The Wall Street Journal reports that GM will announce an upgrade of its "mild" powertrain, the "Belt Alternator Starter," (BAS) drivetrain that is used on hybrids such as the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Malibu at the Geneva Motor Show.
The new system, "BAS-plus," will use lithium-ion batteries supplied by Japan's Hitachi Ltd. The upgrade to lithium-ion batteries will allow the new hybrid system to produce "limited electric drive" during the "extremely fuel-consumptive phase of initial acceleration."
The system will increase mileage "better than the 12% to 15% benefit" of GM's current BAS system.
Mr. Lutz, GM Vice Chairman, stressed that the system is less expensive than other electric-only driving hybrid systems and therefore more cost-effective for consumers.