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GM Chevrolet Introduces 2-Mode Hybrid Silverado; Launches Fuel Solutions

Silverado2mode
The Silverado 2-Mode hybrid pickup.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet rolled out the Chevrolet Fuel Solutions initiative designed to aggressively promote the fuel-saving technologies available in the brand’s current and future lineups. An accompanying parade of vehicles included a gasoline-powered subcompact (Aveo); a hydrogen fuel cell crossover (Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle); extended-range electric vehicle (Volt); and three hybrids.

The event included the world premiere of the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup truck, which will go on sale in North America later next year as a 2009 model. Chevrolet also revealed the all-new Malibu Hybrid sedan, arriving in North American dealerships this month.

Chevrolet also announced a historic partnership with the Walt Disney Company in which 10 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles will be deployed as shuttles at Disney properties in California.

The 2-mode Silverado. The hybrid Silverado combines the 2-mode Electrically variable Transmission (EVT) with the 6.0L Gen IV V8 engine with Active Fuel Management (GM’s cylinder deactivation) and an Energy Storage System.

The all-new EVT is an assemblage of two 60 kW electric motors, three planetary gearsets and four traditional hydraulic wet clutches. This arrangement allows continuously variable operation, as well as providing four fixed gear ratios (with operation comparable to that of a standard electronically controlled automatic transmission).

The design was selected because of the operational characteristics of electric motors, which are very efficient when turning at low speeds, but much less efficient as motor rpm increases. Current hybrid passenger vehicles run their electric motors almost continuously throughout the entire drive cycle, which can be very inefficient under high loads and at highway speeds. The opposite is true with GM’s EVT, which can activate any of its four hydraulic clutches to allow power to be transferred via the fixed-gear ratios whenever high load conditions are experienced.

A Hybrid Optimizing System (HOS) constantly receives torque-based data from the powertrain and other vehicle systems, and then determines the most efficient means of propelling the vehicle—either via electric power, gasoline engine power or a combination of the two. The EVT is like having two transmissions in one – continuously variable drive for light-load conditions and fixed-ratio drive for high-load situations.

All functions of the EVT are controlled by the HOS, which constantly searches for the optimal transmission operation (using either variable or fixed ratios) to meet current operating conditions. The HOS also bases its decisions on allowing the Vortec 6.0L V-8 to take full advantage of its Active Fuel Management system and, because of an equivalent 30-horsepower (22 kW) boost of electric power, remain in V-4 mode as long as possible for maximum fuel economy. This is the basis of the Silverado Hybrid’s 25% improvement in combined city/highway fuel economy.

Unlike other hybrid systems, this new GM system occasionally shuts down the electric motors, allowing the EVT to function as a conventional automatic transmission. Typically, this fixed-ratio operation occurs at highway speeds or when hauling heavy loads, and can actually be more efficient than operating in electric-gasoline hybrid mode under the same conditions. This is because under high-load situations, when the fixed gears are in use, the electric motors can be used to generate electricity—or, if needed, they can be called on to supply additional torque for improved performance.

Energy Storage System. Providing power to the EVT’s two electric motors is a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). This battery pack is located under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress.

The primary function of the ESS is to provide power (300 volts) to the EVT via the Traction Power Inverter Module (TPIM) and to store captured energy produced during regenerative braking. The ESS can also be charged, when necessary, by the gasoline engine via one of the two electric motors when operated in generator mode.

In addition to supplying power to the EVT, the ESS also provides power to the air conditioning compressor and the Accessory Power Module (APM), which converts the high-voltage supply to 42 volts for the electric power steering system, and 12 volts for the vehicle battery and other 12-volt electrical accessories.

Battery pack durability and reliability is maintained via optimized charge and discharge cycles, as well as a dedicated cooling system that draws air from the passenger compartment. As part of the vehicle’s emission control system, the ESS is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

The ESS also has numerous safety features that prevent over-charging, over-heating, unintended access to high-voltage components and infiltration from liquid spills.

Regenerative braking. During braking, the Silverado Hybrid uses one or both of the EVT’s traction motors as a generator, converting the braking energy to electrical energy for storage in the ESS for future use to propel the vehicle.

The regenerative brakes are used along with the standard hydraulic brakes to slow the vehicle and/or bring it to a stop. Depending on the amount of braking force required, the hydraulic brakes may not even be used, such as during mild deceleration when slowing to allow space for merging traffic near a highway on-ramp.

