2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
GM hopes that its new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 2 Mode Hybrid pickup will apeal to fleet buyers. Though the market currently is slow for full size pickup trucks, GM states that they did not target everyday consumer in the hopes for hybrid pickup sales, rather they have focused on fleet owners in commercial urban areas.
The 09 Silverado and GMC Two Mode Hybrid pickups will carry a $3,000 price increase over the base version that is priced at $38,995, but the hybrid models offer an expected fuel advantage of 40% in city rating over the non-hybrid versions. Large fleets that operate within an urban area would certainly appreciated the added fuel economy. Factoring in the $2,500 tax credit on this model brings its total cost to only $500 more than the non-hybrid version.
So what can buyers of the Two Mode Hybrid pickup from GM expect? The two mode system offers the high tech features of many hybrids. Two different sources of power move the full size truck. The two sources include a 6.0L V8 and two electric motors located within the continuously variable transmission. The electric motors are powered by a 300 volt nickel metal hydride battery that resides under the rear seat.
The truck is capable of deactivating cylinders and running in 4 cylinder mode, can recharge the batteries while coasting and braking and can maintain the air conditioning and heater operation when the gasoline engine shuts off during long stops. In short, everything that is epxected of most hybrids is standard fare of the GM Hybrid pickup.
The only downside is reduced towing capacity for the hybrid model. The Hybrid gives up about 4,000 pounds of towing capacity over the convential full size offerings from GM. But the hybrid is till capable of towing over 6,000 pounds. Towing capacity aside, the trucks ability to take off under only electric power speaks well of the torque provided by the electric motors. According to GM, the hybrid pickup can maintain a speed of up to 30 mph on electric power only, though real world testing shows a more reasonable number of just over 10 mph is achieved on electric power alone.
The selling point of any hybrid model comes down to fuel economy and the GM Two Mode Hybrid Pickup does not dissappoint. The hybrid can acheieve up to 21 mpg in city driving and 22 mpg in highway driving. Numbers that best the convential pickup by 40% and 25% repsectively.
The 09 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2 Mode Hybrid pickups have a lot to offer. They perform simlarly to conventional pickups, cost only slightly more, come loaded with options, and offer increased fuel economy. Fleet buyers may be GM's target, but this truck will likely apeal to everyday truck buyers as well.
Source: Wards Auto