General Motors is stepping up its efforts in the hybrid game with its second generation Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup. The new Silverado Hybrid goes far beyond what the first generation "mild hybrid" model could achieve and instead uses GM's much-touted 2-mode hybrid system.
The standard gasoline-powered Silverado is already the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the market, but the 2-mode hybrid system -- which is shared with the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade hybrids -- boosts efficiency even further. The Silverado Hybrid can travel up to 30 MPH under electric power alone (even while towing) and still has the ability to tow up to 6,100 pounds.
The 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery used in the Silverado Hybrid is mounted under the rear seats. A 300-volt air conditioning compressor is also used to cool passengers even with the gasoline engine is not running.
When all is said and done, the 2-mode hybrid powertrain boosts the fuel efficiency of the Silverado by 40 percent in the city and 25 percent overall. This achievement is quite remarkable when you consider that the Silverado Hybrid is still packing a 6.0 liter V8 engine with 332 HP and 367 lb-ft of torque.
GM also notes that thanks to the hybrid powertrain and its 26-gallon fuel tank, the Silverado Hybrid will travel more than 500 miles on a single tank of gas.
"The Silverado Hybrid is the newest example of Chevy's heritage of truck innovation, which stretches back 90 years, and exemplifies Chevrolet's commitment to fuel solutions," said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper. "Silverado Hybrid will deliver fuel economy comparable to many small and midsize trucks that are equipped with four- or six-cylinder engines -- all while delivering the capability customers expect of Chevy full-size trucks."
The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid will launch in late 2008 and will be available on Crew Cab models in both 2WD and 4WD trim levels.