Two GM hybrid trucks currently have taken to the showrooms.
Silverado Hybrid Truck and the GMC
Sierra Hybrid Truck offer both light hybrid functionality
and can be used as gasoline-powered electrical generators for
construction work, recreation, farming and home emergency use.
The Silverado and Sierra hybrid trucks share the same hybrid
power-train system including a 295 hp Vortec 5300 V8 Engine
with 335 lb.-ft. of torque and a standard Hydra-Matic 4L60-E
four-speed automatic transmission. Both GM hybrid trucks
include a compact induction electric motor (starter-generator)
squeezed between the engine and transmission.
The two GM hybrid trucks only gain a mere 12 to 15-percent
increased fuel mileage over the non-hybrid models, mostly
by shutting off the gasoline engine at low speeds and during
idles. Both GM hybrid trucks, do however, offer 37-percent
less emissions than standard models, which helps to make
up for the small gain in fuel efficiency.
While other full and mild hybrid models offer better fuel
efficiency gains and pollution reduction (there is some
debate over whether the GM hybrid trucks even qualify to
be called 'mild hybrids'), the GM hybrid trucks do fulfill
an important niche market. Touted as 'contractor trucks'
the Silverado and Sierra hybrid's offer those in the construction
industry the ability to run power tools for 32 hours without
The two GM hybrid trucks won't appeal to everyone, but
they are a step in the right direction as far as satisfying
the needs of a niche market as well as the overall need
regarding reducing emissions into our environment. It will
be interesting to see what the next generation of GM hybrid
trucks hold in regard to power, utility and greenness.