|Positioning of the hybrid components in the Sprinter PHEV. All components are underneath the floor or in the engine bay. Click to enlarge.|
The New York Times Company will receive a Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)—the first medium-duty plug-in hybrid vehicle on the US East Coast and the first of its kind in New York State—as part of a commercial fleet performance demonstration and technology evaluation process. (Earlier post)
The Sprinter PHEV has an all-electric range of up to 20 miles. The Times’ model uses a 14 kWh, 350V Saft lithium-ion battery pack to power a 70 kW (90 kW peak) electric motor. DaimlerChrysler and its development partners are also evaluating a NiMH pack from Varta as part of the testing process.
The Sprinter PHEV uses a parallel hybrid configuration and operates in two modes: all-electric and blended hybrid in conjunction with the 5-cylinder diesel engine. Estimated fuel and CO2 reductions range from 10% to 50%, based on operation.
On short urban routes with a lot of stop-and-go driving the vehicle can operate for most of the day in zero-emission, all-electric mode. In hybrid mode the vehicle performs like a traditional hybrid, with improved fuel economy and lower emissions compared to a conventional diesel or gasoline vehicle. The plug-in technology lends itself to commercial applications where the vehicle returns to base after each shift to be plugged into the power grid. The New York Times PHEV will be recharged overnight, using off-peak, low-cost electricity.
The Times PHEV will be housed at The New York Times printing plant in College Point, Queens and will transport newspapers to The Times’ headquarters in midtown Manhattan, as well as to different locations in the New York City area. It will also travel to The Times’ plant in Edison, NJ.
The Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid was made available to The Times by a partnership between DaimlerChrysler, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Con Edison. The partnership was created to test and evaluate plug-in hybrid technology in real world driving environments.
Alliances such as this are necessary for new technologies to move forward. The daily operation of The New York Times Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid will give DaimlerChrysler the valuable real world experience needed for hybrid powertrain and lithium-ion battery development.—Mark Chernoby, vice president – advance vehicle engineering, Chrysler Group
In January, DaimlerChrysler announced that it will put more than 20 Dodge Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in service in the US between then and the first quarter of 2008 as part of a test fleet program. (Earlier post.)
PHEV Prototype and Field Test Evaluation Program Sprinter Platform (DaimlerChrysler)