Hummer Fades Away

Back in 2008 we wrote here that the SUV is dying and now in 2010 the Hummer has met its doom. You ready for this?

General Motors has stopped making Hummers and selling the brand is really hard.

Now that’s good news!

General Motors Co. failed to win approval from Chinese regulators to sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., said two people briefed on the deal.

A government agency indicated that it won’t provide approval for Chengdu, China-based Tengzhong to purchase the Hummer line of sport-utility vehicles from GM in China, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public.

Keep reading at Bloomberg.

There is still a chance, albeit quite slim, that the Hummer brand could live on.

Thanks to Dan!

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SUVs in the USA are Dying

I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time. Please bare with me here.

THE DEMAND FOR SUVs IS DECREASING IN THE USA.

That feels good to write. You should try it. One of the biggest symbols of waste, greed, ignorance, and arrogance is starting to fade away in the country that consume the most energy and pollution. It cannot be ignored that this is a direct result of the price of gas.

Toyota has announced that they are shifting their production plant that produces Highlanders to producing Prius cars. That’s right their factory making SUVs will now be making hybrids.

The company also announced that as of August 8, it will temporarily suspend the production of the Sequoia SUV and the Tundra pick-up — along with the production of the V8 engines that power them.

And it’s not alone. GM recently announced that it too is closing four truck plants and focusing on smaller cars for good, after total vehicle sales sank 18 percent in June. On top of that, it said it’s considering selling off its Hummer brand, whose future is hanging by a thin thread.
But GM wasn’t quite the worse performer in June. That honor belongs to Ford, which saw a drop in sales of 28 percent.

Meanwhile, US sales of the Toyota Prius took a giant hit of 26 percent in the month of June — after dealers ran short of inventory and customer waiting lists grew to six months from its soaring popularity.

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Hummers More Green Than Hybrids?

hummer

You may have heard of the urban rumors that argue Hummers have less of an environmental impact than hybrids because of toxic batteries used in hybrids. So are hybrids more damaging to the environment than Hummers?

The answer is a definitive no.

You can disprove most of the false claims by doing a bit of math. Regarding the hybrid battery, let’s say a Hummer is driven 200,000 miles in its lifetime. Its EPA rating is 14 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. Let’s be real generous and assume it is driven only on the highway at a reasonable speed, yielding the maximum mileage. Divide 200,000 by 18, and you’re talking 11,111 gallons of gas.

Next let’s calculate the Btus in that amount of gasoline and convert them to kilowatt-hours. Gasoline has between 115,000 and 125,000 Btus per gallon, so the Hummer would burn through about 1.3 billion Btus over those 200,000 miles. Since there are 3,412 Btus in a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy, this would convert to almost 400,000 kilowatt-hours, which, at the rock-bottom price of five cents per kilowatt-hour, would be about $20,000, or almost as much as the price of a Prius. If the energy to make the hybrid battery came from fuel oil, which has around 140,000 Btus per gallon, it would take an estimated 9,524 gallons of oil to match the Hummer’s 1.3 billion Btus. At $2 a gallon, that’s also about $20,000.

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Wired Reviews Greenmobiles

Wired magazine has a short look at what green cars one can buy now. Specifically the technology behind the autos.

“You’re ready to kick carbon to the curb, but you’re not sure which kind of car will work best for you. With oil prices spiking, temperatures rising, and the public crying for relief, automakers are scrambling to offer consumers alternatives to pollution-spewing gas-guzzlers. Here are the specs on the best available technologies – flex-fuel, diesel, and hybrid.”

They are also reporting that hybrid technology may safe SUVs, but probably not for Londoners.

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Congestion Charging

“Complete idiots” will be charged more in London. To be more exact, the city of London has decided to charge a higher congestion fee for SUVs. According to the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, SUV drivers are “complete idiots”.

The reasoning behind this move to charge SUVs more is rather elaborate. One of the reasons is that it was recently found that in the US 11.5% of pedestrians hit by SUVs are killed, smaller vehicles kill only 4.5% of pedestrians hit. Londoners also are fans of SUVS, 14.9% of car sales are SUVS, which is much higher than other English cities. Drivers of vehicles more friendly to the environment will have a reduced congestion fee.

London’s congestion fee has been wildly successful and hopefully this addition to it will be too.

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