Chevrolet Unveils Silverado Hybrid

Chevrolet Unveils Silverado Hybrid

Chevrolet announced the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, a full-size pickup that achieves 40% greater city fuel economy and a 25% improvement in overall fuel economy. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the market, besting the current V-8 leader - the non-hybrid Silverado.

Partnering General Motors’ patented 2-Mode Hybrid system and a powerful 6.0L gas V-8, the Silverado Hybrid delivers highly efficient performance while maintaining full-size pickup capability. The hybrid system provides all-electric driving at low speeds, allowing fuel savings to be realized even when the truck is fully loaded or towing a trailer. Silverado Hybrid can tow up to 6,100 pounds (2,767 kg).

“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 Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “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 Silverado Hybrid goes on sale in late 2008 and is based on the award-winning Silverado platform that was introduced for the 2007 model year. It will be offered in the Crew Cab body style; 2WD and 4WD models. Each model features Silverado’s “Pure Pickup” trim and comes standard with several popular features, including StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle and a trailering package.

The Silverado Hybrid’s fuel-saving performance is derived from GM’s advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), which work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. GM’s hybrid technology system not only enables the Silverado to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, it also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

With GM’s 2-Mode Hybrid system, the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

The 2-Mode Hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses in more than 70 North American and European cities. Scaled-down for use in passenger vehicles, the 2-Mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most - in large vehicles with high levels of capability.

Integration of the hybrid system on the Silverado is seamless - the battery pack is located in the chassis, beneath the rear seat - and perceptible only in what it lacks: noise.

In addition to increased fuel economy, the Silverado Hybrid’s electrically variable transmission also provides tremendous trailering capability, enhancing the smoothness and driving quality when towing. Electric drive is enabled up to approximately 30 mph (48 km/h), even when towing, allowing fuel savings when the truck is towing a trailer.

The EVT incorporates grade braking and tap up/tap down shift control. It also benefits towing on curves or lower-speed back roads, as exceptionally smooth gear transitions eliminate the “shift shock” torque disruption that can occur during abrupt shifts, such as when slowing or braking.

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