While it still won't get you the 45 mpg of a Toyota Prius, the new version of the Chevrolet Silverado hybrid may make you feel less guilty about driving a large pickup.
General Motors unveiled the 2009 Chevy Silverado hybrid at the 2007 LA Auto Show on Wednesday.
The full-size pickup looks identical to the regular Silverado, but features guts that lessen its carbon footprint.
The 2007 Silverado hybrid, according to the EPA's fuel economy Web site, got about 15 mpg in the city and 19 mph on the highway. That's not much of an improvement over the efficiency of the regular Silverado pickup: depending on which engine you choose, that truck gets at the very worst 13 mpg driving in the city and at most 20 mpg on the highway, according to GM's own specs.
The 2009 Silverado two-mode hybrid will be about 25 percent more fuel efficient overall than its regular counterpart, according to GM. No official figures have been given out, but it's possible that this pickup could get about 21 mpg on the highway.
"We get asked often about why we're making hybrid versions of big trucks and SUVs. There are two answers, and they're both simple: because Americans still need, buy, and love trucks; and because we want to do what we can to lessen the environmental impact when we drive them," Ed Peper, general manager of Chevrolet, said on the company blog.
Peper also gloated about GM's Chevy Tahoe hybrid being a finalist for the LA Auto Show 2008 Green Car of the Year Award.