Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp
2007 Chevrolet Volt Concept
Chevrolet Volt - GM's Concept Electric Vehicle - Could Nearly Eliminate Trips To The Gas Station
The Chevrolet Volt concept sedan, powered by the E-flex System – GM's next-generation electric propulsion system – could nearly eliminate trips to the gas station.
The Chevrolet Volt is a battery-powered, four-passenger electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity to extend its range. The Volt draws from GM's previous experience in starting the modern electric vehicle market when it launched the EV1 in 1996, according to GM Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz.
'The EV1 was the benchmark in battery technology and was a tremendous achievement,' Lutz §äid. 'Even so, electric vehicles, in general, had limitations. They had limited range, limited room for passengers or luggage, couldn't climb a hill or run the air conditioning without depleting the battery, and had no device to get you home when the battery's charge ran low.
'The Chevrolet Volt is a new type of electric vehicle. It addresses the range problem and has room for passengers and their stuff. You can climb a hill or turn on the air conditioning and not worry about it.'
The Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours a day. When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the Volt can deliver 40 city miles of pure electric vehicle range. When the battery is depleted, a 1L, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at a constant speed, or revolutions per minute (rpm), to create electricity and replenish the battery. According to Lutz, this increases the fuel economy and range.
'If you lived within 30 miles from work (60 miles round trip) and charged your vehicle every night when you came home or during the day at work, you would get 150 miles per gallon,' Lutz §äid. 'More than half of all Americans live within 20 miles of where they work (40 miles round trip). In that case, you might never burn a drop of gas during the life of the car.'
In addition, the Chevrolet Volt is designed to run on E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Úsing E85, fuel economy of 150 mpg would translate into more than 525 miles per petroleum gallon.
In the event a driver forgets to charge the vehicle or goes on a vacation far away, the Volt would still get 50 mpg by using the engine to convert gasoline into electricity and extending its range up to 640 miles, more than double that of today's conventional vehicles.
A technological breakthrough required to make this concept a reality is a large lithium-ion battery. This type of electric car, which the technical community calls an 'EV range-extender,' would require a battery pack that weighs nearly 400 pounds (181 kg). Some experts predict that such a battery – or a similar battery – could be production-ready by 2010 to 2012.
Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of Global Program Management, said the Volt is uniquely built to accommodate a number of advanced technology propulsion solutions that can give GM a competitive advantage.
'Today's vehicles were designed around mechanical propulsion systems that use petroleum as their primary source of fuel. (concept carz)' Lauckner §äid. Tomorrow's vehicles need to be developed around a new propulsion architecture with electricity in mind. The Volt is the first vehicle designed around GM's E-flex System.
'That's why we are also showing a variant of the Chevrolet Volt with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, instead of a gasoline engine EV range-extender,' said Lauckner. 'Or, you might have a diesel engine driving the generator to create electricity, using bio-diesel. Finally, an engine using 100-percent ethanol might be factored into the mix. The point is, all of these alternatives are possible with the E-Flex System.'
The Volt concept car is built on a modified future architecture, Lauckner said, similar to the one GM uses for current small cars, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR.
According to Larry Burns, GM vice president for research and development and strategic planning, the world's growing demand for energy and its dependence on oil for transportation is the common theme behind today's headlines.
'Whether your concern is energy security, global climate change, natural disasters, the high price of gas, the volatile pricing of a barrel of oil and the effect that unpredictability has on Wall Street – all of these issues point to a need for energy diversity,' said Burns. 'Today, there are more than 800 million cars and trucks in the world. In 15 years, that will grow to 1.1 billion vehicles. We can't continue to be 98-percent dependent on oil to meet our transportation needs. Something has to give. We think the Chevrolet Volt helps bring about the diversity that is needed. If electricity met only 10 percent of the world's transportation needs, the impact would be huge.' GM's E-flex System moves automobile toward new electric age
GM's E-flex System enables multiple propulsion systems to fit into a common chassis, using electric drive to help the world diversify energy sources and establish electricity from the grid as one of those sources.
'The DNA of the automobile has not changed in more than 100 years,' said Burns. 'Vehicles still operate in pretty much the same fashion as when Karl Benz introduced the ‘horseless carriage' in 1886.
