Analysis: What's the Opposite of Reducing Your Carbon Footprint?
Why are we switching to electric cars? I mean, I’m not talking about the need to “do better” when it comes to Mother Earth and the baby kangaroos — even Randy Newman wouldn’t bomb the baby kangaroos — but are EVs and billions spent to lower prices and build chargers for the things really going to make the world better if people just look at them as a way to have their cakes and eat them, too? To put it another way, are you really reducing your carbon footprint behind the wheel of a 9,046 lb. GMC Hummer pickup?
That’s right, kids. The upcoming all-electric Hummer will tip the scales at more than 4.5 tons — and that’s “just” the pickup. The SUV will probably weigh more since it’ll be hauling around more glass, seats, and carpets than the pickup. Despite having enough mass to generate its own gravity, the GMC-badged truck can rocket to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, and effectively crush its way through untouched, virgin wilderness in a manner worthy of its heritage as an Army man cosplay favorite (Punisher window sticker not included).
It’s almost enough to make me throw my hands up and say, “Why bother!?” And that, dear B&B, led me to ask myself the question: What would I drive if I just didn’t give a f***?
LET’S STOP PRETENDING WE’RE A PRACTICAL PEOPLE
Efficiency has never been a hot seller in America – a fact that utterly doomed the “first generation” of modern EVs like the Nissan Leaf and tadpole-y Aptera to the also-ran status while the $100k Tesla Model S broke sales records by drag racing Hellcats on YouTube. Similarly, Americans buy literally millions of trucks every year. Guns, too, but this isn’t a political thing, it’s just a statement on America’s buying habits.
We buy that stuff for low-percent use cases. We MIGHT need a gun, so we buy a gun. We MIGHT need a truck, so we buy a truck. That’s America. Do you want to sell to America? Create a compelling 1 percent use case for your premium-priced product, and watch everyone buy it. Think I’m wrong? If you’re old enough to remember “needing” to buy a cell phone “for emergencies”, you know I’m right.
Let’s stop pretending, then, that we want to buy something for the good of someone else or that our needs aren’t handily met by a Corolla or Civic, and just embrace the wretched excess that is the MegaRexx MegaRaptor.
YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED A MEGARAPTOR
If you’re reading this as an American, you might be tempted to think of a small-percent use case whose needs could be met by a MegaRaptor. If you come up with one, then you’re better than me. Even so, it’s hard to not find something strangely compelling in whatever mental disorder led these guys to take a full-sized Ford SuperDuty pickup, lift it, beef up the suspension, then fit it with an aggressively-styled bodykit that’s a full 18 inches wider than stock — and then have the audacity to try and sell the thing.
They’ve sold a few, too — whether that’s to their credit or something that will eventually be used against them in an EPA court hearing remains to be seen.
I imagine a massively powerful, nearly impossibly heavy truck like the MegaRaptor would be the most – uh, whatever the opposite of “green” car might be. Doubly so with the owner rollin’ coal down the highway at 80 mph with single-digit mpg numbers.
Remember that 9,046 lb. of weight the new Hummer will be pulling around? According to Google, the heaviest Ford F-Series F350 Crew Cab Dually weighs in at “just” 7,737 lbs. Even assuming the “worst case” scenario here, it’s hard to imagine the MegaTruxx kit adds 1,300-plus lbs. to the big truck.
Start your MegaRaptor build with the lightest F-350, and your finished ride will still weigh in at more than 3,000 lbs. less than the electrified GMC (3,168 lbs. by my math). There’s no way that balances out with the GMC still being the green choice, does it?
HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING IT, TOO
As ridiculous as it sounds, it would appear that GMC’s big Hummer actually is significantly more energy-efficient than the MegaRaptor, despite the weight penalty. Assuming GM’s claims about the Hummer’s efficiency are true, the big truck delivers 1.7 miles of driving range for every kWh of energy use. According to this handy-dandy conversion calculator I found online (And, like, everything on the internet is true, right?), that works out to more than 57 MPGe.
That seems pretty good. I mean – you’re not getting 57 mpg in the MegaRaptor, that’s for damn sure. And, yes, there is more to measuring the carbon impact of a vehicle than just the simple energy efficiency or fuel economy of the thing, but as far as out-of-context statistics go it’s a pretty compelling one.
I don’t really know what to make of that, to be honest. I fully expected the Hummer to be measurably worse than the MegaRaptor, energy-wise, and expected to point a big-ol’ accusatory finger at GM for greenwashing its heaviest product this size of a TopKick, but I can’t do that today. Even the old bogeyman of “you’ll need coal to make all that electricity” has been totally debunked — we’re making more electricity than ever, using less coal than ever, and that’s according to Trump’s 2020 administration.
Luckily, I don’t have to stay confused for long. You’re the Best and Brightest, surely you can look at a 9,000-plus lb. SUV and make it worse for the planet than a 5,000 lb. pickup, right? You can make it make sense.
I really hope you can, anyway – because the Hummer is coming to your street, soon, and the over-manicured fingers clutching the wheel while distractedly yelling at their spoiled, over-privileged children in the back seat are going to run you down with more than 9,000 lbs. of electrified steel. And, if they have more than a 3 count, they’ll do so at more than 60 mph, feeling smug in their “environmental consciousness” the entire time.
Live in fear, people. Live in fear.
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- RICK Once had 78 TOWN COUPE and wish I had never let it go! Ultimate OTT excessive luxury! Have since had RWD FLEETWOODS, RWD Fifth Avenues ,as well as 89 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series and current 2007 TOWN CAR Signature Limited! All great cars, but 77 through 79 was KING 🤴 of the road! So sad to see what is now considered a luxury vehicle 😢. Who wants to drive a glorified truck 🚚?
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10,000lbs with poor brakes and rapid acceleration creates a recipe for disastrous car accidents. Given that Hummers are never driven by sane people this will be a weapon on the road. Not looking forward to it
Throw out "MPGe," which is some garbage based on power plant emissions, and just give us miles per kWh. I pay per kWh just like I pay per gallon of gas, and both kWh and gas get turned into some measure of driving range.