Think battery power and regenerative braking are only for granola-eating hippies? Think again. GM was kind enough to give us a little time with their new-for-2009 (read: available in the first half of next year) Silverado hybrid. And we tried something you can't do with a Prius: We tooled around town with three people onboard — and a 20′ SeaRay boat out back.
But is this an option for which you'll ante up a couple grand next year? Read on past the jump for our hands-on experiences and video footage.
Like all hybrids, the Silverado recovers energy during braking and coasting, storing it in a 300V bank of NiMH batteries located under the rear seat. Instead of idling when you stop at a light, the truck shuts down the engine, powering accessories like the a/c compressor and power steering with electric motors.
As you accelerate from a stop, the Silverado starts out on battery alone, delivering power via two electric motors directly attached to the transmission. When the load is too much for the motors, GM's electronics automatically start the engine and feed in gas power through planetary gear sets. GM calls this "hybrid mode." If you mash the right pedal even harder, the truck enters "engine mode" and powers the wheels totally with the gas engine under the hood.
GM calls the Silverado a "two-mode" hybrid because they optimize each of its two electric motors for separate purposes: one for stop-and-go city use and the other for supplementing engine power at highway speeds.
I hope the quoted 6000 pound towing capacity is a typo, because 6000 pounds is nothing when even small utility trailers can weigh 3500 pounds.
I see this as Baby Steps - you have to start somewhere.
What a stupid move by GM, no one is going to buy trucks for everyday driving anymore, only is people like contractors gonna buy it which is not a big part of the pickup truck market share.
Great article. Yes it is a new GM truck concept and sure the truck is not perfect for every consumer. I think it is a positive improvement for truck owners who drive. Contractors,ranchers and weekend haulers will benefit from this technology especially with the higher price ($3.80) in gas price.It is a joint venture from other automakers including Mercedes.
Production availible in January and a smaller engine option availible . 2 electric motors will be inside the tranny. electric motors will run vehicle in reverse and forward up to 15 mph. Torque is more like a Diesel motor.
This looks like a nice truck and I am interested enough to check them out. What I found was very disappointing. Unlike the rest of the GM truck line where you can order a truck with the options you want the Hybrid only comes in 2 version, loaded and overloaded. For me this is a deal killer before I even get on the lot. To bad that a nicely engineered truck is not going to sell because of the marketing department. I guess GM really doesn't understand the customer.
This style of car, it's very practical, and suitable for family use,and it can go anywhere
Nice to read about that GM has added good hybrid feature in this Pickup to make some different impression than other.