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October 31, 2007

The green monster truck

Posted by Angel Gonzalez at 2:13 PM

Thinking of embracing alternative fuels, but too attached to your monster truck lifestyle? Boy, Ford's got the car for you - and it's big.

The Detroit automaker's F-250 Super-Chief is on display at the Seattle autoshow, and it sports a "tri-flex" engine that can run on hydrogen (yes, hydrogen), gasoline or an e85 gas-ethanol blend.

The 11,500-pound behemoth, heavier than a Hummer H2, is very luxurious. The model shown had hardwood floors, a wet bar - and, according to Ford representatives, several video monitors not visible from the outside. The Super-Chief seems to suggest that concern about CO2 emissions and runaway consumption are not mutually exclusive - an idea that could send shivers through the spines of many environmentalists.

Although most Ford trucks can run on e85, the Super-Chief is still a concept vehicle, somewhat in the realm of science fiction. For starters: good luck finding a hydrogen pump -- there are only 122 in the U.S. and Canada, none in Washington state. But for those insisting on driven green (or yellow) fuel, there's plenty of corn out there to feed this beast's ravenous appetite.

Based on our calculations, the Super-Chief, which has an e85 milage of about 9 miles a gallon, could easily burn through two and a half football fields' worth of corn a year in the hands of the average American driver. These trucks are a Midwestern farmer's dream come true.

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Tricia Duryee
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