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Hummer O2 concept brings shame to the nature-terrorizing brand

Evan Blass

In a humiliating blow to the once proud, gas-guzzling Hummer SUV, engineers at GM have re-imagined the poster child for environmental apathy as a completely green vehicle that not only leaves a small "footprint" in its wake, but actually promises to give something back to nature as well. Called the Hummer O2 (like the H2, only less toxic), this concept -- which just won the L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge -- incorporates a number of innovative, futuristic features into its oddly-shaped chassis, not the least of which is a "phototropic" body shell that contains algae-filled panels. Yes, you read that right: this Hummer-branded vehicle, made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials, pulls double-duty as a mobile algae cultivation farm, whose photosynthetic waste provides oxygen for both the O2 itself and the surrounding environment; what's more, used algae are employed as biomass to provide partial power. The main power sources, though, are the fuel cells built directly into each wheel (wrapped in adaptable Active Tread tires, naturally), which drive independent hydraulic motors when fed hydrogen from a central holding tank. Unfortunately for all those SUV-loving environmentalists out there (a huge demographic, we're sure), the Hummer O2 is slated to remain little more than a set of drawings for the time being, and we hear that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is already pushing to ban the production of these vehicles for "sullying the reputation that Hummer has worked so hard to earn." Keep reading for a few more pictures...

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