Hybrid Vehicles

A Hybrid vehicle is one that uses both gasoline and electricity to fuel the engine. They typically have much higher fuel efficiency than other vehicles of their size or class, without sacrificing the distance you can drive or the power available behind the wheel.

With the addition of our new Buick GMC dealership in Buford, Georgia, the Jim Ellis dealerships have a total of three General Motors sales and service points.   General Motors is already offering Hybrid options of many of their trucks and SUVs, including models of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Silverado, the GMC Sierra and Yukon models. 



Click on a Topic Below for Information about Hybrid Vehicles



Hybrid Technology

Because hybrids use a combination of electrical power and gasoline power, they are often a comfortable bridge between the known and the new technology that is driving our automotive world to reduce petroleum use, reduce emissions, and maximize fuel efficiency.

Generally speaking, a hybrid vehicle will use electrical power generated by the alternator, friction from braking, and other sources to power the engine during stops and starts, acceleration up to a certain speed, and driving at low speeds. Because it uses electricity, it is not using gasoline at these times. 

Because hybrids do use gasoline engines, they are not considered "zero emissions", and they do not qualify for alternative fuel license plates or other zero emission benefits.  However, they do provide fuel-sipping efficiency, and none of the "range anxiety" that comes with plug-in electric vehicles.



Hybrid vs. Plug-in Electric

The difference between a Hybrid - like the upcoming Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid - and a Plug-in Electric - like the upcoming Chevrolet Volt - is a big one.  Both kinds use a combination of electrical power and gasoline, however with a hybrid, both the electric motor and the gasoline engine are used to directly provide power to the wheels. With a plug-in electric with a gasoline range extender, only the electric motor powers the wheels. The difference is that the batteries first provide power to the electric motor that drives the wheels and then, once the batteries are depleted, the gas ?generator? provides electricity to the electric motor that drives the wheels.

On a full charge, the Chevy Volt will run for the first 30-40 miles on battery power only. Once depleted, the gas engine turns on and powers the electric motor for approximately 300 more miles. If you keep the Volt plugged in, then theoretically, you'd never have to use gas again! However, you also don't have to worry about 'range anxiety' (running out of battery power and being stranded) because the gas engine will keep running for as long as you keep the 9 gallon tank full. In fact, the first two demonstration Volts that Jim Ellis Chevrolet procured were driven back from New York, over 900 miles!

The EPA rates the Volt at 97 mpg highway using electricity solely and 37 mpg using just the gas engine generator. However, actual results vary depending on how often the Volt is plugged in or 'mpg between plug-ins.'  Jim Ellis Chevrolet?s first two Volts, being plugged in during the day and then again at night (most of the time), average between 140 and 150 mpg!

Of course, this doesn't include the cost of electricity. Jim Ellis Chevrolet calculated that it costs approximately $2.18 to fully charge the Volt during the day and $1.51 at night, using current Georgia Power rates. However, again according to the EPA, the Volt is estimated to cost about $600/year to drive using electricity only and $1,300/year using gas only. Actual results will be somewhere in between but if kept plugged in, closer to the $600/year figure.
 
As innovations and technology emerge, - whether hybrid, plug-in electric, or plug-in electric with a gasoline powered range extender - we're sure there will be other versions of advanced technology vehicles on the market.  We look forward to keeping you informed about this exciting field!



Environmental Impact

The hybrid is a fuel sipper - no doubt about it.  Benefits include lower fuel costs, reducing the US dependency on foreign oil, and without sacrificing much in terms of room or drivability.

The hybrid does use batteries, much like the EV, and those batteries can have negative impact on the environment, especially if they aren't recycled. 

Hybrids also use gasoline, which means that they contributes to air pollution and smog - even if it's to a lesser extent than a regular gas-powered vehicle.



Click on a Model Below for Information on the Hybrids at Jim Ellis:




Chevrolet Malibu

The standard, regular gas Chevrolet Malibu gets a reasonable 22 miles per gallon in the city, and 33 on the highway.  Because the hybrid technology is ideal for start-stop driving and in-town traffic, the city mileage on the hybrid version of the Chevy Malibu jumps to 26 miles per gallon, while the hybrid stays pretty steady with 34 mpg highway. 



