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GM Makes Bold Claims About Impressive New Malibu Hybrid


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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com

The all-new 2016 Chevy Malibu Hybrid is coming to market at an impressively low starting price under $29K. The new Malibu Hybrid shares a lot of its fuel-miser hardware with the Volt. The fuel economy numbers have not yet been set by the EPA, but GM thinks they are going to be impressive. GM's press release today says, "Malibu Hybrid offers a GM-estimated 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway – and 47 mpg combined, unsurpassed in the midsize car segment." Although those number are fantastic, the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid has official EPA numbers of 50/45/47 now. So the whole "unsurpassed" part is maybe a little over-eager. Regardless of the marketing buzzwords, 47 MPG combined is damn good.


The Malibu Hybrid is more like the Accord Hybrid than the Camry Hybrid. The newest generation of hybrids use multiple electric motors. Instead of just recapturing energy from braking like early hybrids, the Malibu, Accord, and some others use the gas engine much less. The vehicle is usually propelled by an electric motor and the gasoline engine acts like a generator much of the time it is in use.


In other reporting I have calculated the cost of energy to run an EV in the California and Massachusetts markets vs. the cost of a 50 MPG gasoline powered car. Because electricity is costly in these markets, and gas is cheap everywhere, the gas-powered vehicle can match the per-mile cost of an EV now. Smart buyers looking for a green car that comes with no range-anxiety may realize that the Chevy Malibu is the perfect mix of real-car usability and a cost per mile for fuel around five or six cents.




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