General Motors Two-Mode Hybrid Powertrain Voted "2009 Best New Green Technology"

Last week, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) recognized GM's Two-Mode Hybrid technology as the 2009 Best New Green Technology. The inaugural award results from AJAC's desire to recognize innovative new green technology developments in the auto industry that will be of benefit to the Canadian consumer. Unlike conventional hybrid systems, GM's Two-Mode Hybrid is designed to optimize fuel efficiency in both city and highway driving while still enabling the hauling and towing capability that customers expect, making it unlike any previous hybrid system on the road.

"This award is a tremendous validation of the green transformation that has been under way at General Motors," said Marc Comeau, vice president of sales, service and marketing for GM of Canada. "For 2009, GM offers more hybrid models than any other manufacturer and the Two-Mode hybrid system demonstrates an important step on our accelerated path to vehicle electrification."

Its first front-wheel-drive application is in the 2009 Saturn Vue, which made its Canadian debut at the Montreal Auto Show last week and goes on sale later this year. The Vue Two-Mode hybrid is expected to achieve a 43% improvement in city fuel consumption and a 35% improvement in combined consumption, while retaining its excellent driving dynamics and family utility.

The Two-Mode hybrid system maximizes city and highway fuel economy by integrating two electric continuously variable modes with four fixed mechanical gear ratios. The system consists of twin, active-cooled electric motors integrated into the automatic transmission. Energy to power the motors comes from a 300V nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which consists of nickel metal hydride modules and is packaged behind the second-row seat below the cargo floor.

In the first mode, at lower speed and lighter loads the 2-Mode Hybrid operates in one of three ways depending on conditions and battery charge level: all-electric power, internal combustion engine power or a combination of the two. All reverse operation is driven solely by the electric motors. The second mode is used primarily to optimize fuel economy at highway speeds. It provides electric assist in addition to combustion engine power when conditions demand it, such as trailer towing and climbing steep grades, and to allow the engine to run at its most efficient point under less-demanding conditions.

No engine speed changes are necessary for the mode shift to occur. The result is exceptionally smooth, seamless acceleration and responsiveness. At all times, the Hybrid Optimizing System (HOS) collects torque-based data, deciphers it, then determines the most fuel-efficient means of propelling the 2-Mode Hybrid.

GM's Two-Mode hybrid technology is featured in 5 rear-wheel-drive models. GM's full size utilities and pick-ups - Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, GMC Yukon Hybrid, GMC Sierra Hybrid and the Cadillac Escalade hybrid.

Source: GM Canada

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