August 26, 2005

GM to introduce Saturn “mild hybrid” in 2006

Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has announced it will launch its Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) mild hybrid system, starting in mid-2006 with the Saturn Vue Green Line. The BAS system was originally announced in 2003, and targeted for deployment first on the Saturn and then on the Malibu.

The BAS hybrid is one of three hybrid systems GM plans to introduce on up to twelve models. The others are a version of its mild hybrid system used on the Silverado and Sierra pickups, and a new two-mode, full hybrid system in conjunction with DaimlerChrysler.

The BAS system is a motor/generator with power electronics mated to the engine, which provides start-stop functionality and regenerative braking, with occasional motive assistance. It enables early fuel cutoff to the engine during deceleration, and shuts off the engine at idle. Regenerative braking and optimized charging, combined with an energy storage system, further enhances fuel economy while maintaining all accessories and passenger comfort systems when the engine is temporarily shut off.

In the Saturn Vue Green Line – a name that mimics the brand’s more powerful Red Line – the system will be mated to a 2.4-litre Ecotec engine. GM has not yet announced fuel economy numbers or pricing for the vehicle, which is expected to debut in mid-2006.

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