'While mechanical propulsion will be with us for many decades to come, GM sees a market for various forms of electric vehicles, including fuel cells and electric vehicles using gas and diesel engines to extend the range. With our new E-flex concept, we can produce electricity from gasoline, ethanol, bio-diesel or hydrogen.
'We can tailor the propulsion to meet the specific needs and infrastructure of a given market. For example, somebody in Brazil might use 100-percent ethanol (E100)
to power an engine generator and battery. A customer in Shanghai might get hydrogen from the sun and create electricity in a fuel cell. Meanwhile, a customer in Sweden might use wood to create bio-diesel.'
The Chevrolet Volt is just the first variant of the E-flex System. The Volt uses a large battery and a small, 1L turbocharged gasoline engine to produce enough electricity to go up to 640 miles and provide triple-digit fuel economy. GM will show other variations of the propulsion systems at future auto shows.
'GM is building a fuel cell variant that mirrors the propulsion system in the Chevrolet Sequel (fuel cell concept),' Burns §äid. 'Instead of a big battery and a small engine generator used in the Volt, we would use a fuel cell propulsion system with a small battery to capture energy when the vehicle brakes. Because the Volt is so small and lightweight, we would need only about half of the hydrogen storage as the Sequel to get 300 miles of range.'
Future concepts might incorporate diesel generators, bio-diesel and E-100.Environmentally conscious vehicles can be aesthetically appealing
With exterior proportions associated more with classic sports cars, the Chevrolet Volt conveys an immediate message of agility and sophistication. Twenty-one-inch wheels and sheer, taut surface relationships reiterate the statement. The Volt's athletic design challenges the notion that an environmentally conscious vehicle can't be beautiful and possess an aesthetic spirit that matches its driving characteristics.
'We leveraged our resources around the globe to develop the design aesthetic for the Volt,' said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. 'It was important that the design capture the face of the Chevrolet as it's recognized around the world.'
True to the heritage of its Chevrolet bowtie, the Volt's exterior design suggests spirited performance and is wrapped in a stylish package, with classic Chevrolet performance cues that hint at both Camaro and Corvette. On the inside, near-term technologies and innovative materials combine with ingenious use of ambient light for an interior environment that's light, airy and thoughtful.
'First and foremost, this is an advanced technology vehicle that uses little to no fuel at all. But we didn't see any reason why that should compromise its design,' said Anne Asensio, executive director, GM Design. Asensio led the design team that created the Volt concept, with designs solicited from GM's studios around the world.
'We wanted a size that connected with everyone, so we designed a small car,' said Asensio. 'In the end, the interior design team from England inspired the final interior execution, and the exterior is the work of the Michigan advanced design team.
'Our job was to design a vehicle people could easily imagine,' said Asensio. 'It couldn't be a ‘science project,' because that's not what this car is all about. It had to be realistic, executable and carry the essence of the Chevrolet brand.'Source - GM
CHEVROLET VOLT CONCEPT'S SPIRITED DESIGN PROVES ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS VEHICLES CAN OFFER EXCITING STYLING
While the technologically advanced Chevrolet Volt has the capability to travel 40 miles on electricity alone, at first glance, the concept could easily be mistaken as simply a design statement.
The Volt conveys an immediate message of agility and sophistication, with exterior proportions more commonly associated with classic sports cars. Twenty-one-inch wheels and sheer, taut surface relationships reiterate the statement. The Chevrolet Volt's athletic design challenges the notion that an environmentally conscious vehicle can't be beautiful and possess an aesthetic spirit that matches its driving characteristics.
'We've leveraged our resources around the globe to develop the design aesthetic for the Volt,' said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. 'It was important that the design capture the face of Chevrolet as it's recognized around the world.' Design and engineering collaboration between GM designers and GE Plastics, using unique material technology and design engineering support, helped achieve the Volt's distinctive appearance. True to the heritage of its Chevrolet bowtie, the Volt's exterior design suggests spirited performance and is wrapped in a stylish package, with classic Chevrolet performance cues that hint at both Camaro and Corvette.
Inside, a host of current or near-term technologies and materials, combined with ingenious use of ambient light, creates an interior environment that's light, airy and thoughtful.
'First and foremost, this is an advanced technology vehicle that uses little or no fuel at all. But we didn't see any reason why that should compromise its design,' said Anne Asensio, executive director, GM Design. Asensio led the design team that created the Volt concept, with designs solicited from GM's studios around the world.
