Home » GM Goes Back To Plug-In Hybrids Shortly After Junking Its Plug-In Hybrid Technology

GM Goes Back To Plug-In Hybrids Shortly After Junking Its Plug-In Hybrid Technology

Tmd Volt 1536x864 Ts2
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It was a really hard decision today whether to lead The Morning Dump with the news that Elon Musk’s compensation package was tossed or with the admission from General Motors that the company was going to basically go back to plug-in hybrids after being kinda the leader in plug-in hybrids. Let’s do hybrids first.

The Musk news is pretty juicy, though. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was granted the biggest payment for any human being in history when the Tesla Board of Directors handed him options worth, oh, about $55 billion. A shareholder sued saying the Board of Directors gave Musk what he wanted without pushing back at all, thus diluting everyone not named Elon Musk. Guess who agrees? The Deleware Chancery Court!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

While we’re already talking about GM, more details have emerged about the battery fire at GM’s Factory Zero and the details are, uh, not great.

And, finally, BYD gets a German dealer, which is a big deal.

GM Is Back To Plug-In Hybrids, A Thing It Did Really Well And Then Abandoned For Some Reason

2016 Chevrolet Volt 4dr Hatchbac

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I continue to stand by my 2024 Is The Year Of The Hybrid proclamation from last year, which has only been made stronger by recent sales data about hybrid sales growth. You know who agrees with me? GM CEO Mary Barra, at least begrudgingly. Currently, GM is the least-hybrid-oriented of the Big Three, with both Ford and Stellantis offering numerous hybrids and PHEVs.

The reason for this is simple: GM decided to go all-in on the Chevy Bolt and electrification a few years ago and hybrids, at the time, seemed like an unnecessary half-measure.

The infuriating and typical GM aspect to this, however, is that GM was actually the leader in plug-in hybrid technology years ago and completely gave up its advantage because that’s what GM does. Whether it was turbocharging, electric vehicles, or digital dashes, GM engineers love to create the best technology in the world and then have executives abandon it for short-sighted reasons.

Before I get too deep into that tirade, here’s the call transcript with Barra and some other GM folks, but I’ll pull out the important bits. Here’s Barra:

Our forward plans include bringing our plug-in hybrid technology to select vehicles in North America. Let me be clear, GM remains committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from our light-duty vehicles by 2035. But in the interim, deploying plug-in technology in strategic segments will deliver some of the environmental benefits of EVs as the nation continues to build its charging infrastructure. We are timing the launches to help us comply with the more stringent fuel economy and tailpipe emission standards that are being proposed.

And we plan to deliver the program in a capital- and cost-efficient way because the technology is already in production in other markets. We’ll have more to share about this down the road.

All of this obviously makes sense. Jeep and Chrysler are selling a lot of PHEVs, thanks in part to federal tax credits, and those PHEVs definitely help with meeting increasingly stringent corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) issues.

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These aren’t coming soon, as Barra points out in a question about timing and segments:

This year, we’re very focused in — you know, I think as we are able to get the delivery to our dealers, they’re going to see the strength of the EV portfolio. So, I’ll have more to share on the hybrid capacity. We’ll adjust the capacity because, again, we have the technology. You know, we — we know the targeted segments that we’re going to apply it to.

So, we’ll — we’ll have the ability to flex and do what we need to from a hybrid perspective. But I think for — for calendar year ’24, EV is our focus, and we think we’ve got tremendous growth opportunity as we free up getting the availability of the products to — to customers.

So, those hybrids probably aren’t coming in 2024. Maybe, maybe, GM will preview some hybrids later this year, but that’s just a guess.

What could those segments be? GM has two real hits on their hands with the Trax and the Buick Envista, which I’m currently driving. The Enivsta so far is great, but has the same problem that all of these small-motor crossovers have (Bronco Sport, Corolla Cross) which is low-end torque from buzzy little motors. At least the Envista has a six-speed automatic as opposed to a CVT. The way the Corolla Cross gets around this is with a hybrid that provides an electric boost at low speeds.

The other place where PHEVs could make sense is with trucks, which is where RAM is going with its Ram Ramcharger. The other curious bit here is “we have the technology.”

Is she talking about the Voltec technology that General Motors spent a ton of money and time developing for the Chevy Volt that the company just abandoned? It’s been about five years since GM stopped selling the Volt so the tech isn’t that old.

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GM does sell a plug-in hybrid in China, specifically, the company sells the Starlight compact sedan through its Wuling partnership, but it doesn’t appear that this is a Voltec-based vehicle and instead uses a more traditional parallel PHEV setup. There’s also the Equinox PHEV in China as a commenter pointed out.

