Full hybrids have to date been almost synonymous with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system, which, in addition to being the technology behind all Toyota and Lexus hybrids, is licensed by Nissan for its Altima Hybrid and is used in a modified version by Ford in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids. This hybrid monopoly is about to change, however, as GM readies its 2-Mode hybrid system for introduction later this year in the Yukon Hybrid and Tahoe Hybrid SUVs. Like HSD, GM's 2-Mode system enables cars to run just on electricity, just on gasoline, or a … Read more
General Motors may lease the battery packs for its Chevy Volt electric car to make it more affordable, according to a news report.
GM's electric car will take lithium-ion batteries which are known to be expensive and have a limited lifespan compared with the life of a car.
Bob Lutz, GM's global product chief, has said that the company hopes to make the car available in the $30,000 price range.
While GM has several leading battery technology developers and manufacturers onboard in its effort to build an affordable, long-range rechargeable battery for the car, critics have pointed … Read more
General Motors is banking on the increasing demand for fuel-efficient cars by launching hybrid versions of two of its full-size SUVs: the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe. And although the cars aren't slated to go on sale until this fall, GM is already busy building buzz.
The new models, available in both two- and four-wheel drive, use a "two-mode" powertrain designed jointly by GM with BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. This Hybrid Operating System (HOS) allows the car to operate either on electricity or gasoline, depending on the power needs of the car.
General Motors announced Thursday that it will begin testing for its electric rechargeable car, the Chevy Volt, in spring 2008.
The lithium-ion battery packs planned for the Chevy Volt should be ready as soon as October 2006, Bob Lutz, GM's global product chief, told Reuters.
The company also announced Monday it has signed another contract with battery manufacturer A123Systems to help it develop the lithium-ion battery cells for its E-Flex electric drive train.
GM already … Read more
Imagine you're a huge automobile manufacturing company. (Imagine harder! You're a complex of buildings, factories, offices and... Oh, never mind. Bad metaphor.)
OK, specifically: Imagine you're a marketing exec at GM. Now imagine the ginormous year-end bonus you're going to get as a result of your collaboration with Paramount Pictures and toy-maker Hasbro on this summer's Transformers movie. Are you imagining swimming in cash? Good job.
All of the Autobots--the "good guy" Transformers battling to keep humans safe from the "bad guy" Decepticons--are robots that turn into vehicles manufactured by General … Read more
General Motors is now an eco-friendly powerhouse, according to a press release waiting in my in-box when I got in this morning. According to GM's Medialink PR firm, the company is one of those pioneers "leading the charge and answering the call" to address global warming and the adverse impact on the environment.
Never mind that the company still makes the Hummer, the Cadillac Escalade, and the Yukon Denali--GM is planting drought-resistant native Michigan shrubs at its Lansing manufacturing facility to cut down on the need for irrigation and has also installed low-flow toilets to save water. … Read more
The second-annual Hybridfest takes place in Madison, Wisc., on July 21 and 22, so if you love your hybrid and need a summer vacation idea, consider sharing the love with a bunch of other hybrid owners. The organizers want to get 200 hybrid owners to bring their cars and put them on display. Last year, they had more than 160 from 21 states and Canada show up, plus 2,000 people interested in seeing hybrids in action. Toyota, GM, and Ford are sponsors of the event, and should have some of their latest hybrids on hand for test-drives. This year … Read more
More advertising dollars are flowing to the Internet, in a trend that started years ago. Advertising Age has come out with its annual look at the United States top-100 advertising spenders. There are few surprises, but it's confirmation of what you've probably been seeing and expecting. Internet ads now account for 5.5 percent of total spending by the top 100 advertisers in the U.S. That adds up to nearly $10 billion, and the Internet's about even with radio and ahead of outdoor.
What are the biggest losers? TV's share of ad spending has been … Read more
General Motors looks like it is serious about this whole hydrogen fuel cell business. The company announced today that it had moved over 500 engineers from development duties over to groups focused on the production of fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
According to GM, more than 400 of its fuel cell engineers will now report to its Powertrain Group to begin production engineering of fuel cell systems. A further 100 fuel cell experts are being moved to a separate group focused on integrating fuel cells into future models.
While GM has already committed itself to putting 100 fuel-cell-powered Chevy Equinoxes on the road … Read more
Where in the world is the global warming solution? Well, as usual, it still rests with us, the consumer.
When we care enough to vote with our ballot AND our wallet, industry and government follow.
Food for thought:
On us -
Cars - I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we have oodles of pretty hybrids on the road. But the payback on a hybrid is about 9 to 11 years for the average diver (longer than the automakers say the "rated life" of the car is). Not a pretty picture. But if we all simply … Read more