While most manufacturers efforts with hybrid vehicles have
been limited to compact or mid-sized cars, there have been production hybrid
vehicles available in larger packages. Ford has the Escape Hybrid,
while GM has the Saturn
Vue Green Line. For those looking for an even larger vehicle, Toyota offers
the mid-sized Highlander
Hybrid crossover complete with third-row seating.
General Motors is taking its new dual-mode
hybrid technology to an even larger class of vehicle: full-size SUVs. GM
will make its new hybrid system available on the Chevrolet
Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs in 2008.
GM is currently gearing up for pilot production of its
hybrid SUVs at its Arlington plant. These pilot runs will give GM a chance to
work out any kinks before regular production takes place in the summer.
"We'll do a
block of 12 [vehicles] starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday," said Arlington plant manager John Dansby. "We'll
have them spaced out over two days. We'll do a few during the day and
some at night so both shifts get a chance to work on them."
The dual-mode hybrid Tahoe and Yukon are estimated to get a
25% boost in fuel economy over their traditional internal combustion engine
(ICE) counterparts. That would put their fuel economy at roughly 20/25
GM expects the price premium for the dual-mode system to be
in the $2,000 to $5,000 price range. Given that the average transaction price for
a Chevrolet Tahoe is already
over $42,000, an extra few thousand bucks might be worth it to customers
looking for a few extra MPG.
quote: Unfortunately, they seem to be a necessary evil, to get people to consider alternative fuels.
quote: Fourth, ethonal has a lower energy density than gas, so you'll get lower mpg.
quote: unneccessary vehicle
quote: perfectly enought for their needs
quote: A perfectly normal 4 person family can drive one compact/midsize car ( VW Passat, BMW 3 series, Mercedes C Class...etc) with a diesel engine for their weekend. And the size of these cars are perfectly enought for their needs?
quote: I see trucks, SUVs, 18 feet long cars with unefficent engines. Why? American life style? Excuse me but f.. this. Nobody can say that this sort of lifestyle is good in any aspect. In Europe there are 30 year old Mercedes station wagon cars, pulling 24 feet trailers uphill. But no, in US you have to have a V8 or a V10 engine being pulled by a 4wd truck to do that, because you need power, right? Riiiight...
quote: So why is there still a huge discrepancy between city and highway in the tahoe hybrid?
quote: A 70-100hp 1.6 or 1.8L engine
quote: or every one of your "one personal example" of people that need a larger vehicle I can name you 40-50 personal examples of people that don't but have them anyway.
quote: To play devil's advocate for just a second...people that think they need something so huge for their personal vehicle are insane. People need to adjust their thinking. SUVs didn't just appear out of nowhere though...they were pushed by the American manufacturers and it's part of our consciousness now. Now going back to hybrids such as the Prius and Civic, it's going to take time for the idea to warm to the population. But so far people are speaking with their wallets. We seem to forget that it's up to the general public to influence change...in someway.
quote: You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -Winston Churchill
quote: Damn you chevy and ford for making me wish Asia would hurry up and kick your collective asses out of the market.
quote: Your expectations are so friggin short of whats possible. Thats my point again. You guys take this shit, and accept it meekly. man what more can I say