Posted by: shoji | October 10, 2007

The Truth About GM’s Hybrids

Here’s an interesting post on the continuing GM vs. Toyota Hybrid Drive Train wars. There’s something to be said about incremental change that characterizes Toyota (following the revolutionary Hybrid Synergy Drive launch).

Can GM’s bold words and initiatives overtake Toyota? TTAC doesn’t think so…

The Truth About GM’s Hybrids
The two-mode hybrid system set to be introduced on the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon is classic GM: a technically ambitious product and that costs too much money. GM has publicly stated that the two-mode costs the company $10k. Try amortizing that with three dollar gas; it just doesn’t pan out. No surprise that development partners Daimler and BMW are quietly walking away from the two-mode in favor of their own cheaper partial-hybrid systems. Even using six bucks a gallon gas, Europeans can’t justify the extra investment.

GM will sell a few thousand hybrid Tahoes and Suburbans to politicians, celebrities and the like, so they can ride in their behemoths “guilt free.” Meanwhile, GM is rushing their new light-truck diesel to market. The oil burner’s a better and cheaper choice for the real world conditions in which pickups and SUV’s operate (highway mileage improvement of the hybrid Tahoe is all of 2 mpg). And just who’s going to buy a Chevrolet Malibu with a $10k two-mode hybrid system?

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