Dinosaurs: Our Demise
Thursday February 22 2001

WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE, Thursday, February 22, 2001

The Sierra Club and Worldwatch Institute today questioned Daimler Chrysler's decision to market the mega 4x4 vehicle, the Unimog, in the United States.

The Unimog, a converted German military vehicle manufactured by Freightliner, a subsidiary of Daimler-Chrysler, bombed in the European market but will be sold as a luxury vehicle in the US later this year.

Standing 9 feet 7 inches tall, 7 feet 6 inches wide, weighing 12,500 pounds, the Unimog out sizes even General Motors' Hummer and Ford's Excursion, which caused public outrage over commercial vehicle sizes a few years ago and won the Sierra Club's Exxon Valdez Award for Environmental Destruction.

"With just five percent of the world's population, the United States already uses more than one third of the world's transport energy," said Worldwatch Institute President, Christopher Flavin. "At a time when oil prices and global temperatures are rising, car manufacturers should be investing in a new generation of efficient hydrogen-fuelled cars rather than another round of gas-guzzling dinosaurs. "

Director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Program, Dan Becker says the DaimlerSaurus should be extinct. "With new dire warnings from scientists about the consequences of global warming, we should be looking for ways to reduce emissions from U.S. sources. Currently U.S. cars and light trucks produce more global warming pollution than all but four countries, mainly because U.S. auto makers build big, inefficient vehicles. Daimler is making the problem worse with their new DaimlerSaurus".

If its hauling capacity were one pound more than its 26,000 pounds, the driver would require a Commercial Truck Driver's License. And the Unimog gets a mere 10 miles per gallon-even worse than the 13mpg achieved by many gas-guzzling SUVs.

Switching from driving an average new car to a 13 mpg SUV for one year will waste more energy than:

  • Leaving a refrigerator door open for 6 years
  • Leaving a bathroom light burning for 30 years or
  • Leaving a color television turned on for 28 years


    See the New York Times article on the Unimog (21 February 2001): http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/21/business/21BIG.html