Shanghai GM Launches “Drive to Green” Strategy; Introduces LaCrosse Hybrid, Two-Mode and E-Flex Systems to Come
|Shanghai GM’s newly announced Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid.|
Shanghai General Motors officially inaugurated its “Drive to Green” strategy today, with China Environmental Protection Foundation President Qu Geping and representatives from across the company’s value chain present.
The strategy covers three key areas: developing products with improved performance, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions; cultivating greener manufacturing systems; and undertaking a “green responsibility.”
Products. The Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid, introduced for the first time at today’s ceremony, is Shanghai GM’s initial product in 2008 as part of this strategy. Equipped with the GM Belt Alternator Starter hybrid system featured in the Malibu, Saturn Aura and Saturn Vue Green Line (earlier post), it is the first mainstream hybrid model in China’s upper-medium vehicle segment with volume production. The Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid can achieve fuel economy of 8.3 liters/100 km (28.3 mpg US), compared with fuel economy of 9.8 liters/100 km (24 mpg US) for the non-hybrid version.
More details on the LaCrosse hybrid will come closer to the start of sales. Shanghai GM will later launch another, as yet unnamed, vehicle with the advanced two-mode hybrid system.
Shanghai GM said it also plans to introduce GM’s E-Flex drive system and Fuel Cell E-Flex electric drive vehicle in China after 2010. GM used the Shanghai Auto Show in 2007 as the venue to unveil a concept fuel-cell variant of the Volt E-Flex system. (Earlier post.)
Between 2009 and 2012, Shanghai GM will begin offering 11 engines that offer better fuel economy than its current engines. In 2008, Shanghai GM will roll out three new engines, including the 1.2-liter S-TEC efficiency class-leading engine and HFV6 3.6-liter SIDI dual-mode direct injection engine. The S-TEC engine generates 52.2 kW/liter—the highest in its category—and achieves fuel consumption of 6.0 liters/100 km (39 mpg US), which is the lowest among engines with the same displacement.
The SIDI dual mode direct injection engine enhances output 15% and torque 8% compared with the previous version of the engine. In addition, there is a 3% improvement in fuel consumption, while hydrocarbon emissions in cold starting can be reduced by up to 25%.
All vehicles manufactured by Shanghai GM in 2008 will meet China’s Phase IV emission standard (equivalent to Euro 4), with new models being capable of meeting emission standards up to the Phase V (Euro 5) standard.
Manufacturing Systems. Shanghai GM is addressing recycling throughout the manufacturing process. Its advanced material management system requires consideration of automotive parts recycling even during the design process. By 2012, up to 95% of materials and energy used during the parts design and vehicle manufacturing processes may be able to be recycled, which would meet the standard adopted by the EU and surpass Chinese industry requirements.
By 2012, Shanghai GM’s three manufacturing bases (Jinqiao in Shanghai, Dong Yue in Yantai and Norsom in Shenyang) are expected to reduce coal consumption per car by 35% compared to 2007 levels to 0.31 tons. Shanghai GM also has set targets for decreasing average displacement of wastewater per car by 21% and doubling the quantity of reclaimed water by 2012, while saving about 400,000 tons of water over the next five years.
The recycling rate of industrial waste is expected to reach 97%, an increase of 15% from the present time. These initiatives will help address environmental protection issues that have arisen because of the automaker’s rapid growth.
Shanghai GM also will take full advantage of its leading position in vehicle manufacturing to promote environmental protection throughout its entire value chain. Shanghai GM is partners with the World Environment Center in the Green Supply Chain project, which is promoting the sustainable development of Shanghai GM’s suppliers.
The project assesses suppliers’ equipment, manufacturing processes and facilities to help improve their energy efficiency and resource utilization. The original eight participating suppliers have reduced their displacement of CO2 by more than 2,500 tons and saved about 28 million gallons (about 106 million liters) of water annually. They also have lowered their operating costs by a collective US$254,500. The number of participating suppliers is targeted to reach 40 by the end of 2008, and could further grow to 150 by 2010.
A similar program, the Green Service Chain project, was created to promote environmental protection in aftersales. While maintaining its emphasis on safety, Shanghai GM will continue to improve the recycling of waste that results during vehicle maintenance and promote the use of high-quality re-manufactured automotive parts to save resources and energy. For example, by adopting re-manufactured transmissions, a company can save 360 tons of steel, 450 tons of aluminum and enormous amounts of electricity for every 10,000 units produced.
Green Responsibility. The Drive to Green strategy also involves social responsibility in a wide range of areas such as education, sports, culture, public welfare and environmental protection.
Shanghai GM has formed a strategic partnership with the China Environmental Protection Fund (CEPF), an institution under the State Environmental Protection Administration that is the country’s first foundation focused on environmental protection. Shanghai GM has joined its partner in the establishment of the CEPF-Shanghai GM Green Fund, which sponsors environmental protection projects and promotes cooperation in environmental protection among various institutions. Shanghai GM and the CEPF also have announced that they will set up the China Youth Green Business Plan Competition to fund proposals for environmental protection from the nation’s young people.
Addressing the environmental protection and energy security issues is essential for ensuring the automotive industry’s long-term sustainable development.—Ding Lei, Shanghai GM President
Shanghai GM is a joint venture of General Motors Corp. and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC). Established in 1997, Shanghai GM builds, imports and sells a comprehensive range of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Saab products. It is fully supported by a network of sales, aftersales and parts centers. Shanghai GM has been China’s leader in passenger car sales among joint ventures every year since 2005. In 2007, it had domestic sales of 479,427 vehicles.