Shanghai GM Aims to Reduce Fuel Consumption 15%, Improve Performance 14% by 2015; New Engines, Prototype New Sail Electric Vehicle
Shanghai GM has outlined the next phase of its “Drive to Green” product strategy—launched in 2008 (earlier post)—for 2011-2015. The joint venture between GM and SAIC intends to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15% while improving performance 14% by 2015.
The Drive to Green strategy is based on improving and optimizing the performance of traditional internal combustion engines and transmissions; continuing the roll out of hybrids; promoting electric vehicles; and supporting the development of hydrogen and other zero-emission products. Several targets announced in 2008 have already been achieved.
Advanced Powertrains. Shanghai GM will introduce 12 new engines through 2015, including several with small displacements, such as a 1.5-liter VVT engine and 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Vehicles with engines that have displacements of between 1.4 liters and 2.5 liters will account for 95% of Shanghai GM’s total sales in the future.
Engine technologies such as SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) and turbocharging, as well as new transmissions such as the S6, will be applied in Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet products offered by Shanghai GM. They will cover all market segments, from compact vehicles to luxury products. Shanghai GM’s current lineup of engines with medium displacements and turbocharging will also be upgraded.
In addition, Shanghai GM will intensify the application of energy-saving technologies in its new models. New products will feature a lower drag coefficient and more aerodynamic design, be lighter in weight, and incorporate automatic start-stop engine technology to further improve fuel efficiency. By 2012, all models sold in China will have the capability of being upgraded to comply with the Euro V (China Phase 5) emission standard.
Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. Additional hybrids and vehicles powered by electricity will be rolled out by Shanghai GM over the next five years. The automaker will show a Chevrolet New Sail (earlier post) electric vehicle prototype this year.
[A hatchback version of the Chevrolet New Sail went on sale 1 June, with 1.2-liter SE and 1.2-liter SX versions currently available. The 1.4-liter EMT with an electronic manual transmission is expected to be available in three months. Since its launch earlier this year, the New Sail sedan has posted average monthly sales of about 7,500 units.]
In 2011, the new Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, which will have 20% better fuel economy than the standard model, and the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability will be introduced. The Volt will be able to run solely on electricity for up to 60 kilometers (37 miles). Its 1.4-liter on-board engine will give the Volt a maximum driving range of more than 480 kilometers (298 miles).
“Drive to Green”. Since the Drive to Green strategy was initiated, between 2008 and 2009, Shanghai GM invested almost US$1.1 billion in powertrain development, launching 10 engines and two hybrid systems, which have been applied in 25 new vehicles. The efficient S6 automatic transmission has also been adopted in several premium and luxury models. These products offer improved fuel efficiency of between 8% and 13%. The Buick New Regal 2.0L, Buick New Regal 1.6T, Chevrolet New Sail 1.2L and Chevrolet Aveo 1.2L all have class-leading fuel economy.
Shanghai GM also has focused on reducing engine displacement without sacrificing power. The 1.2-liter and 1.4-liter engines in its new Chevrolet products offer power of over 53 kW/L, while the SIDI engines applied in Cadillac and Buick products generate power of more than 62.5 kW/L. The 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines that have been adopted in several Buick products generate power of more than 81 kW/L.
Over the past two years, Shanghai GM has also launched two hybrids: the Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid and Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. (Earlier post.) The fuel efficiency of the Buick hybrid is 15% greater than the fuel efficiency of the standard model, while costing RMB 20,000 (US$29,000) more. The LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid is part of the official taxi fleet for World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
The Escalade Hybrid SUV is equipped with a two-mode hybrid system, with fuel consumption of 11.1 liters per 100 kilometers (21 mpg US)—40% better than the standard model.
During the first five months of 2010, Shanghai GM sold 1 million vehicles. GM operates 10 joint ventures in China, which are engaged in the production of vehicles and powertrains, sales and aftersales, engineering and design, telematics and automotive financing, and investment. Last year, GM and its joint ventures sold their 1 millionth vehicle on August 12 and ended the year with sales of 1.8 million vehicles.
Shanghai GM says that it sold 334,000 “green products” in 2008 and 2009.