'Chevy Volt critics are just flat-out wrong!'

So says long-time Chicagoland car dealer Chuck Frank in a commentary published in the Chicago Sun-Times last month.

"I bought my Volt not because I'm a former Chevy dealer, but because it is a fabulous car," Frank said.

The ride is quiet and smooth and his passengers love it, he reports.

"I also love my Volt because, like all electric cars, it helps curb what President George W. Bush called our addiction to oil," according to the commentary. "The more people drive electric cars, the less we have to rely on other countries -- including some troubling ones -- for oil. We also pollute less and contribute less to climate change."

But Americans should care about the electric-vehicle industry not only for the environmental and national security benefits of using less imported oil, he argues.

"American automakers need to stay in the ballgame if they want to remain competitive in the world market and create new jobs," Frank said.

"Let's recognize the Volt for what it is: an innovative cutting-edge technology that is helping to re-establish the U.S. as a worldwide leader in the automotive industry. . . . And it is, quite simply, one terrific car."