GM to Unveil 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

2005 Silverado Hybrid

The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid will be the first full-size pickup to feature a full hybrid system. The vehicle, expected in 2008, is expected to achieve 40 percent greater fuel economy in the city, and 25 percent better fuel economy overall, compared to the standard gas-powered Silverado. That translates to EPA numbers of 19 city/21 highway.

Nov. 14, 2007 – Seven years after the first hybrids were introduced in the U.S. market, there are still no gas-electric minivans, wagons, subcompacts, or pickup trucks. General Motors plans to fill one of those gaps in the market—the fuel-efficient hybrid pickup—when the two-mode Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid goes on sale in late 2008.

This week, General Motors will unveil the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This is the first full-size pickup to feature a full hybrid system. In late 2004, General Motors launched an ultra-light hybrid system on the Silverado and Sierra models. The total production run on both was about 3,000, but it was never entirely clear if or where you could buy one. Then, in December 2006, GM “quietly dropped the hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups,” according to Automotive News.

The new two-mode Silverado hybrid, expected in 2008, is expected to achieve 40 percent greater fuel economy in the city, and 25 percent better fuel economy overall, compared to the standard gas-powered Silverado. That translates to EPA numbers of 19 city/21 highway. GM claims the truck will be the most fuel efficient full-size pickup on the road, and at the same time offer up to 6,100 pounds of towing capacity.

The two-mode hybrid system utilizes a 300-volt battery to store energy and can operate in all-electric mode at low speeds. At higher speeds, the electric motor can run in conjunction with the truck’s 6.0-liter V8. For additional fuel savings, the engine can shut down four of its eight cylinders and operate in a more economical V-4 mode when power is not in demand.

“It’s unclear how much demand there is for full-size hybrids,” said Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates. "This is really new territory.” Every year, combined sales of the Silverado and Sierra add up to 700,000 or 800,000 units. If GM has the vision to produce 20 percent of these pickups as full hybrids beginning in late 2008, they could catch up with Toyota in hybrid sales in one year.

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  • Charles

    The more I see competition and the entries of hybrid vehicles into the market, the more I think any effort is a worhty effort. Albeit the 19mpg is still abysmal, and what is the purpose of matching it to an undoubtedly antiquated SIX LITER engine?? My guess is that GM is simply throwing in a basic electric motor and battery pack to allow someone to back out of their driveway in the mornings.
    Kudos anyway to GM……..just hope the system isn’t “weak” as their earlier hybrid platforms have proven. Sell, Sell, Sell

  • Mike

    After that laugh-of-an-excuse for “hybrid” pickup trucks that was originally released in 2004, I am happy to see a “real” hybrid offered by GM. I hope it sells well.

  • Floyd

    MY 1998 Sierra with the 5.7 liter gets around 14 mpg in town and the best highway I have ever seen is 19. The 19 was under ideal conditions, between 17 and 18 lightly loaded highway in the norm. The city mileage looks better but I am not overly impressed with the highway number. I don’t understand why GM feels they need a 6.0 under the hood,even with cylinder management. I have to admit, it is an improvement, and you can use it as a truck.

  • Len from somewhere

    C,mon folks, we need a change! Where are all the inventors, the trailblazers, the daring Edisons, Marconis, Hammonds?
    America supplies the world with American entertainment, American music, American literature, American food and American money with American patience.
    It’s time for American it water, solar, wind, wood, corn, sugar, steam. America, it’s your turn.

  • Beth J

    In a world where people need pick-ups for a variety of reasons- isn’t a 20-25% gain in fuel economy significant. While I would like a truck that gets 50mpg it – is that possible right now? Maybe we should be more excited than we are…are we expecting miracles or should we be excited that GM is trying to make a differce? I think we should encourage buyers to take that 20% and be proud of it!

