Using more powerful lithium-ion batteries supplied by Hitachi, the next generation of GM hybrids will have up to a 20% increase in fuel economy compared to their gasoline powered counterparts.

While most of the attention at the General Motors exhibit in Geneva focused on the Saab 9-X’s design, the company also used the concept to showcase their next generation of hybrid technology.

Using more powerful lithium-ion batteries supplied by Hitachi, the next generation of GM hybrids will have up to a 20% increase in fuel economy compared to their gasoline powered counterparts. By building upon success of their current mild and two-mode hybrid lineup, the company will be able to make the new hybrids more affordable and expand their application globally. To optimize fuel economy the future hybrids will feature stop/start technology, temporary electric only propulsion, more powerful electric motors, extended fuel cutoff during deceleration, an improved regenerative braking system, and intelligent battery charging.

The company plans to begin rolling out their next generation hybrids in 2010 starting with the North American market, sales are expected to eventually surpass 100,000 units annually.

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