LA 2007: Lutz and Peper show off Chevy's high efficiency fleet
Promising the best possible fuel economy for whichever type of vehicle its customers choose, GM's Bob Lutz and Ed Peper trotted a full lineup of green vehicles from their arsenal. The Aveo5, Impala E85, Malibu Hybrid, Tahoe Hybrid, Silverado Hybrid, Volt, Equinox Fuel Cell, Beat and Groove were used to show off that Chevy will be the brand carrying the greenish flame most prominently into the future for GM. Lutz talked about having a whole range of options available to meet future trends, from hybrids, to flex-fuel burners, to fuel cells, to electrics like start/stop technology and good old-fashioned economy cars that get great fuel economy.
The Aveo5, Groove and Beat fall into that last category. When talking about the Beat, Lutz admitted that although it was chosen by online ballot from among two other small car concepts, it's been the one the automaker's really wanted to build all along. "You wouldn't believe how many GM employees we had voting late into the night to make sure that happened," he joked. He added that because the Groove had also gotten a fairly large number of votes, it too could see production some day.
Lutz added that 10 of the 100 Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell (EFC) vehicles being built and put into the hands of real human beings in GM's Project Driveway program are headed to Disneyland. As part of a new partnership, Disney will use 10 of the EFCs for executive shuttles around the Disneyland complex to test and evaluate the vehicles over the next year. Talking about the hybrid Silverado trucks and Tahoe SUVs, Bob mentioned that not only are they the first application of hybrid technology in full-size haulers, but the Silverado actually offers mileage comparable to some base 4-cylinder Toyota cars. Zing!
Lutz isn't sure which way the enviro winds will blow, but he wanted to stress that Chevy will follow the breeze wherever it leads. We're not sure how cars like the Corvette and Camaro fit into this equation, but in all fairness, those cars could well follow these same guidelines and offer best in class efficiency like the rest.