General Motors developing second-generation mild hybrid system
Click the Corsa Hybrid for a high res gallery
General Motors announced plans a few days ago to show off a concept version of an Opel Corsa hybrid at the Frankfurt Motor Show. We now know a bit more about will be shown, or at least advertised as being on the car. The belt-alternator system was developed by GM as a low-cost way of bringing hybrid technology to the masses at a significantly lower cost than the strong hybrids produced by Toyota and Ford.
The second generation BAS system will evolve to provide significantly more power assist and recapture a lot more kinetic energy. To that end, the current nickel metal hydride battery will be supplanted by a lithium ion battery to provide significantly more energy capacity in an even smaller package. The alternator-starter will be able to provide more power which will allow the use of a smaller, more efficient engine while maintaining performance. The smaller battery will also allow the system to be packaged in far more vehicles where it can be offered as an option. GM isn't saying when the next-gen system will hit the streets because it depends on those lithium batteries. Most likely we'll probably see it hot on the heels of the Volt.
[Source: General Motors]