General Motors has announced that it will increase its hybrid production in 2010, when it launches its next-generation lithium-ion-based technology. The new version is compatible with any GM vehicle and powertrain including gasoline to diesel, from four-cylinders to V-8s. The system is expected to have a bigger impact on improving fuel economy than the current version without negatively impacting performance.
GM claims the new system is three times as powerful as the current technology, due to Li-ion batteries. It also provides more regenerative-braking capability and will improve fuel efficiency beyond the 10- to 25-percent gain of the current system. The Li-ion batteries take up about 24 percent less space, have 40 percent less weight and provide 33 percent more power than the nickel-metal-hydride cells they replace.
GM says it will offer the more-expensive 2-Mode system in full-size pickups later this year.