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PHOTO CAPTION: Converted Hummer H3 has 40 miles of 'electric-first' driving range.

Can Raser's Plug-In Hummer Be Cleaner Than a Prius

Four-cylinder engine isn't connected to drivetrain and never turns the wheels of the car--its sole purpose is to recharge the lithium ion battery.

Published: 22-Apr-2009

Raser Technologies will unveil a plug-in hybrid Hummer H3 that gets more than 100 mpg at the SAE World Congress in Detroit on April 20. The project was developed in cooperation with GM and is the "have your SUV and drive it too" answer to automotive industry critics and increasingly environmentally-conscience drivers.

By swapping the Hummer's conventional power plant--typically a V-8 engine--for an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery, the SUV is transformed from a gas-guzzler to a green machine. The plug-in vehicle can travel up to 40 miles in all-electric mode. After the energy is depleted from the battery, the four-cylinder engine kicks in. However, the four-cylinder engine isn't connected to drivetrain and never turns the wheels of the car--its sole purpose is to recharge the lithium ion battery.

The new power train is heavier than the gasoline-only version, but the payload for the H3 remains the same. However, the plug-in SUV isn't designed for towing. Rather, it's the solution for consumers and businesses that want better fuel economy, but still need a truck or SUV to get their work done.

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