GM has a good story to tell ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: GM has a good story to tell

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

GM has a good story to tell

In GM's annual report to stockholders, GM talks about its efforts to build fuel efficient vehicles.

  • Gm offers more vehicles here with an EPA rating of 30 mpg than any other car maker. GM offers nine models capable of E85 and has built 1.5 million flexible fuel vehicles.
  • They offer a hybrid bus.
  • They have had a light hybrid pickup truck for two years.
  • The low cost Saturn Vue hybrid will be offered at a base sticker of less than $23,000.
  • The 2008 Chevy Tahoe will be offered with the all new two mode hybrid system. The two-mode hybrid system was designed in conjunction with DaimleryChrysler and BMW.
  • GM is also promising fuel cell technology sometime in the future.

The author of the article I'm sourcing has several issues with these claims: GM's Fuelish Talk -
GM. Yet, in its just-issued annual report, GM tells stockholders, “We have a good story to tell…”

The issues I have with these statements are varied and deal mostly with the hybrid cars. Although the light pickup is a 'hybrid', it's what referred to as a mild hybrid. Capable of shutting the engine off when stopping and regenerative braking, the electric motor is not capable of much else. And so these 'hybrids' are helpful in congested areas, but make no significant differences in other areas of driving. The trucks GM is referencing barely qualify as hybrids.

The Saturn VUE hybrid will be a low cost hybrid, but again, will be a mild hybrid. Drivers will be saving a total of 4 mpg over the conventional gas engine, and so its unlikely consumers will be willing to shell out a premium for so little in savings.

The two mode hbyrid system could end up making a significant difference in the future. But its capabilities have yet to be seen.

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