When additional braking is called for, based on a change in the position of and/or the force applied to the brake pedal emulator, the hydraulic braking system will be called on to assist the generator(s) in slowing or stopping the vehicle. The anti-lock braking system (ABS)/Electronic Stability Control (ESC) modulator used on the Silverado Hybrid has been adapted to allow this interaction between the hydraulic brakes and the regenerative braking system.

The use of cooperative control between the regenerative braking system and the hydraulic brakes results in excellent braking control and maximum energy recovery. The system also provides feedback in the form of brake pedal resistance, which gives the driver the same feel as would be experienced with a normal hydraulic braking system.

Regenerative braking has the additional benefit of extending the life of the friction materials used in the hydraulic braking system, as well as improving braking performance in the form of shorter stopping distances.

6.0L V-8 engine. The Silverado Hybrid’s 6.0L V-8 engine is unique. It features Active Fuel Management and late-intake valve closing (modified Atkinson-cycle combustion process) for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel economy.

The engine uses flat-top pistons, cylinder heads borrowed from GM’s 5.3L high-output V-8 and a 10.8:1 compression ratio, producing 332 horsepower (248 kW) at 5,100 rpm and 367 lb-ft of torque (497 Nm) at 4,100 rpm. It runs on regular unleaded fuel.

A key contributor to the Silverado Hybrid’s fuel economy is the gasoline engine’s Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 mph, depending on the current state of the battery charge, the gasoline engine can automatically shut down. By leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to move only under electric power, such as during heavy stop-and-go traffic, fuel consumption is greatly reduced.

However, when extra power is required, such as for wide-open-throttle acceleration from a standing stop, the Vortec 6.0L V-8 is seamlessly restarted so it can deliver the necessary power and torque. In this case, the engine is restarted effortlessly from the Auto Stop mode using the EVT’s powerful internal electric motors; there is no traditional starter motor.

Fuel economy figures for the Silverado Hybrid are not finalized, but GM projects 40% greater city fuel economy and a 25% improvement in overall fuel economy over the full gasoline version. The 2008 Silverado with 6.0-liter engine is EPA rated at 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, 15 mpg combined.

Comments

Steve

I'm a flag-waving nitwit.

Steve

George

I'm actually starting to be impressed with GM. This is a real step forward that will save a significant amount of fuel. As was mentioned above, where the hell is FoMoCo?

As for "why all the hate", I think the answer is that too many jerks are driving around in trucks they don't need, and they are causing harm to the rest of us. They are raising the trade deficit, trashing the value of our currency, and causing us to fight oil wars. Not to mention taking up too much space on the street and in parking lots, blinding us with high mounted headlights, and killing us when they crash into us. And then there's the threat of global warming...

To the guy who doesn't want anyone telling him what to drive, all I can say is sorry bub, you live in a society, you play by society's rules. You're driving a vehicle with mandated low emissions and a bunch of safety equipment, is that killing you?

Steve

Yeah, see...? See how the hit and run artists play their game? They use my name (oh how clever) to make a derogitory comment as if I authored. Feels like the 3rd grade, doesn't it? Or am I too generous?

Obviousely this is the same person that hit and ran Cervus and didn't have the balls to put their name down. Now they use mine. Sweet...

There... I even put my e-mail in.

Steve

Steve

Oh, by the way, for the record I drive a 2004 Golf running B100 (not OPEC oil, just good old fashoned american farmer grown fuel), getting 43 to 48 MPG. How's that for putting one's money where their mouth is...? George, I suspect you made the hit and runs... what do you drive?

Steve

Steve

Mee no spel gud but me wayv flagg gud. Sweet.

Mee emale reel. Realy.

Steve

chris

George,

It appears that FOMOCO is taking a different route right now. It looks like they are downsizing and adding turbos. Ford is expected to release a new f-150 early next year with a base engine of being a 3.7l v6. This engine will replace a less powerful 4.0 v6 and will compare niely with the 4.6L v8. Give that the 3.7 will be mated with a 6 speed transmission it will likely outpower the 4.6 and compete with the 5.4L v8. However the 5.4 will get replaced with a more fuel effecient 6.0l v8 as some people still need to tow stuff.

