Click to see how the 2nd-gen Hybrid system fares against other engines
GM Chairman Rick Wagoner is on hand at the Geneva Motor Show today, and one of his big talking points is the production announcement of a second generation GM Hybrid system. For those without a guide book, that's GM's branding for its mild hybrid system as opposed to the high-end Two-Mode system that's used in its full-size trucks and SUV hybrids. The current version of the system is available on the Saturn Aura and Vue and the Chevy Malibu.
In Geneva, Wagoner is announcing that the second generation of the GM Hybrid system will go into production in 2010. The basic layout of the system is unchanged, but the system has been substantially upgraded. The 36V nickel metal hydride battery gets replaced with a smaller, lighter and more powerful lithium-ion battery. The motor/generator is still driven/drives through a belt and fits in roughly the same package size. The motor/generator is now much more powerful, which means that the system can now be used with a much wider variety of vehicles and engines. During a pre-show briefing, GM said the volumes with the new system are expected to quickly ramp up to 100,000 units annually and beyond. This system is designed to be compatible with gas, flex-fuel and diesel engines, and thus will be used globally including in Europe. Interestingly, this system is also easily adaptable to rear-wheel-drive applications and can provide a 15-20% improvement in fuel efficiency. For more details, head over to AutoblogGreen because explaining this stuff is what they do.