General Motors Debuts ParadiGM, A New Hybrid System

January 09, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

General Motors Corp. (Detroit, MI) has introduced a hybrid system that they believe will enable the company to sell a portfolio of hybrid vehicles, including cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. According to Vice Chairman Harry J. Pearce, sales of the new system will commence in 2004. General Motor's first adaptation of the new system will be in an SUV, and the company is already selling its first hybrid bus systems.

The new system, called ParadiGM, combines a V-6 or an inline four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. The 3.6L V-6 version of the hybrid powertrain, which will be offered first, puts out 220 horsepower from the internal combustion engine and another 32 horsepower from the electric motors.

The system is being designed for use on a global mid-sized platform called Epsilon. This shared platform will enable General Motors to use the hybrid powertrain in a variety of vehicles, including SUVs, new crossover vehicles and passenger sedans. Pearce claims that at least 7,000 SUV hybrids will be produced in the first year, and that other vehicle types could appear thereafter, depending on market conditions. The SUV is planned to get 35mpg as well as achieve lower tailpipe emissions.

Pearce commented, “Rather than forcing everyone into a small vehicle, we can offer consumers the choice of picking whatever configuration they think looks good and matches their lifestyle." He added, “The bottom line is, if we're ever going to achieve a sustained reduction in fleet fuel consumption, it has to be with vehicles that most consumers are actually willing to buy, ones that might carry the swim team or tow a pop-up camper. That will be a hybrid that makes a difference, and General Motors is going to build it."