In response to consumer demand, GM is planning on expanding the availability of its eAssist hybrid Sierra and Silverado from just California to the nationwide.
GMC spokeswoman Kelly Wysocki says they have already started letting dealers order the GMC Sierra eAssist anywhere in the United States. This is in response to what she says the truck “was well-received (in California), so the decision was made to expand nationally based on that performance.” It is worthwhile to note GM initially planned to only offer 500 Chevrolet Silverado eAssist trucks and 200 GMC Sierra eAssist trucks in 2016.
Chevrolet is also planning to follow suit with its Silverado eAssist going nationwide for the 2018 model year according to Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran.
Launched in 2016, the mild-hybrid truck offers a 2 MPG improvement in city, highway and combined fuel economy for a 2wd truck versus 2wd non-hybrid trucks with a 5.3L V8 engine and eight-speed transmissions. This package costs an additional $500 and final pricing for eAssist-equipped trucks should be around $50,000 since this package is only available in higher trim levels according to Wysocki in a 2016 AutoNews.com story (subscription required).
The truck uses an in-house hybrid system with a 24-cell, air-cooled .45 kWH lithium-ion battery pack from the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid and software controls developed for the Chevrolet Volt. Also, it incorporates stop/start capability and regenerative braking to recover braking energy and convert it to electricity.
Beyond the fuel economy improvements, the mild-hybrid powertrain adds an additional 13 HP and 44 lb-ft of torque translating to faster acceleration speeds. GM says the powertrain adds only 100 lbs and doesn’t “sacrifice the utility” of the pickup, according to a Chevrolet press release.
Dealers should be able to order the pickup when ordering opens and these trucks could be on dealer lots nationwide soon.