Judge: Musk Was Paid 250x The Normal Compensation And That’s Not Cool

221026151430 Elon Musk Entering Twitter Hq 1026 Screenshot
Screenshot: CNN

It’s been a long time since Elon Musk went to trial over the biggest paycheck in human history and, finally, we’ve got the results. According to the Delaware Chancery Court and Chancellor (judge) Kathaleen McCormick, that compensation wasn’t fair and the process of him getting said compensation was also flawed.

Say what you will about Musk, and I’ve said plenty, but sometimes he’s intentionally hilarious when he’s not saying terrible things or elevating terrible people. I highly recommend reading Judge McCormick’s decision because it’s funny as hell in a very Musk-y, semi-trolling sort of way.

Here’s how it opens:

Was the richest person in the world overpaid? The stockholder plaintiff in this derivative lawsuit says so. He claims that Tesla, Inc.’s directors breached their fiduciary duties by awarding Elon Musk a performance-based equity-compensation plan.

It gets better:

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This decision dares to “boldly go where no man has gone before,”2 or at least where no Delaware court has tread. The collection of features characterizing Musk’s relationship with Tesla and its directors gave him enormous influence over Tesla. In addition to his 21.9% equity stake, Musk was the paradigmatic “Superstar CEO,”3 who held some of the
most influential corporate positions (CEO, Chair, and founder), enjoyed thick ties with the directors tasked with negotiating on behalf of Tesla, and dominated the process that led to board approval of his compensation plan. At least as to this transaction, Musk controlled Tesla.

There’s a bunch more here, including saying Musk “launched a self-driving process” with regard to his compensation and that the board effectively rolled over.

The basic crux of Judge McCormick’s argument is that with a public company like this the rule of law is that it has to be fair and very little about the process wasn’t and Tesla/Musk didn’t do a good job of explaining why it was. Specifically, the judge points out that Musk himself admitted he wasn’t planning on leaving the company, so giving him all that money to colonize Mars might be interesting but it wasn’t necessary to keep Musk involved with Tesla.

What happens next? Musk could appeal, or the Board of Directors could come up with another slightly-less weird compensation plan, or Musk could quit in a huff. Who knows?

So far all we know is that Musk is being petulant about it on Twitter:

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According to Bloomberg, this currently makes Musk only the third richest man in the world, instead of the richest. Maybe that’s why he’s being a big ol’ crybaby about it.

Firefighters Have Responded To GM’s EV Plant At Least Eight Times In The Second Half Of 2023

Credit to Automotive News and its sister publication Crain’s Detroit Business for keeping up with the fires at GM’s Factory Zero plant in Detroit that’s responsible for building the GMC Hummer EV and future Silverado EV pickup, including one in December that shut down the plant.

The latest update has some concerning details:

The December incident marked the eighth or so time the fire department had made a run to the plant since the summer, said Dennis Hunter, chief of fire prevention for the Detroit Fire Department. The EV batteries’ volatile chemistry makes them more prone to catching fire — a major concern for the industry and first responders, especially as EV production volumes increase and battery plants proliferate across Michigan and the rest of the country.

“EV batteries, that’s a new hazard that we’re dealing with as a country right now,” Hunter told Crain’s, a sibling publication of Automotive News. “We’re currently working hand in hand with Factory Zero for a better response plan. We are working with them to improve how they handle these EV batteries going into thermal runoff or catching fire.”

And.

The frequency of runs to the GM factory has been taxing on the fire department, he said.

“It is a drain on our resources if we have four, eight or 12 fire apparatuses at their location, depending on the size of the fire, which is why we are working with them to have a better internal protocol for handling these electric vehicle batteries,” Hunter said.

There are plenty of factories that make batteries that don’t have these problems, though both Ford and Stellantis have had issues with EV prototypes or production lines experiencing fires.

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BYD Gets A Full Dealership In Germany

BYD is currently the world’s biggest EV carmaker due mostly to its performance in its home market of China, but its designs are clearly greater than that and BYD has been slowly selling cars in Europe.

Now BYD’s exclusive distributor in Germany, Stern Auto, is helping push the company forward by building a BYD-only showroom in Berlin to expose German consumers to the brand.

Per Reuters:

“One of the biggest topics for BYD is that it is not that familiar to German customers,” Oliver Hein, head of BYD for Sternauto, told Reuters. But recognition is growing “exponentially” as the brand invests heavily in marketing, he added.

The compact BYD Dolphin costs €35,990 ($39,000) and goes about 267 miles on the WLTP cycle. By comparison, a Volkswagen ID.3 costs €39,995 ($42,800) and has a slightly smaller range.

