We're here at the 2009 SAE World Congress in Detroit, where California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up for the "100 MPG" Raser Electric Hummer H3 unveiling. Which, incidentally, does not actually get 100 MPG.

As we expected, the Raser Electric Hummer H3 is a plug-in, extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) utilizing a 200 kW motor to drive the wheels and a turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder to power a 100 kW generator to charge the batteries and run the e-motor.

If you're good at math you immediately see the problem here. For the first sixty miles the Raser Hummer runs in all EV mode and from there it will run on a constantly operating generator, resulting in an asymptotic decline in average fuel economy. It does get the dramatic 100 MPG fuel economy the company claims — as long as you don't go further than 60 miles in a day. The actual, long-range economy is a less headline-grabbing 33 MPG. Much better than a standard H3 for sure, but Raser has not quite yet managed to defy the laws of physics.


We'd have more details for you, but Arnie strode into the middle of the press conference with his phalanx of security guards and turned it into a media feeding frenzy.