Opel will unveil an ecoFLEX variant emitting lower CO2 levels in each model line in Septemeber at Frankfurt Motor Show. These especially pro-environmental automobiles combine economy and driving enjoyment with low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions in each vehicle class. The premiere model is a Corsa 1.3 CDTI emitting only 119 g/km of CO2, which will be launched in 2008. The Swedish premium brand Saab is also expanding its range of BioPower engines across its entire model portfolio this year. Cadillac will offer a similar E85 variant as of fall 2007, and in 2010, E85 vehicles are expected to be available for Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet.
Until 2012, GME will also introduce 16 new engine families with a total of 93 variants, as well as ten transmission families with 48 variants.
Environmentally compatible from development to recycling
“A vehicle’s CO2 emissions are an important parameter, but by no means the only measurement of its environmental compatibility. That’s why we are not restricting ourselves to the production of single, eco-friendly prestige objects. We want all GME vehicles to protect natural resources as much as possible throughout the entire life cycle, from development through to the recycling of materials. The start of Opel/Vauxhall ’s ecoFLEX environmental initiative at the beginning of June was an important step, as this campaign promotes the scrapping of old vehicles which do not meet today’s environmental standards.” emphasizes Carl-Peter Forster, President, General Motors Europe.
More efficient engine technology and use of alternative fuels
In order to further reduce fleet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, GM is pursuing a strategy of short and mid-term objectives. Conventional internal combustion engines will be made more efficient and economical through continued development, and greater use will be made of alternative fuels.
Eco-Turbo and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) are the engine concepts at the core of ecoFLEX models. Engines with larger displacements are being replaced by new Eco-Turbo units with smaller cylinder volumes. The Eco-Turbo concept is used in both gasoline and diesel engines.
Opel and Saab are pioneers in the use of alternative fuels in Europe with their successful CNG (Opel) and E85 BioPower models (Saab ). GM’s environmental strategy pursues a clear global objective of energy diversification and focus on more than one technology.
E-Flex and fuel cells as propulsion systems of the future
Presented this year, GM’s E-Flex system enables multiple propulsion systems to be installed in a common, electrically driven chassis. Long-term, GM is working flat-out on the introduction of the hydrogen fuel cell – currently the only zero-emission vehicle option. GM has already invested more than one billion US dollars in this technology.
The research department of the Fuel Cell Activities Center (FCA) is currently being integrated into regular production development, giving it a central role within GM.
The GM HydroGen4 – the European version of the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle – will be presented at the IAA and marks the next step toward fuel cell production readiness. A fleet of ten vehicles will undergo testing in Berlin as of next year.