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Cadillac Presidential Limousine – Click above for high-res image gallery

President Obama's limo is a basically a diesel-powered tank. When he came into office, the new President asked if he could get one with a hybrid drivetrain for his Presidential Topkick Cadillac to go along with his push for greener vehicles across the board. During a recent stop at a North Carolina manufacturing facility that builds battery components for hybrid cars, Obama was asked about the status of his hybrid limo hopes, and admitted that this isn't going to happen.

The reason, the President said, was that the Secret Service rejected his idea "because the cars that I'm in are like tanks," adding "there's a little bit of extra stuff on there." That extra stuff (security stuff, mostly) means the Presidential limo is about two to three times heavier than the average car, according to CBS, and so would not be able to accelerate with a hybrid powerplant. Instead, the limo uses a heavy-duty diesel engine to move around.



[Source: CBS]


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  • 84 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm.... what does the weight of the vehicle have to do with whether an electric motor can accelerate it? I guess all those diesel-electric trains must be a figment of my imagination, because obviously a 10,000 tonne coal train is way too heavy to accelerate with a "hybrid powerplant".

      If it was important, it wouldn't be a big deal to design a hybrid drivetrain with a slightly smaller ICE to fit in the same space.

      (Never mind that the whole thing is silly symbolism. Modifying one car makes essentially zero difference.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those diesel-electric engines used to pull freight run on huge diesel engines to power huge electric motors which drive the wheels and provide the breaking. They are also loaded with batteries which are constantly being recharged. The efficiency found in this type of drive system is in the braking horsepower generated when trying to control a fully loaded freight train that is close to a mile long. They use a lot of diesel fuel to generate the electricity to operate those trains. Some very serious redesign effort (and a lot of money) would be required to create a fuel efficient version for an automobile and it would still run on some form of diesel fuel. POTUS would need a car a lot bigger than the current limos in use.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the economy were better spending some R&D on this might be good. Still good, it would get Americans back to work making a hybrid limo. Create a few green jobs he, the President is always referencing. Hybrid diesel, yes by all means, only biodiesel, our president should not have to get out his wallet and purchase oil from Iran. I can just hear the President of Iran as our President gets him a 20 out of his wallet, "thank you very much, please come again".

        For each dollar increase per barrel of oil the government of Iran gets .9 billion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This got me thinking about the Pope-mobile, that thing is smaller, lighter and doesn't need to go all that far. One would think it should already runs on electrons.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope that it has a start/stop technology and some sort of regen braking. I didnt think having a hybrid drive-system would make sense in a vehicle that big anyways.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hybrid system meant for buses (or super duty trucks) would work... does anybody know the volume of space all that would take up? Remember, the thing needs to fit in a limo that already has a bunch of stuff added in every extra space.

        And it would need to accelerate "in a real big hurry" if needed. GM would need to convince the secret service big time. And neither the secret service nor GM really care.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There are several hybrid diesel/electric and gas/electric busses and trucks on the road, so no, it isn't too big and heavy for hybridization. GM just didn't want to do the engineering that would be needed to fit it into a one-of-a-kind vehicle.
      jshafer111
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give him what he wants, it's not his money. Then vote him out!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sebastian

      I think it is time to lock this thread. The extreme political right has hijacked this blog.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, they all seem to have come over from http://www.politicsdaily.com and/or http://www.popeater.com/

        Both owned by AOL News (including ABG)

        I guess Politics Daily ran a story and linked this thread... now WE have all these wackos getting all political on a blog that is not. This is a green technology blog.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is not the political right that is hijacking this thread. It is all the gas loving wackos from AB. It's ok, it is good to see ignorance alive and well. We simply must do something to get our education up to par in our public schools.
      JOHN
      • 5 Years Ago
      The present limo is amazing. Have you looked at a cut-out of the vehicle? There is a compartment to keep a few pints of the presidents blood. I wonder what the shelf life is for blood, and is it his blood or just the same blood type?.
      kev
      • 5 Years Ago

      OBAMA IS BETTER OFF WITH THE TANK TYPE CAR!! WITH ALL THE REPUBLI=CON NUTS OUT THERE HE IS BETTER OFF!!!!!!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      that jerk hasn't stopped globetrotting on Air Force One needlessly since he took office. Cant wait till we get a real president back in office.
      jshafer111
      • 5 Years Ago
      test
      George
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, lemmie get this straight.... A diesel electric motor will propel a locomotive, but we can't have one power the president's limo 'cause the limo is too heavy? Hmmm....
      jon2334
      • 5 Years Ago
      I drive my excursion made to seat 8 by myself getting only 8 miles to the gallon . I dont recycle i only have cfl lighting because its cheaper on my electricity bill . I have to save a little since i have a house 3 times bigger then i need that requires 3 hvac units . some would say i have a bad carbon footprint . I like to think of it as my own little way of saying screw you AL GORE. I did hear a clicking in my left front tire the other day . it was a smart car that i ran over and didnt realize it . In my part of america you can still choose and i do .
      ammoguy5
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's Used more Jet Fuel then most former presidents already, Yet He wants a greener limo? How bout staying home and saving the TAX Payers a little GREEN TOO!!
      ONE
      BIG
      A$$
      MISTAKE
      AMERICA!!!!
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