GM puts out a full size hybrid pickup

There’s been a lot of noise about Ford finally putting out the first Hybrid SUV, the ‘Ford Escape’. I’ve looked at these, and to me they’re sort of toy SUV’s. THey have poor towing capacity, poor cargo capacity, and are basically just stretched up small station wagons. What’s the win?
Then I noticed that GM has a full size Hybrid pickup. This is going in a great direction – this is a full size V8-based pickup that has an electrical assist / hybrid system within it. It does the same thing the Prius does (shuts down the engine at full stops, uses the electric motor for startups, etc). This also coupled with a full towing package, no reduction in cargo capacity or seating (it has a full extended cab).
One of the coolest things is the electrical system provides a 120v 20amp set of outlets that are available fulltime. If you have a need for onsite power, this is enough juice to run a house in low-use conditions (water pump, lights, etc). On a full tank, in theory it’ll run for about 32 hours (and automatically turns itself off before it runs the tank dry, so when you need to go to the store to get more gas, you have a small reserve 🙂
The mileage still isn’t earthshattering. Empty, this truck will do 13-15mpg. With the Hybrid system, they’re talking 12% improvement in mileage, which only raises things to 14.5 – 16.8 mpg. Better, and worth it, but until trucks get over 25mpg with the ability to occasionally tow big loads and carry cargo, I’m not going to be doing any handstands.
On the gripping hand, if I continue with my current endeavors, I’m not commuting anywhere (since I work at home or at a nearby office), the only time I need to drive anywhere is to move equipment to a show, or to haul any of the various trailers / boats we do, or to do work on the house. One of the houses we’re looking at it < 15 minutes from Zach's school, which is a tolerable drive in the truck on a regular basis. For longer trips up to Maine, we still have the Golf, which gets 42+ MPG.
Or maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into a new toy. Nahhhhh.

Dave Shevett

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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5 thoughts on “GM puts out a full size hybrid pickup

  1. . THey have poor towing capacity, poor cargo capacity
    How many SUV owners do you really, truly believe buy them for their towing and/or cargo capacity anyway? I’m not talking about you, before you get all indignant. 😉 I’m talking about Joe Average suburban professional, who maybe some weeks might haul as many as five bags of groceries in the back of their Lexus SUV.

  2. What Cathy said. I mean, really, what do you mean, what’s the win? The majority of people aren’t buying these things because they’re towing things or carrying more than their kids and maybe some soccer balls. People are buying them because they’re “cooler” than a boring old station wagon, sedan, or, saints preserve us! a minivan. So if Ford can get people who just want a more stylish version of a family car to buy one that uses less gas, I say go for it.
    As for you, you may not need to drive to work, but you probably drive almost every day, either to get lunch, or to run errands, or, of course, during the school year, to take Z to school. So, you may not be commuting on a regular schedule, but you still do enough driving that saying the only place you drive is to cons isn’t entirely the case.
    This isn’t to say that you don’t have reasons to get a new toy, but I’ll still be here to poke holes in your balloon 🙂

  3. And I bet you’re shocked, SHOCKED I say, to see Rosa and I chime in on this one, aren’t you? 😉

  4. Truly blown away! Whoddathunkit?
    The issue of course is the same argument goes right back. I totally agree that 98% of the people driving SUV’s do not need them. THey are the 90’s status symbol. For the most part oversized, inefficient, and pretentious.
    What bugs me is there are legitimate uses for these vehicles. For me a sedan or a small car or even a small station wagon doesn’t cut it for real work. I use the Golf for any distance driving or the like, and that’s great. But I find myself continuously limited in doing other things. Moving the boats around, hauling things for working ont he house, and of course, the conventions.
    My biggest issue with SUV’s (and remmeber I used to have one 🙂 is people who use a Suburban every day, day in, day out, to drive to their office, or to pick up the kids at school, or whatever. That irks the bejeezus out of me.
    Regarding the daily use – and I’d rather not get into a tit for tat on ‘see? not me!’ – but one of the reasons I’m excited about possibly moving to marlboro is that I -don’t- have to drive everywhere every day. To lunch, to get a tool, whatever. I can bike or walk or whatever. And even taking Zach to school – 14 minutes, we clocked it yesterday. That’s a far cry from the 35 minutes it was from Homeport (and much of it is slowish, which Hybrids are best at).
    Am I over-rationalizing? Perhaps. I do see myself constrained by the current vehicle arrangements, aprticularly when we’re moving big heavy things a lot. Is it realistic to consider getting a truck right now when the finances are tight and so much is unstable? Probably not – if I go for a utility vehicle, most likely it’ll be a smaller Toyota SR5 or the like – something that can pull a decent trailer, haul large quantities of Stuff [tm], and not break the bank money-wise or mileage wise. Oh, and be able to carry 3 people (extended cab, baybee 🙂

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