Upcoming Hybrids from GM ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Upcoming Hybrids from GM

Friday, October 20, 2006

Upcoming Hybrids from GM

The Saturn Aura Hybrid will begin production next week in limited numbers down in Fairfax. The plant will be producing five hybrids a week for testing. GM is expecting the Aura Hybrid to be available in the spring of 2007. The latest hybrid from GM is expected to get about 20% better fuel economy than the conventional Aura gas only vehicle.

Sometime after that, GM is expected to produce the Malibu hybrid, which was originally promised for 2007, but has been pushed back.

The Aura Hybrid (Green Line) will be a mild hybrid, similar to the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid SUV. With a smaller battery and electric motor, a mild hybrid is incapable of movement by electric motor only. Instead, GM has incorporated a belt-alternator start-stop system, capable of shutting down the gas engine when the vehicle has slowed or stopped. Regenerative braking will recharge the battery pack.

GM is also planning on releasing the The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra as hybrids in the coming year. Based on new hybrid technology developed with BMW and DaimlerChrysler, the new dual mode hybrid is expected to improve gas mileage by 25%.

GM, BMW and DaimlerChrylser have invested over $1 billion in this new hybrid technology and all are expected to benefit from the joint effort. GM will be using the new hybrid technology (dual-mode hybrid) in its 2007 Yukon and Tahoe. DaimlerChrysler will have a hybrid Durango in 2008, while BMW, who just signed on last year to the joint operation, plans on having a hybrid in about three to five years.

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