When GM first announced their efforts of producing a hybrid system for their Troop Carrier class SUV’s the Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon their estimates were for a modest 25 percent gain in fuel economy. After more testing it seems their modest estimates were too modest and that the real fuel savings has leapt to 50 percent. That would mean that this road behemoth would average around 21 mpg in the city; which is right there with the Camry.Â …Not so behemoth like.
The complete EPA rating for the Tahoe/Yukon Hybrid will be 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Those may not be the same average leaps found from other hybrid models, but when you consider the gasoline variant of those SUV’s gets 10 mpg in the city that is a colossal improvement. By comparison again to the Toyota Camry that 21 mpg in the city is 2 mpg better than the Camry V6 achieves. Ofcourse GMC is not targeting Camry owners with their marketing campaign for their new Hybrid SUV’s, but it is an eye-catching comparison.
However all that fuel efficiency comes at a hefty cost. The Hybrid drive system and its two electric motors costs GM $10,000 per car. That is not a cheap drivetrain. The unofficial price of the new Tahoe/Yukon Hybrid is expected to be in the mid-$40,000 range. It is unclear whether that price range will give GM enough of a return for their big-budget engine, but it might be a strain to go higher. A strain on the Green car buyer who would never pay high dollars for the privilege of going Green.Â Â
…errr… wait…Â Â There are probably plenty of celebrities that would pay twice that amount to say they are driving Green in their new SUV.
Look for GM’s new $10,000 Hybrid system to find its way into the entire Cadillac line-up coming soon. The first Caddy to get it will be the Escalade in 2009.