VIENNA, AUSTRIA – General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler, and the BMW Group will begin production next year on their jointly developed, state-of-the-art hybrid system, representing an automotive industry milestone. This will be the first fully integrated combination of electric motors with a fixed-gear transmission, according to the automakers. As a result of its low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes, the system is commonly referred to as the two-mode hybrid. However, the sophisticated fuel-saving system also incorporates four fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities in a broad variety of vehicle applications. During the two ECVT modes and four fixed-gear operations, the hybrid system can use the electric motors for boosting and regenerative braking. The full hybrid system has an overall mechanical content and size similar to a conventional automatic transmission, yet this full hybrid transmission can operate in infinitely variable gear ratios or one of the four fixed-gear ratios. An electronic control module constantly optimizes the entire hybrid powertrain system to select the most efficient operation point for the power level demanded by the driver. The partnership between the three manufacturers, called the Global Hybrid Cooperation, was formed to develop this next-generation hybrid powertrain system. Each company will individually integrate the full hybrid system into the design and manufacturing of vehicles in accordance with their brand specific requirements.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials