February 11, 2016

Electric Vehicles Renewable Energy and Storage News

That is a question many people ask: “How green can a heavy SUV be, even with a hybrid drivetrain?”

The gist, according to the Examiner, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, HEV is a little different from other iterations of that model.

So, what is the big deal? Basically, the HEV uses a 2 mode drive system that allows for either 2 electric motors built into a 4 speed automatic transmission to be coupled with a “auto stop” technology, meaning the engine shuts down when the vehicle stops.  It is a parallel HEV system.  It can finally be fully electric at low speed, and revisits an old Cadillac 70s technology that never took off, that of shutting down 4 cylinders out of 8.  On top of it, the engine switched to an “Atkinson-cycle” 6.0-liter V-8 engine that is more fuel efficient than a comparable Otto cycle one.

The Numbers. With 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded gas, the Escalade HEV is also equipped with regenerative braking, to squeeze more life out of its battery pack.  The “base level” Escalade HEV comes in in at $61,935 and the 4WD HEV is priced at $73,285, and includes many, many options.  What about the mileage? At an incredible 6,016 lbs curb weight, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Hybrid is around 16.8 mpg in all-around use, according to the Auto Review team.  They recorded 13.5 mpg with a 2007 model.

So is it green?  We’ll leave you to answer that question.  Other SUVs can double the performance of the Cadillac but if you are into big, heavy and have to keep up with Joneses and the future of gas price is irrelevant, why not.  To be fair, the 2009 is an improvement over the 2007 and 2008 models.   So the last question remains, is $11,000 premium worth it for a slightly greener SUV?  So when do we see a plug-in hybrid version?