What I’m Listening To While I Write TMD

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The full title of Fiona Apple’s sophomore album is a poem:

When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring
There’s no body to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
And if you fall it won’t matter, cuz you’ll know that you’re right

I’m a big fan. I am not unique in this opinion, but Apple is the rare artist where I think each new album is better than the one that preceded it. Also, dig the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video above.

The Big Question

Mary Barra picks up the phone and calls you. She says “[enter your name here] you’re my only hope. We’re going to have to fix this hybrid issue and I want you to pick the three vehicles that are going to be hybrids or plug-in hybrids. What should we do?”

Photo: HBO/GM

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Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago

Mary Barra picks up the phone and calls you. She says “[enter your name here] you’re my only hope. We’re going to have to fix this hybrid issue and I want you to pick the three vehicles that are going to be hybrids or plug-in hybrids. What should we do?”

1) GM Precept. Build it, extreme aero slipperiness included(don’t compromise it for styling. Not… one… bit…). Use modern engine tech, make it a gasoline ICE instead if you must to make it pass emissions, but this will be a series hybrid like the Volt. You could have a sub-$20,000 5-seat sedan that as a plug-in hybrid has a 40+ mile all-electric highway range on all of like 6 kWh. Use power-dense A123 LFP batteries and have the electric motor from the Bolt do all the acceleration driving the rear wheels, and the gasoline ICE kept small and efficient. The ICE shouldn’t need more than 30 or so horsepower to have a 110-ish mph top speed. You could have an economical-to-operate car that can fit a family, do 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds, get 50 mpg city/80 mpg highway, and be an entry-level car for those on a budget while appealing to enthusiasts who don’t have Corvette money to burn.

2) Bring back a basic-ass S10 as a plug-in hybrid. No frills. This is a lightweight, small work truck to compete with the Ford Maverick, but outdo it in very way that matters. Target a sub-$25,000 price tag, use the same setup as above. Body on frame construction, and a body with aero slipperiness that will put any modern truck to shame. Go full-retard on the aero, in the context of a functional work truck with good ground clearance, and forget looks/styling anywhere it will increase drag. Cd value will end up in the upper 0.2 range, because it’s a truck and will never have the slipperiness of a streamliner, but could have the slipperiness of a modern bloated ICE sedan with ease if proper attention was paid. Keep the bed fully usable and accessible, no compromises on that. The base model will have seating for only 3, all up front, and it will be a tight fit like the 80s S10. Make an extended cap optional. It will look something like an Aussie Ute, but less stylized(no need for big wheels or much of a grille or any plastic cladding bullshit, efficiency is the goal, keeping cost low is the goal). It must be able to be used an abused in an oil field without failure. Use an E-Ray motor/inverter up front and a Bolt motor/inverter in back to give it AWD, standard, and a 0-60 mph time of under 4 seconds. The gasoline ICE can be hidden away in the front in a box that makes it very accessible and servicable when opened. You’d end up with a work truck that got 40+ mpg city, 50+ mpg highway, and on a 6 kWh A123 battery of high power density, and perhaps a 20-mile all-electric range.

3) Camaro rebirth. Using the same hypothetical battery and motors above, this will be a lightweight, affordable streamliner of a pony car. Sub-$35k for the base model, with AWD standard, like the above truck, but with a Corvette V8 powering the rear and the E-Ray motor/inverter powering the front. CdA at least as good as an EV1, but with a T-top. Focus on both mass reduction and CdA reduction, to have a sub-3,500 lb car with 160 all-electric horsepower and the V8 kicking in the rest. Will get 50 mpg highway, 30+ mpg city when not in EV-mode, with perhaps 20 miles all-electric range. Same 6 kWh power-dense battery to run it as the two above. Looks will be similar to the 90s catfish F-Body, except functionally streamlined and aping the GM Impact in shape with a minimization of all styling bullshit.

Finally, pure EV options of all of the above will be made available on the same platforms, as a cost-reduction strategy for the new platforms, using a larger battery pack of about 40 kWh. The sedan would get 300 miles range, the truck 200 miles range, and the pony car 300 miles range. All would be AWD, and the EV sedan and EV truck will have higher top speeds because they’re no longer relying on an inefficient gasoline engine, while the pony car might have to reduce its top speed over the V8 hybrid because continuous motor ratings being what they are, but the pure EV Camaro would also lose weight over the V8 and could come in below 3,000 lbs, and even with the horsepower reduction, will accelerate similarly.

Last edited 2 months ago by Toecutter
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I would do unspeakable things for the Toecutter Camaro to come to fruition.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
2 months ago

Hey maybe by the time my ’17 Volt shits the bed I can buy another plug-in hybrid from GM! Make it happen, universe.

Aaron
Aaron
2 months ago

GM should focus on high demand/high margin vehicles for PHEV/HEV applications.

