GM Introduces Flex-Fuel Version of Chevrolet HHR; First Four-Cylinder Flex-Fuel Engine from GM in North America
|The FlexFuel Chevy HHR.|
GM has introduced a flex-fuel version of the Chevrolet HHR, marking the first introduction of a four-cylinder model in GM’s North American lineup that can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol.
The HHR will be available with an Ecotec 2.2-liter or Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, both of which will be compatible with E85. For the first time, the Ecotec 2.2L is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT) to improve engine performance and efficiency. The Ecotec 2.4L continues to offer VVT.
The 2008 Chevy HHR with conventional 2.2L engine and 5-speed manual transmission has an EPA mileage rating of 24 mpg US combined (21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway).
|Ecotec 2.2L with VVT. Click to enlarge.|
GM North America President Troy Clarke unveiled the FlexFuel Chevy HHR during a speech at the Midwest Automotive Media Association breakfast at the Chicago show, during which he noted that the use of the four-cylinder flex-fuel engine in the HHR “opens the door” for many more products with the Ecotec 2.2L and 2.4L engines to become flex-fuel capable.
GM has pledged that half of the vehicles it produces by 2012 will be flex-fuel capable. The company currently has 11 flex-fuel models for 2008, and more than 15 planned for 2009.
We will continue to make more of our lineup FlexFuel-capable because we believe ethanol, and specifically E85, is the best near-term answer to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil as energy demand rises here and around the world. The focus needs to be on making E85 more available by developing cellulosic ethanol sources and dramatically increasing the number of stations that offer E85.—Troy Clarke
Earlier this month at the Detroit Auto Show, GM announced a partnership with and investment in Coskata, a start-up syngas fermentation ethanol company which says that its process can produce ethanol from cellulosic biomass or waste for less than $1.00 per gallon. Coskata just announced a partnership with ICM for the design and construction of its first sygnas fermentation ethanol plant. (Earlier post.)
An HHR running on E85 would emit up to 23% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than if running on gasoline, based on a well-to-wheel analysis by the Argonne National Laboratory.
The HHR, whose January sales of 9,650 were up 73% from the same month a year ago, will become the latest Chevrolet FlexFuel model when it goes on sale later this year. Chevrolet has more than 2 million of GM’s more than 2.5 million FlexFuel vehicles on the road.