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Bob Lutz (and I) talk about the sensibilities of making full-sized trucks and SUVs into hybrid vehicles. Why it makes sense, and why it doesn't.
(EcoGeek Intro plays)

Hank: Hank Green from, one final time with more footage of Bob Lutz talking, this time about GM's commitment to giant hybrid vehicles.  Now, I've heard a lot of people talking about how absolutely insane it is to call the Chevrolet Tahoe a 'green car'.  First of all, it's a truck.  Second, it gets 21 miles per gallon.  But let's hear what Bob has to say about GM's commitment to gigantic hybrid vehicles.

Bob Lutz: Obviously, these hybrids have been um, in development for the last three and a half to four years.  At the time, we looked at those hybrids, gasoline was about $1.50 to $1.80 a gallon, and Americans still demanded predominantly large vehicles like full-sized Sport Utilities and pickup trucks, and we decided why produce a small car hybrid which is counter to American tastes and desires, and if we're gonna save 30% to 40% fuel, why not start at the high-end with vehicles that really use a lot of fuel and get the fuel savings in a category of vehicles that Americans actually like to buy?  'Cause that's why we focused on the full-sized Ford Utilities and tomorrow at the LA show will be the debut of the world's first full-size pickup truck with a dual-mode hybrid system.  It'll be far and away the most fuel efficient full-sized pickup truck in the world, and I expect it to remain the only two-mode hybrid pickup for quite some time.  

That was the strategy, and I think it's going to work because all of the initial reactions to the full sized Ford Utility with the two-mode hybrid system has been extremely favorable.  I think we're gonna sell every one we can make, and then some.  

Hank: Hard to argue with a guy who sells cars when he's talking about how he's making cars that are selling well, and it's also hard to argue with the car that would sell well anyway, but now is selling well with 50% better gas mileage.  The truth is, someone who chooses a hybrid SUV instead of a regular SUV is gonna save like five times more gasoline than someone who chooses a Prius instead of a regular small car.  Because the guy who's gonna buy the small car wasn't ever gonna burn very much gas anyway.  

So should we be happy and call them green, green giant SUVs?  I don't think we should, but I think we should recognize that they're saving fuel.  I'm never going to be able to reconcile myself to calling the Chevrolet Tahoe a 'green vehicle', frankly it's hard to imagine a green vehicle that isn't a bike, but such is life.  It's better than the alternative, so I'm cool with it.  

Thank you very much, Bob, for having that evening with us, and as a send-off, I'm going to show you all what I saw out of my hotel window that very night.

I am pretty sure that these two people just got engaged.  Congratulations, you two!  They're gonna get married, yeah.  

I may have been a little bit tired.  Sorry if that was creepy.

This is Hank Green from, see ya next time.

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