  • ex-EV1 driver

    Why must they persist on overcomplicating things by adding the variable cylinders and using a stupid V-8 ICE? With the electric drivetrain, they should be able to power the Silverado with a small 4 or 6 cylinder ICE and use the electric motor for the heavy lifting.
    I hope for the best but fear this will be to expensive for people to buy and too unreliable.

  • Kurt

    I used to own a 1979 Mazda B2000 pickup. It got as much as 40 mpg on the highway. I realize that most American men wouldn’t be cought dead in a “mini” truck, but theres a lot of us that only require a truck for smaller payloads. Why are we not seeing that kind of setup coupled with a hybrid system?
    I can imagine they would be able to produce a small truck that would be capable of 50 – 60 mpg easily.

    Built that one and I will be first in line!!!

  • Bert

    convert a truck with all lithium-ion

  • Don

    You need the big V8 for towing and hauling. In this case it makes a great deal of sense because for those who really need a truck a 4 banger wouldn’t work.

  • Dom

    I’ve also read GM is readying a ~4.3L small block V8 diesel engine for this same truck, to be release around the same time frame. I’m excited to see two such options in the same model! It should really show the strengths and weaknesses of each power train. I wonder which will be more fuel efficient, and which will have a better tow rating, etc.

    However, I definitely agree with Kurt on the small pickup issue. Too bad more people won’t buy smaller trucks, instead of these huge monster trucks. VW used to sell a diesel Rabbit pickup that got 50mpg! I guess it didn’t sell that well, so they don’t make them anymore. Shoot, there are hardly any small pickups left on the market anymore.

  • Brian

    With the price of gas at 3.15 a gal. and it’s fall next summer it’s going to reach 4.00 a gal . I own a 2004 silverado with a 5.2 liter and gets on avg. 16.7 miles to the gal.
    My lease is coming due the 1st of the year and as much as I love the truck i have a hard time with 62 dollars a week for gas right now , can you imagine this summer at 70 to 75 dollars. Yeah it’s getting crazy …
    I sorry I can’t applaud the Silverado Hybrid at 19 to 20 miles per gallon and that is their est..
    Personally I cannot believe with the engineering staff at a large company like GM who has been in the business this long, cannot come up with better numbers, I feel this issue about fuel economy should be without question their number one focus for the future of there company.
    Sorry about being a little harsh but I believe GM needs to have another look at the engineers.
    It’s time for a paradigm shift into Good fuel economy vehicles
    for every make. I feel this 19 – 20 miles a gallon is a joke , let’s get serious here. The way oil has begun to be so unpredictable should be a sign for a truly serious change in our
    countries priorities. We in the U.S. are way to dependent on Oil, a little disruption and their goes the country.

  • Paul

    I think its great that a larger truck with a 6.0 can get the same fuel economy at a 1/2 ton truck with a 5.3 engine. And the 6.0 is not antiquated as Charles suggests. This is a great step foward in large engine efficiency while retaining towing capacity for those who really need it.

  • thomas foca


  • Abraham

    C’mon peolpe! It’s time to truly change the auto industry in America! We need real changes, not just a 2 or 3 mile per gallon improvement! That’s why Toyota is about to become the number one auto-maker in the US!! GM and Ford must understand that we need super efficient vehicles on the road because now we are concerned and worried about global warming and its consequences and because according to numerous experts, economists and geologists the price of oil can easily get to $150 to $200 a barrel in the next two to three years.

    Toyota understood that and that’s why it’s leading. World oil production is about to peak and everything that depends on oil will colapse, especially cars and airplanes. Maybe by 2012 we will only see three-wheeled electric cars. It’s just a matter of time and that’s why we urgently need radical and revolutionary changes, not superficial changes!!!

  • Money Matters

    Gm could get better MPG out of their offerings by adding, Direct Injection. Gm seems bent on impressing the public, then they stop just short of wowing everybody. Direct Injection, and dry sump oiling could be combined with MDS for significant gains in MPG.

  • hybrid cars

    i don’t know if you can do a hybrid truck…just don’t sound right…i will be awesome if it works good