In recent times, it’s become clear that a production ready lithium ion battery for a hybrid car is as important and as elusive as the spice melange from Dune. Every brand from Hyundai to Hummer seems to be basing what it could do off of potential gains in Li-ion technology. Well, at Geneva, GM presented their new Li-ion hybrid system.
The trick, GM hybrid chief engineer, Steve Poulos says is “We took the same (hybrid) system and put it on steroids. We just upped the voltage, upped the power, but kept the same basic architecture on the engine, the same type of arrangement.” Alone, the system should raise fuel economy be up to 2 MPG, but with the addition of Li-ion batteries and other fancies gizmos, should be much larger.
The key for GM is that their system should be portable in design, enough to be used on a variety of vehicles from small engined U.S. coupes to Euro-friendly diesels. This will give it broad appeal, enabling GM to sell over 100,000 vehicles using this system in North America alone.
The new system does not make as much of an impact as GM’s dual-mode system used currently in their GMT900 SUVs, however, it is also significantly less costly. This allows GM to make the bold assertion that the next generation of mild hybrids won’t be any more costly than the current ones.
Also using the Li-ion battery is the Volt which GM hopes to unveil by 2010. Though the development of the Volt seems to be more drawn out then that of 1984’s Dune. We really wish we had some melange handy, though, to get some prescience going and let you know whether the Volt is a reality for 2010 or not.
Source: Detroit News
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