I can’t believe it, but it is November already and we are in Los Angeles to cover the 2007 Los Angeles International Auto show. We won’t be giving you up-to-the-second updates (for that, check out The Car Connection) but rather a daily recap and then a few days later our Top Vehicles list.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I am a guest of General Motors for this trip and had the pleasure to drive their latest-generation Fuel Cell vehicles yesterday afternoon as part of their social media program. The route was just a short jaunt around downtown L.A. but the Fuel Cell Equinox was quite impressive. The power delivery was immediate and very linear – and it should be as the Equinox is essentially an electric vehicle. The electric motor has no transmission, offers immediate torque and virtually silent operation. The Fuel Cell system supplies a zero-emission electric supply in tandem with more traditional on-board batteries. This solves the problem that plagued other electric vehicles – short battery life that limited the range you could operate the vehicle.
One of the limiting factors is the availability of Hydrogen fuel stations. Then there is the public perception of Hydrogen being a highly volatile fuel source (Hindenburg anyone?). GM realizes this and is launching an innovative program in L.A., D.C. and New York City called “Project Driveway”. The program makes approximately 100 Electric Fuel Cell Equinox’s available to select consumers for three months free-of-charge in exchange for honest feedback about living with the vehicles. We had the pleasure of meeting three people on the program and to say they are excited is an understatement.
Just this morning, it was announced that the Walt Disney company will take 10 of those vehicles to use as shuttles at their southern California offices. This project is an integral part of GM’s “From gas-friendly to gas-free” campaign. Starting from the ‘gas-friendly” vehicles like the new Chevrolet Aveo, then adding over 2 million flex-fuel capable vehicles, and the launch of the new Malibu, Tahoe and Silverado Hybrids and ending with the Volt concept – Chevy has publicly committed to being the “fuel solutions leader”. Watch video to the right.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Awarded “Green Car of the Year”
When you think “green”you probably don’t think full-size SUVs yet just today the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid was awarded the “Green Car of the Year” by the Green Car Journal. Five vehicles were in the running with GM’s brand represented by three of their vehicles. It was the Tahoe Hybrid SUV that ran away with the prize. The Tahoe Hybrid is the world’s first Hybrid SUV and achieves up to 50% better fuel economy in the city compared to the gasoline-only version. At 21 MPG city, it gets better mileage than a Toyota Camry, seats 8 and can still tow an impressive 6,200 lbs.
The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is priced at $50,490 generously equipped. The same Hybrid drive train will be available on the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade.