GM Shows “FlexPower” Hybrid Pickups
At the Clean Cities Conference in Palm Springs, CA, General Motors displayed its new FlexPower pickup, which features a parallel-hybrid drive system, engine start/stop technology, regenerative braking and stationary auxiliary AC power. The parallel-hybrid system will not derive motive power from the batteries, but will stop the engine below 13 mph, with instantaneous start-up on demand, resulting in a 10-to-15 percent improvement in fuel-efficiency. All electronic and electric functions, including air conditioning, are battery-powered during the stop interval. The FlexPower configuration will be offered as an option with the Vortec 5300 engine in the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups. GM also recently announced that its “displacement on demand” cylinder idling option would be available on select models with the Vortec 5300 as a fuel-efficiency booster.