By on April 14, 2009

“The Hummer H3 ReEV is the first range-extended electric vehicle based on a full-sized SUV,” powertrain developers FEV claim ahead of an unveil at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) hoe-down. Yes, on April 20, the world will be shocked—shocked!, I tell you— as FEV’s Hummer H3 Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (ReEV) proves that a “Raser scalable plug-in series hybrid design provides 40+ miles all-electric range and 100+ mpg fuel economy.” FEV says it performed the full vehicle integration (i.e., built the thing)  and developed all software for the hybrid control unit and in-vehicle graphical display. Sweet! But I’m not sure what differentiates the FEV mule from a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, or an Dodge Aspen Hybrid—other than the possibility that the gas – electric HUMMER H3 may be slower than continental drift with a top end that just about beats walking while stuffed to the rooftop with batteries. But apparently not . . .

Propulsion comes from Raser’s 200 kW traction motor mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Raser’s 100 kW generator, driven by a 2.0L SIDI turbocharged engine, provides electrical power. Although a full-sized SUV, the concept has been achieved with only minimal sacrifice of acceleration performance, cargo space, or towing capacity.

Hang on: does an H3 have cargo space?

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13 Comments on “100 mpg HUMMER H3?...”


  • avatar
    Ingvar

    And then somebody woke up? And the blanket was all soiled?

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    So they use funky math to make up a completely random fuel economy figure. Big deal. Somehow all those series hybrid makers do it, Fisker comes to mind.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    what a happy dream!

  • avatar
    Kman

    No, no, no, no, no… [shakes head]

    This reminds me of the mid-eighties. Healthy living and eating were becoming mainstream. Pastries as a snack were evil. Someone came up with The Muffin, and it was healthy. Leg-warmer-wearing gym-rats everywhere had The Muffin as a snack.

    Then places started making “tastier” muffins… by adding fat, sugars, coatings, sauces, fudges… until they became a cake made in a muffin pan. I.e. destroying the whole point.

    And I second the “funky math” mentioned by Mirko Reinhardt being used by all these plugin guys.

  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    Lipstick, meet pit-bull.

  • avatar
    Tony C

    Since WHEN is a Hummer H3 a “full-sized SUV”? Isn’t it based off the mid Trailblazer platform? I’d think it’d have to be based on a Suburban to be considered “full-sized”.

    And their electric powertrain with gas “generator” smacks of a Volt-type arrangement — that’s the only reason they can pretend to claim “100+ MPG”. But if a Volt doesn’t break the three-digit barrier, how can an overweight, supersized Tonka truck pull it off?

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    @ Tony C: The H3 isn’t based on the TrailBlazer, it’s based on the GMT-355, the Colorado/Canyon platform.

    This seems like a stupid vehicle to use for such a conversion due to the extra weight the H3 carries with its fully boxed frame and AWD system. And no, the H3 doesn’t have much cargo capacity. It’s basically the most useless SUV I can think of unless you work in the middle of a mud pit and need it for the commute.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    superbadd75, isn’t the point that if an overweight SUV with the stigma of the Hummer name can get good fuel economy, how much better could something designed from scratch using similiar technology be.

  • avatar
    unseensightz

    From the article on I believe jalopnik or somewhere, I read that this is actually more like the Volt rather than the series hybrid systems. The electric motor will run all of the time, and after an initial 40 miles the 4 cylinder engine, which was put in place of the v8 or v6 depending on model, will kick in to provide electricity via a generator, thus the 100 mpg figure. This setup, much like the volt’s, is a far better system than current hybrids offered by anyone today, because it runs like like a modern diesel/electric locomotive, which is to say very efficiently.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    30 or 40mpg is plausible for an electromotive drivetrain. Of course with the extra battery weight this thing is going to be even more an overweight pig than a stock H3.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Yes, you too can save $1,000 per year at the pump for only an extra $50,000 at time of purchase!

    How cool is that?!

    The big shame is that most of the people foolish enough to fall for this math trick, don’t have enough money to buy the car. Or, they already made a bad decision on a new car and don’t need another one for a few years.

