100 Mpg HUMMER H3?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
100 mpg hummer h3

“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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4 of 13 comments
  • RedStapler RedStapler on Apr 14, 2009

    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.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 14, 2009

    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.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Apr 14, 2009

    No point in a hybrid or EV 4x4 unless you are going to put a separate motor on each wheel with a computer controlled rock crawling mode.

  • Engineering Engineering on Jun 15, 2009

    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?