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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.




I thought selling the technology was part of the Tesla plan from the start. Maybe they have found at least one buyer (although it may be for a cut of the revenue, since Chrysler doesn't have any money).


GM. Check.
Chrysler. Check.

Um... Ford?


3.5L V6 twin-turbo engines to replace V8's is nice, but, uh...

Has anyone heard ANYTHING from Ford lately on the REEV/PHEV front? has a couple of their PHEV Escapes, and they've been getting around 45mpg from them. Volvo has had a couple electric-drive concepts, but we also hear rumors that Volvo could be sold. Other than that and a far-out fuel-cell concept last year, silence from the Blue Oval on electric drive...

What they've been up to?


rpmc -- the auto companies now (finally!) see reliance on fossil fuels to be a limiting factor in their future growth potential. That's the guarantee we have the aftermath of the California EV mandate debacle isn't going to be repeated -- the shareholder's desire for long-term growth and profitability.


There was a show on about the Eliica EV design by a University in Japan.
They visited the BYD battery factory in China. They said it was about 6 million square feet and BYD is second in market share for batteries. With that kind of punch, the Chinese are on track to dominate.

The Dean

WRT to the comment on EVs for 4x4 applications involving the use of a low range...

An electric motor's high torque at zero RPM makes it perfect for off-road driving conditions. The use of in-wheel motors (as mentioned in the article) eliminates axles, drive shafts, and differentials, i.e. all of the things underneath the vehicle that break when they hit rocks on an ICE 4x4. The low speed nature of most off road driving (sand / desert driving excepted) makes EV technology perfect for a 4x4.


Chrysler is taking their best selling products, the van and the wrangler, and making EV's.
That makes sense.
But I wish they took the Nitro or their other 'small' car (caliber?) and made those EV's.
They have much lighter platforms and would be better EVs.
Maybe next yr.


@ The Dean:

But how far and for how long?- as compared to city/highway driving conditions.
A 27kWh pack going up a 10%+ loose grade trail will get what kind of kWh/mile or kWh/'time at high torque'? Less than 30 minutes may be an impediment. Endurance of the battery is crucial away from the road, outlet, and gas pump.


Now that the stock of GM and Ford is falling preciptously, watch Exxon buy controlling interest so that they can put an end to all this rational thought about EVs.

stas peterson

The acknowledged world leader in light sports car chassis and good handling with limited performance is Lotus.

Lotus will instantly bring respect to a sports-electric vehicle, if it constructs its chassis around a Chrysler electric drive-train. Chrysler and Lotus both gain green credibility, and both need it and will have spent a relative pittance to get it. I like the flexibility that Chrysler management is doing, building pickups for Nissan and mini-vans for VW, while having Nissan build a well respected "B" cars for them.

For all those worshippers of Tesla, who can't seem to design simple two speed transmission; Chrysler/Lotus will have almost ten times the number of manufactured Teslas, in its pilot-production/evaluation Chrysler/Lotus fleets in 2009.

Last I looked Tesla had managed to build car #9. What are great manufacturing schedule for a vehicle in "mass production" since 2006!

The Tesla and the Chrysler/Lotus sports cars are both automotive toys. I'll bet the Chrysler/Lotus will be very price attractive. It might cost half the price of it Tesla competition.

If they have a range of 100+ miles that is all that the Hollyweird idiots need to be "seen in". They can spend the money on these green- proofing vehicles and park them in the garages along with all the other exoticars that are never driven, probably at the airport next to their Lear-jets...

Besides, according to posters here the World would have been changed and "Millyuns and Billyuns" of EV-1s, with 60-80 miles ranges, were eminently qualified to replace all automobiles on the road.

Furthermore these wacko-haters have constantly brayed that they are anxious to queue up and spend their money for one. Price is no object.

Lotus "mass produces" vehicles in quantities in the thousands or tens of thousands annually, and this is quite easy to supply several hundred or a few thousand likely sales for the Chrysler/Lotus EV. That is only hundreds or thousands of times more than "Vaporware" Tesla.

Chrysler/Lotus will let you do so, in 12 months or so...

stas peterson

I am somewhat surprised at the Chrysler EREV minivan announcement.

I was a certain that Chrysler was preparing to release a two-mode hybrid minivan in 2010. And also a possible PHEV plug-in version with a larger battery.

I thought the Phoenix V-6 with cylinder shedding, a V-3, Atkinson cycle from its new VVT, DOHC, all aluminum, engine with GDI, as has been pre-announced for the Chrysler family jewels, the minivans was a certainty.

Now they seem to be contemplating an EREV. Perhaps that is for the the next generation; the so-called R2 mini-vans due in 2011. Or maybe both?


While the sports car actually seems like a doable EV (expensive segment that can handle the extra EV cost), the other two seem more like PR'll be interesting to see where they go with this.

The 4x4s are not pure EV so the 26kWhr pack is not that much of a limitation. With the generator on, great torque at low rpm and the driveline components protected (within the tire/wheel space) it should make for a great rock crawler/offroad vehicle. Offroading with an ICE uses plenty of gas due to the inefficiency of ICE at low speeds (same amount of gas to run accessories at 5 mph as at 60mph so at 5mph a great amount of fuel burnt goes towards driving accessories and engines are built to run most efficiently closer to peak torque). Electric is great at low speeds where little energy is wasted fighting wind resistance or friction. You won't have to "rev" the engine in an electric to hit peak torque to get you over a fallen tree or through a deep rut - you could let it crawl right out at a very slow motor speed if desired.


Close but no cigar. The first EV should be ultralight, lowest drag, 200+ range, motor-in-wheel, under $25K. The U.S. car makers have never tried to compete with the foreign economy car using lotus styling. Why?


I heartily congratulate Chrysler on demonstrating that they're not behind the 8-ball when it comes to the latest in hydrid drivetrain technology. The Chrysler minivan with the PHEV drivetrain--if they could beef it up for taxicab applications by putting in a even bigger battery pack for even longer all-electric range--could be very popular as a city taxi, where the slow speeds of urban travel benefit this class of vehicle, especially with the dramatically lower tailpipe emissions! :-)


I want also a compact (small) plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle, if this means affordable (cheap) vehicle.

One must try the showroom parity (this is, the same cost in the showroom, compared with similar all-petroleum electric vehicles).



I typed "all-petroleum electric vehicle" when the right is "all-petroleum vehicles".

Henry Gibson

NO EVs!! Forget you ever heard of battery range. A plug in hybrid needs only a few miles. A battery with more than the range of Lithium batteries has been on the market for ten years and is now being used in many TH!NK cars, the ZEBRA. Lead batteries from EFFPOWER are good enough for plug in hybrids. Since the TZERO and WrightSpeed, it is known that high performance electric cars can be built, but what is needed to reduce oil drain is cars that a lot of people can and will buy. Hydraulic hybrids may be cheaper in the long run and will give at least as much fuel energy efficiency. Since automakers destroyed all electrics none could come on the market as cheap used vehicles. The US government and state governments were cheated out of their research and development funding and taxes. ..HG..

stas peterson


Why? ...'cause you said so?

Wheel motors add lots of unsprung weight and are duplicative. When you want too improve handling, and reduce costs, why duplicate components? One motor is enough.

As far as the $25,000 price. Why ?

I would like to pay $1.98 plus tax. My wishes are better than yours, and just as infeasible, too.


Thanks for visiting my . Yours is pretty interesting too!

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