Chevrolet Silverado 

The sturdy, reliable pickup truck from Chevrolet gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with regular gasoline. Because the hybrid technology is ideal for start-stop driving and in-town traffic, the city mileage on the hybrid version of the Chevy truck jumps to 21 miles per gallon, while the hybrid stays pretty steady with 22 mpg highway. These ratings from the EPA are the same regardless of whether we're comparing the 2-wheel drive Silverado or the 4-wheel drive.



Chevrolet Tahoe

The SUV from Chevrolet gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with regular gasoline. Because the hybrid technology is ideal for start-stop driving and in-town traffic, the city mileage on the hybrid version of the Chevy SUV jumps to 21 miles per gallon, while the hybrid stays pretty steady with 22 mpg highway. These ratings from the EPA are the same regardless of whether we're comparing the 2-wheel drive Tahoe or the 4-wheel drive.



Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Electric

Initial models of the Volt will be released in the fall of 2010, but only in select cities. Unfortunately, Atlanta isn't one of those.  Jim Ellis Chevrolet obtained two Volts and are available for demonstration drives and display. Volts available for purchase should be arriving late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Volt's wheels only turn using electricity. The gasoline that's added to the tank is actually used to fuel a generator - which supplies electricity to the engine.  The electric motor can be recharged overnight (estimates are 6-8 hours in a standard 120 volt household plug or 3-4 hours with a 220 volt adapter), and can travel up to 40 miles without using a drop of gasoline.  

While the Volt's gas-sipping technology is designed primarily for in-town use for daily commuters, the extended range of this electric vehicle make it a far more practical option for longer road-trips and vacations than the 100-mile ranges of electric vehicles.

With up to 40 miles on the initial electric charge, and an estimated 300 miles on the gas in the 9 gallon tank, the Volt can travel with a range comparable to many other highly efficient cars. However with the Volt – unlike the electric only cars – you can drive from Atlanta to the seashore with no worries!

With 150 horsepower and 273 lbs of torque, the Volt will be hands-down the most fun to drive among the new electric vehicles that are coming out in the near term.

Please visit the Jim Ellis Chevrolet website for more information about the  2011 Chevy Volt!




GMC Sierra

This pickup truck from GMC gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with regular gasoline. Because the hybrid technology is ideal for start-stop driving and in-town traffic, the city mileage on the hybrid version of the GMC truck jumps to 21 miles per gallon, while the hybrid stays pretty steady with 22 mpg highway. These ratings from the EPA are the same regardless of whether we're comparing the 2-wheel drive Sierra or the 4-wheel drive.



GMC Yukon

The SUV from GMC gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with regular gasoline. Because the hybrid technology is ideal for start-stop driving and in-town traffic, the city mileage on the hybrid version of the GMC SUV jumps to 20 miles per gallon, while the hybrid stays pretty steady with 23 mpg highway. These ratings from the EPA are the same regardless of whether we're comparing the 2-wheel drive Yukon or the 4-wheel drive.



GMC Yukon Denali

EPA ratings haven't been released yet for the 2011 GMC Yukon Denali hybrid, but we will provide the comparison data as soon as possible.  The standard gasoline Yukon Denali gets 13 mpg city, and 20 mpg highway. We look forward to seeing how the GMC hybrid engine will improve that fuel efficiency!



Porsche Cayenne

The 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid, is Porsche's first production full parallel hybrid, expected in the late fall of 2010. 

With a combined gas-electric output of 380 hp, an eight-speed transmission, 0-60 mph acceleration of 6.1 seconds, and the capacity to "sail - which is to say, free-wheel - at speeds up to 97 mph, the Cayenne "feels like a hybrid" but it also drives like a Porsche. 

According to Dan Neil at the Wall Street Journal, because of its full-hybrid architecture, the Cayenne S Hybrid can glide in all-electric mode up to 37 mph for short distances. EPA cycle fuel economy numbers are not finalized but figure on about 23 city / 26 mpg highway.

Please visit the Jim Ellis Porsche website for more information about, or to express interest in the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid .



(...and more!)

Many of the manufacturers represented by Jim Ellis have added hybrid vehicles to their line-ups for upcoming model years. As soon as we receive updates about these cars, trucks and SUVs, we will be updating this website to provide you with the information you need to decide on your next vehicle purchase.