|GM’s hybrid system applied in the Sierra. Click to enlarge.|
General Motors has expanded the availability of its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size start-stop hybrid pickup trucks nationwide beginning with the 2006 model year. The trucks had been available only to retail customers in Alaska, California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
The hybrid pickups replace the conventional starter motor and alternator with a compact 14-kW electric starter generator integrated between the engine and transmission. GM estimates that the start-stop system will provide fuel savings of 10%.
The hybrid models use GM’s Vortec 5300 5.3-liter V-8 engine with 295 horsepower (220 kW) and 454 Nm of torque, a four-speed automatic transmission, and the start-stop system with regenerative braking.
Generated electricity is stored in a 42-volt lead-acid battery pack. The truck can also provide 20 amps of 120-volt household-like power through outlets in the cab and pickup bed to operate power tools at a construction site or to run essential home appliances during power outages.
The hybrid option is available only the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab pickups. The option is net priced at $1,500 and comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on all hybrid-related components.
It’s a fully capable V-8 powered hybrid pickup truck that can haul and tow just as much as its rugged gasoline counterpart, along with providing customers a 10-percent fuel economy savings.—Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain
Which begs the question, why not apply the start-stop system more widely, and in diesel models?
According to the EPA, the conventional 2006 Silverado and Sierra pickups with the same displacement engine and transmission achieve combined fuel economy of 18 mpg in the 2WD configuration. A 10% improvement in fuel economy via the start-stop system would nudge that toward 20 mpg US.