Chrysler to introduce PHEV models in 2016 and 2017 to meet ZEV requirements; new FCA gasoline engine family coming in 2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) Chrysler Brand will launch two plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) over the next several years, said Al Gardner, President and CEO of the Chrysler Brand, during the FCA Investor Day presentations at Auburn Hills, Mi.
One will be a PHEV version of the new Chrysler Town & Country minivan to be introduced in 2016; the second will be a PHEV version of a new full-size crossover vehicle to be introduced in 2017. Neither is the result of immediate wide-spread customer demand, noted Bob Lee, VP and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering for Chrysler Group LLC, later in the day:
Electrification has been over-blown by the media. With the exception of a relatively small group of early adopters, the market continues to be primarily driven by regulatory requirements. FCA will launch a PHEV minivan in 2016 to comply with ZEV requirements. Several mild hybrid applications will come to market shortly thereafter.—Bob Lee
Overall, the Chrysler brand is targeting a significant expansion in its segment coverage over the next five years, with the addition of a C-segment 100 Sedan in 2016, and new full- and mid-size crossover vehicles coming in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Management of the brand intends for that expansion in coverage to support an aggressive sales target of 800,000 units in 2018, up from 350,000 units in 2013.
Dodge, for its part, is taking a more performance-oriented approach to the market, and is ending production of the Avenger sedan this year (that segment will be covered by the Chrysler 200) as well as the Grand Caravan minivan in 2016.
FCA powertrain directions. ￼ The dominant driver for powertrain technology change over the next 5+ years is CO2, said Bob Lee. This is driven by regulation and increasingly by customer preference.
For MY 2012 in the US, FCA was compliant with fuel economy requirements, but had negative credit generation due to model mix. In other words, the company purchased credits to be compliant, and will continue to do so when appropriate to provide time to understand and decision the complex business cases associated with new technologies, Lee said.
FCA’s twin drivers are regulatory compliance and developing and producing increasingly more fuel-efficient vehicles which customers want to buy, he said. To develop its coming powertrain technologies, FCA is simulating combinations of powertrain and VDE technologies to identify the best “Bang-for-the-Buck” which satisfies the “Synthesis of requirements”. (VDE = f(Aerodynamic drag, Tire drag, Weight))
|Bang-for-the-buck technology assessments. FCA’s assessment is that diesel provides about the same Bang-for-the-Buck as CNG and hybrid technology when assessed on a fuel consumption rather than CO2 basis. Click to enlarge.|
FCA consolidated its transmission lineup, moving from 4, 5, and 6 speeds to 8 and 9 speeds to gain efficiency, performance, and refinement. The Pentastar V-6 engine family replaced seven V-6 Engines (four families) and provided significant CO2 reduction with improvements in performance and refinement.￼￼￼￼￼
FCA is working on consolidating and improving its large and specialty engines lineup. There will be a common engine package for full-size truck, large SUV and large sedan/coupes, and the technologies and benefits will be more substantial than cylinder deactivation was in 2003, Lee said.
FCA also plans to consolidate its small gasoline engine lineup with a new family to be launched in 2015.
FCA and the industry in general have made great strides in improving the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Much more progress will come as gasoline and diesel engine technologies converge. FCA will start the global roll out of a new small gasoline engine family in 2015 which incorporates these new and emerging technologies.—Bob Lee
The new family will be available in many power levels but will share cylinder geometry and combustion system architecture for maximum efficiency. The new gasoline engine family will incorporate numerous technologies, including:
- Integrated water/air charge cooler
- MultiAir valvetrain
- Direct fuel injection
- Aluminum block
- Lightweight crankshaft offset from cylinder bores
- Variable displacement oil pump
- Belt start generator and stop/start system
- Low-friction silent chain
- Twin-scroll turbocharger
- Integrated exhaust manifold
- Close-coupled catalyst
- Cooled EGR
- Variable flow water pump and electric auxiliary water pump
- Low-friction roller bearing balance shaft
- Low-friction roller bearing camshaft
|Technologies for the new engine family. Click to enlarge.|
Despite the strong regulatory push by CARB’s ZEV mandate, Lee noted, fuel cells still are not commercially viable for mainstream automobiles. The technology is too expensive and the infrastructure to create and distribute hydrogen with a net CO2 footprint reduction is not in place.
FCA is looking at electrification products to meet different requirements. Battery electric vehicles, for example the Fiat 500e, are targeted to meet ZEV requirements. FCA sees a potential market opportunity in certain areas for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles; those will be initially met by the new Chrysler products, for example. Mild hybrid technology has the potential for broad market penetration, and FCA envisions products in that area in CY 2016 and following.
|FCA electrification strategy. Click to enlarge.|