  1. GMT T1XX – There’s no reason their whole full sized BOF truck/suv line shouldn’t have a battery pack slapped between the frame rails. There’s the most room to gain for fuel economy and the added torque will be welcome. Plus these are the top selling models for the company and they already come with huge profit margins ready to subsidize the PHEV/HEV options.
  2. Equinox/Terrain – The next gen Equinox just got announced. They could pretty readily tie a PHEV/HEV into a midcycle refresh of the Equinox/ Terrain, giving customers an ICE/PHEV/EV option just like the Hyundai Kona. Plus, it’s a popular model for fleets already and a hybrid option would only help.
  3. Envista/Trax – Compact crossovers are hot. They’ll spend most of their time in the city with the occasional road trip. This makes them a perfect application and a great opportunity to enhance the vision of the Trax and help Buick appeal to a younger set.
Scott Ross
Scott Ross
2 months ago

I think GM woke the hell up about plug in hybrids when their competitor up I-75 made a truck version with a similar setup to the Volt. Stellantis may have made it more simple by making it an ICE to generate electricity and electric motors to propel the vehicle, instead of making it a hybrid with a traditional ICE transmission. Sellantis may have gone with the K.i.s.s. method which is funny because it’s similar to the GM Electro-motive trains from the 60s.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott Ross

Stellantis likely used the series hybrid setup that you described for its transmission durability for towing. A GM, Ford, Toyota etc. planetary eCVT (parallel hybrid) is more efficient but may not be able to be made durable enough for a good tow rating.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago

First a preface/rant:
Full hybrids reduce fuel consumption by capturing energy when braking and then redeploying that energy strategically. That energy is best spent by going into an EV state at low speeds (under 30 mph) or maintaining speed (up to 60mph). While the former is fairly easy, the latter is harder to achieve and is what makes or breaks a good hybrid in my opinion. While something like a Ford Fusion can intermittently travel about a mile at a time in EV only mode at interstate speeds (60-70mph), a Ford Escape can only achieve this on suburban (45-55mph) roads, which is probably good enough for EPA testing.
There are 2 ways to mitigate this: either reduce drag (difficult to do without sacrificing some cargo space and styling), or make the motors/batteries more powerful (still limited by total braking regen energy though).

Based on that info, I’d choose:
– Trax/Envista/Encore: Fixes the biggest issues with the vehicle (MPG and engine reliability) assuming it’s paired with an N/A 1.4/2L in Atkinson cycle. It’s also intended to be more carlike (better aero) vs. the Trailblazer which is supposed to be styled like an ‘offroader’ ????.
– Equinox & co/Blazer: Choose whichever one can have better aero. I’d have said the current Equinox over the Blazer, but the new one is styled much more Trailblazer-like than Trax-like.
– Traverse & co: The Tahoe & co are just bricklike and draggy to benefit as much.

I expect all the above vehicles to spend a lot of time either in suburban & city conditions, or in heavy freeway traffic (more braking = more regen = more MPG). I expect mid and full size trucks along with the body on frame SUVs to spend more time on open freeways with less traffic, which means their hybridization is less effective in the real world for their customers. They’re great candidates for PHEVification especially when my full hybrid choices eventually become viable BEVs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Needles Balloon
PresterJohn
PresterJohn
2 months ago

With all these companies backpedaling on BEVs, I just wonder where Akio Toyoda goes to get his apology…

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

he should also go and get a hybrid corolla hatchback out in the US already. I don’t care if they don’t want to intrude on the Prius, figure it out, Prius people will still want the Prius, for everyone else, they want the rolla.

Last edited 2 months ago by Stryker_T
Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

They might be thinking of cutting the hatchback for the US if anything 🙁

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
2 months ago

terrible, terrible idea

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

He will find his apology at the local hydrogen filling station.

Toyoda was right as much by coincidence as anything else.

Der Foo
Der Foo
2 months ago

GM is most grudgingly at least talking about hybrids again. Not sure what, but some kind of hybrid. I think they moved away from them because they thought Toyota and others had that market tied up. Until Biden came to office, the Bolt was only a hedge into EVs.**

My feeling is that GM went all in on the EV because they thought they could be THE EV manufacturer, out of traditional car makers. Now that EVs aren’t the big hit in the US, GM is worried that ICE isn’t going to continue to lay golden eggs. EV products are still a few years away from being profitable (initial sales, recalls, etc. as a whole) for GM. Hybrids are now the ‘popular’ option and GM is now saying “Fine! We’ll make something something hybrid.{grumble}”

Not sure what tech they are going to base it off of since I think most their hybrid tech hasn’t been touched in over 5 years. Even if they still had a steady supply of Volt parts, it’s not like they can bolt/wire then into existing vehicles and ship’em. It will take time to figure out the design, get the parts and build hybrids.

