The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid gets 21/22 mpg, which is about the same as a Toyota Camry (not hybrid). That’s a 50% increase in fuel efficiency over the conventional Chevy Tahoe, which gets 14/19 mpg.
How can a 21 mpg car earn “green car of the year” at the LA Auto Show? That’s a good question. While I would suggest that there are “greener” cars on the road, the Prius can only win so many times. After a lot of reading, I’ve come across a possible reason that an SUV can be “green.” Here it is:
Next time you’re driving in traffic, look around at they types of cars that surround you. You can probably count the number of small cars on one hand, swimming amongst the many SUVs. So, if 5 small cars increase their efficiency by 50%, the result is minimal. If the 15 SUVs increase efficiency by 50%, that can make an impact.
Another theory – SUV drivers aren’t likely to switch to a compact car to save gas, so SUVs have to become more efficient. This is the first step.
(Reality check: EPA gas mileage estimates are generally a lot higher than the car’s actual performance. Oh, and you can’t buy the Tahoe Hybrid yet.)
Speaking of American car makers, Ford is converting some of its factories to be more environmentally responsible. The Dearborn, MI, plant will use a green roof to keep the factory’s temperature regulated. It’s also built to be more flexible – able to produce 9 different models to meet customer demand. Way to reuse existing space, and use nature’s design.