With the sad demise of the plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue (along with all of Saturn) I was a little worried that plug-in hybrid technology wasn't going to get transferred over into another GM vehicle. My worries, apparently, were unfounded. GM has decided to add a Buick plug-in to it's line-up along with the Chevy Volt in 2010.
This Buick represents a bit of a strategy shift for GM that, in my opinion, makes sense. Saturn was always supposed to be a cheaper brand, while Buick represents a step up from Chevrolet. And since any plug-in vehicle will have to be pretty dang expensive to make any money, Buick (or even Cadillac) makes a lot more sense. And it can work in lower volumes, which might be what GM wants if they aren't going to be making money selling them.
GM released a teaser photo of the car, showing the front of what we're now calling a "crossover" though I just call them "snazzed up SUVs." It's battery pack will be smaller than the Volt's, but it will be made by the same folks at LG Chem. The car will charge at a 110 outlet in five hours and that will provide about enough electricity to drive at low speeds for 10 miles.
Unlike the Volt, this new plug-in vehicle will be a more traditional hybrid vehicle. The wheels will be powered both by the electric and internal cumbustion engines. The Volt, on the other hand, is driven 100% by the electric motors. So while this means that you'll need to fill up the new PHEV crossover, you won't need to do it nearly as often. While no official mileage numbers have been released, guesses are between 30 and 50 miles per gallon, depending on how often you plug it in.
This car could go a long way toward proving GM's interest in advanced vehicle technology. It's good to see the plug moving to other GM brands. So...is Cadillac next?
written by Boating Buddy, August 08, 2009
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