'We wanted a size that connected with everyone, so we designed a small car,' said Asensio. 'In the end, the interior design team from England inspired the final interior execution, and the exterior was the work of the Michigan advanced design team.
'Our job was to design a vehicle people could easily imagine seeing on the road,' said Asensio. 'It couldn't be a ‘science project,' because that's not what this car is all about. It had to be realistic, executable and carry the essence of the Chevrolet brand.' Athletic, bold exterior
Sized for an urban-centric lifestyle, the Volt concept sedan carries dimensions similar to a Chevrolet Cobalt, with an overall length of approximately 170 inches (4,318 mm), a height of 52.6 inches (1,336 mm) and a width of 70.5 inches (1,791 mm). However, the Volt's proportions, dictated by the layout of its electrically driven powertrain system, make it distinctly different from its mainstream Cobalt sibling.
'The configuration of the drive and energy components dictated we push the front wheels forward and outward to the corners,' said Bob Boniface, design director, GM Design, and lead exterior designer. 'We wanted to keep the overall dimensions relatively small. This is an urban-centric car, so it needs to fit into small areas.'
The Volt's proportions, combined with large wheels, wide front and rear tracks (64 inches / 163 mm, front and rear) and a tight wheel-to-body relationship, enable a sporty, confident stance. Other key proportional highlights include a dash-to-axle length that positions the driver far rearward of the front wheels; large 21-inch by 7.5-inch wheels; short front and rear overhangs and departure angles that deliver a sense of taut, compact energy. Also, the offsets between the upper glass elements and tire planes (the glass is inboard of the face of the tires) contribute to the sedan's balanced stance and enhance the vehicle's dynamic static image, resulting in pure, athletic proportions.
'What's beautiful about the proportions is that when you think about some of the competitors out there, you tend to think of those vehicles as ‘the sensible shoe,' 'said Boniface. 'People buy environmentally friendly cars because they feel it's the right thing to do, not necessarily because of their looks or to make a fashion statement. But the Volt is different. It's something one would buy because it is so compelling to look at, and the fact that it has the potential to never burn any gasoline – that's just a bonus.' Transparent roof and beltline
The Volt's roof, side glass and beltline are constructed of GE Plastics transparent, glazed polycarbonate material that delivers the scratch resistance and gloss surface appearance of glass, combined with the formability of a plastic composite.
As a result, the Volt provides the driver and occupants with exceptional visibility, enabling a 'city lights' theme in which the outside world passes through to the interior of the vehicle. Also contributing to the visibility is a shouldered, tinted side glass – constructed of the same GE polycarbonate material – that enables a dual beltline. Additional exterior design elements
In addition to the upper daylight opening and roof, key exterior panels are made with a GE Plastics composite, and each – in and of itself – is designed as an artful shape that could be displayed on its own. As a result, the exterior panels fit together like a well-crafted puzzle, with flowing surface-to-surface cut lines that bring a sophisticated composition and overall harmony to the Volt's exterior appearance.
The front door hinges enable enhanced entry/egress to the vehicle, as well as a graceful, forward-leaning door cut line. Milled from billets of stainless steel, the hinges serve as design elements, extending into the front quarter fenders and incorporating a plug-in recharging port access on both sides of the vehicle.
The vehicle face – designed to carry a serious, confident appearance – is clearly Chevrolet, with a twin-port front grille, center-positioned bowtie and lower air intake. Horizontal headlamps with aluminum bezels deliver a jeweled appearance, leading to translucent light-emitting diode (LED) forward illumination elements.
The underside of the vehicle consists of a flat, composite molded belly pan that is integrated with the fascias and rockers for a clean, uncluttered and finished appearance. The belly pan – which contributes significantly to the Volt's 0.30 coefficient of drag – contributes to the sedan's overall impression of refinement and demonstrates the design of the underbody was just as important as the upper body. Thoughtful interior
The interior environment of the Volt was designed to appeal to an urban dweller who desires a smart, daily-use vehicle, according to Wade Bryant, design director, GM Design.
'On the interior of the Volt, you'll find technologies, materials and an environment that enable the car to help make life simpler for a person who's environmentally conscious and leads a city-centered lifestyle,' said Bryant. 'It's ergonomically correct, provides connectivity to the world, and demonstrates smart responsibility through the use of lightweight, recyclable materials.' Two such examples are the instrument panel topper and steering wheel made with GE Plastics.
