This is The Climate Win, the most positive sustainability news around the world every week.
General Motors is stepping up its commitment to an electric future in a big way, quite literally. GMC’s Hummer, the formerly gas-guzzling, engine-revving favorite of hardcore off-roaders and insecure middle-aged men is back after an absence of more than a decade. The only things missing are the loud engine and exhaust plumes.
The headline announcement of GM’s multi-billion-dollar transition to an electric future is an all-electric Hummer with a 350-mile range. Powered by three electric motors, the so-called “supertruck” features 1,000 horsepower adjustable air suspension. GM will manufacture the new Hummer at its Factory Zero facility in Detroit.
The most unique aspect of the vehicle draws inspiration far from the nation’s highways. “Crab Mode” will allow the Hummer to drive in a diagonal manner on rough terrain, effectively crawling its way over rough surfaces and around obstacles too large for its massive suspension. Though the truck’s “Extract Mode,” which raises the suspension by six inches, can also be activated when it’s time to cross a stream or navigate a boulder field.
The Hummer will charge at up to 100 miles in ten minutes. But it isn’t cheap and won’t be available until fall 2022. The first model, dubbed the EV3X, starts at $99,995. The slightly cheaper EV2X — priced at $89,995 — will be released a year later.
GM’s commitment to ditching the gas-powered engine is impressive, with 20 separate EVs promised by 2023 from its brands that include GMC and Cadillac. Ford has made the same commitment, and with startups like Rivian promising electric-powered off-road capabilities of a similar caliber, the future looks bright for gas-free outdoor access.
More climate wins this week
Intrepid Travel became the world’s first tour operator with sustainability initiatives verified by the Science Based Targets initiative. The company, carbon neutral since 2010, will adopt stricter emissions standards on its trips by replacing carbon-intensive vehicles with cleaner transportation options on many tours. It will also transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. “Intrepid’s verified science-based targets mark the most significant step we’ve taken on our climate journey in the past 15 years,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, in a press release.
A Swedish shipbuilder designed a massive cargo carrier vessel that is powered by wind. Set to sail in 2024, the 650-foot-long ship is designed to carry cars across the ocean while emitting 90 percent fewer emissions than a traditional diesel engine cargo ship. Hopefully, this model paves the way for cleaner cargo transport on a global scale.
Denver voters will decide on a Climate Tax that would take funds generated by a slight sales tax increase and apply it directly toward renewable energy, greening its transportation infrastructure, and other sustainability initiatives. The Colorado Sun reported that if the ballot measure passes on November 3, it could serve as a model for other large cities across the country.
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