Chevrolet has announced the 2009 Silverado Hybrid full-size pickup, which the OEM said achieves 40% better city fuel economy as well as 25% improvement in overall economy. The system combines GM’s 2-Mode Hybrid system with a 6.0L gas V-8, providing all-electric driving at low speeds, saving fuel even when the truck is fully loaded or towing up to 6,100 lbs., the company said.

The hybrid, based on the Silverado platform introduced for the 2007 model year, is scheduled for release in late 2008 and will be available in 2WD and 4WD crew cab body style. It will feature the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle, trailering package and dual-stage frontal and head curtain-side air bags. Other features of the hybrid include aerodynamic aids, a deeper front air dam and hard tonneau cover.

"The Silverado Hybrid is the newest example of Chevy's heritage of truck innovation, which stretches back 90 years, and exemplifies Chevrolet's commitment to fuel solutions," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet gm. "Silverado Hybrid will deliver fuel economy comparable to many small and midsize trucks that are equipped with four- or six-cylinder engines -- all while delivering the capability customers expect of Chevy full-size trucks."

The vehicle saves fuel through GM’s Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), the company said. With GM’s 2-Mode hybrid system, the electric power used is generated by the system itself, with electricity stored in the battery moving the vehicle when the brakes are applied or it is coasting. According to the OEM, the electric motor is less than half the size of those used in single-mode hybrid systems, with a battery pack placed in the chassis beneath the rear seat for a quieter ride.

"The Silverado Hybrid is exceptionally quiet," said Mark Cieslak, vehicle chief engineer. "From a passenger's perspective, the refinement of the hybrid system is quite evident throughout the driving experience, and showcases itself when the vehicle is moving under electric power."