Bryant said the interior environment of the four-passenger Volt is defined by a host of current or near-term technologies and materials combined with the ingenious use of ambient light. 'It's definitely based in reality. All the things you see on the interior are within reach in the next few years.'
According to Bryant, the interior team and the exterior designers worked closely together to make the Volt look like one vehicle. Two examples of their collaboration are the dual beltline and the door hinge that's visible outside of the car. 'We designed this as one element that comes inside the door and becomes the interior pull handle,' said Bryant. 'It's all about integration, refinement and thoughtfulness.' Super Imaging instrument cluster
Super Imaging is an innovative, dual-mode technology display that provides two visual levels of vehicle information to the driver in the instrument cluster. It is a design innovation developed to provide a primary interface between the driver and the vehicle's key feature: the next-generation, electrically driven propulsion system.
'The dual-mode instrument cluster was developed to highlight the car's plug-in capability,' said Bryant. 'The powertrain technology is the key feature, so we wanted to make sure the interior communicated that, and the driver would have a sophisticated, fun and useful interaction with the electric-drive system.'
The first level of information – configured similarly to a conventional instrument cluster – provides traditional data in the form of analog, three-dimensional (3D) LED displays, including three gauges for fuel level, speedometer, odometer, battery level and the transmission 'PRNDL' indicator. The second level of information – a transparent screen positioned in front of the 3D LED displays – delivers color, animated data related to the Volt's advanced propulsion system with a holographic-like appearance.
Super Imaging works by using invisible, fluorescent inks that are printed on the transparent screen. When illuminated by an ultraviolet (ÚV) laser projector located behind the instrument cluster (from the driver's perspective), the inks become excited, and provide four-color illumination and animation. Foam/fabric surfaces
Compression-molded foam with a textile-patterned surface layer is applied on the entire lower instrument panel, lower door trim panels and rear quarter trim areas. The material enables soft, tactile, low-gloss surfaces throughout the interior cabin that appear hand-crafted and specifically tailored to the car.
This material, used in some of the latest luggage designs, enables zippered access to traditional storage areas such as the glove box, doors, etc. The material is very inexpensive, wears well and enables flexibility in design. Composite panels
Molded GE plastic panels provide thin, structural interior surfaces that can be cantilevered in space. The material is applied on the upper instrument panel, seat backs, center console sides and door inserts.
Light, strong, affordable and recyclable, the panels are sheathed in reconstructed scrap leather to achieve a soft, hand-crafted surface. Úse of ambient light
Engine : 1.0 L., 3-cylinder
The aspect of light – from outside and within the vehicle – is played throughout the interior environment. Highlights include a transparent upper roof that provides large quantities of natural light and is enhanced with thinner pillars and rail sections; Gelcore® LED indirect lighting around the roof periphery that illuminates during evening hour entry/egress and can be seen from outside the vehicle; LED functional storage lighting that passes through transparent zippers and provides ambient light during evening hours; and conductive ink controls situated on the interior surface of the glass roof that provide touch access to lights, OnStar buttons and more.
'All the storage areas are lighted internally, and the light escapes through the clear zippers, so you'll always be able to find your storage at night,' Bryant §äid. 'It all adds a nice little ambient effect, and the illumination will be color-keyed to the instrumentation lighting color. It's functional and cool, and when you open it, light from the interior storage area spills out.
'A big enabler is the transparent upper roof. It provides the Volt with more natural light than most other vehicles. It's very distinctive and appealing.'Source - Chevrolet
Chevrolet Volt Development Charges On
• Battery engineers develop new computer testing procedure, leverage global resources to accelerate development of extended-range electric vehicles (E-REV)
• Engineers integrate T-shaped battery into vehicle structure
• Designers improve aerodynamics to lower energy consumption
Engineers at GM's battery test facilities have developed a new computer algorithm to accelerate durability testing of the advanced lithium-ion batteries needed to power the Chevrolet Volt for up to 40 miles (64 km) of electric-only driving.
This advanced computer program duplicates real-life vehicle speed and cargo-carrying conditions, and compresses 10 years of comprehensive battery testing into the Volt's brisk development schedule.
The battery cycling equipment is used around the clock in GM test facilities in Warren, Mich. and Mainz-Kastel, Germany. It charges and discharges power from the prototype batteries based on the Volt's approximately 40-mile electric-only drive cycle. Results from this test data will help predict the long-term durability of the battery.
