Yesterday we reported on the agreement made between GM and Chrysler to work on hybrid technology together. Today I want to take some time to explain what is on the drawing board. What these two giants have planned is a two-mode full hybrid propulsion architecture.
The hybrids available today are single-mode, comprised of much larger motors than the two-mode system will need. The smaller motors are designed to fit within the space of an automatic transmission. The picture above is the entire system encompassed in what looks like a regular auto-tranny.
This system merges an automatic transmission with hybrid technologies, as the exploded view of the two-mode system shows (the picture with Rick Wagoner and Dieter Zetsche happier than pigs-in-dirt to get some hybrid press). The first mode would aid in ?around town? use. This mode would be in operation until about 40mph, when the second mode would kick in and help the vehicle get the fuel savings at highway mileage also. Most current hybrids do an awesome job at saving fuel in stop and go traffic, but lose out in the highway usage (see pic below).
The first application of this system will be in GM and Dodge full-size trucks starting around the 2007 model year. The configuration of the two mode system would give approximately 25 percent better fuel economy in average city/highway use when installed in a full-size truck. This system also aids in towing pulling-power so its inclusion in a full-size truck application is a perfect fit.