoughts will not serve you well at Fox News, of course.
    The amazing thing for me is that the neocons (William Kristol very publicly this last week) are now calling for war with Iran due to the alleged Saudi ambassador assassination plot. Yes, yet another Middle East war since the last two have gone so well for us... Let's see, increase in oil prices again, more debt, Iran is worlds above Iraq both militarily and economically, etc...
    The Volt is far from perfect but it's another step in the movement that's necessary.

  5. Let me get interviewed and tell Neil my thoughts! I have been driving a 2012 Toyota Plug in Hybrid and it only comes with 14 miles of EV only range! Know what my gas mileage has been so far? 68 mpg for over 7000+ miles! During its long trips it gets 58 miles per gallon. If I just drive locally it goes up over 99+ mpg! Plug in Hybrids are a blessing for the USA and the world since you can use a regular 120v plug which is available almost anywhere and at 240v can fully charge in 1 1/2 hours! Cut our addiction to foreign oil! Since almost 50% of our oil comes from OPEC countries....just say NO to enriching people that HATE America! Fight back Neil! If you invite me on, I will win the discussion!

  6. Loved how Cavuto just ignored Rotbard's comment about 200 MPG!! Hey, Cavuto, how much mileage is your car getting?

  7. Wow Cavuto came off as a real moron in the interview. As for Cavuto's line about people not buying it, Aren't there still waiting lists?

  8. Mr. Cavuto,

    The Chevy Volt *is* a hybrid car!

    Neil B.

  9. I was called for the interview a couple of hours before it went live (and was at work), so I did not have an opportuntity to research Cavuto's position regarding the Volt. My first inkling that I would not be simply talking about my experiences was 30 seconds before we went live, when he intro'ed the piece by saying something like the reason the Volt is not selling is because it stinks. Also, I did not see what was being aired (like the dealer inventory numbers), because I had to focus on the camera. I don't work for GM, so I really could not comment on actual sales figures or demand (not that I knew them in any event). I could only talk about my experiences with the car and people asking me about it. I had a lot of fun though.

  10. interesting comment abot gaining 50 pounds. I don't know how much you weigh Eric, but I weigh 315lbs. I have a friend who just bought one who weighs over 400lbs. I am very happy with my car, as is he. Another St. Louis Volt owner and I spent over 24 hours at the St. Louis Auto Show educating the public (and Chevy sales force) about the Volt and dispelling myths and misinformation. I have driven my 2012 Volt 3652 miles since November 29 on 11.5 gallons of gas. Analysis of fuel and electricity usage compared to my previous automobile showed a savings of $212 for one 33 day electric billing period. I am on track (at $3.40/gallon) to save over $2500 per year in fuel. Tell Neil to put that in his tail pipe and smoke it!

  11. They should call FOX News "Faux News" instead since it certainly doesn't adhear to unbias reporting like it claims to. My congratulations to Mr Robart for being the better man and not being baited by this obiously biased Mr Cavuto. Imagine if everyone was resistant to innovation and change like Mr Cavuto. We would still be having horse drawn carriages pulling us around. We need to break our reliance on fossil fuels since we are rapidly approaching/ or are in peak oil and soon supply will not be able to keep up with world wide demand or we will find ourselves having to protect our economic interests with our military rather than comming up with our own technological solutions such as full electric vehicles to reduce our dependancy on oil.

  12. Mark: it's Faux "News?", Fairly Unbalanced

  13. Very nice job Robart.

  14. Typo: Rotbard? In any case, very nice job.

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