'Production timing of the Volt is directly related to our ability to predict how this battery will perform over the life of the vehicle. The challenge is predicting 10 years of battery life with just over two years of testing time,' said Frank Weber, global vehicle chief engineer, Chevrolet Volt and E-Flex systems. 'The battery team is able to utilize human and technical resources around the globe to reduce testing time.'
Testing the batteries in the laboratory provides a predictable environment to compare technologies under controllable situations. The batteries will soon be integrated into 'mule,' or test, vehicles with other E-Flex system components for on-road tests.
'Extensive analysis in our battery labs is an important step in proving this technology. We expect to further validate these batteries when they are integrated into engineering development vehicles,' said Weber. 'The conditions in a vehicle – where the battery is exposed to shaking, moisture and rapidly changing temperature conditions – are much more extreme than the controlled settings of the lab.'
Engineering an electric vehicle with a battery roughly 6 feet long (1.8 m) and weighing more than 375 pounds (170 kg) requires innovation. The T-shaped battery will be located down the center tunnel of the vehicle and under the rear seats. This integration requires the battery to be treated as part of the vehicle structure. Simulation data also indicates that the center placement provides greater protection to the battery.
'The battery is more than just an energy carrier; it's a structural component that affects many other aspects of the vehicle,' said Weber. 'It's an integral part of the vehicle that interacts with the vehicle's thermal and safety systems and chassis components.'
Engineering innovations are also required to maximize the Volt's 40-mile electric-only range and minimize the use of its range-extending internal combustion engine. To reduce mass, the Volt is being engineered with a relatively small fuel tank. This reduces weight, but still provides a driving range in excess of 400 miles between fill-ups.
Designing the interior
The battery placement created interior design opportunities that led to several creative solutions that improve aerodynamics and overall comfort.
'We made a conscious decision to make the Volt a four-passenger vehicle to keep the roof low, an important aerodynamic enabler,' said Bob Boniface, design director, E-Flex. 'As designers, we must be sensitive to the energy efficiency gains that can be achieved by optimizing aerodynamics, whether it's occupant packaging or overall styling. This not only contributes to improved fuel economy or extended range, but can produce beautiful exterior body shapes and innovative interiors.'
The battery pushed the occupants outboard, or to the sides of the vehicle, so the design team had to get creative with the sections of the roof structure to enable aerodynamics and provide adequate head room. The interior will accommodate a 6-foot 2-inch (99 th percentile) male comfortably in the front and rear seats.
'By having the battery in the middle, we were able to move the occupants apart and give them more space,' said Tim Greig, interior design manager for the Chevrolet Volt. 'We also shrink-wrapped the interior, particularly the doors, for comfort and spaciousness. There is no wasted space.
'Being an electric vehicle with a battery down the middle presented unique opportunities to our design team,' he §äid. 'The net result is a very creative and innovative design, appropriate for an electric vehicle.'
Aerodynamic drag, or wind resistance, accounts for about 20 percent of the energy consumed by an average vehicle, directly reducing fuel efficiency.
GM's aerodynamics laboratory, located in Warren, is the center of expertise for optimizing airflow. In addition to fuel economy, range, emissions and acceleration are all affected by aerodynamic drag. The cooling of components like brakes is affected by airflow, as is cornering capability, crosswind response, directional stability and on-center handling. GM's aero lab allows for the testing and development of each of these characteristics.
Aerodynamics development begins with a 1/3-scale model where basic shape and major features are defined. The model includes a highly detailed underbody and engine compartment. Radiator and under-hood cooling flow are developed with computational fluid dynamic models. Simultaneously, computation development takes place to determine the aerodynamic drag of design alternatives. Development continues with full-scale models, where shape is refined and optimized for low wind noise. The development process concludes with a vehicle prototype validation of the math-based analysis and physical testing.
'After extensive aerodynamic testing of the Volt, the vehicle now has a coefficient of drag that is 30 percent lower than the original concept,' said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design. 'It's not easy, but it is a necessity.'
The ongoing development of the Volt is just one part of GM's commitment to displace petroleum use in the auto industry through a range of propulsion alternatives, including:
• GM is the leading producer of E85-capable biofuel vehicles, with more than 3 million on Ú.S. roads today. GM has committed to having 50 percent of annual sales volume E85-capable by 2012.
