2006 GMS Sierra Parallel Hybrid Truck

A few years back General Motors silently introduced the PHT versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The parallel hybrid trucks (PHT) had GM's first cut at a mild hybrid system. Unfortunately, they never provided much fuel economy benefit only giving about 2mpg more than a standard truck. Like the system used on the Saturn Vue and Aura, it can't move the vehicle on battery power alone.

The roughly 3,000 examples that were sold mostly went to fleet users such as contractors. The biggest draw of the motor/generator was actually the ability to use the system as a 2400W generator at any time. The trucks each had four 120V AC outlets which were handy for plugging in tools and other equipment. The electricity could be generated while the trucks were left idling, which obviously wouldn't seem to provide much environmental benefit unless compared to carrying around an extra generator which would likely be a lot noisier and dirtier than the truck engine.

New hybrid pickups based on the GMT900 platform with the two-mode hybrid system will go into production in mid-2008 and get about a twenty-five percent improvement in fuel efficiency. Unfortunately for contractors, they lose the generator feature.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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