GM Ecoflex logo.
HydroGen4 Debut at Frankfurt.
- General Motors Europe presents extensive environmental strategy.
- Saab expands BioPower range to all models.
- Cadillac E85-launch in fall 2007, Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet as of 2010.
- HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicle at IAA, test fleet in 2008.
- 16 new GME engine families and ten transmission families by 2012.
The biggest challenge facing the automobile industry in the coming years is the development of environmentally friendlier vehicles which are affordable and attractive. General Motors Europe (GME) today presented an environmental strategy focusing short-term on reducing CO2 emissions and long-term on introducing new propulsion technologies. The strategy includes lower CO2 emission ecoFLEX models in each Opel/Vauxhall model line, the first making its debut at the Frankfurt motor show (IAA) in September. With HydroGen4, GM also presents the next generation of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at the IAA. Cadillac launches its BLS model as an E85 variant in fall 2007, Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet will offer E85 technology in their vehicles as of 2010.
GME has intensively addressed the subject of emissions reduction and improved fuel economy for many years. This is evident in the current wide product portfolio, in which many vehicles meet or undercut the level of 140 g/CO2 per kilometer.
The especially pro-environmental ecoFLEX range combines economy and driving enjoyment with low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions in each vehicle class. The premiere model is a Corsa 1.3 CDTI emitting just 119 g/km of CO2, which will be launched in 2008. The Swedish premium brand Saab is also expanding its range of environmentally friendly BioPower engines across its entire model portfolio this year.
Between 2007 and 2012, GME will also launch 16 new engine families with a total of 93 variants, as well as ten transmission families with 48 variants.
Sustainability is top priority, from development to recycling.
"A vehicle's CO2 emissions are an important parameter, but by no means the only measurement of its environmental compatibility," says Carl-Peter Forster, President, General Motors Europe. GM is focusing on a wide range of environmentally friendly vehicles, instead of single prestige objects. In line with its commitment to sustainability, GM addresses the environmental aspects of its products and processes - from development through to the disposal of old cars. GM automobiles are designed to be recycled as easily and completely as possible in over 2000 recycling centers throughout Europe. "The start of Opel/Vauxhall's ecoFLEX environmental initiative at the beginning of June was an important step, as this campaign promotes the scrapping of old vehicles which do not meet today's environmental standards," continues Carl-Peter Forster.
More economical, efficient and cleaner internal combustion engines.
In order to further reduce fleet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, GM is pursuing a strategy of short and mid-term objectives. Conventional internal combustion engines will be made more efficient and economical through continued development, and greater use will be made of alternative fuels.
Eco-Turbo and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) are the engine concepts at the core of Opel/Vauxhall's ecoFLEX models. Engines with larger displacements are being replaced by new Eco-Turbo units with smaller cylinder volumes. The new engines operate at higher efficiency than naturally aspirated units, which leads to a significant reduction in consumption and CO2 emissions. This reduction is achieved through less friction and increased thermal efficiency by shifting the operating points to higher loads. The Eco-Turbo concept is used in both gasoline and diesel engines. The latest example is the Astra engine range. The 1.6 turbo ECOTEC (132 kW/180 hp) replaces the 2.0-liter turbo (125 kW/170 hp), saving 14 percent of fuel and in turn reducing CO2 emissions by the same amount. The new 1.7 CDTI turbo-diesel (81 kW/110 hp and 92 kW/125 hp) consumes seven percent less fuel than the 1.9-liter diesel engines (74 kW/100 hp and 88 kW/120 hp). There is no penalty in acceleration or top speed; in fact, the three new engines deliver slightly higher performance.
Opel/Vauxhall applies the proven TwinPort concept in its naturally aspirated gasoline engines with a displacement of up to 1.6 liters. With its variable intake control and high rates of exhaust gas recirculation, TwinPort can reduce fuel consumption by around five percent under everyday driving conditions. While up to 25 percent of the cylinder charge at partial load is made of previously burnt exhaust gas, power delivery and fuel efficiency are retained at full load, and can even be improved.
Gasoline engines with larger displacements are being successively adapted to direct injection. Current offers are the 2.2 Direct Ecotec in the Opel/Vauxhall range, and the high-tech 2.0 turbo Ecotec unit from the new Opel GT, which boasts a power output of 132 hp per liter. This engine also features "Cam-Phase" variable camshaft phasing, which together with other measures reduces fuel consumption by a further three to ten percent. The 1.6 and 1.8 Ecotec engines also feature this technology.
GME aims to further reduce fuel consumption in the short and mid-term with a host of technology features. These include the introduction across all model lines of Electric Power Steering (EPS). Already available in the Corsa, EPS only uses energy when the steering wheel is actually being turned. In the future, "Start/Stop" systems will automatically switch off the engine and restart it quickly, such as at a red traffic light. A low-noise starter generator replaces the conventional starter and alternator. The alternator in cars without Start/Stop also receives an innovation update; the High Efficiency Alternator (HEA) converts mechanical energy into electrical energy highly efficiently, and reliably supplies the high current that today's systems require. The Variable Displacement Oil Pump (VDOP) only pumps enough lubricant into the engine as is actually needed. Low rolling-resistance tires and enhancements to the vehicle's aerodynamics complement the powertrain-related improvements.
(source: General Motors)
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