GM Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz may speak frequently about hard it will be for car-makers to meet proposed new 35 mpg fuel economy standards but that doesn't mean his employer is sitting on its collective hands. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, the company announced that its Chevrolet brand would take the corporate lead in implementing fuel economy improvements in every segment. Chevy already has the highest fuel economy in the full-sized truck market and wants to expand that to all segments. They plan to implement and expand use of a variety of technologies to enhance all their vehicles.

Chevrolet is already using their cylinder deactivation system called Active Fuel Management in the 5.3L and 6.0L V-8s in their trucks and Impala SS sedan and the 3.9L V-6 in the Impala. E85-capable Flex-Fuel engines are also available in a variety of vehicles and availability of those is being expanded. The Impala LTZ with the 3.9L V-6 has both E85 and AFM capability. The two-mode hybrid Tahoes are now in production and that hybrid system will be added to the Silverado pickup next year. In couple of years, the Chevy Volt will be launched as a range extended electric car and fuel cells are now being field tested in the Chevrolet Equinox as part of Project Driveway. It looks like Chevrolet will be the lead division for new technologies that are developed as well.

[Source: General Motors]

CHEVROLET FUEL SOLUTIONS: FUEL-EFFICIENCY

Chevrolet, which commands the industry's highest fuel economy in full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, is committed to achieving fuel economy and environmental technology leadership in every segment in which it competes. To do this, Chevy is incorporating improvements to the internal combustion engine such as Active Fuel Management, along with six-speed transmissions; gas-electric hybrids and, in the future, electrically driven vehicles.

Active Fuel Management can enhance fuel economy by up to 12 percent, depending on the vehicle and driving conditions. It automatically and seamlessly deactivates half of an engine's cylinders in low-demand situations – such as when idling in rush-hour traffic or cruising on a flat highway – and reactivates them when full power is needed. Find fuel-saving AFM on these 2008 Chevys: Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Tahoe Hybrid and TrailBlazer (5.3L V-8 plus Vortec 6.0L V-8 for Silverado and Tahoe Hybrid); and Impala and Impala SS (3.9L V-6 and 5.3L small-block V-8).

In North America, Chevy features seven models that achieve EPA fuel economy of 30 or more miles per gallon on the highway, even under the new, tougher 2008 EPA computation.

They include the Chevrolet Aveo (manual and automatic); Chevrolet Aveo5 (manual and automatic); Chevrolet Cobalt (2.2L and 2.4L, manual and automatic), Chevrolet Malibu (2.4L automatic); Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (2.4L automatic); Chevrolet HHR (2.2L manual and automatic); and Chevrolet HHR Panel (2.2L manual and automatic)

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet unveiled the newly redesigned 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 subcompact, which boasts more horsepower with estimated highway fuel economy of 34 mpg; and announced it will build the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Beat mini-car for Chevy's global markets.

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CHEVROLET FUEL SOLUTIONS: E85 ETHANOL

Biofuels such as E85 ethanol have tremendous potential to help offset the world's growing energy demands, and Chevrolet offers more E85-capable models than any other brand. In fact, Chevy currently has 2 million E85 FlexFuel vehicles on the road.

E85 ethanol flex-fuel vehicles can run on either gasoline or E85 – a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – or a combination of both. If all 2 million FlexFuel Chevrolets ran on solely E85, the nation would save millions of gallons of gasoline each year.

In addition to helping us reduce petroleum use and promote energy independence, E85 ethanol fuel produces fewer greenhouse gases during the combustion process and can enhance engine performance. It is a cleaner fuel made today from mostly U.S.-grown biomaterial, such as corn. But researchers are working on broadening the supply of ethanol by turning other non-food plant materials such as lumber mill waste, switchgrass, lawn clippings and even garbage into what's called cellulosic ethanol. Unlike corn-based ethanol, the cellulose in the products used to make cellulosic ethanol must be pre-treated and then broken down into sugars before they can be fermented, a step called cellulosis. The technology required to do this is under development.

