GM Is Down with Diesels
General Motors is one company that is clearly embracing the diesel engine.
According to the company, in an announcement related to the forthcoming all-new Chevrolet Class 4/5 commercial truck that’s being developed jointly by Chevy and Navistar, GM “fields the industry’s most expansive portfolio of diesel-powered passenger cars, crossovers, pickup trucks and vans.”
Producing Duramax diesels in Ohio
The new truck will be powered by a Duramax diesel, produced by DMAX Ltd., a 60/40 joint venture between GM and Isuzu Diesel Services of America, which produces the engine in a factory in Moraine, Ohio, that’s coupled to a transmission from Allison Transmission of Indianapolis.
Speaking of the truck, John Schwegman, U.S. director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty for GM Fleet, said, “Our new Chevrolet medium-duty will be the flagship of our truck portfolio for fleet and commercial customers, and we believe the strength of Duramax/Allison powertrain combination will be able to tackle various jobs – from general contracting to urban delivery to bucket loaders and wreckers.”
To the point of the range of diesels that the company has on offer, there are, in the Chevy portfolio:
· 2017 Silverado HD with a Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel that produces 910 lb-ft of torque and 445 hp
· 2017 Cruze sedan and hatchback with a Ecotec 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder turbodiesel engine offering 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque
· The forthcoming Equinox with the same engine
· The Colorado midsize pickup with a 2.8L Duramax turbodiesel that produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque
· The Express full-size van with a V8 Duramax turbodiesel rated at 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque
· The Low Cab Forward commercial truck, which offers both a 3.0-liter turbodiesel or a 5.2-liter turbodiesel.
While “diesel” is become somewhat dubious at least regards light-duty vehicles, clearly this is something that GM thinks still has market viability.
Mercedes has been putting diesels in vehicles since 1926. It has been offering them in the U.S. since 1949. And 2013 is seeing a range of offerings, including in its popular GLK SUV.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.