GM hybrid cars come in two varieties, the Chevy
Malibu Hybrid and the Opel
Astra Diesel Hybrid. Both GM hybrid cars are still
being developed. The Chevy Malibu Hybrid is expected to roll
out in 2007 and the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid has been shown
at different auto shows as a concept car and is not expected
to roll out at all.
The technology used in the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid, however,
is expected to be used in other GM cars, trucks and SUV's
since the hybrid power-train was developed to be scalable
to other vehicles. Recent reports have the Chevy Malibu
Hybrid being based on the Saturn VUE SUV hybrid system.
GM states that they will use a Belt Alternator Starter (BAS)
system in the Chevrolet Malibu, which provides 10 percent
improved fuel economy.
The Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid car is two-mode full hybrid
and the 1.7-liter CDTI engine delivers up to 25 percent
improved fuel economy (in the 60-70 mpg range). The architecture
can be scaled to fit FWD, RWD and AWD vehicles and adapted
for both gasoline and diesel engines.
General Motors has decided to put a higher priority on
developing its line of truck and SUV hybrid vehicles before
the car hybrids, for two reasons. First, more money is to
be made as trucks and SUV's have a higher mark-up than do
cars. Second, greater fuel savings and greenness can be
achieved by putting hybrid systems into heavier vehicles.