GM's Other Complicated, Expensive PHEV

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gms other complicated expensive phev

When it comes to alt power, The General's ADD ways continue. In addition to its BAS "mild" hybrids, two-mode hybrids and Volt plug-in hybrid, GM is working on yet another Hail Mary: a plug-in version of the two-mode system. The result will be a single mode, the Saturn Vue plug-in. Yes folks, just in case the two-mode system isn't complicated enough, GM is adding plug-in capabilities. GM's Fastlane blog worries that we may all be too excited about the eventual release of the Volt,. They want to remind us that the plug-in Vue is undergoing testing in Michigan and Arizona. The program started with NiMh cells, but has switched to more modern Li-Ion batteries, which have now undergone thermal management testing. Apparently, they're now "fully operational and undergoing refinement." Even though the regular two-mode Vue Hybrid is set to go on sale this year, GM is hyping the plug-in version. Based on technology that's undergone more tjhan 800k miles of dynamometer testing, GM expects the PHEV Vue to "set the standard for its combination of fuel economy and performance." For an SUV. Which is to say, not at all. Shouldn't these engineers be working on the Volt, considering that its development is "pushing the time envelope," according to Rick Wagoner?

Join the conversation
4 of 17 comments
  • Raskolnikov Raskolnikov on Jul 24, 2008

    People hammer the 2 mode out of ignorance. If they were to drive a 2 mode -equipped vehicle (transit bus or Yukhoe) their tone would change. The system is amazing - pricing is not. @netrun--the system has been in use since 2003 in buses then scaled down for light vehicles, but its essentially the same. Almost 100 million service miles have been accumulated for total bus they know what's going on. The challenge is stuffing it into a package as small as the VUE and controlling the thermal episodes.

  • Cavendel Cavendel on Jul 24, 2008
    netrun Says: 800k miles of testing is four engine durability tests. If you get lucky, you can run one engine back-to-back so you’d only need a total of two engines. It should take you about three months, tops. How does that math work? Wouldn't this take more like 9 or 10 months with two engines?

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jul 24, 2008

    Saw a new Vue (gas only) in traffic yesterday. MUCH nicer than it's earlier designs. I'd buy it on looks. Have no idea what is under the hood or what it weighs. I agree 3800 lbs is too heavy for a CUV. Ideal weight for a CUV would be about 3200 lbs.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Jul 25, 2008

    They will sell every plug in and two mode VUE they can possibly make. The question is; How many can they make?