Biodiesel Could Bail Out Hummers

John Davis

General Motors’ Hummer has caught a lot of heat with gas prices climbing above $4 and $5 a gallon. Those high prices could be the death sentence for gas-guzzling, all-terrain vehicles, as GM looks to save its business by finding products that will sell. But their could be a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the go-anywhere… but drink-everything-in-the-tank… vehicle: biodiesel.

This story in the Boston Herald says the folks at GM need to figure out how to get good gas mileage while maintaining the Hummer’s legendary off-road performance:

For that reason, you’re not likely to see a gasoline-electric hybrid Hummer – too much weight and complexity for the backcountry – but the brand will offer biodiesel-powered versions of all its vehicles by 2010. Biodiesel isn’t made from oil and improves fuel economy 30% or so versus gasoline-powered versions of the same vehicle.

While the product planners look for platforms and technologies that could fit Hummer, strategists within GM ponder the idea of redefining the brand, perhaps as a line of environmentally friendly SUVs.

“It’s never going to be a green brand, but you can wash it in green,” said Joe Phillippi, principal of AutoTrends Consulting, Short Hills, N.J.

“In the end, I think they’ll develop the” smaller “H4 and improve the fuel economy of the H3 and H2.”

Leaner and greener, while keeping the meaner… isn’t that what keeps any business in business these days?

Biodiesel, Car Makers