    Of course, the latter group are now afraid of dying and want everyone else to have to ride around in a little car that over it’s life time will likely save neither money or energy.

  • avatar
    davey49

    No point in a hybrid or EV 4×4 unless you are going to put a separate motor on each wheel with a computer controlled rock crawling mode.

  • avatar
    Engineering

    And now for “the rest of the story…”

    How do these guys at Raser come up with their 100 MPG? Simple, they claim that if you drive 60 miles per day that the first 40 is powered by electricity and the next 20 is provided by their 33 MPG onboard engine. Therefore, only 1/3 of the distance traveled was provided by gas at 33 MPG, so it’s as though you got the equivalent of 3 times 33 MPG, which equals 100 MPG.

    Now let’s see what Raser isn’t telling you. First, their 200KW electric motor costs MONEY to operate! How much, you ask? Easy. If you drive 40 miles on electric power — half in the city and half on the freeway — you will spend about 1 hour driving (20 miles @ 30 MPH = 40 minutes, plus 20 miles @ 60 MPH = 20 minutes). Raser’s 200KW motor is rated at 100KW continuous, so 1 hour of driving will likely consume roughly 100KWH worth of electricity (100KW times 1 hour). The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 11.5 cents/KWH; therefore 100KWH costs you $11.50, got it? That’s eleven dollars and fifty cents to go forty miles!!! Luckily, you get to go the next 20 miles on good old gasoline @ roughly 33 MPG, which would consume 6/10ths of a gallon of gas if the gas engine powered the vehicle directly. Unfortunately, it first has to power a generator, which then charges batteries, which then powers the electric motor. Still, lets be generous and assume that this gas engine takes you 20 miles on 2/3 of a gallon of gas, which costs $1.67 (2/3 times $2.50).

    So the grand total to travel 60 miles in Raser’s shiny EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) only cost you $13.17!!! Isn’t that great? Of course, you would’ve only spent $5.00 if you could’ve driven all of that distance powered by their good gas-mileage IC engine. Or you could’ve paid $7.50 in any vehicle that averaged 20 MPG. However, where’s the fun in that? Look, you’re driving a high tech “EREV”… ooooh! One that cost you an extra $25K, and that added an extra 1,000 pounds of weight to the vehicle. Nice extras, huh?? BTW, did I forget to mention that their 100KW motor only provides 134HP in continuous mode? But wait you say, it gives 268HP at peak operation. Yes, that’s about what the new Ford Taurus provides (except for the Ford Taurus SHO, which gives 350HP). So you’ll be riding around in your new EREV Hummer in a reduced 134-268HP powertrain… can you say “put, put, put”?

    Does anyone see anything wrong with this?? Now do you see why Raser omitted mentioning the cost of electricity and only focused on their fuzzy-math MPG gas equivalent calculation? In reality, at today’s prices, their Hummer only got the equivalent of 11.4 MPG ($13.17 divided by $2.5/gallon = 5.27 gallons, and 60 miles/5.27 gallons = 11.4 MPG)!!!!!!!!

    The fact is that electric vehicles have NOTHING to offer in solving America’s transportation needs. They are not cost-efficient nor are they technologically superior. The demand for electricity in the U.S. is expected to grow by a taxing 25% over the next decade. Raser’s Hummer draws 100KWH of electricity in order to travel it’s first 40 miles, which is well over 3 times the power that your house draws in a complete day! Talk about an instant energy crisis! It’s a good thing that battery technology is still limited and that they added an IC engine to extend the range, otherwise their Hummer would’ve used 150KWH of electricity, or more than 5 times the daily draw of an average home!!

    This conveniently omitted information might explain why Raser has also entered the geothermal power market… they realize that switching to EV’s would require well over a 300% + increase to America’s annual electric power consumption.

    My question is this, why couldn’t Raser be upfront and honest with us about the true costs of Electric Vehicles? Afterall, consumers have shown that they are willing to pay more for efficient green power.

    Could their hesitancy in telling us the whole story be due to the fact that EV’s are neither cost-efficient nor green compared to standard IC engine technology?

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