** The Bolt is dead. GM will not produce it again. In a couple years GM might bring out an Ultium based car with the Bolt name, but it won’t be what made the Bolt so popular. My guess is that it will be an Ultium EV along the lines of the Trax.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

I think you are right on GM banking on trying to be the “it” manufacturer in EVs. Coming off the Bolt, they were further away from more products on sale, or electrifying current models, compared to Ford having the Mach E and Lightning – so they tried to thump their chest a bit. Toyota showed a bunch of EV concepts too a couple years ago, but they obviously had plenty of hybrid plans in the interim.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
2 months ago

Just bring back the Volt.

Minimal changes needed; I’m so tired of the sea of grey SUVs/Pickups.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

“Pick three? Oldsmobile, Saturn, and LaSalle. If you require greater specificity please remit my consultation fee, in full, in advance. Glad to have been of help.”

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

…I had to look up “LaSalle” and the university came up long before the car…

What do these help? They’re to add even more brands to their current lineup of brands?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Who said anything about keeping the current lineup? Anyway, I’m really going to need to see that fee before saying more.

Church
Church
2 months ago

I’d never seen that Fiona Apple music video before. I’ve listened to that album many, many times, but the video was new. It was delightful, so thanks for sharing!

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
2 months ago

The high volume ones, in this case Silverado 1500, Equinox/Terrain and Traverse/Acadia.

I’m still amazed that there is no current car on sale in the US that works the way the Chevy Volt worked, GM can do amazing things when they let their engineering do their job with no restrictions.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
2 months ago

GM is maddening.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago

I work in the industry and when your comment popped up in the corner of the browser a moment ago, I thought it was a coworker messaging me. 🙂

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
2 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

haha I also work in the industry…wasn’t the first time I’ve said something to that effect (though more often than not Stellantis is the target…)

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

The idea that hybrids and PHEVs are frivolous half measures has always been ridiculous to me. The US and much of the world have spent the last 50+ years building around ICE vehicles. It’s literally impossible to just throw that out the window and replace it overnight with unproven technology that we don’t fully understand yet. Hell, the scale of the environmental benefits of BEVs is still up for debate.

Right now they’re too expensive, the infrastructure for them doesn’t exist in a lot places, they’re ridiculously volatile investments, and the technology is still essentially in its beta stage. If you can make a BEV work, cool. Early adopters are important, the technology is almost certainly the future, and we need people to take the leap so we can sort things out further.

But if you can’t, you can’t. Hybrids and PHEVs dramatically reduce emissions and they work right now. They’re not lazy half measures that are holding up progress. They’re great transitional products that help right now and will for the next 5 years or more. Ignoring the good in favor of striving for perfection is a fool’s errand. Hybrids are essentially harm reduction, and that’s okay.

Now what I’d hybridize is a ridiculously easy decision for me. I’ve been screaming into the void about this for months now…hybridize the family haulers. All of them. They’re the perfect candidates for it and the fact that there’s no hybrid Traverse, Carnival, Odyssey, Pilot, Telluride, Pallisade, Forester, Explorer, etc. is criminal.

No one is driving a family vehicle for fun. Literally every single person who owns one would be thrilled to save money on gas. The fact that there are so few hybrids in the minivan/minivans that are shaped like SUVs/light duty SUV/etc. class is mind boggling to me. No one wants an appliance that gets gas mileage in the teens in 2024…and they can’t keep the hybrid versions of things like the Highlander, CRV/RAV, etc. on lots.

Yesterday I learned that roughly 3/4s of CX90 sales are the PHEV, even though the ICE engines are mild hybrids that get way better fuel economy than the competition. Anyway, I’d hybridize the Traverse, the Tahoe, and the last one would be a toss up between the new Equinox and the Colorado. Hybridize. The. Haulers.

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
2 months ago

Bought our first hybrid in November – Toyota Sienna. Needed something to haul the kids around town in but that can also take family road trips with our without our popup camper. We go too many places in the midwest without good charging options, plus if we’re towing the popup I don’t see an EV on the market that makes sense right now. I was really hoping for Toyota to come out with a PHEV Sienna in 2024 but they didn’t. The PHEV Pacifica isn’t rated to tow. 10-12 MPG improvement over the Dodge Grand Caravan we swapped out for it, and that’s in a Wisconsin winter. Hoping for some improvement in that when the weather warms up. The only reason we found one is that I happened to find a used one on a dealer lot the night before Thanksgiving, so we went in first thing Black Friday morning to test drive it and buy.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago

I doubt we’ll see a PHEV Sienna for a while, since production is currently highly limited by battery supply capacity. Maybe next refresh after the hybrid only Camry and RAV4 launches, but my hopes are not high.

