GM’s return to hybrids could start with large pickups and SUVs

GM’s return to hybrids could start with large pickups and SUVs

GM’s change of position on hybrid vehicles is good news for the company, its customers and the environment. Now the automaker must implement the plan. Easier said than done.

In response to the automaker’s stumble in launching its new electric vehicles, GM CEO Mary Barra said at the end of January that GM would offer plug-in hybrids in the United States, reversing an earlier decision to focus on electric vehicles without hybrids as a move. intermediate.

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt presented a rare opportunity to score a deal on a hybrid vehicle.  But the automaker has discontinued this model, pinning its hopes on Ultium batteries and electric motors developed by General Motors.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHEVs, combine a traditional internal combustion engine — also called an ICE — with an electric battery powerful enough to allow the vehicle to be driven frequently without emissions.

PHEVs are not a silver bullet. There is no free lunch in engineering: a vehicle with a second power source is more complex and expensive than an ICE alone. That, combined with confidence in GM’s Ultium batteries and electric motors, led the automaker to announce its leap into electric vehicles, even though it pioneered plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology more than a decade ago with Chevrolet Volt car.

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