2011 Buick will introduce plug-in hybrid

buick-hybrid-vue

General Motors will introduce its plug-in hybrid technology in a new Buick crossover vehicle in 2011. The yet-unnamed vehicle will launch in late 2010, offering a family of fuel-efficient, direct-injected gasoline engines, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.

The new five-passenger crossover will build on the success of the Buick Enclave, and will be powered by a 2.4-litre direct-injection V6. The plug-in hybrid version is expected to be the first commercially-available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker, and has the potential to deliver double the fuel economy of comparably-sized SUVs on short trips. It will use GM’s proven 2-Mode Hybrid system with advanced lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM’s Voltec system, which will debut in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in late 2010.

The Buick plug-in hybrid has the potential to achieve double the fuel economy of comparably-sized SUVs on short trips. This significant boost is achieved by combining a modified version of GM’s proven 2-Mode Hybrid system with advanced lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM’s Voltec system, which will debut in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in late 2010. It will use the same manganese-spinel based chemistry and polymer battery cells as the Volt, but its 8 kWh battery, containing half the energy of the Volt battery pack, will be packaged in a box under the cargo floor.

The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by connecting the vehicle to any standard 110-volt household electrical outlet. In early testing, the plug-in hybrid is capable of electric-propulsion for more than 16 kilometres at low speeds. On the road, the 2-Mode plug-in hybrid system can use any combination of electric or gasoline power to move the vehicle, depending on the driving conditions.

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