• By the end of 2008, GM is expected to offer more hybrid models (eight) in the Únited States than any other automaker.
• The Saturn Vue Green Line, Saturn Aura Green Line and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will feature GM's mild hybrid technology.
• GM's two-mode hybrid technology is available in the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid, and will be added later this year to the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid, delivering highly efficient performance and full functionality.
• Going into production later this year is the front-wheel-drive Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid, expected to deliver up to a 50-percent improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy compared with the current non-hybrid Vue XR, based on current federal test procedures.
• Earlier this year, GM launched 'Project Driveway,' the largest market test of fuel cell vehicles in the world, lending 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles to everyday drivers. GM engineers will analyze customer feedback and use it to develop the next generation of fuel cell vehicles.
Additionally, GM provides more vehicles that achieve 30 mpg on the highway than any other manufacturer in the Ú.S. market. GM is also a member of the Ú.S. Climate Action Partnership (ÚSCAP), a group of global companies and non-governmental organizations that support an economy-wide, market-driven approach to reducing carbon emissions.Source - GM
A Look Into the Future of Engines and Transmissions
• General Motors Powertrain Europe opens its doors for Tech Show
• A variety of concepts for upcoming propulsion needs
• 9,000 employees develop and produce engines and transmissions
• Focus on reducing fuel consumption and increasing energy diversity
GM Powertrain Europe's comprehensive Tech Show provides answers about how cars will be propelled in the future. As part of the global GM Powertrain organization, GM Powertrain Europe has global responsibility for small diesel engines, diesel control systems, small gasoline engines and manual transmissions. Its footprint encompasses 15 facilities in 7 European countries, employing 9,000 people and producing on average more than 17,000 engines and transmissions per day.
'The top strategic priority of all development activities is to increase fuel efficiency, reduce the CO2 emissions and emphasize energy diversity', said Mike Arcamone, Vice President GM Powertrain Europe.
The GM Powertrain Tech Show also illustrates the worldwide network within General Motors. GM Powertrain is the global leader in producing engines and transmissions, with 86 plants and development facilities in 17 countries on all continents. More than 48,000 employees develop and build 33,000 transmissions and 37,000 engines on average every day. Customers include all GM brands as well as a list of other manufacturers.Diesel engines: Debut of the closed loop combustion process
GM has been working for 20 years on controlling diesel combustion in a closed cycle. It is also a success story for GM – concentrating on optimizing the processes inside the motor itself and thereby avoiding expansive after treatment systems wherever possible. A major breakthrough in this field is the closed loop combustion process: A sensor in the combustion chamber measures the pressure conditions in real time, and the measurements are integrated into the control system for the injection. This closed-loop process will make its market debut in 2009 in a V6 diesel that will provide 184 kW/250 hp and 550 Nm max. torque. Úse of the closed loop process will not remain limited to the new V6 diesel, GM Powertrain Europe is working on a new diesel generation that will feature common technology and remarkable efficiency.Gasoline engines: Direct injection, Turbo-charging, new HCCI process
By introducing the ECOTEC-Motor 2.2 direct in 2003 in the Opel Vectra, GM was among the leaders in bringing direct injection technology with homogenous mixture to market. A significant next step in this leading technology was the combination with camshaft phasing and turbo charging made available in the Opel GT. Its two-liter ECOTEC engine offers a remarkable peak power of 194 kW/264 hp.
Based on this technology, GM sees a major opportunity to reduce engine displacement, retain at least the same drivability and vehicle dynamics, and significantly lower gasoline consumption. This strategy, called right sizing, is particularly effective when driving under partial load.
Future developments include Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). Through controlled auto-ignition – as with diesel fuel – the gasoline/air mixture is burned more efficient. With the HCCI process, consumption declines by around 15 percent – with favorable emission data. To control the auto-ignition, pressure sensors are needed in the cylinders. Transmissions: Intelligent all-wheel drive, more speeds, higher efficiency
More speeds, wider ratios, less friction losses: These are the development goals for both manual and automatic transmissions. At the same time, cars will be more fun to drive. An outstanding example is the new all-wheel-drive system XWD that is currently launched on the market in the Saab 9-3 series.
