The good folks at
sustainablog brought a green vehicles initiative from the The State of New
York to our attention. Governor Pataki and state Senate Majority Leader Joseph
L. Bruno announced a new program to convert
the state fleet to plug-in hybrids. The pilot program will spend $10 million to
retrofit 600 vehicles to be able to charge their batteries by pluggin' in to the
"Plug-in hybrid vehicles can be plugged into the electric grid –
such as a normal 120 volt household outlet - to boost mileage. This will allow
the vehicles to operate on emissions-free battery power, reducing the amount of
fuel utilized and significantly decreasing the release of harmful pollutants,
including greenhouse gases. Since the utility grid has lower demand during
overnight hours, the recharging of plug-ins would not add to the peak
We thought maybe they'd just want to be the first ones to get their hands on the
Tesla Roadster we
seem to be so fond of here.
There's talk about GM...ok...we've said some nasty things. But we've
said some nice things too. And today, we'll be saying something nice
again. In 2007, GMC will be releasing the first hybrid electric
trucks. Now, some people may see a hybrid Sierra as greenwashing, but
I'm having none of it. I honestly believe that trucks are one of the
most important kinds of vehicles to go hybrid.
Improving the gas mileage of a car from 60 to 70 mpg saves about 2
gallons of gas per 1000 miles. Increasing the mileage of a truck like
the Sierra from 15 to 25 mpg, as GMC has, saves ten times that. And,
quite frankly, I think we need trucks just as much as we need passenger
This is a big deal. A lot of people need trucks, especially out here
in the hinterlands, and I'm not about to criticize them. But right now
people who neeed 350 horsepower and a flatbed don't have any options
above 20 mpg. And the hybrid Sierra (greenwashed or not) gives people
The Vice Chairman of GM wanted us to know exactly why the auto-giant is
headed for the dirt. In a recent interview with Just-Auto, Lutz
implied that hybrid vehicles are a useless technology that the American
people have been duped into desiring. And the Hummer is...I don't
know, a very sound financial decision?
the popular thing to do, many people believe
that if we all drove hybrids the world would suddenly get cooler again
and then it's the patriotic thing to do because if you drive a hybrid
you will no longer be funding the Arab terrorists, and so forth."
Many people believe also that the internal combustion engine is a
hundred-year-old, dangerous, outdated technology that our society is
deeply dependent on and needs to be phased out. No...he didn't say
Lutz continued, "so, with all those beliefs out there, you have to do a hybrid for public policy reasons."
Right, apparently you don't have to have a hybrid because they're
selling well. Because selling cars has nothing to do with what GM
EV Rental Cars, as yet, doesn't actually rent any pure electric
vehicles, but you can certainly get your hands on a hybrid with no
problem. The company currently only rents three cars, the Prius, the
Civic Hybrid and the Highlander Hybrid. What they won't rent is
anything else. They rent low emissions vehicles only, though, the highlander is
Anyhow, it's an interesting idea.
For now, it's an idea that only
seems to work in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San
Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) though they've got one in Pheonix now,
and soon to be in Las Vegas. It's also a good place to pick up used
hybrids if you're in the market (and in California.) They've got a
fleet of over 350 cars now, so they've gotta have quite a few up for
This is what 40 million dollars in venture capital can do for the electric car. We at EcoGeek will never tire of small goofy-looking electric cars that work wonderfully in the city. But sometimes, it's nice to see things mixed up a bit...and mixed up with some spice!
0-60 in four seconds
250 miles a charge
$100,000 sticker price
125 MPH top speed
6,831 Lithium Ion cells
53 kW-h of storage
2352 mm wheel base
Based on the Lotus Elise
I don't care who killed the electric car, this is what'll bring it back to life. Why market a new idea to the masses when they obviously don't want it. Market it to the rich, and then, eventually, everyone else will get one when they're affordable. Or, at least, that seems to be Tesla's philisophy. We certainly can't argue with all the pretty pictures.