Recently General Motors (GM) announced a second generation hybrid system with expected fuel economy 20 percent higher than the current system. A major change in the system is the addition of an advanced lithium ion battery which will make this three times more powerful than its first hybrid system with the nickel-metal-hydride batteries. The advanced battery will be 24 percent smaller in volume and will have three times more power. Lithium ion batteries are commonly used in rechargeable, portable devices and have been heavily researched by automakers in order to reduce the cost of these vehicles and make it accessible to more people. The size will allow GM to use this in other vehicles due to the greater flexibility.
The new system can be used in global powertrains, new high-efficiency turbocharged engines, biofuel engines and diesels. The second generation system will have many new features to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The engine will turn off when idling, have brief electric-only propulsion, use a more powerful electric motor to enhance engine efficiency, extend fuel cutoff during deceleration, extend regenerative braking to recapture more energy, and perform intelligent hybrid battery charging.
“The new system is another important step in our broad-based strategy to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and emissions. In order to have a real impact reducing oil consumption, oil imports, and CO2 emissions, advanced technologies must be affordable enough to drive high-volume applications. We plan to roll out this next generation hybrid technology globally, across our brands and regions, starting in 2010 in North America, and we expect that volumes will eventually exceed 100,000 units annually,” said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman.