BMW joins Daimler and GM in hybrid drive system
Detroit, MI— The BMW Group,
DaimlerChrysler AG and General Motors Corporation signed a “memorandum
of understanding” governing the formation of an alliance
of equals for the joint development of hybrid drive systems. The
three global automakers are cooperating in order to pool their
expertise for the accelerated and efficient development of hybrid
The objective is to jointly develop
a two-mode hybrid drive system that reduces fuel consumption while
not compromising vehicle capability. While the base two-mode hybrid
design will be common, each company will individually integrate
the hybrid system into the design and manufacturing of vehicles
in accordance with their brand specific requirements.
In Troy, Michigan, the new “GM,
DaimlerChrysler and BMW Hybrid Development Center” will
develop the overall modular system and the individual components:
electric motors, high-performance electronics, wiring, safety
systems, energy management, and hybrid system control units. In
addition, the Hybrid Development Center will be responsible for
system integration and project management.
A key factor in ensuring optimum
development is the focus on a high bandwidth architecture system
that can be adapted to the needs of the various vehicle concepts
and brands. The extensive sharing of components and production
facilities, and the collaborative relationship with suppliers
will enable the alliance partners to achieve significant economies
of scale and associated cost advantages, which will also benefit
customers, thanks to an outstanding cost-to-performance ratio.
Two-mode hybrid technology further
enhances the performance, fuel efficiency and range of conventional
hybrid drive vehicles. In city driving and in stop-and-go traffic,
the vehicles can be powered either by two electric motors or by
the combustion engine, or the two drive systems can be used simultaneously.
Regardless of which type of operation is chosen, the drive system’s
fuel saving potential is exploited to maximum effect.
When traveling at high speeds,
for example on rural roads and highways, the two-mode system switches
to a different driving mode. The two-mode system provides a number
of benefits even when driving at such constant speeds. Because
the hybrid drive’s full power is available when climbing
steep inclines, passing other cars or hauling a trailer, fuel
consumption can be reduced and performance increased even when
operating in the second driving mode.
GM and DaimlerChrysler signed
binding, definitive agreements on August 22, 2005. BMW Group signed
a “memorandum of understanding” with the intent to
enter into a definitive agreement with GM and DaimlerChrysler
later this year.