Last edited 2 months ago by Needles Balloon
Younork
Younork
2 months ago

With the Sienna towing a pop-up, how well does it do going down hills? I’ve heard from an owner that down-shifting the engine barely provides enough braking power without a trailer, and therefore he is nervous for when he does have to tow.

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
2 months ago
Reply to  Younork

I haven’t towed with it yet, our popup camper is in winter storage until probably April. The brakes are quite sticky and I’ve had to readjust from my Grand Caravan, so hopeful it won’t be an issue. We shall see.

CPL Rabbit
CPL Rabbit
2 months ago

PHEV Minivan seems like the perfect vehicle to me. The big thing that keeps me in my old T&C (other than being paid off), is that you can’t have full Stow n’ Go in the Hybrid. After so many road trips and home projects, I cannot go back.

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

This is exactly it. Especially the gas savings bit, when you factor in savings on gas vs increased purchase price on almost any BEV, its at best a wash and more like a net loss over a HEV/PHEV, and when you consider increased depreciation curve of BEVs vs very strong HEV/PHEV residual values, the hybrids win 10/10 times on a cost basis and on a convenience basis.

Not to mention Hybrids and PHEVs make the most sense for a reduction of emissions per unit of lithium (or per kilo of battery, or however you want to shake it down). With a standard hybrid, you see a ~20-30% decrease in fuel consumption for MAYBE 3kWh of battery. That’s 25% reduction in emissions for less battery than is in some backups that you can buy online, versus a BEV with an 80kWh pack that sure, reduces 100% of tailpipe emissions, but that’s 4x the emissions reduction at over 20x the battery.

The equation is even more extreme for PHEVs which can reduce well over half emissions for a typical person (sub 40 miles per day, well within most new PHEV electric ranges) and use on the order of 8-10 kWh of battery. So that’s 50-75% or even more reduction in tailpipe emissions for around a TENTH of the battery mass of a BEV.

This is what Toyota has been saying for nearly a decade, and people didn’t want to listen, but now the general populous is wising up to just how good a value a PHEV is in comparison to a BEV, and the sales numbers are reflecting that.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

GM has a PHEV version of the new Equinox in China. I can’t see that not being an option unless they don’t want to confuse people with the Equinox EV. In which case they could also just tuck that powertrain under the Terrain, which might be the better play against Jeep as well. And/or the Buick Envision, which could be shared with China too.

The Chinese market also gets a Traverse hybrid, using a 2.0T – not a plug-in but still wouldn’t be a bad idea against the Grand Highlander.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
2 months ago

These are both such no-brainers that it’s kind of astounding it hasn’t been done yet.

Also, put both those powertrains in their respective Cadillac siblings.

Just like over at Toyota/Lexus, the regular drivetrains are so uninspiring that you’d have a ton of people opting for the hybrid.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

They should indeed go in Cadillacs too, though I’d be skeptical they’ll do only the Cadillacs. But say, a PHEV XT6 would have a place both here and in China too. Lincoln nixed the PHEV Aviator, but Lexus is rolling out a PHEV TX 550+ not to mention all the other premium plug-in options out there.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago

The truck platforms, a van, and a small car for max MPG.

Addlightness
Addlightness
2 months ago

Toyota has been selling as many $50,000+ Rav4 Primes as it could make for years and GM is just now catching on that PHEVs might be a good idea? Brilliant work over there in Detroit.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
2 months ago
Reply to  Addlightness

Probably the same people that have been chastising Toyota for not also going all in on EV’s…

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
2 months ago

I never understood why the Bolt/Volt architecture wasn’t made into a Colorado/Canyon. It seems a midsize EV or PHEV would be great for this. My wife drives a Hybrid Maverick and she loves it. The 45 mpg is pretty nice. But GM had this system around with the Volt for years and never capitalized on it.
-I don’t know why Fiona Apple isn’t bigger. Her stuff is terrific. I walk for an hour a night and I often listen to her or the Sinead O’Conner album “Am I not your girl”. If you like big band stuff, this album is fantastic and shows the range of a singer that was known more for being bald than an amazing artist.

Wally_World_JB
Wally_World_JB
2 months ago

Came here to say this! My daily is a hybrid Mav and it should have been a PHEV like my wife’s still-awesome Fusion Energi.

The Volt drivetrain could have been fitted to a Terrain-based ute like Ford did with the Mav/Escape platform…maybe still could? That unibody would be more than enough truck in the real world.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
2 months ago

Unfortunately, a big reason why she never got more popular than a fleeting moment on MTV/ a Grammy appearance or two, is because she has some pretty major mental problems. I don’t say that as an insult in any way. It’s well documented, and she’s talked about it plenty. Her music is great either way.

