Car News:  Oversteer

The Chevy Silverado Hybrid: GM's First Try

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Malibu LS
Used 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
$2,442
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Used 2004 Chevrolet Corvette
$19,795
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD
Used 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe
$4,795
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Express 1500 Passenger
Used 2004 Chevrolet Express 1500
$8,677
RELATED READING
See all Chevrolet Silverado and other C/K1500 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Will Kinton January 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, which was the General's first major push into the hybrid market. As it turns out, GM's first hybrid vehicle actually came a little earlier: the 2004 Chevy Silverado Hybrid. Like its Tahoe cousin, the Silverado Hybrid was a bit of a head scratcher -- but for some shoppers, it made a lot of sense.

First off, the Silverado Hybrid was much different from standard hybrids like the Prius or Chevy's later Tahoe Hybrid. Instead of offering a traditional hybrid powertrain, like those of the Prius or Honda Insight, the Silverado Hybrid was a "mild hybrid." The truck's electric motor was located in the transmission flywheel housing, and it was only used to crank the engine, charge the battery and provide auxillary power. This electric motor was fed by four 12-volt automotive batteries, and it allowed the truck to cut the engine when it came to a stop. It also provided enough power to allow Chevy to put four 120-volt outlets on the truck, with two in the bed and two in the cab.

This may not sound like it made much difference, but it was actually pretty brilliant. The extra battery reserve allowed the truck to sit idle without the engine running for long periods of time. Considering the Silverado's popularity in the construction industry -- an industry where trucks often are left running for a while as drivers use the accessories -- the Silverado Hybrid's extra batteries helped save a lot of gas in certain applications. Furthermore, the four outlets were perfect for power tools like air compressors and saws, which require 120-volt outlets to run -- especially in the early stages of construction projects, when power connections may be spotty.

Like many other General Motors electric projects (such as the S10 EV and the EV1), the hybrid pickup trucks didn't enjoy a wide distribution, with only a few states receiving them. To add to their current rarity, GM bought back many of the trucks at a premium, with most owners receiving much more than their trucks were worth. If you want one today, good luck: There isn't a single one listed on Autotrader across the country.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's How Much Bigger Modern Cars Get With Each Redesign
The Car Industry Is Obsessed With the Letters "R" and "X"
What Happens to Auto Show Cars When the Show Is Over?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Malibu LS
Used 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
$2,442
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Used 2004 Chevrolet Corvette
$19,795
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD
Used 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe
$4,795
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2004 Chevrolet Express 1500 Passenger
Used 2004 Chevrolet Express 1500
$8,677
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Chevy Silverado Hybrid: GM's First Try - Autotrader