For 2008, the Chevy Impala (3.5L and 3.9L V-6s); and the Avalanche, Express, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe (5.3L V-8) and Uplander (3.9L V-6) are all E85-capable.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet showed off a 2008 Chevrolet Impala LTZ FlexFuel vehicle featuring a 3.9L V-6 as well as Active Fuel Management technology.

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CHEVROLET FUEL SOLUTIONS: GASOLINE-ELECTRIC HYBRIDS

Chevrolet is launching two all-new hybrid models for 2008, the Tahoe Hybrid full-size SUV and the Malibu Hybrid passenger car featuring the affordable GM Hybrid System. The two systems differ in cost and complexity, reflecting Chevy's commitment to offer customers choices that fit their needs and budgets.

The Tahoe Hybrid boasts vastly improved fuel economy over its gasoline-only sibling, thanks in large part to a s tate-of-the-art hybrid system using GM's all-new Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT), as well as Active Fuel Management and specific aerodynamic aids and lighter components. The Tahoe Hybrid 2WD achieves EPA city fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon, equal to the city fuel economy of the four-cylinder 2008 Toyota Camry. The same 2-Mode Hybrid system will be used in the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2-Mode Hybrid full-size pickup making its debut at L.A.

The 2008 Malibu Hybrid, Chevrolet's first hybrid car, delivers the highest fuel economy among all Malibu models – EPA ratings of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. It's equipped with the GM Hybrid system, which consists of a precision electric Motor/Generator Unit that replaces the conventional alternator and is controlled by innovative power electronics. Its 36-volt nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery pack is capable of delivering and receiving more than 10,000 watts of peak power.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet revealed three Chevrolet hybrids: the 2009 Silverado Hybrid pickup, the 2008 Tahoe Hybrid SUV and the 2008 Malibu Hybrid.

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CHEVROLET FUEL SOLUTIONS: ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Chevrolet Volt concept sedan, powered by the E-Flex System – GM's next-generation all-electric propulsion system – could nearly eliminate trips to the gas station for the estimated 78 percent of commuters who drive 40 miles or less round-trip each day.

The Volt is a battery-powered, four-passenger electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity to extend its range. It features GM's E-Flex System: "E" for electricity; "Flex" for the many ways to make and store it. The electricity to operate the Volt can come from a number of energy sources – including renewable ones such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biofuels – or from traditional sources such as natural gas, clean coal, nuclear or even gasoline.

The Volt draws from GM's previous leadership in starting the modern electric vehicle market when it launched the EV1 in 1996.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet is showing the FlexFuel variant of the Volt, which uses gasoline, E85 ethanol or a combination of the two to produce the electricity needed to operate the vehicle. At previous auto shows, GM has shown bio-diesel and hydrogen fuel cell variants of the Volt.

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CHEVROLET FUEL SOLUTIONS: FUEL CELLS

Chevrolet is committed to delivering driveable and practical vehicles that promote energy independence and reduce emissions. Project Driveway, the first large-scale market test of fuel cell electric vehicles, puts drivers in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles behind the wheel of 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles. These drivers' unique experiences will give General Motors engineers the valuable feedback they need to develop future generations of electrically driven vehicles.

Also, as part of a historic partnership between GM and the Walt Disney Company, 10 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles will be deployed as shuttles on Disney properties in California.

The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle is a zero-gas, zero-emissions vehicle that uses hydrogen to make the electricity that operates the vehicle. It makes no compromises, achieving 0 to 60 mph in 12 seconds, 236 lb.-ft. (320 Nm) of instant torque and a top speed of about 100 miles per hour. It's enabled by GM's fourth-generation fuel cell propulsion system, the same one that earlier this year powered the Chevy Sequel Fuel Cell concept across New York on a single tank of hydroelectric-based hydrogen.

The Equinox Fuel Cell is equipped with a long list of standard safety features including driver and passenger frontal air bags and roof rail side-impact air bags; anti-lock braking system (ABS); StabiliTrak stability enhancement technology and OnStar.

Chevrolet showed the Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle at the L.A. Auto Show.



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