Aaron
Aaron
2 months ago

The Delta II (Volt) and BEV2 (Bolt) platforms wouldn’t be stout enough for a Colorado/Canyon. Maybe they could have merged the development a PHEV-ready variant of the GEM platform and added a line for the Chevy Montana at Ramos Arizpe to service the North American market.

My dream is to see a midsize truck equivalent of the new Ramcharger. I want to be able to comfortably tow a 3500+ lb camper (so a 5000+ lb tow rating) but not drink gas like a full size half ton.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Really hoping for more PHEV tow vehicle options – midsize would be great. The Ramcharger is nice for me, but overkill. 40-50kWh battery and a 2.5L range extender would be perfectly serviceable. Settings would need to be very controllable and would be hard to make it work for normal people who don’t pay attention to things, but, maybe varying the battery minimum level (20% for normal people, 40% in tow/haul mode, command-on for climbing Davis Dam under full oad, etc) could make it work. I live in the south east, so I just don’t have the need for a 300hp range extender, even for towing.

Aaron
Aaron
2 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

And it would have to do better than the Tacoma’s 19/24/21 mpg ratings. The added low-end torque of a hybrid and regenerative braking could really benefit towing. And onboard power a la the F-150 Hybrid would be great for the “active lifestyle” types they market midsize trucks toward.

The Ramcharger is great in concept, but I think they went too far with the battery. The 92kWh battery pack is almost as large as a full-time BEV like the Lightening. Plus the relatively inefficient V6 range extender they pulled from the parts bin… it’s just going to be too heavy and inefficient to capitalize on electrification. A smaller truck with a much smaller battery would have enough charge to do the daily commute on mostly electron power with a gas engine for longer trips and heavier duty cycles… all while being much lighter and costing much less.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
2 months ago

All the effort & money GM sunk into the ELR – imagine if they’d made that a Voltec Equinox instead? Could have also done a regular hybrid – the hybrid version of the current Malibu they offered for a few years was basically a Volt powertrain, just with a lot less battery and a little more engine.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ELR. But, it’s wild to think about what a waste of resources it was.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

Al the money sunk into the EV1 for that matter. 30 years later, they still aren’t selling a car with as efficient of a CdA value. And GM Precept too…

Younork
Younork
2 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

Did GM sink all that much into the ELR? I always thought it was a two-door Volt with some new sheet metal.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago

Let me be clear, GM remains committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from our light-duty vehicles by 2035. 

Let me be clear, this is why I cannot take you seriously as a CEO or as a company. We all know this is impossible; vehicle generations that will be on sale in 2035 are in development now. There is zero chance the country will be ready for 100% EVs outside of heavy trucks in less than 11 years. The more you double down on this promise, the harder it will be when you need to walk it back.

Jj
Jj
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

She will never have to walk it back. CEOs are never held to their prior claims and statements – especially public statements.

I’m willing to bet the targets she needs to hit to get her bonus have nothing to do with what she publicly claims are the company’s goals.

ElmerTheAmish
ElmerTheAmish
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

While you’re busy thinking of something that won’t work for 2035, you’re missing what will work for the stock price in 2024. [/s]

Just like so many of our politicians, Marry won’t be around when the plan doesn’t come to fruition. You could make the argument – as dumb as it may be – that she should be taken seriously as a CEO because she is at least trying to say all the right things to keep the stock price high and/or climbing. You and I both know that they won’t be 100% BEV by 2035, but it sounds good as a goal.

(And it’s a goal worth striving for IMO. We won’t get there tomorrow, probably not by 2035, but it’s the right direction to head.)

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
2 months ago

Gotta disagree a bit with your take on Barra. I watched her full interview on Bloomberg yesterday and she didn’t seem all that jazzed about hybrids. She said what she needed to say about being flexible with which plant produces what, but from what her tone and body language inferred to me, she came off like someone forced to drink well water and tell the homeowner that she can’t taste the sulfur or smell the egg “at all.” The transcript really doesn’t convey that very well.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago

Tahoe/Yukon
Silverado/Sierra
Colorado/Canyon

The Volt and Bolt are probably the only two GM vehicles I’ve seriously considered over the past decade. We might look at a Tahoe this year, but signing up for 14/20 gas mileage is not high on our list. So of course Toyota is high on our list, and apparently everyone else’s judging by the supply of Grand Highlander Hybrids and Siennas.

And a Maverick Hybrid fighter would be awesome. So would competition for the Sienna, but GM doesn’t even make a minivan.

Tbird
Tbird
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

100% Hybrid all the trucks.

