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GM's view of its Vue:More bang for the hybrid buck

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By Jason Stein
Automotive News / October 03, 2005

DETROIT -- General Motors is confident that its Saturn Vue Green Line will save fuel -- at a price that makes it easier for buyers to swallow the extra cost of a hybrid.

Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, says a premium of $1,000 to $1,500 is "in the neighborhood" of what GM will charge for the gasoline-electric hybrid scheduled to arrive next summer.

Other automakers, such as Ford, Honda and Toyota, charge a premium of $3,000 to $5,000 for their hybrids.

A front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder version of the 2006 Saturn Vue has a sticker price of $17,990, including shipping.

When it comes to fuel economy, LaNeve says, the Vue Green Line will be a reasonably priced hybrid alternative.

"Because of the price point we will charge for it, the Vue will pay for itself over a three-year period on fuel economy," LaNeve says. "You'll save about a tank a month."

More: http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=54729
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Interesting that the premium for the hybrid is so small. Is the technology on this vehicle less expensive than what the competition offers, or is GM going to take a bigger loss on these vehicles than the competitors? I guess it would improve the truck fleet's CAFE slightly, but not enough to matter.
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Just curious... is the CAFE standard based on how many cars the manufacturer actually sells? Or is it just the model line-up?
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Interesting that the premium for the hybrid is so small.  Is the technology on this vehicle less expensive than what the competition offers, or is GM going to take a bigger loss on these vehicles than the competitors?  I guess it would improve the truck fleet's CAFE slightly, but not enough to matter.

[post="23193"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Use of a generator/starter (not alternator) eliminates the cost of separate starter and an aditional hybrid drive motor. And it fits right on the front of any engine. It is certainly not a new concept, (as a kid our lawn tractor had the same setup) but application of proven technolgy. GM has tied this with another existing tecchnolgy, that of an engine that shuts off and started by combinations of use of the gas and brake pedal (old style golf carts had this setup). This combination is the real value of this system. They may have actually developed a hybrid system, based on existing proven methods that could be applied to almost all vehicles that makes ecenomic sense. I wouldn't be surprised if almost all vehicles in the future had a similar hybid system. This setup makes ecenomic sense, something up to now that cannot be said of hybrids. This launch is a lot bigger than it appears.
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And in another move, GM may not have been first, but the end up with the most graceful and cost effective answer. GM was slow to get VVT into their cars, but the finished product is such a simple design and the cost is minimal compaired to VVT-i, Valvetronic, or i-Vtec. I am confident we'll see similar results from the 6-speed auto.
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I like how GM dosen't try to be all "wiz-bang" to save gas mileage. Relativly simple technology like DOD, 6 speed trans, areodynamics are much less expensive and far reaching than hybrids. Anyway, GM has to save their money for hydrogen................now that's a "wiz-bang" technology thats worth the money!
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From what I understand about this technology, it's not a hybrid in any real sense. It's simply a engine start/stop technology. There are not electric motors to give the wheel or regenerator brakes or large batter pack. The simplicity of the system is appealing. Mark
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Interesting that the premium for the hybrid is so small.  Is the technology on this vehicle less expensive than what the competition offers, or is GM going to take a bigger loss on these vehicles than the competitors?  I guess it would improve the truck fleet's CAFE slightly, but not enough to matter.

[post="23193"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


lots of Green lines to be sold... :)

If gas prices keep going, they could easliy sell 100k+ of these things...
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And in another move, GM may not have been first, but the end up with the most graceful and cost effective answer.

GM was slow to get VVT into their cars, but the finished product is such a simple design and the cost is minimal compaired to VVT-i, Valvetronic, or i-Vtec.

I am confident we'll see similar results from the 6-speed auto.

[post="23225"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I have a feeling you are very right on that one...
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From what I understand about this technology, it's not a hybrid in any real sense.  It's simply a engine start/stop technology.  There are not electric motors to give the wheel or regenerator brakes or large batter pack.  The simplicity of the system is appealing.

Mark

[post="23240"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The Generator also acts as an electric motor to boost the engine under heavy acceleration.
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The most significant thing in that article for me was reading that it will aid in acceleration. I was not aware that the 'mild hybrid' system to be used in the Saturn Vue woudl also aid in acceleration. So if it gets better mileage than a regular 4 cylinder vue...but it gets better performance also, that is a big plus.
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I like this approach but you know the press is gonna butcher it, and mention toyota 34 times in the article. Saturn better have this out on display at NAIAS. Its a shame they couldn't get the CVT to work here in the Vue to squeeze even more mpg out of it, but I guess they had their chance there. the CVT in the ford products is amazing. Edited by regfootball
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As I understand this kind of system, it doesn't rely on a load of extra batteries, correct? GM needs to advertise the H E Double-L out of this. Make it an issue for the greenies, that their precious lead-acid batteries are going to be filling landfills as a result of using 'regular' hybrids. "By developing a Hybrid system that does not use lead acid batteries as a source of power, we greatly lessen the impact on the environment, reduce costs, reduce maintenance, and increase safety for emergency personnel in the case of an accident."
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As I understand this kind of system, it doesn't rely on a load of extra batteries, correct?  GM needs to advertise the H E Double-L out of this.  Make it an issue for the greenies, that their precious lead-acid batteries are going to be filling landfills as a result of using 'regular' hybrids.

"By developing a Hybrid system that does not use lead acid batteries as a source of power, we greatly lessen the impact on the environment, reduce costs, reduce maintenance, and increase safety for emergency personnel in the case of an accident."

[post="23478"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Hybrids use lithion ion batteries, which are fully recyclable.
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Hybrids use lithion ion batteries, which are fully recyclable.

[post="23487"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


My bad. I just read that Ford/Toyota currently use Ni-Mh, but are moving to LI - and a page at Toyotas website details a new battery type, that is lighter and more powerful - they're apparently referring to their version of the LI here.
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What I don't understand is GM has a 1.9CDTi in use in several other countries...it gets a combined mileage of approx. 45mpg. What does the Escape get combined...I think its like 33mpg.
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GM will be hit for being late to the party, but atleast theirs will make the most sense. I do look forward to them installing it across the board just like DOD. Anyone know why they dont' use DOD in the Ecotecs?
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GM will be hit for being late to the party, but atleast theirs will make the most sense.  I do look forward to them installing it across the board just like DOD. 

Anyone know why they dont' use DOD in the Ecotecs?

[post="23716"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Because who wants to run on two cylinders? :blink:
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GM will be hit for being late to the party, but atleast theirs will make the most sense.  I do look forward to them installing it across the board just like DOD. 

Anyone know why they dont' use DOD in the Ecotecs?

[post="23716"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Not sure. 145hp/4cylinders= 36hp x 2 cylinders= 72 hp. 72 hp should be enough to keep a Cobalt in motion on the interstate. Not sure what the cost would be for GM or the savings to the consumer.
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Honda's cylinder deactivation on their V-6's goes down to three cylinders... and this is on Odysseys and FWD Pilots, so a Cobalt should be okay.
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