However this looks to be a great oppurtunity for people to downsize as not everyone will need >10,000lb towing capacity. It may not produce the fuel savings of a hybrid, but this is likely going to more cost effective to produce.

mike

George - It's interesting that you bring up the point that we live in a society, so we play by society's rules - especially when one considers that society doesn't agree with you. If you think it does, where's the evidence? Trucks are still legal, SUVs are still legal, and no government is going to make them illegal. Society gives tax breaks for buying large trucks, rewards wasteful consumerism, and allows us to purchase the vehicles we want to, even when you don't like them. So: to the guys that don't like people driving gas guzzlers, sorry bub, you live in a society, you play by society's rules - and in this society, we value the freedom to drive what you want over a small groups desire to control people's lifestyles.

Cervus

Spoofing someone's email address and impersonating them is a ban-worthy offense here.

"Disagreement is fine, insults, abuse or wild diversions are not. Comments not meeting those standards will be deleted. Abuse of another commenter’s email address will result in the banning of the offender from this site."

wintermane

Gms most important market is work trucks and getting a hybrid hauler with these numbers is quite impressive.

This will likely get snapped up real fast by alot of roadshow performers and rodeo people as well as a ton of contruction people and so on tons of these WORK trucks are consrtantly jauling horses and nicknacks bricks and antiques back and forth across america. Og I forgoot you thought they somehow magicaly hauled all that kunk in a civic...

eric


I don't know how you ban with the current system. You can type in anything you like in the name/email fields.

There was talk about requiring registration at one point a few months back. I don't know what ever came of it, but cases of spoofing like this can only lead me to think that we may see it sooner rather than later.

JamesEE

Lou Grinzo posted:

"A lot of the discussion here points to something I've been saying for a while--we need to distinguish between people who buy pickup trucks simply because they want one and those who buy one because they truly need one."

Who will decide if my use of a pickup truck is "legitimate" -- a government bureaucrat? I have an old Silverado that I drive under 1000 miles per year. It's always there when I need to haul something, and yes, it's cheaper to keep it than to rent a truck every few weeks. I don't drive it to work; I telecommute most days, and drive a Prius the rest of the time. It's possible to own a truck and a Prius. For me the Prius is a very practical car. It's not a religion.

I also want to get the commuters out of their large trucks and SUVs, but IMHO new rules isn't the way to go. Why not raise fuel taxes, with offsetting tax reductions on income, to encourage people who don't really need to drive a tank to get a car? Even a pretty large car, e.g., an Accord, burns half the gas of a Silverado or a Yukon.

Patrick

I was under the impression they already had a system (though flawed as it is) for identifying those who should have a "need" for a truck/suv. Small business tax credit on purchase of a work vehicle.

Granted, a lawyer/doctor/dentist/etc also will have a small business license and could abuse the system for such purchases.

Joseph


So your saying that if I have a truck because I own a boat that has to be towed to the lake or 4 wheelers to the state park. Then thats not Need Enough, so I should have my truck banned.

DS
UNBELIEVABLE!! Who the hell is going to buy this? No one is going to trade in a Prius for this, or even a Ford Escape. Joe Nascar ain't buying it. My guess is GM will sell a few hundred of these to government agencies that have been mandated to be Greenwashed.
I found the answer to my question:Who the hell is going to buy this? Dubai!! Yes Dubai where gas cost $1.50/gal http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/11/gm-and-governme.html#more
George

mike wrote: So: to the guys that don't like people driving gas guzzlers, sorry bub, you live in a society, you play by society's rules - and in this society, we value the freedom to drive what you want over a small groups desire to control people's lifestyles.

In other words, in this society, we value the freedom to do whatever the hell we want, no matter how much it hurts everyone else. That pretty much sums up the Bush voter mentality, right?

George

Steve wrote: George, I suspect you made the hit and runs... what do you drive?

Sorry pal, not me. I would use words, and put my name on it. I drive a '95 Tbird with a 4.6. Isn't that what all the pinko tree-huggers drive? What makes you think I'd be down on you, anyway? I complimented GM, for godsake.

