The GM hybrid SUV lineup,
so far, includes the Chevy
Yukon and Saturn
VUE hybrid models.
Of the GM hybrid SUV
models, the S3X, Equinox and Saturn VUE share the same
Theta platform and incorporate mild hybrid systems.
The Chevy Tahoe and GMC
Yukon are heavier vehicles and feature a full hybrid system.
The GM mild hybrid SUV's are basically run with the gasoline
engine and assisted, as needed by the electric motor. Fuel savings
for the GM mild hybrid SUV's are in the 10-15 percent range.
The GM full hybrid SUV systems will be garnering fuel savings
in the 30-percent range over the standard gasoline-only models.
Early fuel cut-off during deceleration and engine idle shut-off
will also be featured on the most of the GM hybrid SUV models.
Another feature also offered on the smaller hybrid SUV models
will be GM's belt alternator system (BAS), which provides stop-start
functionality. It is not known at this point whether the larger
hybrid SUV's will also offer this system.
GM has decided to tackle their heaviest and most fuel-consuming
vehicles first with their full-hybrid system. This has drawn
criticism from some who would like to see GM cars and light
SUV's as the first recipients of fuel-savings and greenhouse
gas reduction. GM believes, though, by fitting buses, large
trucks and large SUV with hybrid technology, they can have
a significant impact on the marketplace and environment
and use what they've learned to then go after the light
SUV and car market. The Chevy
Malibu Hybrid is first slated to roll out in
2007 which will also carry the mild hybrid system.
As many hybrid enthusiasts think, though, any hybrids are
good hybrids and it doesn't matter if you start with cars
and work upwards or with buses and trucks and work downwards
in size. All that matters is that we eventually get there
is order to relieve our dependence upon foreign oil, our
own pocketbooks at the gas pumps, lessen the health hazards
coming from the tailpipes and reduce greenhouse gases and
global warming that continues to sicken the environment.
The GM hybrid SUV's are a welcome addition to achieving