The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid – the first General Motors vehicle to use the company’s all-new two-mode hybrid system – has been named Green Car Journal’s 2008 Green Car of the Year. The award was presented at a press conference this morning at the Los Angeles Auto Show.This could mark the beginning of a more competitive green battle between GM and Toyota.
According to a BusinessWeek article, “GM, once a laggard in fuel efficiency technology, is making its nemesis Toyota – the undisputed image leader in fuel-efficient transportation – take notice by starting a new and legitimate rivalry for the next generation of hybrid trucks and SUVs, as well as plug-in vehicles. Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW all opted in 2005 to adopt GM’s hybrid technology in a four-company venture, rather than to license Toyota’s hybrid hardware.”
GM has kicked off a worldwide marketing campaign to prove it has the products and technological know-how to back up Chevy as an Earth-friendly brand.
“This is a milestone in many respects,” says Green Car Journal editor and publisher Ron Cogan. “People don’t think ‘green’ when SUVs are concerned, and for generally good reason since SUVs often get poor fuel economy compared to most other vehicles. Chevrolet’s Tahoe Hybrid changes this dynamic with a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 30 percent compared to similar vehicles equipped with a standard V-8.”
According to the EPA’s 2008 estimated fuel economy ratings, Chevrolet’s achievement is even more apparent during city driving where a large percentage of SUVs spend their time every day. In this environment, the 6.0-liter two-mode hybrid Tahoe achieves 50 percent better fuel economy than a Tahoe powered by a standard 5.3-liter V-8. What’s equally eye-opening is that the Tahoe’s 21 mpg city fuel efficiency rating is the same as that of the city EPA rating for the four-cylinder Toyota Camry sedan.