Chrysler promises electric cars by end of 2010

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC introduced three electric vehicles today and promised to have one of them on the market by the end of 2010.
The announcement posed a direct challenge to U.S. rival General Motors, which plans to bring its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sedan to market in 2010.
The three vehicles are: The Dodge EV all-electric sports car, developed in partnership with England's Lotus Cars Ltd.
The Jeep EV, a Wrangler-based extended-range electric vehicle.
The Chrysler EV, a Chrysler Town & Country-based extended-range electric vehicle.
Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said the company had no option but to develop electric vehicles. He said the automaker may face "gut-wrenching" decisions if the federal government does not approve a loan package to help car companies develop electric propulsion technology at an affordable price for consumers.
If the resources aren't available, Nardelli said Chrysler might have to face further layoffs and production capacity cutbacks.
Meeting with Wagoner, Mulally
Nardelli said that he, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner visited lawmakers in Washington last week and were encouraged by progress on the package. Chrysler officials denied they wanted to show off the electric vehicles while Congress is debating the loan package and energy legislation.
Chrysler's ENVI electric vehicle r&d organization developed the three vehicles. Development of the vehicles had begun before Cerberus Capital Management LP bought 80.1 percent of Chrysler in August 2007.
Frank Klegon, Chrysler's executive vice president of product development, predicted that by 2020, 50 percent of cars sold in the United States would have electric powertrains. Chrysler executives say they will eventually make versions of all vehicles available with some form of electric power.
The strategy contrasts with that of GM, which is concentrating on specific vehicles -- particularly the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid -- available in 2010.
Nardelli said Chrysler's decision not to design all new vehicles was deliberate.
"We elected to put our money and resources into the technology and not into the platform and body," he said.
"As any new technology comes out, there is a cost. Our goal is to work with battery suppliers to keep the cost down," said Klegon. Chrysler is already working with suppliers of electric motors and batteries. Chrysler has issued no purchase orders yet, but it working with them on development agreements.
Cheaper than the Tesla
The electric sports car would be powered by a lithium ion battery pack, have a range of about 150 miles on a charge and could be brought to market for less than the $109,000 Tesla electric sports car, which also uses a Lotus-designed chassis.
The electric versions of the Chrysler Town & Country and Wrangler, would have a 40-mile all-electric range, same as the Chevrolet Volt. Both use a very small gasoline engine to power a generator to make electricity for the electric motor, similar to the way the Volt operates.
But the Chrysler engine is tiny, just 900cc, or about the size of a motorcycle engine.
Doug Quigley, Chrysler's product engineering executive for electric powertrains, said the size of the engine could be scaled up or down as needed. The performance of the electric version of the Town & Country would not suffer when being driven in the gasoline engine mode, Quigley said, and that it would get 50 mpg or more while emitting less than half of the carbon dioxide emissions of a regular Town & Country.
Global Insight analyst Aaron Bragman said Chrysler "stunned" the industry with its electric vehicle initiative.
"Perhaps the best-kept secret in the auto industry, Chrysler's electric car bombshell is an attempt to prove to the public and media that the company is indeed working on future vehicles, and that it still has life left in it," he said in a written report.
"In terms of which vehicle will enter production, the most likely candidate is the Dodge EV sports car, as it seems to be based on an already existing platform (the Lotus Europa) and likely requires the least amount of development."
Lotus is expected to make an announcement today on its possible linkup with Chrysler.
"We will apply the technology to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive body on frame" vehicles, said Tom LaSorda, Chrysler co-president. Chrysler has made no decision on where it will manufacture its electric vehicles, he said.
So far, California's Tesla Motors Inc. has taken more than 600 orders for its electric sports car. On May 1, the company's first dealership opened. As of early September, 27 customers had taken delivery of the vehicle.
PRESS RELEASE: Chrysler LLC Surges Forward With Production-Intent Electric Vehicles
Company Introduces Three Advanced Electric-Drive Vehicle Prototypes
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Actions speak louder than words.
-- One targeted to be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American
markets, and European markets after 2010
-- Chrysler LLC to have approximately one hundred electric vehicles on the
road in government, business, utility and development fleets in 2009
-- Chrysler electric-drive technology to be applied to front-wheel-drive,
rear-wheel-drive, and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive platforms
-- Dodge EV: All-electric Performance Sports Car
-- Jeep(R) EV: Wrangler Range-extended Electric Vehicle to allow
customers to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time
-- Chrysler EV: Town & Country Range-extended Electric Vehicle
-- Chrysler and General Electric pursue joint project with U.S. Department
of Energy
Chrysler LLC announced today that the Company and its ENVI organization have new production-intent, advanced electric-drive technology packaged in three different vehicles -- one for each of its brands, Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge.
