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Geneva show: GM refines hybrid drive

Fuel celled: Cadillac's Provoq FCEV at Geneva.

General Motors promises 20 per cent more efficiency with its second-generation hybrid

7 Mar 2008

GENERAL Motors has announced its next-generation hybrid, which will be cheaper and more fuel efficient than the first when it arrives in 2010.

The company said its new GM Hybrid System uses a more powerful lithium-ion battery that is three times more powerful than the current nickel metal hydride battery.

This will allow the petrol engines to work less, which GM predicts will result in fuel savings of 20 per cent.

The new lighter battery is being supplied by a subsidiary of Japanese brand Hitachi.

163 center imageLeft: Cadillac CTS Coupe and Opel Flextreme.

The system is a mild hybrid system that turns the engine off at idle, offers brief electric-only operation, extends fuel cut-off during deceleration and increases the amount energy captured with regenerative braking.

GM said the new system can be used with regular petrol, turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel engines and will be linked to a six-speed automatic in some applications.

It is estimating annual production of models using the new hybrid system will eventually exceed 100,000.

The first tangible evidence of GM's MKII hybrid drive system came in the Saab 9-X concept at Geneva last week, when GM also used its Cadillac brand to again showcase the Provoq FCEV fuell cell concept and CTS Coupe, both of which debuted at Detroit in January.

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