April 18, 2009
Electric Hummers Coming To Save Us
Afraid to buy that Hummer you are hankering for because you fear the coming of Peak Oil? Fear no more. Across the desolate landscape of post-peak post-apocalyptic America will stride an electric Hummer good for 40 miles per battery charge.
The Hummer is the poster child of excess consumption and inefficiency, but a Utah company is converting the much-maligned SUVs into a range-extended electric vehicle good for 100 mpg and a range of 40 miles.
Raser Technologies will unveil the Raser H3 on Monday in Detroit. It promises a 90 mph top speed, off-road capability and a lithium ion-battery you can recharge in as little as three hours. What's more, the company says the drivetrain can be installed in other trucks and it hopes to have 2,000 converted vehicles on the road by the end of next year.
Use electric power to cruise away from the starving crowds of collapsing cities. Make for your country hide-out which has what you need to feed your Hummer: A big wind mill up on a local hill and solar panels on your sprawling ranch house. You'll of course use the Hummer to trade food and guns with people in neighboring valleys.
Hopefully before the collapse higher energy density batteries will come to market to enable you to increase the size of your trading route.
Update: I almost forgot to mention: Those solar panels on your sprawling ranch house will be made out of silicon-based photovoltaics. None of those cheap 9% efficiency thin film solar panels for sissies. Uh-uh. No way. You go with the high efficiency stuff to get you the juice you need to power your hummer. Plus, you convert that PV electric power into 240V for fast recharges. None of that wimpy 110V power.
"Hopefully before the collapse higher energy density batteries will come to market"
That is what you hope, but I doubt that it will ever happen.
If battery energy density fails to improve then a new romantic vista beckons: post-apocalyptic pony express stations where Hummer riders dismount every 40 miles and mount a different Hummer to ride another 40 miles to the next feeding (er, recharging) station. The Hummers will afford our riders the protection they need as they ride thru indian country.
I'm picturing a cluster of wind mills around each pony express station. If the wind dies down then a rider could be stuck at a station for days. He'll pass the time playing his harmonica while someone else plays a guitar or banjo.
One wonders how they manufacture replacement batteries in the post-collapse society.
Paul F. Dietz,
Obviously once the collapse happens we will be in a race to rebuild and get factories functioning again before our batteries wear out. Best to become really wealthy fast now, buy a few sets of replacement batteries before the collapse, and then hunker down.
On the other hand, if we can get enough people to buy electric Hummers before the collapse then we might be able to use electric Hummers to prevent the collapse - at least in areas with heavy concentrations of electric Hummers. Imagine civilization kept intact with electric Hummers. The Dark Ages held at bay with the mighty power of the Hummer.
I foresee zones of electric Hummer civilization and zones of collapse and chaos. Operators of Electric Hummers will become like defenders of the remaining pockets of a past civilization. They'll be like Middle Eastern monks in Ireland faithfully transcribing classical texts. Or maybe they'll be like US Army fort soldiers on the frontier. Or Middle Eastern knights?
I like your use of irony, though I'm afraid that most of your readers won't get it.
The knights on H3's will succumb to the assaults of the mountain-bike infantry.
Any word on cost? What does 40kWh in lithium ion batteries go for right now?
well, electric hummers are good a nice suggestion. With the advancement in the technology, we can now save power charges on cheap rates