General Motors will launch a plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle under the Buick brand in 2011, the automaker said Thursday.
The five-passenger midsized crossover is expected to be the first plug-in hybrid SUV to hit the commercial market, GM said.
It will replace the previously planned Saturn Vue plug-in, which was shelved after GM shed the Saturn brand as it restructured under bankruptcy protection.
GM said it has the potential to achieve double the fuel economy of comparable crossovers on short trips.
"The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by simply connecting the vehicle to any standard 110V household electrical outlet," GM said in a statement.
"By recharging rather than refueling, the Buick plug-in hybrid significantly improves fuel economy and reduces petroleum use."
Unlike GM's upcoming extended-range Volt plug-in hybrid, the yet-to-be named Buick will be able to use any combination of electric or gasoline engine power while the charge lasts.
The Volt will run exclusively on electricity before switching over to a backup gasoline engine after about 40 miles (64 kilometers).
(c) 2009 AFP
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