Worried that the Obama Administration's latest CAFE requirements will put the hurt to big trucks? Fret not, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has got your back. At an event held in the nation's capital, Hatch got the chance to pilot the extended-range electric HUMMER H3 from Raser Technologies that was debuted at the SAE World Congress earlier this year.
According to Hatch (via Green Car Advisor), "[This electric H3] is specifically designed for America's best-selling vehicle class -- SUVs and trucks," and he further states that efforts to help the U.S. auto industry recover "must address our real need for larger vehicles."
Ignoring the comment about SUVs and trucks being the most popular class of vehicles, which isn't entirely accurate, we agree with Hatch's assessment that there are some Americans that really do need these large vehicles, though that number is likely extremely small.
That said, Raser's HUMMER EV is an impressive piece of engineering. Using a 2.0-liter GM-supplied turbocharged and direct injected four-cylinder engine driving a 100 kW generator, this particular H3 can travel 40 miles at a time without using a single drop of gas and another 400 miles after the gas tank runs dry. For what it's worth, if driven 60 miles per day – 40 miles on the battery plus 20 miles with the range-extender humming away – Raser estimates its H3 will return 100 mpg.
Still, the simple truth is that the same drivetrain combination in a more efficient vehicle platform will return even better figures, or, alternatively, the same figures with a smaller battery pack. In fact, assuming the Fisker Karma and Chevy Volt hit the market as planned, that's exactly what will happen. Click past the break for a video of Raser's H3 in action.