GM Expands Use of Hybrid System; Multiple Configurations Allow Flexibility
DETROIT – General Motors will offer its "two-mode" full hybrid, Advanced Hybrid System 2, on light vehicles by 2007, according to Automotive News."We've secured key patents that will allow us to scale this system into multiple configurations," says Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM powertrain. GM will offer a full-hybrid architecture with the flexibility to configure rear- and front-drive packages for both gasoline and diesel engines.GM has used Advanced Hybrid System 2 on 335 transit buses. In late 2007, the hybrid system will debut in two of GM's most popular full-sized SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.At the Detroit auto show on Sunday, Jan. 9, GM unveiled an Opel Astra diesel Fwd concept with the hybrid system, as well as a 1.7L turbodiesel engine.When combined with technologies such as cylinder deactivation, Advanced Hybrid System 2 will allow the diesels and V-8 engines to deliver at least 25-percent more fuel efficiency. In the system, two electronically controlled electric motors act on a series of gears to create a variable drive system. That system fits within the space of a conventional automatic transmission. A battery pack supplies power to the electric motors and allows for full-electric propulsion.The vehicle operates as a full hybrid with the internal combustion engine shut off at low speed and light loads. A full-sized internal combustion engine is on tap whenever high-load situations demand, such as towing or hill climbing.