GM joining the eco-friendly race

As covered by London Free Press:

With an SUV body mounted, Stephens said the Sequel promises a 500-kilometre range and acceleration to 100 km/h in about nine seconds — certainly functional numbers in today’s world.

Of course, this is still a concept car. Hydrogen-powered private cars will not really take off until a network of refueling stations is established, though using hydrogen for public transport vehicles will be a nice way to demonstrate their feasibility.

GM also unveiled a couple of hybrid products, joining Toyota, Honda, Ford (whose Escape Hybrid is the first hybrid SUV and whose CEO Bill Ford Jr. considers himself an environmentalist), and Chrysler too.

I was rather sceptical at first about Ford’s SUV, thinking to myself great, the increased fuel efficiency is going to be wasted on accelerating a bulky mass of steel but apparently it gets 35 mpg, better than a normal fuel-efficient sedan like the Honda Civic.

All in all, it is quite impressive that a market for fuel-efficient cars is starting to take off, even though the economic and legal incentives could have been much better (California has a state law allowing fuel-efficient cars with one occupant to use the highway lane reserved for car-poolers, but it is awaiting approval at the federal level; and the minimum mpg standard has yet to be raised for SUVs). As a reminder of what’s at stake, though, you can peruse The Detroit Project’s advertisements on fuel efficiency.


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