Fuzz
Fuzz
2 months ago
Reply to  Tbird

This should be the law. The greatest emissions reductions can happen at that end, not going from a 40mpg Civic to a 55mpg one. Pickup buyers have money to spare, and manufacturers make the most profit from them. The market can bear the extra cost, and the benefits of regen braking on city F-150’s would be very large.

Wally_World_JB
Wally_World_JB
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

yes, a terrain-based unibody truck/ute with Volt drivetrain. sign me up.

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Bring back the Astro!!!

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago

Yeah, an AWD hybrid van with barn doors in the back. 2025 Astro, do it.

DadBod
DadBod
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

The Colorado is the first thing I thought of, that would sell like crazy as a hybrid

AlterId
AlterId
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

It’s too bad GM didn’t continue the GMT900-platform hybrid – it only gained 2 MPG on the highway, but it tested at 21 MPG in the city, or 40% better than the 15 MPG ICE-only version. But people didn’t want to pay the premium after gas prices stabilized, and I guess it would have hard to maintain the rugged image while pointing out that the hybrid TahYukAlade was gettin’ good at grocery gettin’.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
2 months ago

Also F1 told Andretti to fuckoff until maybe 2028 when they can probably expect to be told to go fuck themselves again.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
2 months ago

I’m so fuckin pissed about this. Fuck FOM and Liberty Media and whoever else played a part in this decision

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago

All this shows is that despite all the European hand-wringing, Liberty and the Americans aren’t simply imposing their will. It also shows that Liberty is afraid of the current teams.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago

They’re telling them to fuck off just long enough for the current Concorde Agreement to expire, after which a new Concorde Agreement will be drafted with – surprise – a $1 billion entry fee for a new team. At which point F1 will say, “Okay, you can come in now”.

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

On the bright side, Gene Haas is actively sabotaging that team so aggressively, by EOY the odds he gets fed up and sells to Andretti will skyrocket. In all seriousness though, Guenther is the only reason that team brought in enough sponsors to be even remotely profitable, their merch sales will tank, sponsors will back out, and Andretti/GM stepping in to offer 1-2 Billion will probably do the trick.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

This is what I’m hoping for. Guenther was literally the only reason anyone gave a shit about Haas, and Gene has pretty obviously lost interest in his little vanity project. I feel bad for Ayao. He’s inheriting a dumpster fire, and the dumpster’s owner apparently just wants to let it burn. Just sell the team and move on.

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago

Imagine a world where GM built a lightweight super-efficient engine to pair with their Voltec electric motor technology, added enough batteries to reach 100 range miles, and put this driveline into their most popular vehicles (small pickups and SUVs, sedans, and minivans).

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

With the possible exception of small SUVs, none of the vehicles you listed are GM’s most popular.

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Well some of them were more popular during the halcyon Days of Volt. And a Maverick-like S10 with Voltec drive would be a home run.

Last edited 2 months ago by Chronometric
V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

It might be popular, but “home run” is relative. GM sold literally 10x as many Silverado/Sierras last year as Ford did Mavericks.

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Ford would have sold more of they’d have made more. If your definition of home run is Silverado then I’m playing in a much smaller ball park.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

If I’m trying to help GM, it’s probably the Blazer and equivalents, the Colorado/Canyon, and either the Sierra/Silverado or the Suburban.

If I’m getting what I want, it’s a CT5-V PHEV, a PHEV van, and maybe a PHEV that makes that upcoming Equinox redesign a little more peppy.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago

If GM’s going to bring more of their hybrids here, I’ll take a Wuling Starlight as a new Chevy Malibu. I mean, I dont really like the car, but $12,400 and 60mpg is enough for me to ignore everything else.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I know, right? At these prices even the punishing tariff isn’t that big a deal.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
2 months ago

I love my Volt (barring its various negatives) and it is great for transport around town. My wife and I talked yesterday about filling up 2 months ago. We will need to do so now as we have a 300 mile trip to see family, but we have that option.

But we want to expand our family, and the Volt is definitely not designed for a larger family. But an PHEV minivan? Yes please.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

I wish the second gen hadn’t deviated from the original styling direction. The driver “assistance” on it also drove me crazy (as did basically the entire interior), but it rode well and the powertrain is excellent. If only they had kept that ball rolling

CUlater
CUlater
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Boom. If I don’t take a long trip, just work commutes and local runs with overnight charging, I tend to fill up once a month.

Last edited 2 months ago by CUlater
Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
2 months ago
Reply to  CUlater

I know about the Pacifica, and have friends that own it, but I like the look of the Carnival much better. But I am glad there is at least one option out there.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago

pls. I just want my AWD PHEV minivan

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

FOR REAL. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?

B P
B P
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

And comparable towing capacity of regular minivans!

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Toyota Sienna – please make a PHEV option!

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