Patrick

Joseph,

I wouldn't ban you from buying a truck...just institute taxes based on the excessive fuel use of the vehicle (based on car mpg efficiency). It could be mitigated through the existing tax loopholes for small business owners (contractors) such that they get that tax money back...and yes, others with no work related need but owning a small business would be able to exploit this loophole but it seems worthwhile to me. Take the current gas-hog taxes as set for cars and transpose it to trucks with no changes (given the disparity in fuel economy between the two classes of vehicles there shouldn't be any need to increase the taxes since most trucks would be in the more heavily taxed brackets anyway).

BTW - I see the recreational boating industry is already hurting from the high fuel prices and still has not recovered from the initial spike in gas prices from the time of Hurricane Katrina. [along with all companies manufacturing boat specific equipment such as raymarine, jrc, etc].

mike

"In other words, in this society, we value the freedom to do whatever the hell we want, no matter how much it hurts everyone else."

Don't be silly. We make things like violent crime illegal because they do hurt other people, but driving a SUV is not a violent crime. I know there are people that post here that would call it a crime against nature or the Earth or something to that purpose, but these people are out of touch with reality. If society agreed with them, then vehicles like SUVs would be illegal or heavily taxed. Politicians have raised the issue, but people don't vote for those politicians, support their ideas, or ask them to enact those policies - the only sensible reason for this is that the citizens want to maintain the status quo. The only reasons I see listed by the majority of the posters on this site are riidiculous conspiracy theories about multi national corporations, GM, and the oil companies. Saying this opinion is tantamount to "doing whatever the hell we want, no matter how it hurts everyone else" is nonsensical.

"That pretty much sums up the Bush voter mentality, right?"

It may or may not, I don't know. I'm not missing that this is intended to be an insult, but it would likely be more effective had I voted for Bush.

George

Mike wrote: Don't be silly. We make things like violent crime illegal because they do hurt other people, but driving a SUV is not a violent crime. I know there are people that post here that would call it a crime against nature or the Earth or something to that purpose, but these people are out of touch with reality.

Mike, my original posting was a response to the person who asked why there was so much "hate" for trucks/SUVs. I'll reprint it here:

As for "why all the hate", I think the answer is that too many jerks are driving around in trucks they don't need, and they are causing harm to the rest of us. They are raising the trade deficit, trashing the value of our currency, and causing us to fight oil wars. Not to mention taking up too much space on the street and in parking lots, blinding us with high mounted headlights, and killing us when they crash into us. And then there's the threat of global warming...

Driving an SUV isn't a "violent crime", but it hurts everyone a little bit, and sometimes it hurts other people a lot, like if you crash into someone driving a smaller vehicle, or if your high mounted headlights blind someone and they crash while you motor on. There are no crazy conspiracy theories here, are there? (Some may quibble with oil wars.) There are negative consequences to the use of foreign oil, and to the extent that you are using more than your fellow Americans, you are a bigger contributor to those problems. You might react negatively to the clowns that want you to trade in your SUV for a 10 speed or some ridiculous little minicar, but I'm not suggesting that. The guy that I originally responded to had the attitude that "no one's gonna tell me what to drive". My point is that first of all, they already have; (safety, emissions) and second, they may well make some more changes in the future to reduce oil imports and CO2 emission. Whatever laws get passed, he's stuck with them. As are all of us.

George

Sorry about the broken html. the lack of editing is a hose.

sjc

When someone drives a vehicle that gets half the mileage of other vehicles, then they are using more fuel, raising prices for fuel and creating a shortage of fuel for everyone else.

Gas guzzler taxes worked for cars, why not trucks and SUVs? Making incentives to get work trucks to get better mileage would be a good thing.

mph

There is already a tax based on excessive fuel usage. It's called the gas tax. The more gas you buy, the more tax you pay. We don't need any more taxes.

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Jeremy Lucas

The most insensitive quote on the page

"My preference is to heavily tax the discretionary use of such vehicles by the former group (high yearly registration fees, perhaps), to push those drivers to more reasonable vehicles, and let the normal cost-cutting in response to rising gasoline prices provide most or all of the impetus for commercial users to buy the most efficient truck possible."

This person is obviously short and probably very short at that. I'm 6'-6" tall and simply cannot drive 90% of the vehicles on the road I also am not the wealthiest of people eithe. That being said putting high taxes on people who drive large cars is unjust. Now if someone would make a car that gets 40 or more mpg and is built for tall people to be able to get into it then you might have a valid point but untill then you should grow up!

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