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Chrysler Unveils Production-Intent Electric Drive Technology; Three Prototypes, One to Be Produced in 2010

The three Chrysler electric-drive prototypes: battery electric Dodge EV and plug-in hybrid (extended range electric vehicle) Jeep and Chrysler. Click to enlarge.

Chrysler LLC and its ENVI electric-drive organization (earlier post) unveiled new production-intent, advanced electric-drive technology packaged in three different vehicle formats: sportscar, SUV and minivan—one for each of its brands, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler. The prototypes include both full battery-electric and plug-in hybrid (extended range electric) vehicles.

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 100 Chrysler electric vehicles will be on the road in government, business, utility and Chrysler development fleets in 2009.

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. 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.

—Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO – Chrysler LLC

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.

  • Electric Vehicle Technology. Chrysler’s battery electric vehicles utilize just three primary powertrain 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.

    The technology as being developed will support a 150- to 200-mile driving range, according to Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC.

  • 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.

Rendering of the Dodge EV. Click to enlarge.

Dodge EV. The Dodge EV development Electric Vehicle is a high-performance, two-passenger, rear-wheel-drive sports car. The electric-drive system consists of a 200 kW (268 hp) electric motor, a 26 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an integrated power controller.

The 200 kW electric-drive motor generates 650 Nm (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.

The Dodge EV has a continuous driving range of 150 to 200 miles. Recharging the vehicle via a standard 110-volt household outlet takes eight hours. The recharge time can be cut in half to four hours by using a 220-volt household appliance power outlet.

Rendering of the Jeep EV. Click to enlarge.

Jeep EV. The Jeep EV development vehicle is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that uses an electric motor, a 27 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 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 hp) electric motor generates 400 Nm (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. The Jeep EV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, and has a top speed of more than 90 mph.

Chrysler says that it is also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of ENVI’s advanced electric-drive technologies.

Rendering of the Chrysler EV. Click to enlarge.

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.

The Chrysler EV uses a 190 kW (255 hp) motor, producing 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque, providing 0 to 60 mph acceleration in approximately nine seconds. Top speed is more than 100 mph.

Featuring a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Chrysler EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle can drive 40 miles on all-electric power, and offers a range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline.

The knowledge and experience gained from the Chrysler EV will be applied to other front-wheel-drive applications in Chrysler’s portfolio.

Chrysler LLC has launched a Web site——to allow consumers to view the latest updates on Electric Vehicles and Range-extended Electric Vehicles from the Company.

GE, DOE partnership. Chrysler and General Electric are jointly pursuing a project with the United States Department of Energy to explore advanced energy-storage technology. (Earlier post.)

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. 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.

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. 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.

— Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC.

Chrysler and GE will develop and evaluate dual-battery solutions based on GE’s technology.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Chrysler is in advanced talks to use batteries made by A123 Systems Inc in its electric-drive vehicles. Neither company commented on the report. GE is an investor in A123Systems, having put more than $20 million into the company to date. (Earlier post.)

A123 has been now drawing on the research and technology development expertise of GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York, with the joint research to support A123’s battery development.



It will be interesting to see how a predominantly electrical system will perform in the dusty, vibration-prone, off-road environments that a number of 4x4s, esp jeeps, are exposed to. Due to low-range 4x4 setting on current Jeeps, it may be impossible to provide an all-electric range for the required torque of that particular use.


We've all earned the right to be cynical with announcements from American auto companies. Please don't break my heart and announce ongoing production delays for the next decade. And don't price these over $40,000 like the Volt. Come on guys, you have simplified the automobile to three drive components, That means you can put these things together in about 15 minutes. Is it really going to cost twice as much as your excessively complicated ICE mobiles?



Low-range is an interesting question. There's nothing that prevents having a simple 2-speed gearbox, I should think.

the sports car looks remarkably similar to a Lotus. identical.


according to this it is a lotus:

Mark Gutting-Kilzer

These are the choices?

WTF? Where is the affordable (<$25K) compact? Rather than working their way up from vehicles with modest demands, Chrysler instead chose EV approaches with unusual demands: high performance or off-road capable.

Of the three, the Range Extended minivan is the best bet if they can deliver it for less than $45K.


Just as anon said, the sports car looks like a Tesla knockoff. Similar specs to boot.


Dont you find it odd that the electric roadster only needs a 26 kw hour battery pack to do 150 to 200 miles but the jeep and minivan need that much to only go 40? Doesnt the tesla have 57 kwh pack to go 225? Something doesnt add up here at all


Chrysler had the EPIC EV minivan in the 90s that had NiMH and quick charge. They used it at LAX to run passengers around the airport and it worked well.

Electric minivans make sense if they are light enough. They should do a hybrid one with that 2l turbo they used to put in there. That might keep the costs down and be a first. The battery cost really adds up in a hurry.

Lou Grinzo

I'm skeptical of the range for the roadster. 150 to 200 miles on 26kWh pack is 5.8 to 7.7 miles/kWh. A recent real world test of a Mitsu iMiEV averaged just over 6 miles/kWh. I would be shocked if this sports car, under real world conditions, came anywhere near that.

I agree with the comment above about how odd this choice of vehicles is. A minivan? That's one of the most cost-sensitive segments. (Ask yourself who buys minivans, and how much "extra" money they have for a fancier vehicle.) A Jeep? Oh, yeah, hauling all that extra weight around will do wonders for your ability to keep the 40-mile battery pack cost under control.


I second Mark. WTF? These guys should go out of business and get it overwith. Nobody's going to be able to afford any of these stupid vehicles, if they're ever made.


It looks like A123 is hedging its bets in case it doesn't get picked by GM, which is probably a good idea. I notice that Chrysler is going for a larger battery initially than GM's 16 kWh.



The problem with electric vehicles is their limited range. As someone said, an electric car is a device for carrying a large quantity of batteries a short distance, and if you want to extend the range you have to add more batteries. The implication seems to be (a) that electric vehicles should be small and light, to minimize energy consumption per mile and (b) they should be designed for urban commuting, where a range in excess of 80 to 150 km is rarely needed. Since most driving is in urban areas, such vehicles would fulfill most people's needs most of the time. For those who need to travel out of town, there is the option of a rental or a second car.

Developing urban commuter cares is the approach that both Mitsubishi and Suburu are taking, which suggests that today, as in the past, the Japanese auto makers are smarter than the American competition.


A muscle Sport is indeed an odd choice for an EV with only 26 KWh battery pack. Range may barely reach 100 miles most of the time. Too specialized for me.

A rather heavy Jeep PHEV with the same battery pack may become a PHEV-60+ on regular roads/streets, where it is used most of the time. Off-road is another story. Anyway, a 60+ mpg Jeep could be a good seller, if the price is right.

A PHEV Minivan is interesting to regain market share with this type of specialty vehicle, where Chryler excels. It should go as far as the Jeep on e-power only and meet CAFE 2035 and more. Many young families would buy this vehicle if the price is right.

Let's hope that at least two of the three will be mass produced.


Minivan purchasers are far less cost sensitive than those purchasing their first vehicle and/or sub-compacts. Minivans easily hit $30K.

With the [lack of] aerodynamics on the Tesla I could see how it needs more energy to get its range but 150 miles on 26kWhr is quite astonishing unless this vehicle has the weight of the Tesla and a vastly improved Cd.

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