The BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler AG and General Motors Corp. are forming an alliance to accelerate development of two-mode hybrid drive systems.
With two-mode hybrid technology, the alliance reports, vehicles in city driving and stop-and-go traffic are powered by two electric motors or a combustion engine, or two drive systems used simultaneously. When traveling highways or rural roads, the system switches to a different driving mode.
The three automakers claim the two-mode technology improves the performance, fuel efficiency and range of conventional hybrid-drive vehicles. While a base two-mode design will be common, each company will integrate the hybrid system in accordance with individual brand-specific requirements.
An overall modular system and individual components, such as electric motor, high-performance electronics and hybrid control units, are to be developed at a center in Troy, Mich.