As you may be aware, it is not possible to find a high efficiency hybrid people mover. There is a glaring complete absence of hybrid minivans, large or small in the marketplace. Needless to say, this is a popular and useful vehicle type in American society yet the creation of a fuel efficient version has been neglected by all automakers.
You might be interested in reading a piece I wrote about this on AllCarsElectric.com called Hybrid Minivans: the road not taken.
Inspired and concerned, I reached out to GM vice chairman Bob Lutz to share with him what I see as a significant need, and wrote him the following in an email:
I wanted to point out the lack of a aerodynamic high-tech hybrid people mover with seating for 6 or 7 in the marketplace.
Families looking for a crossover/minivan/microvan size car that can hold 3 adults + 3 or 4 children and contain a strong hybrid drivetrain, getting > 40MPG will find nothing at all.
Previously, GM had unveiled the Chevrolet Orlando concept. It is a 7 seat multipurpose vehicle (MPV) that is built on the same compact Delta frame the Volt is. Through the creative use of space, the car has significant storage potential and three rows of theater-style seating. The concept was demonstrated as having a 2.0 L turbo diesel engine.
In January 2009, GM confirmed the Orlando would go to production and arrive in the US in 2011, but no mention was made of what powertrain it would get.
Although it would seem logical that the Orlando might work well for a Voltec extended range electric propulsion system, no such project has ever been confirmed…until now that is.
“We are actually studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando,” said Lutz. “Which would be close to what you describe.”
It looks like I just found my next second car.
This entry was posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 6:16 am and is filed under Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.