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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was able to take a 2 mode Chevy Tahoe Hybrid on a lengthy test drive today. GM has FINALLY stepped up to the plate with a system worthy of the badge. The SUV that I drove was a pewter color, and fully loaded, minus a sunroof and DVD entertainment for the rear.

The vehicle started up with the typical hybrid vehicle silence - just the sound of an engine instantly going from off to idle. First thing was first, I put the hybrid system screen on the MFD, reset the average fuel economy reading on the DIC, and selected the instantaneous economy screen. Then we were off and into the early rush hour traffic. Power, as expected, was more than adequate, thanks to the big mill under the hood. The system did a good job of keeping revs down as low as possible, with little to no descernable shifting as the system performed it's functions.

A few miles of stop and go surface streets began the test drive. Thanks to the hybrid system, a moderate amount of attention to driving for economy kept the big V8 in V4 mode, and the readout seldom dipped below 20 mpg.

Next, I pulled onto the freeway on ramp for my highway part of the test. There, I eased up to 55 mph (my personal max speed) and set the cruise. Traffic was light for this direction of travel, so I was able to camp out in the right lane and pay some attention to how the system was working. Once up to speed, the engine slipped happily back into V4 mode, and stayed there. The DIC was showing numbers varying from 35 to 44 mpg, depending on if there was any up or down hill favor on the otherwise flat grade.

A few miles of this, and I took the next exit to turn around to return back to the dealership. I was able to keep the Tahoe in EV mode from the light, through the turn, and to the next light to wait for it to change to return to the highway.

Coming back the traffic was much heavier, so I stayed out of the C.C. to maintain safe driving. As I got to the bottleneck of traffic, the Tahoe started to slip in and out of EV mode as necessary to maximize fuel mileage. It is here, that I would like to see GM do some tweaking to the system. EV mode is limited to 25 mph. The slow and go traffic I was encountering, kept the Tahoe right at the threshold to kick in and out of EV. Ford and Toyota's systems will hold EV up to 42 mph, making them much more easier to keep in EV mode during this kind of traffic environment. I would like to see GM's system do the same.

At the end of the line on the highway, I took the ramp to head back to the dealership. The light I had to turn at, was too much "uphill" to even think about keeping the truck in EV mode, starting from rest. So, I just stepped on it, and let the engine get right to work. The right hand turn a couple of blocks later netted the immediate return to EV, and I stealthed through the lot to where I needed to park - with several customers (and salescreatures) watching. Once I pulled into the spot, I switched the DIC to the average economy screen. The result in what I feel was an excellent test that put the Tahoe through a good example of a real world environment netted 24.1 mpg as a combined 50/50 city/highway slog - 3 mpg over the combined number on the sticker, and on a system with less than 20 miles on it no less.

Overall, I very much like the system. I would be more than interested in buying a 2 mode vehicle, when the system is implimented in a more obtainable price. At $50,000, there is simply no way I could personally justify owning one. I'm looking forward to the 2 mode Saturn Vue.
 

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Coming back the traffic was much heavier, so I stayed out of the C.C. to maintain safe driving. As I got to the bottleneck of traffic, the Tahoe started to slip in and out of EV mode as necessary to maximize fuel mileage. It is here, that I would like to see GM do some tweaking to the system. EV mode is limited to 25 mph. The slow and go traffic I was encountering, kept the Tahoe right at the threshold to kick in and out of EV. Ford and Toyota's systems will hold EV up to 42 mph, making them much more easier to keep in EV mode during this kind of traffic environment. I would like to see GM's system do the same.
Duty Cycle of the Battery Prevents that. Toyota and Ford don't drain the battery as fast because the vehicles are lighter and smaller.

Basically if it was higher than 27 MPH Panasonic would void the warranty, based on GM's System.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Duty Cycle of the Battery Prevents that. Toyota and Ford don't drain the battery as fast because the vehicles are lighter and smaller.

Basically if it was higher than 27 MPH Panasonic would void the warranty, based on GM's System.
I understand that. This is why I would like to see some reworking of the system to make it capable of higher speeds.

2mode is still a far superior system than BAS by far, and being able to keep a three ton truck north of 20 mpg at all times is no small feat.
 
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