Chrysler will select one electric-drive model to be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American markets, and European markets after 2010. Additionally, approximately one hundred Chrysler electric vehicles will be on the road in government, business, utility and Chrysler development fleets in 2009.
The Company said that it is well into the development of advanced, production-intent electric vehicles, and that it will apply electric-drive technology to its front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive platforms in the next several years.
At its World Headquarters here today, Chrysler revealed its electric-drive prototypes -- Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV -- and demonstrated the driving performance and capability of each.
"We have a social responsibility to our consumers to deliver environmentally friendly, fuel efficient, advanced electric vehicles, and our intention is to meet that responsibility quickly and more broadly than any other automobile manufacturer," said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO -- Chrysler LLC. "The introduction of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge electric vehicles provides a glimpse of the very near future, and demonstrates that we are serious and well along in the development of bringing electric vehicles to market."
ENVI Organization
The development of Chrysler's Electric Vehicles and Range-extended Electric Vehicles is led by ENVI -- representing the first four letters of "environmental" -- the Company's in-house organization that was formed to focus on electric-drive production vehicles and related advanced technologies. The development of electric-drive systems for future Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles is maturing quickly.
"ENVI was created just over one year ago with the strategic intent to develop electric-drive vehicles quickly for Chrysler, and it is surpassing expectations," said Tom LaSorda -- Vice Chairman and President. "With ENVI, Chrysler is developing technology to bring Electric Vehicles and extremely fuel-efficient Range-extended Electric Vehicles to market."
Electric Vehicle Technology
Chrysler's Electric Vehicles utilize just three primary components. These include an electric motor to drive the wheels, an advanced lithium-ion battery system to power the electric-drive motor, and a controller that manages energy flow. The electric-drive system is being developed for front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive vehicle applications.
"This technology provides customers with a vehicle that has zero tailpipe emissions and a 150 to 200 mile driving range -- far exceeding most Americans' daily commutes, as nearly 80 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, or 14,000 miles per year," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President -- Product Development. "Electric Vehicles provide the opportunity to fulfill social responsibility, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and eliminate monthly gasoline bills, while delivering performance and utility that our customers desire."
Range-extended Electric Vehicle Technology
The Range-extended Electric Vehicle combines the electric-drive components of the Electric Vehicle with a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed. This provides the positive attributes of an Electric Vehicle with the driving range equivalent to today's gasoline-powered vehicles -- with no compromises in performance.
Range-extended Electric Vehicles offer environmental responsibility without giving up driving range, comfort or utility.
Dodge EV
The Dodge EV development Electric Vehicle is a two-passenger rear-wheel-drive sports car that marries high performance with zero tailpipe emissions.
"The Dodge EV sets a new standard for what can be expected in electric-drive vehicles," said Lou Rhodes, Vice President -- Advance Vehicle Engineering, and President -- ENVI. "The electric-vehicle technology enables a fun-to-drive performance sports car and helps redefine the vision of an environmentally responsible vehicle for the Dodge brand."
The electric-drive system consists of three primary components: a 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery and an integrated power controller.
The 200 kW electric-drive motor generates 650 N*m (480 lb.-ft.) of torque. The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor delivers outstanding performance, accelerating the Dodge EV to 60 mph in less than five seconds, with quarter-mile times of 13 seconds. The Dodge EV has a top speed of more than 120 mph.
Working with the latest advanced lithium-ion battery technology, the Dodge EV has a continuous driving range of 150 to 200 miles, based on advancement of new battery technology -- more than triple the average daily commute of most consumers. Recharging the vehicle is a simple one-step process: plugging into a standard 110-volt household outlet for eight hours. The recharge time can be cut in half to four hours by using a typical 220-volt household appliance power outlet.
The Dodge EV offers driving enthusiasts a performance sports car that can be driven to work every day -- without consuming gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions.
Jeep EV
The Jeep EV development vehicle is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that provides a glimpse into the future of a "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" vehicle with renowned Jeep Wrangler capability.
The Jeep EV combines Wrangler's unmatched off-road capability with the ultimate "Tread Lightly" mindset by providing nature ambassadors with the ability to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time.
The Jeep EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle uses an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system, and a small gasoline engine with an integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed. The 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor generates 400 N*m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque. With approximately eight gallons of gasoline, the Jeep EV has a range of 400 miles, including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions, all-electric operation.
"We are also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of ENVI's advanced electric-drive technologies," said Rhodes.
The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently results in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road driving capability.
