Nissan introducing new B-segment concept at Geneva Show; previews next-gen compact car due in 2013
Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation establish joint venture company to develop and manufacture fuel cell systems

GM makes eAssist standard on the 2013 Buick Regal; new SAE paper coming at World Congress

GM is continuing the deployment of the eAssist light electrification system (earlier post) as a standard across its platforms. Starting with the arrival of 2013 models, eAssist will be standard on the Regal with the discontinuation of the 2.4L base model. Both the Regal Turbo and Regal GS models will remain available.

For the 2012 model year, eAssist became standard for the larger Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan. The system has also jumped across brands to the Chevrolet line-up with its application in the new Malibu. The latest version of the eAssist system, as applied in the new Malibu, consists of:

  • A 32-cell, 115V, 0.5-kW Li-ion battery pack (15 kW peak power) using cylindrical power-optimized cells from Hitachi. The power electronics and the pack are packaged in the “eAssist power pack” which includes the batteries (2 parallel 16-cell modules) and the power electronics, both of which are air-cooled.

  • An electric motor-generator that provides 15 kW of maximum generating power @ 1570-3180 rpm; 110 lb-ft (150 N·m) maximum electric motor torque (cranking); 79 lb-ft (107 N·m) maximum electric motor torque @ 1,000 rpm (electric assist); and 15 hp (11.2 kW) @ 1,000-2,200 rpm maximum electric motor power (electric assist). The motor generator is liquid-cooled.

The eAssist system is matched to a 2.4-liter gasoline engine. The system provides an electrical boost to aid the engine at low speeds and on inclines where fuel efficiency can suffer most. The Regal with eAssist achieves an EPA-estimated 36 highway mpg (6.5 L/100 km).

Pricing and an on-sale date for the 2013 Regal with eAssist will be announced later this year.

GM engineers will present a new paper on the development of the eAssist system at the upcoming SAE 2012 World Congress & Exhibition in Detroit in April. eAssist is also one of the finalists for the SAE Environmental Excellence in Transportation (E2T) Award, to be announced at the World Congress. (The Chevrolet Volt is also a finalist.)

Regal GS. GM is offering a six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control as a no-cost option instead of the existing six-speed manual for the 270 hp (201 kW) 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec in the Regal GS.

The new Aisin AF40 automatic is calibrated specifically for the GS. With the car’s Interactive Drive Control System set to “GS” mode, the transmission delivers firmer shifts, aiding performance. Acceleration matches the manual with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds.


  • Development of General Motors’ eAssist Powertrain (SAE 2012-04-16)

  • Power Modules and Inverter Evaluation for GM Electrification Architectures (SAE 2012-04-16)



With Toyota taking about 80% of the Hybrid market, will this minimalist approach improve GM's sales/share in the electrified vehicles future market?


(15 kW peak power)

You can get that out but you can not get it in for much regenerative braking. This is kind of pathetic, they had the PNGV cars in 1999, Toyota watched the program, built the Prius and GM sat on its behind.


How long before we see this in their small cars? Given the Cruze Eco already gets 42 mpg highway you'd think this would kick it up a notch to 50 or so with a small (1.2L turbo or so) gas engine.


This is the GM response to the Camry, Altima and Fusion hybrids which get 40 mpg city. The Malibu might be rated at 28 mpg city and they claim it costs a few thousand dollars less. Most want a real hybrid and make a plug in model while you are at it. But GM does not offer that, not even 12 years later.


My ebikes have .25 kw, half the eAssist storage.

A 20% highway mpg improvement sounds exaggerated for a Buick, or any GM overweight vehicle achievement.

Perhaps, what will be important is the used/wreaked components. These Li-ion cells and motor could be cheap and useful for 2 EV bikes/prototypes.


A ref to SJC's PNGV cars and the technology US auto makers have had for decades


Thanks Kelly, I like the looks of the Chrysler, but they all got at least 70 mpg. We put it over the top and the U.S. car makers walked away...amazing.


Note that there will not be a hybrid label anywhere in the car (unless GM chages their marketing) and it is a low cost device.. the option retails for about $800 so OEM has to be much lower. The whole point of it is to provide low rpm torque, thus allowing gear ratios in the transmission that give good economy without bogging down with a burst of high pollution when you step on the gas.


The problem I have with the Malibu Bas+ eAssist is that it costs only a few thousand less than an Altima, Camry or Fusion hybrid that are actually REAL hybrids. If this is the best they can do after all this time, maybe they should reconsider their priorities.


SJC, regarding your first comment, for the record, Prius debuted as a concept car in the 1995 TMS and first went on sale in Japan in 1997.



"but they all got at least 70 mpg"

OMG. Are you serious?

A quick glance at the those PNGV concepts found the following problems: (see

- they're light weight, but at a cost since they (two out of three) were made of aluminum (Q: what's the body aluminum content in a family vehicle on market today? What's the cost of Al compared with high strength steel?);
- they're all powered by diesel engine, which is notorious for emitting micro particles that are suspected to be harmful to health;
- they're fitted with exhaust treatment devices for use with ULSD not more than 3 ppm. (The current ULSD on the market is 15ppm.)
- can these 'concepts' pass the current five star crash test requirement of NHTSA?
- the 0-60 mph performance is between 11 to 12 sec. Can such performance meet the expectations of most car buyers in the market?
- PNGV, similar to many other 'white elephant' projects announced by Nixon, Ford, Carter regarding the U.S. energy 'independence' and 'alternative fuels', is more about show than substance, IMO.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)