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BMW Joins GM–DaimlerChrysler Hybrids Partnership

The two-mode hybrid system uses different pairings of two electric motors to support low-speed and high-speed driving.

The BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors today formed an alliance of equals for the joint development of hybrid drive systems. The three global automakers are cooperating in order to pool their expertise for the accelerated and efficient development of hybrid drive systems.

The objective is to develop a two-mode hybrid drive system that reduces fuel consumption while still maintaining what each automaker believes necessary in terms of individual vehicle performance and capability.

While the base two-mode hybrid design will be common to the three, each company will individually integrate the hybrid system into the design and manufacturing of vehicles in accordance with their brand-specific requirements.

The participation of the BMW Group has allowed us to gain another expert partner for the development of this advanced two-mode hybrid system. This cooperation paves the way for extensive hybrid collaboration among the three companies. We also continue to discuss additional partners for this alliance.

—Tom Stephens, Group Vice President at GM Powertrain

By pooling the development expertise of the three automakers—BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors—we are making it possible for all companies to bring to market appealing vehicles with convincing performance, comfort and environmental features for the benefit of our customers.

—Dr. Thomas Weber, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member responsible for Research and Technology as well as Mercedes Development

The creation of a shared technology platform for hybrid drives will allow us to more quickly integrate the best technologies on the market and will therefore exploit and strengthen the innovative potential of all participating companies. Because the technologies will be adapted to the individual vehicle models, the participating brands will retain their distinctive characters.

—Prof. Burkhard Göschel, Board of Management member for Development and Procurement at BMW AG

A new GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan, will develop the overall modular system and the individual components: electric motors, high-performance electronics, wiring, safety systems, energy management, and hybrid system control units. In addition, the Hybrid Development Center will be responsible for system integration and project management.

The sharing of components and production facilities, and the collaborative relationship with suppliers, will enable the alliance partners to achieve significant economies of scale and associated cost advantages.

The two-mode system proposed earlier by GM and DaimlerChrysler (earlier post) is, in essence, an electrically variable transmission with two hybrid drive modes provided by a variable pairing of two electric motors.

The first mode (input split mode) is for low-speed, stop-and-start, in-city driving. In this mode, the system can operate just with the engine, just with the motor, or with any combination of the two. In this mode, one motor acts as a generator, while the other provides drive (motor) power.

The second (compound split mode) is for highway driving—an area in which other single-mode hybrids have not performed as well as expected. In this mode, both motors, managed by the control unit, selectively operate in motoring or generating modes depending upon the vehicle speed and working in conjunction with the other engine technologies, such as Displacement on Demand. The electric motors not only regulate the power flow, but also aid in extending DoD operation well beyond what is capable without hybrid assist.

GM introduced two concept vehicles, an SUV and a diesel sedan, based on the two-mode hybrid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January. (Earlier post.) The goal, according to Stephens, is “guilt-free performance.”

“Guilt-free” motivation may now be displaced by “affordable”—GM intends to deploy the system in late 2007 in its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size sport utility vehicles. Chrysler will follow with a hybrid version of its Dodge Durango full-size SUV among a range of hybrids.

Daimler’s Mercedes brand is also working on an application for rear-wheel-drive passenger cars.

GM and DaimlerChrysler announced their intention to partner on the two-mode development in December 2004, and signed binding, definitive agreements on 22 August 2005. BMW Group today signed a memorandum of understanding with the intent to enter into a definitive agreement with GM and DaimlerChrysler later this year.


richard schumacher

This thing still has two planetary gearsets and three friction clutches? They're nuts, err, I mean, this is not a recipe for low cost and high reliability.

Big Al

This does look complex, however if you go the Lexis website and look at their system it is complex also. I guess the mode of design is to make it mechanical maddness and let the computer sort it out. Far different from the manufactures normal mode of as small a parts count as possible.


Why has GM waited this long to develope a gas-electric hybrid?

Sanjiv Madane

I have read the above new car development ideas with interest but am surprised to note that no car manufacturer has even attempted to think of the many natural energy sources available to mankind. I have one very effective idea which will use only 20% of the current fuel consumed in a present day petrol/diesel car and yet will have a limitless range as ordinary cars have. A breakthrough revolution in car design for sure,is about to happen. Let's say it's my contribution to save Mother earth's environment for our children.
If interested, please e-mail your interest. Thanks

Sanjiv Madane

karen jackson-fraser




Leah Nadar

In terms of climate change, it is evident that we are at a stage where we need to adapt, rather than employ preventative measures. I note this initiative is dated 07/09/05.When exactly then will "green cars" from these car manufacturers be available? Personally, I am looking to purchase a low/zero emissions vehicle, with the hope that a range is available to choose from BMW. Am I to choose only between Honda and Toyota? My advice is that if you want to keep on selling cars, you ought to do your research and find that there is an growing market of people wanting to opt for low emission vehicles. It's a pity you've lost a potential customer.

Air Quality Officer


This technology already exists but in a better design than is searched for here, higher eff. 98%, gearless, brushless, but not just a transmission and electric motor (minus magnet technology) also an alternator for charging onboard batteries all in one unit called a angular speed transformer.


Where can I get more details about this technology.
Just to see how this system works ??

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