General Motors Reveals Family of Earth-Friendly Vehicles

5 January 1998

General Motors Reveals Family of Earth-Friendly Vehicles

    DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- General Motors leaders opened the doors of
the company's research and development operations today and drove out a family
of advanced-technology cars, including an extended-range EV1 and an
80-mile-per-gallon, all-wheel-drive hybrid performance car.
    "Our family of clean-car options is growing fast," said John F. Smith,
Jr., General Motors chairman, chief executive officer and president.  "This
year, we're phasing in nickel-metal-hydride batteries to our pioneering
electric vehicles, the EV1 and S-10 Electric truck, and we plan to have a
production-ready hybrid electric vehicle by 2001 and fuel cell electric
vehicle by 2004, or sooner."

    General Motors' advanced-technology vehicles include:

    -- EV1 with nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries that increase range to
       160 miles, setting the electric-vehicle benchmark for range and
       performance

    -- S-10 Electric truck with double-range NiMH batteries

    -- Series Hybrid using an electric motor charged by the world's most
       efficient gas-turbine generator system

    -- Parallel Hybrid, an environmentally conscioous performance car, powered
       by an electric motor and direct injection turbo diesel

    -- Fuel Cell vehicle that runs on electrical energy created from a
       hydrogen-oxygen chemical reaction

    -- Compressed Natural Gas vehicle with a 1.0L, 3 cylinder, turbo-charged
       engine

    "These cars are clean, safe and fun to drive," Smith said. "General
Motors will continue to leverage its size, expertise and global resources to
build on the valuable lessons we've learned from launching the first
designed-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle, EV1."
    The EV1's lightweight structure with the world's most advanced electric
drive system and regenerative braking system laid the foundation for a
portfolio of electric, hybrid and fuel-cell products.
    Smith said GM's marketing plans for the advanced-technology vehicles would
depend on the global transportation infrastructure, affordability and customer
acceptance of new technology. He underscored the imperative of balancing sound
science with sound economics.  "General Motors is committed to developing
long-term sustainable market solutions that balance the interests of
environmental stakeholders and corporate stockholders, and most importantly,
customers."
    In light of the recent Kyoto global climate agreement, Smith noted that
General Motors' strategy of pursuing a family of options provides the most
promise of increasing fuel economy and lowering emissions.  However, Smith
cautioned that mandating target emissions levels and dates is risky.
"Innovation, not regulation, is the answer to reducing emissions.  Regulation
can divert an automaker's resources and attention from fully exploring the
range of technologies, like those we are showing today."

    Highlights of GM's family of advanced-technology vehicles:

    Advanced Battery
     -- Ovonic nickel-metal-hydride batteries to be phased into GM's current
        production EV1 and S-10 Electric truck
     -- Doubles the range of electric vehicles to 160 highway miles per charge
        (140 city)
     -- Better in colder climates
     -- Applies a more powerful version of batteries currently used in laptop
        computers, cellular phones and camcorders

    Series Hybrid
     -- Electric motor drives front wheels
     -- Gas turbine generator system charges battery pack
     -- Regenerative braking also charges battery pack
     -- 60 mpg highway using reformulated gasoline
     -- Accelerates 0-60 in 9 seconds
     -- 40-mile zero-emission range; 350-mile hybrid range
     -- Turbine engine utilizes aerospace technology to provide increased
        efficiency and very low emissions

    Parallel Hybrid
     -- World's first eco-friendly hybrid sports car
     -- 80 mpg highway using diesel fuel
     -- 550-mile range
     -- Accelerates 0-60 mph in 7 seconds (faster than BMW Z3)
     -- Electric motor drives front wheels
     -- Isuzu direct-injection turbo diesel drives rear wheels
     -- Opel automatically shifted manual transmission
     -- All-wheel drive with 4-wheel regenerative braking, providing improved
        traction
     -- "21st Century Hot Rod" -- clean and green, fast and fun

    Fuel Cell Electric
     -- Hydrogen-fueled electric car: Hydrogen-oxygen chemical reaction
        creates electrical energy
     -- Near zero emissions of oxides of nitrogen and half the carbon dioxide
       (CO2) of gasoline engines
     -- 80 mpg highway (gasoline equivalent)
     -- 300-mile range
     -- Accelerates 0-60 in 9 seconds
     -- Clean and efficient: strong potential to be the best long-term
        solution
     -- Applies same kind of energy system used in the Space Shuttle

    Compressed Natural Gas
     -- 1.0L, 3 cylinder turbo-charged engine
     -- 60 mpg highway (gasoline equivalent)
     -- 400-mile range
     -- Continuously variable transmission for smoother ride
     -- Meets Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Standard (ULEV)
     -- Natural gas is a cleaner, plentiful, low-priced alternative to
        gasoline

    "Combining advanced propulsion systems with EV1's high-efficiency vehicle
architecture allows us to investigate the full potential of these emerging
technologies," said Ken Baker, vice president, Global Research and Development
Operations. "These new technologies not only must be environmentally friendly,
but must deliver customer value.  Clean cars such as the EV1 may be niche
vehicles now, but in the future they'll be produced for mass markets."
    Baker acknowledged, "We need to partner with the petroleum industry to
make our family of advanced-technology vehicles even more viable. In
particular, we need low sulfur, cleaner-burning gasoline and a new formulation
of diesel fuels which reduce particulate and nitrous oxide emissions. Amoco
has already agreed to work with us."
    In the spirit of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
(PNGV), GM is pioneering these options to develop a new class of vehicle with
up to 80 miles-per-gallon performance without sacrificing the affordability,
utility, safety and comfort of today's midsize cars.  Collaborative work with
the U.S. government contributed to the technologies unveiled today.

SOURCE  General Motors Corp.

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