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Old 03-28-2008, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Malibu Hybrid


I am getting different "eco-vehicle" dealers to come out to an Earth Day Event at the end of April.

Somebody suggested that I call the local Chevy dealer because there is now a Hybrid version of the Malibu.

I looked up the specs on it, and unless I am reading wrong, the hybrid version gets 2 mpg better than the standard - 2!

"Powered by the standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine and a 36-volt electric motor/generator, the Malibu Hybrid produces a respectable 164 horsepower and 159 pound-feet of torque. This is the same mild-hybrid Belt Alternator Starter system found in the Aura Green Line Hybrid. Fuel economy rates at an efficient 24 city/32 highway, but is surprisingly only two miles per gallon better than the gas-powered four-cylinder Malibu. The difference is so insignificant that it almost makes the hybrid system unnecessary."

The regular smaller engine version of the Malibu gets 22/30 and the hybrid gets 24/32.

Should I even bother inviting a Malibu Hybrid dealer to the event? Is ANY fuel economy a good thing and I definately SHOULD invite them?

I have very mixed feelings on this.

All comments welcome.



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Old 03-28-2008, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The fact is that it is rated 9% better city and 7% better highway. To get that would require a pretty serious modification to any of our cars.

Who knows what it could do with better technique compared to the non-hybrid?

I'd invite them... awareness and demand is key if we want better products.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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While it may only be 2 mpg more, it seems like the engine puts out much more power...which I suppose is pretty respectable.

American car companies don't seem willing to kill performance/size for excellent fuel economy. Instead, it looks like they set modest mpg targets and try to get them by changing their cars as little as possible. The "hybrid" system sounds like nothing more than a jumbo alternator/starter.

I'd invite them so they know there's interest in the fuel efficiency movement. They've just dabbled in the field so far...maybe if they see reception they'll consider going full board? Either that, or you can invite them and give them the cold shoulder while they're there...

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Old 03-28-2008, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A big electric lump that serves as both starter and alternator? Like the old school "Dynastart?" What's old is new.

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think a mild hybrid is a good thing and is a small step. However, GM has just made it totally unaffordable. The price premium for 2 mpg better is just horrible IMO.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They are trying to increase sales with a name badge, they could have made that 2mpg increase with many other things, but that wouldn't have sold as many cars.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i say invite them as well.
it is an improvement afterall.

information is power - the more people see that auto manufactures are doing SOMETHING - it will raise awareness.
Make sure you have a much of Andrews Brocures on hand as well.

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Old 03-28-2008, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello -

I don't mind it. I think that in the right hands, there is more than +2 MPG in those mild hybrids. I just wish there was a retrofit system for this "mod" so that I wouldn't have to turn the key to start the car at long stops.

My real problem is that currently, all the hybrid solutions being offered seem to be automatic transmissions. That's a non-starter for me right there.


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Old 03-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
My real problem is that currently, all the hybrid solutions being offered seem to be automatic transmissions. That's a non-starter for me right there.

That's all I'm sayin'
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I wouldn't invite them. It'll give the general public the idea that this "mild hybrid" is as good as any other hybrid. GM could have just as easily pulled those extra 2mpg by making a slightly smaller car or using aluminum for a few of the body panels or installing a smaller engine, low rolling resistance tires etc. They chose to build a mild hybrid instead because its more marketable and it has the look at me factor. This sort of hybrid might have been acceptable 5 years ago when GM was too busy telling us that you can never recoup the cost of the technology and nobody would want to buy one, but not today. And the dealer will probably want to bring a Chevy Tahoe hybrid as well.

For comparison sake:
Malibu 22/30
Malibu Hybrid 24/32
Accord (auto) 21/31
Camry 21/31
Camry Hybrid 33/34
Malibu Hybrid is more badge engineering from GM.

Last edited by tjts1; 03-29-2008 at 06:55 PM..
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