Other ecoFLEX models will be using eco-turbo engines that use smaller displacements and likely direct injection (are we sensing a theme here yet?) with both gas and diesel types. The glacially selling Europe-only Cadillac BLS is based on the Saab 9-3 so it would seem to be a no-brainer to add the flex-fuel BioPower turbo and sure enough we will see that at Frankfurt as well. Between now and 2012 GM will also introduce sixteen new engine families and ten transmissions as well as introducing flex-fuel engines in European Chevrolet, Opel and Vauxhall models.
Also coming to Frankfurt will be HydroGen4, the European version of the Equinox fuel cell vehicle that will be built this fall for the Project Driveway program. Ten of the Equinoxes will be used in Berlin starting early next year. Finally, not mentioned today but definitely coming to Frankfurt is the third variant of the E-Flex platform that is the basis of the Chevy Volt. The Frankfurt E-Flex will most likely use a biodiesel engine in place of the E85 flex-fuel engine used in the Volt and will reportedly have a different body style from the Volt, likely something using the current Opel look.
[Source: General Motors]
Opel/Vauxhall To Introduce Low-emission ecoFLEX Models
General Motors Europe Presents Extensive Environmental Strategy
Berlin. General Motors Europe (GME) today presented an environmental strategy focusing short-term on reducing CO2 emissions and long-term on introducing new propulsion technologies. The strategy's key points:
- Opel/Vauxhall will introduce an ecoFLEX variant emitting lower CO2 levels in each model line; premiere at IAA in September
- GM will present HydroGen4, its next generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, at the IAA
- Cadillac will launch the BLS as bioethanol (E85) variant in fall 2007
- Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet will offer E85 vehicles as of 2010
- 16 new GME engine families and ten transmission families by 2012
Between 2007 and 2012, GME will also introduce 16 new engine families with a total of 93 variants, as well as ten transmission families with 48 variants.
Environmentally compatible from development to recycling
"A vehicle's CO2 emissions are an important parameter, but by no means the only measurement of its environmental compatibility. That's why we are not restricting ourselves to the production of single, eco-friendly prestige objects. We want all GME vehicles to protect natural resources as much as possible throughout the entire life cycle, from development through to the recycling of materials. The start of Opel/Vauxhall's ecoFLEX environmental initiative at the beginning of June was an important step, as this campaign promotes the scrapping of old vehicles which do not meet today's environmental standards." emphasizes Carl-Peter Forster, President, General Motors Europe.
More efficient engine technology and use of alternative fuels
In order to further reduce fleet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, GM is pursuing a strategy of short and mid-term objectives. Conventional internal combustion engines will be made more efficient and economical through continued development, and greater use will be made of alternative fuels.
Eco-Turbo and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) are the engine concepts at the core of ecoFLEX models. Engines with larger displacements are being replaced by new Eco-Turbo units with smaller cylinder volumes. The Eco-Turbo concept is used in both gasoline and diesel engines.
Opel and Saab are pioneers in the use of alternative fuels in Europe with their successful CNG (Opel) and E85 BioPower models (Saab). GM's environmental strategy pursues a clear global objective of energy diversification and focus on more than one technology.
E-Flex and fuel cells as propulsion systems of the future
Presented this year, GM's E-Flex system enables multiple propulsion systems to be installed in a common, electrically driven chassis. Long-term, GM is working flat-out on the introduction of the hydrogen fuel cell – currently the only zero-emission vehicle option. GM has already invested more than one billion US dollars in this technology. The research department of the Fuel Cell Activities Center (FCA) is currently being integrated into regular production development, giving it a central role within GM. The GM HydroGen4 – the European version of the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle – will be presented at the IAA and marks the next step toward fuel cell production readiness. A fleet of ten vehicles will undergo testing in Berlin as of next year.