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Old 11-07-2007, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default GM Europe: Hybrids not so important

General Motors is the second major carmaker in as many days to announce plans to concentrate on developing efficient diesel powertrains and mild-hybrid systems for Europe rather than more complicated and expensive full hybrid vehicles. Yesterday Ford said it too would focus on stop-start motors and improved aerodynamics to increase fuel efficiency of its European fleet instead of hybrid tech.

Europeans have been slow to take to hybrids because modern diesel powertrains offer similar fuel consumption but cost thousands of dollars less. Because of this low demand, GM Powertrain Europe’s head of product engineering Rita Forst revealed to Automotive News that micro and mild-hybrid systems will be more marketable across Europe.
Micro and mild hybrid systems include features like engine stop-start and brake energy regeneration technology.

Forst also hinted at the potential of new HCCI technology, which has the potential to improve the fuel efficiency of petrol engines to the same level as diesel engines. However, she added that GM has not ruled out selling hybrid cars in Europe if there is customer demand.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:59 AM   #2
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Makes sense ... I think we will see a diesel revival first, and only later another boom in hybrids (including diesel hybrids).
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:39 AM   #3
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In Europe, until diesel emissions regs catch up with gas cars, diesels will continue to be significantly less expensive than gas-hybrids. That's why hybrids are so popular here in the states right now. Clean diesels are now just barely starting to trickle onto the market and the next generation of hybrids (possibly with plug-in capabilities, but definitely with more electric power and a significant reduction in cost) from Toyota & Honda are expected late next year.
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