Chrysler EV
The Chrysler EV development vehicle is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that demonstrates another possible application of ENVI electric-drive technology in the segment-leading Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
"With the Chrysler EV, we are able to blend seven-passenger capability and the luxury of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan with electric-drive technology, demonstrating family practicality with zero compromise," said Rhodes. "ENVI's electric-drive development vehicles showcase our accelerated application of electric-drive systems into a wide range of vehicles in Chrysler's future product portfolio."
The Chrysler EV combines the electric-drive components of an Electric Vehicle with an integrated small-displacement engine and generator to produce additional electricity to power the electric-drive system when needed. This provides all of the positive attributes of an Electric Vehicle and extends the driving range to be equivalent to today's gasoline-powered vehicles -- without compromises.
The Chrysler EV uses a 190 kW (255 horsepower) motor, producing 350 N*m (258 lb.-ft.) of torque, providing 0 to 60 mph acceleration in approximately nine seconds. The Chrysler EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle can drive 40 miles on all-electric power, and boasts a range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline. This makes the Chrysler EV the perfect fuel-efficient family vehicle.
The knowledge and experience gained from the Chrysler EV will be applied to other front-wheel-drive applications in Chrysler's portfolio.
Chrysler LLC Electric-vehicle Consumer Web Site
Chrysler LLC has launched a web site -- www.Chryslergoeselectric.com -- to allow consumers to view the latest updates on Electric Vehicles and Range-extended Electric Vehicles from the Company. Content will include videos, photography and news, and visitors can sign up for updates. In addition, the site features a blog where consumers can interact directly with the Company.
Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement
Chrysler and General Electric are jointly pursuing a project with the United States Department of Energy to explore advanced energy-storage technology.
"Chrysler's partnership with General Electric combines the electric-drive technology demonstrated in the Chrysler Electric Vehicles, with GE's research and development of advanced energy storage systems," said Klegon. "Our collective goal working with the DOE is to develop a new, integrated energy-storage system to make electric vehicle battery packs smaller and significantly less expensive than current designs."
Chrysler and GE will develop and evaluate dual-battery solutions based on GE's unique technology.
"One of the challenges with electric vehicles is finding a battery with the correct balance between power -- for example, during vehicle acceleration -- and energy for long driving range," said Klegon. "We believe that combining two unique battery chemistries -- one biased toward power and the other toward energy -- into a single battery pack is very promising for a future Chrysler Electric Vehicle."
DODGE EV
PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle Type
Body style: Two-passenger, performance sports car
Drivetrain: Electric propulsion, rear-wheel drive
Category: Electric Vehicle
Electric-drive System
Power: 200 kW (268 hp)
Torque: 650 N*m (480 lb.-ft.)
Energy Recovery: Regenerative braking
Battery System
Type: Lithium-ion
Energy: 26 kWh
Peak power: 200 kW
Voltage: 380 to 420
Charging: Onboard charger - dual voltage
110/120-volt outlet (15A) - standard household
power outlet
220/240-volt outlet: (30A) - household appliance
power outlet
Performance
0-60 mph: Less than 5.0 seconds
1/4-mile Acceleration: 13.0 seconds
Top speed: More than 120 mph
Range (city): 150 to 200 miles
JEEP EV
PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle Type
Body style: Five-passenger SUV
Drivetrain: Electric propulsion, two-wheel drive and four-wheel
drive
Category: Range-extended Electric Vehicle
Electric-drive System
Power: 200 kW (268 hp)
Torque: 400 N*m (295 lb.-ft.)
Energy Recovery: Regenerative braking
Battery System
Type: Lithium-ion
Energy: 27 kWh
Peak power: 200 kW
Voltage: 370 to 410
Charging: Onboard charger - dual voltage
110/120-volt outlet (15A) - standard household
power outlet
220/240-volt outlet: (30A) - household appliance
power outlet
Performance
0-60 mph: 9.0 seconds
1/4-mile Acceleration: 16.5 seconds
Top speed: More than 90 mph
Range (city): 400 miles, with more than 40 miles all-electric
CHRYSLER EV
PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle Type
Body style: Seven-passenger minivan
Drivetrain: Electric propulsion, front-wheel drive
Category: Range-extended Electric Vehicle
Electric-drive System
Power: 190 kW (255 hp)
Torque: 350 N*m (258 lb.-ft.)
Energy Recovery: Regenerative braking
Battery System
Type: Lithium-ion
Energy: 22 kWh
Peak power: 200 kW
Voltage: 370 to 410
Charging: Onboard charger - dual voltage
110/120-volt outlet (15A) - standard household
power outlet
220/240-volt outlet: (30A) - household appliance
power outlet
Performance
0-60 mph: 8.7 seconds
1/4-mile Acceleration: 16.2 seconds
Top speed: More than 100 mph
Range (city): 400 miles, with more than 40 miles all-electric
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