The ability of General Motors’ hybrid pickups to function as mobile power-generating stations is being put to humanitarian use in disaster relief efforts in Florida and in Death Valley National Park in California.
Thirty-five Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra hybrid pickups are in Florida or are en route to the state to assist the American Red Cross and other agencies aiding communities hit hardest by Hurricanes Bonnie and Charley. GM is also sending two Silverado and Sierra hybrid pickups, two Hummer H2 SUVs and two Chevrolet Silverado Z71 four-by-fours to help clean up Death Valley National Park, which is closed indefinitely because of heavy flooding in the Mojave Desert that washed away stretches of road.
“We welcome the opportunity to provide help to these communities that have been hit hard by disastrous weather,” said Brian McVeigh, general manager of GM fleet and commercial operations. “With many areas still without power, the on-board generator capabilities of our hybrid pickups can help speed up the recovery efforts and help residents get back to normal lives.”
Each hybrid pickup is equipped with four 120-volt/20-amp electrical auxiliary power outlets, with two outlets located under the rear seat of the cab and two more in the pickup bed. The auxiliary outlets provide the ability to run power tools and appliances directly from the vehicle, while driving or when parked. Along with this generating capability, the vehicles’ hauling capacities make the trucks well suited for the cleanup efforts in the affected areas.
Sending the hybrids to Florida is part of a larger effort by GM and the General Motors Foundation to aid the victims of the current hurricane season. The GM Foundation initially donated $100,000 and three Hummer H2 SUVs to help the Red Cross meet the immediate needs of those hardest hit by the hurricanes. The GM Foundation also pledged to match up to $100,000 in GM employee contributions to the American Red Cross for the relief of hurricane victims.