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It's now been just over a decade since the first hybrids, the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, were introduced. After a slow start, rising fuel costs caused consumer interest to take off mid-decade. Today, most consumers have some idea of what a hybrid is, but many are unaware that hybrid systems from competing manufacturers have entirely different hardware and function in dramatically dissimilar ways. That's why, for instance, you can't drive a Honda Civic hybrid on electric power alone

Let's try this again, shall we? General Motors has announced that it will jump back into the mild hybrid game by the third quarter of 2011. Larry Nitz, the company's director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, made the announcement at a seminar in Traverse City, MI, though he declined to comment on exactly which models would get the fuel-saving tech next year. Nitz did say that at least one American model and one Chinese model would be a mild hybrid by the end of 2011, which leads us

Let's try this again, shall we? General Motors has announced that it will jump back into the mild hybrid game by the third quarter of 2011. Larry Nitz, the company's director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, made the announcement at a seminar in Traverse City, Michigan, though he declined to comment on exactly which models would get the fuel-saving tech next year. Nitz did say that at least one American model and one Chinese model would be a mild hybrid by the end of 2011, which le

Since introducing its start/stop technology back in 2007, Bosch has sold 1.5 million of the fuel-saving systems to automakers worldwide. Most of Bosch's start/stop systems have resided in vehicles equipped with manual transmissions. Recently, Bosch began working with numerous automakers – including Fiat, Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen – to develop a start/stop system that could be used reliably on vehicles with conventional automatic transmissions, dual-clutch gearboxes and automated m

2010 Honda Insight – Click above for high-res image gallery

AutoblogGreen had a chance to chat with Micky Bly, executive directory of hybrid vehicle development and batteries at General Motors the evening before the opening of the 2010 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. We asked Micky about GM's plans for hybrid vehicles going forward. While its former partners Daimler, Chrysler and BMW all seem to be backing away from the two-mode hybrid system, GM remains fully committed to the technology.

2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera - Click above for a high-res image gallery

2011 Buick Regal – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Buick Regal – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 - Click above for high-res image gallery

During the Ford 2010 model preview in Dearborn this week, one of the efficiency improvements promised for the near term by Powertrain VP Barb Samardzich was increased hybrid applications. When we asked Fusion hybrid applications manager Gil Portalatin about potential future applications, it turned out that they won't debut until the next-gen hybrid system appears in 2012. At that point a production plug-in hybrid will be added as well. Of course, no one was interested in discussing the specifics

click above for a high res gallery of Honda's IMA hybrid system

Last October we advised you not to hold your breath for Daimler's Car2Go program to come to America. You can breathe again. If you live in Austin, Texas you'll be able to rent a mild hybrid Smart ForTwo by the minute this fall. Austin was chosen because of its university population and its concern for the environment.

With a federal election coming soon in Canada, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has begun to liberally spread the pork. The most recent example is a deal that will relieve General Motors of Canada from the repayment of $200 million in previous government loans in exchange for new investments in plants in Oshawa and St. Catharines Ontario. GM Canada will install a transmission assembly line at its engine plant in St. Catharines to build 6-speed automatic transmissions.

Click the S400 hybrid prototype for a high-res gallery

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Two-Mode Vue

Liquified petroleum gas (commonly referred to as propane) has never really caught as a motor fuel in the U.S. although it is used by some fleets. However, drivers in Australia may have a new LPG-fueled vehicle to choose from. In fact they may have an LPG mild hybrid available soon at Hyundai dealers. Hyundai Australia is considering local production of the LPG hybrid Elantra that goes on sale in Korea in 2009. Australia has sufficient domestic supplies of LPG that they don't have to import any.