Who said Hummers are one of the most gas guzzling and uneconomical SUV’s around? I actually use to say that all the time until now. A Utah company, Raser Technologies, has converted a Hummer H3 into a 100mpg extended range vehicle good for about 40 miles.
Today posted on Wired.com’s blog is a write-up about this new mammoth that was one of the most criticized vehicles when it comes to fuel efficiency. Raser Technologies says this vehicle should push 90mph and still have off-road capabilities. It has a lithium ion battery that can be charged in 3 hours. The company has also said they will be converting upwards of 2000 of these big SUV’s by the end of the year.
So why start with a Hummer in making it an EV or extended range electric vehicle?
Below is a short excerpt from wired.com’s blog answering that very question:
Because SUVs are popular but get lousy fuel economy, they’re great candidates for electrification, said Jim Spellman, company vice president. Spellman came to Raser from General Motors, where he worked on the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid.
“SUVs and trucks are the number one selling vehicle in America,” he said. “Unlike the Prius, which is a mild hybrid vehicle, an eco-friendly SUV will get people’s attention.”
Spellman says there are practical reasons as well: Trucks are big enough to package the gasoline engine, electric motor and lithium-ion batteries without radically altering the bodywork or designing an all-new vehicle.
“Unlike the Volt and other hybrid cars we didn’t have to build an entire car around the battery packs,” Spellman said. “There was plenty of room in the back of the Hummer to install them, and they don’t affect the ground clearance of the vehicle.”