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It's not the first GM product to wear a hybrid badge, but the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is the first full-size SUV to feature a full hybrid system similar to the Toyota Prius. What's the difference? So-called "mild" hybrids merely use an electric motor to help out the gas engine when extra power is needed. More complex "full" hybrid vehicles can actually propel the vehicle on electric power alone. In the case of the Tahoe hybrid, a new "two-mode" hybrid system is the big breakthrough. Co-developed with DaimlerChrysler and BMW, the two-mode system uses an electric motor in conjunction with the Yukon's standard V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission. According to General Motors, the Tahoe hybrid will deliver 25-percent better mileage than the standard model by switching between city and highway modes. During low-speed driving in the city, the system allows the Tahoe to inch along on electric power only. Come to a full stop and the system shuts down completely to conserve energy. In highway mode, the electric motor provides extra power for acceleration while an advanced engine computer works to optimize the gas engine for maximum efficiency. Active Fuel Management shuts down half the cylinders under light loads while smaller tweaks like revised cam phasing and late-intake valve closure provide further incremental fuel savings. Sales of the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid are expected to start by the end of 2007.

source: Edmunds.com
 

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I was seriously considering one of these... when they were first announced as a 2007 model! Then they were pushed back to Spring 2007. Then a 2008 model. Now I've heard January 08 will be the earliest!

What really pushed me away, though, was the cost. Rumor is $3-4,000 premium for the hybrid with no incentives. Compared to the 2007 models coming with $2,500, that's a $6,500 premium. Even assuming $4/gal for gas I figured we'd only be saving $1,000 with the hybrid. That's for new technology, too, which has unknown reliability.
 

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I was seriously considering one of these... when they were first announced as a 2007 model! Then they were pushed back to Spring 2007. Then a 2008 model. Now I've heard January 08 will be the earliest!

What really pushed me away, though, was the cost. Rumor is $3-4,000 premium for the hybrid with no incentives. Compared to the 2007 models coming with $2,500, that's a $6,500 premium. Even assuming $4/gal for gas I figured we'd only be saving $1,000 with the hybrid. That's for new technology, too, which has unknown reliability.
Well, I think the technology has been out long enough to have proven itself stable ... they key is better lithium ion batteries, those will get better and better as time goes on, lots of R&D going into that.

There should still be some type of federal tax credit that you can get for buying a Hybrid vehicle also. It used to be upwards of $2500, I've read they were going away ... then congress extended them, so check with a tax advisor (or if someone knows they can post a followup message).

Also, resale value tends to be higher on the hybrids for some reason. It's almost better to buy a new Prius for example instead of a low-mile used, becuase of the tax credits and the resale.
 

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Well, I think the technology has been out long enough to have proven itself stable ... they key is better lithium ion batteries, those will get better and better as time goes on, lots of R&D going into that.
The GM solution is a new two-stage hybrid. Less fuel economy but more power than other hybrids. You can read more here.

There should still be some type of federal tax credit that you can get for buying a Hybrid vehicle also. It used to be upwards of $2500, I've read they were going away ... then congress extended them, so check with a tax advisor (or if someone knows they can post a followup message).
Only applies to high MPG hybrids, not the Yukon/Tahoe as far as I've heard.

Also, resale value tends to be higher on the hybrids for some reason. It's almost better to buy a new Prius for example instead of a low-mile used, becuase of the tax credits and the resale.
Fair enough. That's probably very worthwhile for most. I'm planning on having the vehicle for 10 years, though.
 
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