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Chevrolet Silverado And GMC Sierra Hybrid Pickup Trucks Now Available Nationwide

Hybrid system saves fuel, offers unique built-in generator

DETROIT - General Motors has expanded the availability of its full-size hybrid pickup trucks nationwide beginning with the 2006 model year. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra hybrid pickups are the world's first full-size hybrid pickup trucks, provide the highest estimated city fuel economy of any full-size truck in the market and offer customers the added benefit of a 2400-watt built-in generator. The trucks were previously available in select markets.

The hybrid option is available on the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab pickups. The option is net priced at $1,500 MSRP and comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on all hybrid-related components.

The Silverado and Sierra hybrid pickups feature GM's Vortec 5300 V-8 engine with 295 horsepower (220 kW) and 335 lb.-ft. (454 Nm) of torque, the Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission, and GM's hybrid system. These hybrid pickups deliver a 10-percent fuel economy improvement over regular models, making them the most fuel-efficient full-size trucks on the road.

GM's hybrid trucks improve fuel economy without sacrificing the performance that customers expect from a full-size pickup. For example, both the Silverado and Sierra can tow up to 7,700 lbs. and are available with a heavy-duty suspension package. Gross vehicle weight rating is 6,200 lbs. for the 2-wheel drive model and 6,400 lbs. for 4-wheel drive.

"It's a fully capable V-8 powered hybrid pickup truck that can haul and tow just as much as its rugged gasoline counterpart, along with providing customers a 10-percent fuel economy savings," said Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain.

According to the EPA, the 2006 Silverado and Sierra pickups achieve 18 mpg city and 21 mpg highway in the 2WD configuration; and 17 mpg city and 19 mpg highway in the 4WD model. Combined fuel economy is 19 mpg and 18 mpg, respectively.

The hybrid pickups achieve extra fuel savings because they automatically stop and restart the engine under different operating circumstances. Instead of a conventional starter motor and alternator, the hybrid pickups use a compact 14-kW electric induction motor or starter generator integrated in a patented, space-efficient manner between the engine and transmission. The starter generator provides fast, quiet starting power and allows automatic engine stops/starts to conserve fuel. It also smoothes out any driveline surges and generates electrical current to charge the batteries.

The electricity generated by the starter generator has plenty of uses. It may be stored in a 42-volt lead-acid battery pack for future use, support on-board electric accessories, or provide 20 amps of 120-volt household-like power through outlets in the cab and pickup bed to operate power tools at a construction site or to run essential home appliances during power outages.

For example, in the event of a power outage, the hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups could power tools or appliances for up to 32 hours nonstop on a single tank of gasoline.

GM began initially offering the hybrid pickup trucks in 2004 to retail customers in Alaska, California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 317,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company's history. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com. GM's corporate responsibility web site, www.gmability.com, contains additional information about GM's environmental initiatives.