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Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid  (Source: General Motors)

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz
GM's full-size hybrids crack the $50k barrier

The hybrid news is coming in at a furious pace from the boys over at General Motors. Earlier today, the company showed off its second generation Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup which features the new 2-mode gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain.

Now, the company has priced out its new Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid full-size SUVs. The Tahoe Hybrid will be priced at $50,490 for 2WD models and $53,295 for 4WD models. The slightly up-market Yukon Hybrid will be priced at $50,945 and $53,755 in 2WD and 4WD models respectively.

As with the previously announced Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, the two full-size SUVs feature GM's 2-mode hybrid system which is backed with a 6.0 liter V8 engine. The SUVs can travel up to 30 MPH under electric-only power and can tow up to 6,200 pounds in 2WD guise (6,000 pounds for 4WD models).

As reported by DailyTech in late September, the Tahoe Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid are rated at 21 MPG/22 MPG and 20 MPG/20 MPG respectively for 2WD and 4WD models.

"We promised to apply our most advanced technologies to vehicles that can save the most fuel, and we are delivering on that promise with the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrid SUVs," said GM vice chairman Bob Lutz. "The gasoline-only Tahoe and Yukon SUVs already offer best-in-segment fuel economy. Now, consumers can choose GM's patented 2-Mode Hybrid technology that delivers the same city fuel economy as the 2008 Toyota Camry with the base four-cylinder engine. The difference is that the Tahoe and Yukon can seat eight people and can tow up to 6,200 pounds."

For comparison, a 2008 Toyota Camry CE has a base price of $18,470 and is EPA rated at 21 MPG/31 MPG (city/highway) for the manual and automatic.

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gas-electric hybrid is funded by big oil
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/15/2007 5:48:29 PM , Rating: 1
Honda, Mercedes, Jeep, BMW, VW and others either offer today or will offer in 2009 clean diesel cars/trucks/SUVs that get better real world mileage than gas-electric hybrids.

These clean diesels also cost a lot less to manufacture vs. gas-electric hybrids, although there is still a premium over a basic gas engine.

In addition, these clean diesel engines will last longer than gas engines or gas-electric engines, creating a further savings if vehicles are not purchased as often.

There are two main reasons why the gas-electric hybrid has been pushed by big oil vs. clean diesel.

First, adding/retrofitting diesel tanks/pumps to existing gas stations would be very expensive.

Second, the diesel fuel standards in the US have traditionally been very dirty. So to produce cleaner diesel fuel, transport cleaner fuel, etc., would cut into profits.

Hence for big oil it is better to push the cost of expensive battery systems onto the consumer to maximize the profit being made by existing fuel refineries, fuel delivery systems, and fueling stations.

In short, "clean diesel = lower profits".

Which of course is why a ugly company like GM is putting so much money into the development of gas-electric SUVs. Because the same people that own GM also own big oil.

This is also why hybrid vehicles do not get substantially better mileage than a basic gas engine car. Because that would also impact oil industry profits. The price premium of a hybrid car is also kept high to reduce the number sold. For if they were cheap enough to replace basic gas engine cars, that would also reduce profits.

It this world, it's all about the money. Nothing else matters.

By Spuke on 11/16/2007 6:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel fuel has already been switched over to the European stuff. Also, there's no need to retrofit gas stations, just enlarge the present diesel tanks.

By Martin Blank on 11/21/2007 4:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels traditionally sell poorly in the US thanks to a long memory of early diesel engines for consumer cars, which were noisy, dirty, smelly, and notoriously unreliable. This has changed dramatically in the last 25 years, but that information has not been well-publicized.

Personally, I'd love to see a turbo-diesel-backed pluggable hybrid, and would consider buying one if it were available. However, I'm going to be waiting for a few years before that.

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