Whenever I see some pasty investment banker trucking down the street in his shiny Hummer, I am filled with a kind of deep, finger-curling rage. How dare this gentleman, who is clearly suffering from a clear case of penis envy amongst a host of other vague psychological problems, imperil the future of my planet by driving this totally inefficient, completely unecessary hunk of automotive douchebaggery? I should point out this rage is distinct from my sportscar-induced anger, caused more by my forlorn desire to drive a car that's been on Top Gear and features 600+ brake horsepower than any clear sense of moral outrage. But thanks to one enterprising and perhaps-brilliant car-hacker, I'll no longer be able to treat all Hummer owners with equal scorn. Johnathan Goodwin, the so-called 'Motorhead Messiah' has come up with a way to create a electric-hybrid Hummer that is actually more powerful than a regular one. Says Goodwin:
"Conservatively, it'll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You'll be able to smoke the tires. And it's going to be superefficient. Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!"
As a point of comparison, the average Hummer gets about 9 mpg. That's pretty incredible. More so because he's doing it all with 100 per cent existing technology and 9o per cent factory parts. And a jet engine. The upshot is that everything we need to create more fuel-efficient, lower emission cars is within our grasp, if only the automakers would take advantage of it.
Oh, and Goodwin is taking a 60's vintage Lincoln Continental and turning it into a 100 mile-a-gallon hybrid for Neil Young. Yes, the Neil Young.
Goodwin also has some really interesting ideas about weaning the United States off of gas. I won't get into it all here, but I really recommend you read the article in Fast Company all about Goodwin and his ideas. Fascinating stuff.
So, rest easy Hummer drivers. If you get a Goodwin conversion for your lumbering self-esteem converter, give me a call. I will no longer glare at you from the sidewalk as you drive down the street in your shame-filled cocoon.
Finally, a 'green' Hummer can mean more than its paint job.