Over the last week or so GM has been saying that it is looking at alternative power-trains to propel their big 3 SUV's. I've read many posts on this very subject and today after reading this one Carscoops.com GM Hybrids and Diesels for Big SUV's. I had to say something.
I've never owned one but have driven many and just have to ask those of you who do own or love these, what exactly draws you too them and why wouldn't you want a hybrid or diesel option?
It seems to me that these types of vehicles are best suited for such technologies. Diesel I think is an easy one so I don't really care. Diesel makes sense for towing and hauling plus long distance runs fully loaded and even field work like construction or remote work site access.
So that leaves hybrid technology. Am I wrong in assuming that only 'real men' drive these kinds of vehicles and that the stigma of owning a hybrid doesn't sit well with the good old boys around the camp fire shootin shit!
Culture aside, as stupid as it is, the very engineering and layout of these vehicles again seems perfect for the technology. I'm not a hybrid evangelist and I'm not totally convinced of the technology at this point in history either but, if any vehicle on the roads in America could or should be hybrid than these must be it.
Weight generally seems to be of no concern and the sheer size and space available seems perfect for battery storage and electric motors. No matter which way you slice it, fuel consumption can only get better in these trucks if a hybrid system is installed.
So how is it that GM is a day late and a dollar short? My MS Paint picture has the Tesla Model X and they seemed to have figured it out. No they are not exactly the same size and you may argue that they don't compete in the same segment but I think GM may lose some customers to Tesla.
The old hybrid versions of the Cadillac and GM pickups were generation one technology and lets be honest, terrible. I give GM credit though, they did it. Where they went wrong was not following up and improving. True they had no real incentive and their trucks were selling as fast as they could produce them and no one was calling for hybrids but many predicted correctly the growing need for the technology and it was even echoed in the Volt of all cars.
The heavy duty work crowd will go GM and diesel if they can get it but the average Joe who never goes off road and is the urban Suburban warrior may just look Teslas' way. Saving fuel and being environmentally friendly, even if just by appearance only, does count today and will count more in the years to come.
So I put it to you again, Matt 'Texan' Hardigree, is the stigma of owning a hybrid just too much to bare or should the large SUV owners of America take the lead on new and alternative power-trains and show the rest of us how it's done?
I simply cannot believe that GM is pondering this question today: It's mid boggling too me. The Escalade, Suburban and Yukon should all have these options right now. Once again GM is playing catch up and may pay the price for it, or should I say you the tax payer will pay for it?