A Hummer that gets 100 miles to the gallon is virtually unheard of, but Raser Technologies along with Sen. Hatch from Utah displayed a GM H3 that will hopefully push the development of plug-in hybrid technology towards the realm of consumer affordability.
Sen. Hatch showing off the candy apple red H3 to the media.
Given Barack Obama’s recent fuel efficiency standards, vehicle manufacturing companies are putting forth more of an outspoken effort to develop technologies that are cleaner, more efficient, but more importantly, affordable to the common consumer. Alongside the car companies themselves are a multitude of different, more independent groups finding ways to turn current market vehicles into some of the most fuel efficient machines on the road.
Normally when you think of fuel efficient vehicles, GM’s Hummer doesn’t exactly come to mind. But yesterday, Raser Technologies showcased its 100 mile per gallon Hummer with the help of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. Capitol Hill was filled with cameras and journalists as Sen. Hatch test drove the candy apple red H3 plug-in hybrid; the vehicle boasted a little over a 400 mile range without either a charge or a fill-up. Hatch invited his fellow politicians to try out the technology for themselves; he noted how indispensable the development of plug-in hybrids are to weaning the Unites States off of oil while keeping the development of such important technology at home.
Hatch’s personal plea amongst his fellow politicians culminated into a direct appeal to Barack Obama that such technology needs to be fostered, both in the context of short and long term goals in our energy policy. Hatch, who’s been an outspoken advocate of hybrid technology, has high hopes that it’ll become more affordable so that the average hybrid vehicle sold won’t cost much more than its non-hybrid counterpart.
Currently, the GM restructuring plan involves seeing the Hummer brand sold off in China. Hatch urged Obama to prevent the selling of the well known gas-guzzling behemoths, especially since he believes “the US is on the cusp of integrating environmentally friendly and affordable hybrid technologies” into these normally environmentally disastrous vehicles.
Kraig Higginson, chairman of Raser, said that although the current trend is to turn smaller, more compact vehicles into hybrids, there is still little done to address the fact that it’s the utility of SUVs and trucks that some citizens could never live without. Offering a cleaner, more fuel efficient hybrid alternative to the vehicles some Americans need the most may be a key turnaround point within the whole scheme of the plug-in hybrid revolution.
People such as farmers, parents, and business owners aren’t driving gas guzzlers just cause, they’re holding onto them because hybrid technology has yet to make its debut in an affordable manner on the vehicles they need. Hopefully, companies like Raser and politicians like Sen. Hatch can open up some eyes in Washington, D.C. and make vehicles like this a market reality.