It's difficult to imagine a world where the words "fuel-sipping" and "full-size truck" can be used in the same sentence, but nevertheless, that world has arrived. Chevrolet's Silverado Hybrid is, oddly enough, both of those things, a two-mode hybrid pickup truck that uses some forty percent less fuel than its standard-drivetrain sibling. The Silverado's hybrid drivetrain consists of a 6.0-liter gasoline-powered V-8, an electrically variable transmission, and a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) battery pack. The entire package allows the truck to drive at speeds up to 30 mph on electric power alone.
-The only full-size hybrid pickup on the market
-One body style (crew cab); two available drivetrain options (two- or four-wheel drive)
-Forty-percent improvement in city fuel economy and twenty-five-percent improvement in combined city/highway (compared with the ordinary Silverado)
-All-electric propulsion at speeds up to 30 mph-6.0-liter, gasoline-powered V-8 engine with GM's Active Fuel Management technology
-6,100-lb towing capacity (two-wheel drive)
-Cruising range of more than 500 miles
-On-sale in late 2008
Chevy's claim is correct; the Silverado Hybrid is, in fact, the only full-size hybrid pickup truck on the market. That alone makes the fuel-sippin' Silvy significant--and, crucially, gives its buyers something to crow about. After all, if you can't rub your hybrid purchase--pickup truck or no--in the neighbors' noses (and make SURE everyone knows that you want to save the Earth), what good is it?