GM sold 100,000 units or more fuel-efficient models in March 2012

Article by Christian A., on April 3, 2012

General Motors Co. sold 100,000 units or more fuel-efficient models in March in the U.S. In particular, this is the combined sales of the 12 GM vehicles that earned an EPA-estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway -- the highest total that the automaker has ever reached. GM is expected to release the full details of its March sales on April 3.

Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said that GM has timed its strategic investments in four-cylinder and turbocharged engines, advanced transmissions and vehicle electrification very well. Three years ago, only around 16% of GM’s sold vehicles achieved at least 30 mpg on the highway.

This number is about 40% currently. It will soon release more fuel-efficient models, which include the Chevrolet Spark, Cadillac ATS and the Buick Encore.

GM expects that by the end of this year, it will have all-new or considerably updated Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars and crossovers in segments that stand for 60% of the U.S. light vehicle industry. These include the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbo I-4s, the all-new Chevrolet Spark and the four-cylinder 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.

These are all predicted to enter EPA estimates of 30 mpg highway or better when the ratings come out later this year. General Motors Co and its partners build models in 30 countries.

The brands that GM owns are: Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. For more details about the company and its subsidiaries, you may go to OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. You may also go to gm.com.

Chevrolet Malibu ECO boasts an eAssist system paired with its 2.4-liter Ecotec direct-injection 4-cylinder engine and its next-generation 6-speed automatic transmission. This 2.4L Ecotec engine is lightweight and efficient, featuring direct injection, dual-overhead cams, continuously variable intake/exhaust timing, electronic throttle control, and an aluminum cylinder block and head that are lightweight. This engine generates an estimated 180 horsepower and it is a variant of an engine that was recognized in 2010 as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines.

Together with the Ecotec and the 6-speed A/T, the car’s eAssist system utilizes power that is stored in its air-cooled, lithium-ion battery to deliver the needed electrical boost in different driving scenarios and to optimize engine operation and transmission. This advanced 115V lithium-ion battery, along with the latest 15-kW motor-generator unit, helps improve fuel economy through:

  • providing up to 15 hp of electric power assistance in times of heavier acceleration
  • using electricity when stopped (instead of gasoline), with automatic engine start-stop functionality
  • intelligent charge and discharge of high-voltage battery.
  • aggressive fuel cut-off while decelerating down to 0 mph for additional fuel savings
  • regenerative braking, which can capture up to 15 kW of electricity to charge the battery

More specifically, the car’s eAssist system makes use of up to 15kW of energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. This captured energy is utilized to recharge the car’s lithium-ion battery. In addition, the system shuts down fuel delivery during certain deceleration conditions, thus improving fuel economy even further. And while it is in a fuel shut-off mode, the car’s motor-generator unit goes on spinning together with the Ecotec engine in order to deliver smooth and instant take-off power when you press on the accelerator.

Topics: gm, sales

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