General Motors' Saturn division plans to drop its Green Line badge, come the 2009 model year. Well, sort of. The Green Line has been Saturn's way of identifying its hybrid-electric vehicles, or HEVs, since it introduced its Vue hybrid crossover, two years ago.
Environmentalists and those looking for fuel efficiency needn't panic, however. The marque's move is meant to simplify badging. It's simply going to offer models like the Vue 2 Mode Hybrid starting next year, rather than the Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid.
Actually, things may still be confusing for consumers, as Saturn plans to offer an array of different hybrid technologies going forward, sometimes on the very same platform. So by around decade's end, you'll see a Saturn Vue Hybrid using so-called "mild" technology, which keeps costs down, but limits the boost in mileage. There'll also be that full two-mode hybrid version of the Vue. And Saturn plans to offer a plug-in Vue hybrid (a prototype shown above) using next-generation lithium-ion batteries that can be charged from a standard electric socket. That variation should allow owners to handle much of the typical day's commute solely on battery power.