The intelligent integrated system is extremely fast to react, giving the driver plenty of feedback and reassuring security. XWD divides the power not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels. Optionally XWD can be combined with the electronically controlled limited slip differential (eLSD) - an electronically controlled hydraulic multiplate clutch with the effect of a locking differential. It is fully integrated into the XWD control system and in normal driving can send up to 40 percent of the torque to the wheel that has the most grip - in extreme situations even more.GM Hybrid System: Cost efficient hybrid
The GM Hybrid System switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill. Once the foot is taken off the brake, it starts again. When coasting or breaking, energy is recovered generatively and stored in a battery. When additional performance is needed – for example in the acceleration phase – more torque becomes available.
GM favors the belt-driven Belt-Alternator-Starter (BAS). This solution is cost and package efficient because a large number of existing components can still be used. Moreover, the low inherent weight and the good packaging argue for the system. The system is most effective in urban traffic with frequent braking and accelerating, reducing fuel consumption by up to 10 percent. 2-Mode-Hybrid: Advanced full hybrid coming to Europe in Cadillac Escalade
At the heart of the 2-Mode Hybrid is an Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT). It has two integrated electric motors with an output of 60 kW each and enables driving on electric power only up to 30 mph. The sophisticated Hybrid Optimizing System also manages to recover energy by regenerative braking. Electrical energy is stored in a nickel metal hydride battery under the rear bench.
The innovative EVT with the two integrated electric motors takes up no more space than a conventional automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The 2-Mode-Hybrid can be coupled with 2- and 4-wheel-drive and allows fuel savings for large SÚVs of up to 50 percent in urban traffic. In Europe, this advanced system will first be available in the Cadillac Escalade.E-REV and Fuel Cell: The Path to Electric Propulsion
A decisive factor in reaching greater energy diversity is the electrification of the automobile. Hybrid propulsion offers instantaneous efficiency gains. The rapid development of advanced battery technologies that use grid-fed electricity introduces the potential for a whole new range of energy sources to power the vehicles of the future. Electric drive systems powered in part by lithium-ion batteries with range extender functionalities are the consequent next step. The last step in GM's view is the hydrogen economy, either at the power plant level or by using hydrogen in a fuel cell to produce electricity on board the automobile. Chevrolet Volt: The first Extended Range Electric Vehicle
The Chevy Volt concept is unlike any previous EV (electric vehicle) thanks to its innovative E-Flex propulsion system. The E-Flex propulsion system consists of a lithium-ion battery and a bio fuel powered range extender. Fully charged with electricity from the grid, the Volt will have an EV range of up to 64 kilometers – enough range for most drivers to make their daily commutes gas and virtually tailpipe emission-free (fewer than 40g/km CO2). For longer drives, the Volt's bio-fuel range-extending engine will create electricity on-board to extend the range of the vehicle to well over 700 km.
GM currently has more than 700 engineers working to bring this vehicle to market. Production timing for the Volt is dependent on the availability of advanced lithium-ion batteries that meet our safety, durability and performance requirements. GM is currently testing two different battery solutions in labs and in engineering mule vehicles on our Milford Proving Ground test tracks near Detroit. HydroGen4 with fuel cell propulsion: On the road to 'zero emissions'
For decades GM has researched fuel cell propulsion where electrical power is generated on board from hydrogen. The essence of the development so far is the fourth generation fuel cell vehicle HydroGen4. Considerable progress has been made in roadworthiness, dynamics and system durability compared with its predecessor, the HydroGen3. GM will build more than 100 units of the HydroGen4 and place them with customers as part of a global deployment plan to get comprehensive insight into the customer experience with a hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle. Ten vehicles out of this global fleet will be running in Berlin as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) demonstration project.
HydroGen4's fuel cell stack consists of 440 cells arranged in series. With the 73 kW (100 hp) synchronous electric motor, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in around 12 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h are possible. The 4.2 kg of compressed gaseous hydrogen allow a range of up to 320 km. Alternative Fuels: Bio-Ethanol
Bioethanol is a renewable alternative to fossil fuels and offers a CO2 advantage over gasoline of up to 70 percent on a well to wheels basis, depending on how the fuel is produced. E85 is a fuel mixture consisting of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
In evaluating the environmental impact of biofuels, both the source and the method of processing are decisive. Many companies are developing next-generation biofuels, which are produced from a variety of sources including agricultural and municipal waste.Source - Chevrolet