GM Reportedly Canceling Next-Gen Hybrid Trucks

Citing several inside sources – but not yet confirmed by General Motors – it is being reported that GM will discontinue development of most of its next-generation hybrid light trucks.

The vehicles – namely the Chevrolet Tahoe, Silverado, and GMC Yukon and Sierra employing the company’s fairly effective but pricey Two-Mode hybrid system – are among those GM Inside News says are believed to be on the chopping block.

In most applications the hybrid system offers around an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway compared to maybe 15 mpg or less city, and 22 mpg or less highway for GM’s conventional V8 – depending on whether 2WD or 4WD, and regular fuel or E85.

Contrast the hybrid’s incremental gains to also-GM-based VIA Motors series hybrid trucks now being evaluated by fleets. These offer around 100 MPGe and among other acknowledgments were well received in a video review by Jay Leno.

The Two-Mode hybrid Cadillac Escalade might be carried forward, sources told GMI, due to the prestige value that high-profile celebrities bestow on GM when they buy the big greenish Cadillac-badged trucks.

But even if this is so, GM’s current hybrid trucks and SUVs have not sold well. Total annual sales in 2011, for example, are: Silverado, 1,001 units; Escalade, 819 units; Yukon, 598 units; Tahoe, 519 units, Sierra, 164 units.

Also reported is that GM’s hybrid truck program has seen cost overruns and management does not feel the vehicles are presently worth continued investment.

Before this latest wet blanket was thrown on the program, GMI noted the original plan to revise GM’s hybrid light-duty vehicles called for an updated version of the current Two-Mode system. Also pending were smaller displacement V8 engines, upgrading the battery storage to a more modern lithium-ion pack and revised electric motors. Speculation also had it that GM would employ more than two modes, including possible plug-in functionality.

General Motors has not officially confirmed the above report said to have been the result of speaking to several sources with knowledge of the company’s production plans.

GMI


  • Van

    Bottom line the two mode tranny is too costly. But nobody else seems close to offering an alternative. Ford and Toyoda did agree to develop a truck/SuV hybrid real wheel drive system but the expected date for retail is “later half of this decade” so 2015 model year at the earliest.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    A hybrid Escalade never made any sense except to make the owner feel green when they really weren’t…..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Max Reid

    Good news, neither the Escalade-H sold well, when these 4 models were closed, Escalade-H will also go down.

    These vehicles never made sense as a Hybrid. 95% of the Hybrids sold were smaller vehicles with v4 engine. Eventually all Hybrids with V8 & V6 engine will go away.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    The issue is the new Eco Boost V-6 equipped Ford F-150s are selling well and getting similar MPG as those V-8 equipped Hybrid Pickups… They are also cheaper…

  • Old Man Crowder

    So we’re losing hybrid, higher mpg pick-up trucks. Trucks that people need. And we’re gaining a hybrid Bentley SUV; something nobody needs.

    Sure. Makes perfect sense.

  • Oat Roller

    Does this mean that the new system that was being tested th fleet vehicles last spring is moving toward production?

  • Oat Roller

    Does this mean that the new system that was being tested in fleet vehicles last spring is moving toward production?