Chevy Silverado Full-sized Hybrid Pickup
When I was at the LA Auto Show this week, I had a chance to talk to Ed Peper, General Manager of Chevrolet. The big buzz over at Chevy, besides the much anticipated streeting of the new Camaro next year, is that Chevy is the brand GM has chosen to lead the way in creating alternative fuel cars. Not just one solution, but several, including Flex Fuels, Hybrids, the Fuel Cells (like the Equinox I drove. Read the post here.), and Electric. (Whether all of these vehicles make it off the concept drawing board, and onto the real-life roads, remains to be seen.)
They aren’t just developing little, compact, eco-looking vehicles designed to appeal to tree-huggers and granola eaters. No. There are big, honking, man-sized rides getting the green treatment over there. And one of the big announcements is the introduction of one that made it to the real-life roads, the new Silverado 2-Stage Hybrid Full-sized Pickup.
Designed to appeal to the same guys who drive the truck now, this hybrid version compares to the traditional version (read my post here) in horsepower, performance and towing ability, but gets about 50% better gas milage. The two stage hybrid system works to keep your fuel economy at a premium, but still give you the option to call on some balls when needed. At low speed and with a light load in the bed (insert “married guys never have a light load in the bed” joke here), the Silverado can operate with electric power, engine power, or any combo of both. At highway speeds and pulling a full load, the second mode kicks in to put four-cylinder or full eight-cylinder power to work, with the electric motor assisting.
Either way, it’s programmed to get you the best balance of power and fuel economy. And for working guys who use the truck on the job, saving 50% on your gas outlay every month for a big work beast like this, helps.