1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...

GM: Hybrid Drive A Good Fit For Pickups

Posted on March 17, 2009
Filed Under Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Aspen, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon, Saturn Aura, Saturn Vue | Leave a Comment

gmIn today’s falling market for full-size pickups, towing capability is more important than ever, General Motors Corp. believes. And that, it says, is one reason for its recent four point gain in market share, to 42 percent, in the segment.

According to AutoTech Daily, GM figures more buyers will embrace the new hybrid-electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra currently being launched by the company. The new pickups are fitted with the same two-mode hybrid system — teamed with a 6.0-liter V-8 engine — offered on the 2008-model Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade hybrids.

GM says the two-mode powertrain,which has four fixed gears as well as a planetary gear that combinesthe output of the gasoline and two electric motors, is a good fit for the pickups. The additional gear ratios improve towing capacity — 6,100 pounds for two-wheel-drive versions of the Chevy/GMC pickups — including in all-electric mode at speeds up to 30 mph. Although towing capacity is down significantly from the traditionally powered counterparts (9,700 lbs for a 2wd extended cab truck), GM says its system provides more oomph than Ford and Toyota’s hybrid trucks, which top out at 3,500 and 1,000 pounds, respectively.

Refinements also have been made to other parts of the pickups to better complement the hybrid system and optimize fuel economy, which is listed at 21 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway in the two-wheel-drive model, up 40 percent in the city and 25 percent overall compared
to gasoline-only models.

The 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery drives the 42-volt electric steering unit through a DC-to-DC converter. In addition to recharging the battery, regenerative braking helps extend the life of the regular brake linings.

The 2010 pickups also get low-rolling-resistance tires. A new exhaust system is tuned specifically for the V-8’s cylinder deactivation
system — which cuts cylinders under partial-load operation.

A new hydraulic shock mount on the cab helps reduce vibration. The feature also will be included in GM’s non-hybrid pickups. In the hybrid models, the system is teamed with a new low-noise electric cooling fan for the battery pack.

Despite the benefits, GM expects fewer than 15 percent of its full-size pickup buyers to opt for the hybrid system. This compares to a 25 percent take rate for the Escalade hybrid, which GM says is one of the highest rates for a hybrid drive in vehicles that offer it as an option. The hybrid versions of the Tahoe/Yukon account for about 15 percent of Chevy/GMC full-size SUV sales.

The two-mode hybrid system was developed in partnership with DaimlerChrysler and BMW. Chrysler briefly offered the system in the Durango and Aspen before killing both vehicles in the face of the company’s economic woes. BMW will launch its version in the new X6 crossover later this year. GM also plans to offer the system in the Saturn Vue, although the program has been delayed and is somewhat questionable considering the future of Saturn itself is in jeopardy.

SOURCE: WWJ News Radio

Related Posts:

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function related_posts() in /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/wp-content/themes/ultimateblogger/index.php:25 Stack trace: #0 /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/wp-settings.php(431): include_once() #1 /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/wp-includes/template-loader.php(75): wp_safe_load('/homepages/15/d...') #2 /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/wp-blog-header.php(19): require_once('/homepages/15/d...') #3 /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/index.php(17): require('/homepages/15/d...') #4 {main} thrown in /homepages/15/d211799029/htdocs/MIXEDPOWER/wp-content/themes/ultimateblogger/index.php on line 25