Plug-in Saturn Vue Will Deliver 70 MPG

News last week that General Motors will offer three different hybrid versions of its upcoming all-new Saturn Vue sport-utility is great news for consumers looking to maximize the distances they can travel between fill-ups. The most intriguing offering is the plug-in variant that will allow owners to recharge the car's battery by plugging it in to a 110-volt outlet when not in use.

On the road, the vehicle will run on 100% battery power, only starting the gas engine when the batteries need recharging. GM CEO Rick Wagoner said at the Los Angeles International Auto Show that plug-in technology is "a top priority program for GM, given the huge potential it offers for fuel-economy improvement." No specific production dates were announced due to technological hurdles GM is still working through.

The current Vue Green Line hybrid is rated by the EPA as getting 32 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG in the city. Plug-in hybrid technology should allow Saturn to double those figures. Troy Clarke, president of GM North American president told Investor's Business Daily that the plug-in Vue will get about 70 MPG. "This is state of the art, and hopefully we can create some advocates," Clarke told the publication.

"They may not be as far along the development path as Toyota, but they have to maintain a perception in the market that they are pursuing and will deliver advanced technology," Robert Toomey, chief equity strategist at E.K. Riley Advisors, told the newspaper. Even Nissan took notice of GM's intent to build a plug-in Vue. "GM's plug-in hybrid technology is very exciting," said Nissan product manager Don Curl in the article. "It's certainly something I'd be interested in exploring."

Click here for photos of the 2008 Vue.

Source: Investor's Business Daily

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