The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid — the first General Motors vehicle to use the company’s all-new two-mode hybrid system — has been named Green Car Journal’s 2008 Green Car of the Year(R). The award was presented at a press conference this morning at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"This is a milestone in many respects," says Green Car Journal editor and publisher Ron Cogan. "People don’t think ’green’ when SUVs are concerned, and for generally good reason since SUVs often get poor fuel economy compared to most other vehicles. Chevrolet ’s Tahoe Hybrid changes this dynamic with a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 30 percent compared to similar vehicles equipped with a standard V-8."
According to the EPA’s 2008 estimated fuel economy ratings, Chevrolet’s achievement is even more apparent during city driving where a large percentage of SUVs spend their time every day. In this environment, the 6.0-liter two-mode hybrid Tahoe achieves 50 percent better fuel economy than a Tahoe powered by a standard 5.3-liter V-8. What’s equally eye-opening is that the Tahoe’s 21 mpg city fuel efficiency rating is the same as that of the city EPA rating for the four-cylinder Toyota Camry sedan.
"We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from Green Car Journal for our Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid," says Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "We’ve felt that the Tahoe Hybrid represents the best of both worlds — the great utility you’d expect from a Tahoe with fuel economy on par with today’s mid-size cars. It’s satisfying to receive this validation from such an authority on environmentally-friendly vehicles."
The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid was selected in a majority vote by a jury of high-profile environmental and industry leaders, along with four Green Car Journal editors. Invited jurors this year included Carroll Shelby , Jay Leno, Carl Pope (Sierra Club), Christopher Flavin (Worldwatch Institute), Jonathan Lash (World Resources Institute), and Jean-Michel Cousteau (Ocean Futures Society).
"GM promised they would use hybrid technology, and use it where it would make the most difference — on their biggest vehicles. They have delivered with the Chevy Tahoe," says Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, pointing out that this vehicle ends the argument that efficiency and vehicle choice are incompatible. He adds that automakers should now make their entire fleets fuel efficient as fast as they can retool.
Along with the Tahoe Hybrid, the jury considered 2008 Green Car of the Year nominees including the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and the Saturn Aura Hybrid. Dozens of 2008 model year vehicles using all technologies and fuels were considered by the Green Car Journal staff in narrowing down the field to five nominees.