Monday, October 25, 2004


Only in California where love of cars equals love of bean sprouts and environmentalism would you find a story like this. It's hilarious to think the governor could show off an eco-friendly Hummer -- the brutish war machine converted to monster road vehicle. The irony of it seemed to be lost on the AP writer until the last paragraph when he writes these delicious sentences.

Though Schwarzenegger arrived at the event in a low-pollution vehicle, he left in a gasoline-powered SUV that typically gets about 15 mpg. Officials said the hydrogen Hummer needs to refuel every 50 miles and there are only about a dozen fueling stations across the state.

The sentences send up the PR event and show it for what it was -- a hokey tip of the hat to clean air that was as unreal as caps on Beverly Hills teeth.

There are some PR stunts that aren't worth doing because no one will believe them. This was one. Anyone who knows about hydrogen fuel-cell cars knows they are at least 20 years off, and there is little liklihood they will ever achieve commercial feasibility. If the governor was going to show a Hummer converted to a real fuel-saving vehicle he should have shown a hybrid-power vehicle that uses batteries and an engine like the Toyota Prius.

Instead, the PR stunt left one laughing at the impracticality of it all.


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