Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Nonstory About Obama's Official Limo

Are we supposed to derive some kind of outrage over the fact that President Elect Barack Obama's official limousine is going to be a gas guzzler as compared with the eco-leftist claptrap we've heard him talk about out on the campaign trail?


There are two completely different things at play here. One is the security of the President of the United States. The limo used by the US Secret Service is designed with one thing in mind - to make it as secure as possible against a wide range of threats against the President. That means making it durable and resistant to mines, bombs, and snipers.

It means that the vehicle is going to weigh a lot and must be designed to absorb lots of damage and continue running and the mileage isn't a concern. Perhaps at some point down the road the Secret Service will commission the construction of a hybrid vehicle for the Presidential motorcade, but it surely isn't a top priority.

Still, a hybrid limo for the President could provide certain additional benefits beyond the green talk. Hybrids can have lots of low-end torque, which is useful to get out of sticky situations in a hurry. When combined with a conventional engine, you can have lots of top end speed. That's a combination that should be favorable to the Secret Service. Perhaps, they are not satisfied that the hybrids today can take the kind of damage that they must be expected to absorb and continue running. After all, the hybrids have to carry battery packs that go in locations that may be required for armor, and until the batteries are miniaturized, this will remain a problem.

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