May 4, 2004

GM delivers first full-size hybrid pickup truck

Detroit, Michigan – General Motors delivered the world’s first full-size hybrid pickup, a Chevrolet Silverado, to Miami-Dade County in Florida at the 10th National Clean Cities Conference and Expo in Fort Lauderdale. Later this month, the county will take delivery of a total of 50 Chevrolet Silverado extended cab hybrid pickups for inclusion in its fleet.

First Chevy Silverado Hybrid
GM Marketing Director, New Ventures Kenneth C. Stewart and GM Director of Fleet Marketing John P. Gaydash (l to r standing) hand the keys to Miami-Dade Fleet Services Manager Olga Diaz and the staff from Miami-Dade Fleet Administration. Photo: General Motors/Gary I. Rothstein. Click image to enlarge

The hybrid pickups has a 5.3 litre V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission coupled with a new hybrid technology that delivers 10 to 12 percent improved fuel economy over regular GM half-ton pickups. The hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra offer the best highway fuel economy of any full-size truck on the market.

Instead of a conventional starter motor and alternator, the hybrid truck features a compact electric motor that is integrated in a patented, space-efficient way between the engine and transmission. The electric motor provides fast, quiet starting power and the ability to generate up to 14,000 watts of continuous electric power.

At a stoplight, the gasoline engine stops running, but the accessories continue working on stored electrical power. When the light turns green and the driver releases the brake, the gasoline engine kicks in again seamlessly, with little or no delay or disturbance.

The GM hybrid pickups are more efficient because of the engine start/stop function and regenerative braking, which turns the motor into a generator as the truck decelerates. Extra fuel savings come from quickly shutting off fuel any time the truck is coasting or braking, and using the electric motor to smooth out any resulting vibrations.

To ensure full accessory capability while the engine is temporarily stopped, an electrically driven hydraulic pump provides power steering, an electric pump continues to circulate hot water if cabin heat is needed in the winter, and cold, dry air is supplied in the summer for an extended period through control of the conventional air conditioning system.

“These hybrid pickups will save more fuel than gasoline-powered pickup trucks, with no compromise in performance or utility. In addition, Miami-Dade will now have the flexibility and productivity of generating wall-quality electrical power from the GM pickup truck when in remote locations,” said John Gaydash, GM Fleet and Commercial marketing director.

In addition to improvements in fuel economy and emissions, the GM hybrid pickups feature four 120-volt, 20 amp electrical auxiliary power outlets under the rear seat of the cab and in the pickup bed that can accommodate up to four accessories while driving or when parked. With this auxiliary generator capability, the truck’s generator can operate when the truck is parked without a key in the ignition and can be used to power anything from tools at a construction site to appliances at a campsite.

In the event of a power outage, the hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups could power tools or appliances for up to 32 hours non-stop. This design shuts the engine down before the tank is emptied, leaving enough gas to drive to a station for refueling. All power supply circuits are protected by a ground fault detection system to prevent overloads and short circuits.

Hybrid versions of the 2005 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups will be available to retail customers starting this fall.

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