Automotive News - Traverse City - August 1, 2018 - 1





AUGUST 1, 2018

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Iconic GM name is back: Tripower

Would U.S.
mpg freeze
leave us in
the cold?

Moniker last used in '60s
gets a modern-day twist

Discussions about the
future of mobility often paint
a shiny, happy picture full of
e-bikes, infrastructure that
can talk to cars and accidentfree self-driving cars.
But every once in a while, if
you listen closely, you can
that can
if you stop
to think
about it.
at the
seminars, we heard one of
those comments.
"We run the risk of
becoming a tech island," said
Michael Robinet, managing
director of advisory services
for IHS Markit.
"If we freeze our standards,
we could go backwards. That's
a risk."
Robinet was discussing the
potential of an anticipated
Trump administration
proposal: freezing fuel
economy standards. The
proposal would maintain
fleetwide standards at 35
mpg, the 2020 goal, rather
than aiming for 50 mpg by
That would mean that while
the rest of the world is moving
ahead on improving fuel
efficient technology,
American cars will keep
chugging along with aging
engines and powertrains.
Maybe that won't be a big
deal. Maybe it will give
automakers the ability to
squeeze bigger profit margins
out of U.S. sales. But the
impact of giving up our
technology leadership could
have ripple effects we can't
yet see.
It's not fun to think of
ourselves using the car
equivalent of flip phones
while the rest of the world
moves on to holodecks.
You may email Sharon Silke
Carty at


Richard Truett

or the first time since the mid-1960s,
General Motors will use the Tripower
name on an engine.
But today's Tripower setup - due in the
next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC
Sierra pickups - means something very different than it did in 1966, the last time a Tripower
engine was offered in such cars as the Pontiac
For the new 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder engine designed specifically for GM's full-size
trucks, Tripower will refer to a trio of technologies that boosts horsepower and fuel economy,
explained Mike Anderson, executive director of
global transmission and electrification hardware
engineering. Speaking at the seminars Tuesday,
Anderson said the new Tripower will encompass:
 Cylinder deactivation, which shuts off two of
the four cylinders at light-load cruising speeds.
 Active thermal management that can increase

or decrease heat in various parts of the engine to
speed warm-ups or reduce temperatures in order to keep the engine running longer in its most
thermally efficient range.
 Intake valve lift control, a system that reduces
the length the intake valve opens at certain
speeds, which helps improve fuel economy under certain drive conditions.
GM expects deliveries of the new engine to
start after the new trucks are launched this year.

It is rated at 310 hp, one
of the highest ever for
a regular production four-cylinder
engine. The new
engine also uses an
electric water pump,
and a new and more
efficient turbocharger
from BorgWarner.
The original Tripower
Left, a 360-hp
setup referred to the use of
Tripower, seen in the three two-barrel carbure1966 Pontiac GTO.
tors sitting on top of PontiAbove, the modern
ac's V-8 engines, used in the
turbo-four Tripower.
automaker's high-performance muscle cars. The final version of Pontiac's Tripower engine, a
389-cubic-inch V-8 used in the 1966 GTO, made
360 hp.
The arrangement was a less expensive option
than fuel injection.
Pontiac offered Tripower engines in 1957-66.
Pontiac muscle cars with Tripower engines from
that era are now highly coveted by collectors,
and the Tripower name is one of GM's most revered. a

Toyota: Fuel cells 'best clean energy'
Hydrogen power means
no long charging times


Michael Martinez

oyota Motor Corp. plans to electrify every vehicle in its lineup by 2025 with
some type of hybrid option, but believes
battery electric vehicles alone are not the
Toyota is betting heavily on a future of cars
powered by hydrogen fuel cells that emit only
water vapor.
"We believe hydrogen fuel cell technology is
the best clean energy that can be carried on
board a vehicle," Andrew Lund, Toyota chief engineer, product development office, said Tuesday at the seminars. "There's a role for BEV, but
there's also a role for hydrogen."
Lund said that developing and refining the fuel
cells is a zero-emissions process, and that fuel
cells don't require heavy batteries that take a
long time to recharge. He said they also present
better options for commercial businesses such
as trucking.
On the opening day of the seminars, Toyota announced a second-generation hydrogen fuel cell
semi-truck that has a range of more than 300
miles and runs virtually noiselessly. It follows the
first fuel-cell semi that Toyota introduced in
April 2017 and has tested for roughly 10,000
Toyota has said it wants to eliminate CO2 emis-


Andrew Lund of Toyota said infrastructure challenges can be overcome as fueling stations are added.

sions from its Toyota Logistics facility at the Port
of Long Beach, Calif., by 2050.
The automaker also plans to run hydrogen fuel
cell buses during the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
The automaker is bullish on hydrogen fuel cell
sales, estimating that 30,000 vehicles will be sold
per year after 2020. It launched the Mirai fuel cell
vehicle in the U.S. in late 2015.
However, infrastructure continues to be a chal-

lenge. Lund believes it can be overcome as more
fueling stations are built.
Toyota opened 35 fuel cell stations in California
with plans for 29 more. It's working with a partner
to set up 12 fueling stations in the Northeast. The
first, in Boston, is expected to open this year.
"The pressure will come off as more stations
come online," he said. "It's just a matter of
will." c


 What's ahead for the industry?
Kelley Blue Book's Rebecca
Lindland, left, and other forecasters
make their predictions. I PAGE 4 I

 PwC's Dietmar Ostermann
expects strong M&A activity this
year despite uncertain politics
and trade friction. I PAGE 30 I

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