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DETROIT -- Two mid-sized General Motors cars will combine the starter and alternator to improve fuel economy.

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu will get what GM calls a belt-alternator starter system, says Tom Stephens, group vice president for powertrain. The system eliminates the traditional starter. It uses a reworked alternator to start the engine with a belt.

To save fuel, the system shuts off the engine during stops and restarts it when the driver steps on the accelerator. It uses a 36-volt battery but keeps the 12-volt electrical system.

GM estimates it will boost fuel economy by about 12 percent if used with a fuel-saving continuously variable transmission.

In Europe, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA says it will equip some of diesel-powered cars this year with a starter-alternator similar to the Malibu's.

A mid-sized front-drive Saturn car with the starter-alternator system will follow the Malibu, Stephens says. The cars are on the Epsilon architecture, which will be used globally.

"We wanted to get (the technology) on our highest-volume car architecture," Stephens says.

GM's strategy is to put fuel-saving technologies into its high-volume vehicles. Toyota, by contrast, is touting huge fuel-economy gains on low-volume vehicles, such as the Prius.


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Sounds like a good idea. Why GM announces it now when it won't be out until 2008 is beyond me. I'll bet that some other company will beat GM to the market with this technology.

Annoucing it so early sounds like an attempt to make GM look green. "Look at us, we have technology that will save up to 12% on gas! Note: It won't be out for 3.5 years."

This reminds me of displacement on demand that GM touted as better than sliced bread and Chrysler brought to the market first.

Mark
 

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Well id rather them wait and get it right then rush it to market and here about how awful it is and how GM sucks on this board.
 

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Apart from the weirdness factor of no engine noise at idle....

How do they get around the wear problem?

They would have to implement some type of electrical oil pump drive to keep the pressure up while the car is 'idling', otherwise the engine would wear itself out in no time flat.
 

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Wow, 2008. That's, like, the FUTURE man. But seriously, I think it's a great idea that one of the key features of the hybrids is put in regular cars on such a large scale. But this begs the question, when does the full-hybrid Malibu come out?

By 2008 , Toyota and Honda will have had full hybrids available for several model years in the Camry, Accord, RX, etc.
 

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Originally posted by Nocturn_Bird@Jul 12 2004, 07:36 PM
Well id rather them wait and get it right then rush it to market and here about how awful it is and how GM sucks on this board.
I actually wouldn't be too surprised if they used this on a Saturn car in 2007 to work all of the bugs out before they use it on their high-volume Chevy cars. Similar to the idea of bringing out the Ion before the Cobalt to test out the new chassis.
 

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I'm probably wrong but aren't they going to offer this same thing on full size pickups and suv's? I thought I read this would be included in the next generation gmt's.
 

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I wonder how much the starter/alternator will cost to replace if something goes wrong with it.
 

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This is exactly the problem with GM! It takes FOUR YEARS to change such a system? They can promise design improvements (and not deliver one) and say things are different, but GM continues to show why the Japanese are eating them for lunch. These improvements should have been made within a year, not four.
 

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I dont mutch like the idea of starting the engine with a (((BELT!!))) I remember hearing about a GM system were a thin motor/alt. would be placed between the engine and the trans. It would work as a Alt. Starter and a hybrid motor in one unit witch sounds better to me. <_<
 

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Originally posted by jwrebholz+Jul 12 2004, 09:02 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (jwrebholz @ Jul 12 2004, 09:02 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-impala02@Jul 12 2004, 11:00 PM
I wonder how much the starter/alternator will cost to replace if something goes wrong with it.
That depends on how honest your mechanic is. ;) [/b][/quote]
lol the stereo type remains. just thinking when my buddies g/f came to the shop all the guys where just staring at her like a piece of meat. im my mind i though not only do we gouge for cash we still stare at women, like a fat kid does cake.
 

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I bet in the long run this is a way more significant device than the hybrid. A simple bit of mechanism (is it actually simpler than having a separate starter and alternator?) gets you 12%. No $4000 battery packs. No second engine.

This is brilliant. My hat's off to you, GM!

But the market may never perceive it as being of any significance compared to the baroque complexity and limited durability of hybrids. Just not showy enough.

Green-ness, remember, is a fashion statement more than anything else.
 

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Originally posted by usa1@Jul 12 2004, 07:03 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Why GM announces it now when it won't be out until 2008 is beyond me. I'll bet that some other company will beat GM to the market with this technology.

Annoucing it so early sounds like an attempt to make GM look green. "Look at us, we have technology that will save up to 12% on gas! Note: It won't be out for 3.5 years."
SUCH A GOOD POINT!

Leave it to GM muff getting this to market first.

They oughta launch a corporate Manhattan project aimed at getting this to market, pronto, along with a lot of good PR work to educate the public on what they're doing.

Does anyone suppose there are some other efficient, simple technologies that could be combined with this to get the advantage up to, say, 20%?
 

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I want to know what the fuel economy improvement of the alt/starter combo is without the CVT. A good continuously variable transmission can deliver substantial improvements in efficiency all by itself (and it's part of the reason that the Escape Hybrid does so well).

CVT, Alt/Starter, DoD, Hybrid.. all good technologies that will be useful in the future when we switch to hydrogen as well (just because it's plentiful doesn't mean it's going to be cheap). I look forward to the day when we can have a 400hp V8 getting 50mpg in the city thanks to all those technologies (and more that haven't been thought of yet) being applied.
 
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