The General Motors West Coast Advanced Design Studio won the California Design Challenge with the Hummer o2 concept vehicle. The specific challenge in question was for design studios to transform the future of driving into an environmental experience. Contest guidelines also required that vehicle entries be 100-percent recyclable and have a maximum lifespan of just 60 months. GM delivered.
“The HUMMER O2 epitomizes the ethos of the true Southern California outdoors enthusiast with rugged capability, a ‘tread lightly’ contact system and construction methods promoting safety, accessibility and reusability,” said Frank Saucedo, director, GM Advanced Design in California . “Most vehicles in L.A. spend 95 percent of their time outdoors subjected to sunlight, so why couldn’t a vehicle give back?”
In other words, Saucedo is saying that the Hummer o2 is designed for Southern California and the Southwest. This vehicle is particularly perfect for the Phoenix Valley area because it’s energy system is designed like that of a plant’s, utilizing photosynthesis, processing sunlight into energy. With more sun on average than any other city in the United States, as well as some of the greatest outdoor and wilderness recreation opportunities in the world, this car would seem to have been designed specifically to meet the needs of Phoenix Arizona motorists.
The HUMMER 02 Concept features a revolutionary phototropic body shell that produces pure oxygen throughout the life of the vehicle. Algae-filled body panels transform carbon dioxide into pure oxygen that is subsequently released back into the environment and inside the vehicle.
“The panels essentially function as the ‘leaves’ of the HUMMER O2 and effectively clean the air in the surrounding environment,” said Saucedo. “Used algae are recycled as biomass for the further production of energy.”
The HUMMER 02 promotes the production of oxygen by a two-way valve system in the corner of each panel. The sophisticated devices control and monitor the amount of carbon dioxide and source nutrition needed for the algae cultivation while optimizing oxygen production and distribution.
Four modular and self-contained fuel cells power hydraulic motors built into each wheel. A hydrogen tank is placed in an ideal central location for safety and structural purposes, becoming the “heart” of the vehicle.
While Phoenix Arizona auto enthusiasts should not expect the Hummer o2 to hit showroom floors as a production model anytime in the very near future, Phoenix Valley motorists should take this event as a notice to keep an eye out for truly innovative designs to be featured as aspects of coming production model vehicles from GM.