I was all set to celebrate General Motor’s (apparently) final decision to slam the door on the gas-guzzling Hummer.
(Yes, GM is bailing on the Hummer.)
Now, I’m not so sure what to do. FoxNews (via the CarConnection) is reporting that GM has twice rebuffed bids by Raser Technologies — a Utah-based engineering firm that has produced electric-conversion 2009 Hummer H3 prototypes, to buy Hummer.
Raser says it wants to do a complete 180 on the Hummer, transforming it from the ultimate anti-green consumer car into a lean, green machine.
The Raser plug-in Hummer H3 is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). It offers specs similar to those of the Chevy Volt--with 40 miles of battery-only operation possible, and a 400-mile driving range in all, with 100-mpg-plus fuel economy possible according to Raser’s estimates.
If the Hummer could be reborn as a comparatively fuel-efficient PHEV, there’s considerable beauty in that, as it would signal — in a powerful way — what could (and I hope will) amount to a sea-shift to electric vehicles.
FoxNews implies that GM might not want a Raser built Hummer PHEV competing with the Chevy Volt PHEV.
I’m not sure what to believe, though I will say that a PHEV version of the Hummer seems, at first glance anyway, intriguing. And it’s the only version of the Hummer I might actively support.
In fact, the Fox story poses a bit of conundrum for Hummer bashers like me — actually, for certain types of use, true off-road use, I’m not completely anti-Hummer; what I am against is using a Hummer, or any gas-hogging vehicle, primarily for single-occupant commuting.
On the one hand, no vehicle better exemplifies American over-consumption than the Hummer (even though there are quite a few vehicles that get worse mileage). Seeing the Hummer killed by GM would be satisfying. Moreover, it would indicate that America is moving toward an era of more fuel efficient vehicles.
On the other hand, if the Hummer could be reborn as a comparatively fuel-efficient PHEV, there’s considerable beauty in that, as it would signal — in a powerful way — what could (and I hope will) amount to a sea-shift to electric vehicles.
Imagine if Raser built a completely elecric version of the Hummer. Then Raser — and consumers who bought it — could park it in front of a home solar array and say it’s a totally air pollution-free Hummer.
That’s a strange image for me to wrap my head around. Then again, there’s a certain poetry to it as well.
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