Chrysler LLC Requests $224M from DOE for the Rapid Development and Manufacturing of Electrified Vehicles; Total Investment of $448M
|A prototype electric minivan for the USPS. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler LLC has submitted three proposals representing a request for $224 million in funding to two US Department of Energy (DOE) initiatives: the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative and the Transportation Electrification Initiative. With a 50/50 cost share, the total investment represented by the proposals is $448 million. Proposed vehicles covered under the submission include Dodge Ram 1500 Plug-in Hybrid-electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Chrysler Town & Country PHEVs and Chrysler Town & Country Electric Vehicles (EVs).
If approved, Chrysler LLC plans to use funds to build a demonstration fleet of the plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), as well as create a new-vehicle electrification technology and manufacturing center located in Michigan. The proposal will enable the production of commercially viable products in a shorter time frame.
The Transportation Electrification Initiative. Chrysler LLC’s $365-million (total) submission for the Transportation Electrification Initiative intends to establish a nationwide demonstration fleet of more than 365 test-fleet vehicles for use by select customers and partners.
Chrysler will demonstrate 100 Chrysler Town & Country PHEV minivans and 100 Dodge Ram PHEV pickup trucks across a range of drive cycles and consumer-usage patterns in diverse geographies and climates throughout the United States. The company has established more than a dozen partnerships with city and local governments, research and development authorities, utility companies and universities to test the PHEVs.
In addition, through a partnership between Chrysler LLC’s ENVI group and the US Postal Service (USPS) (earlier post), Chrysler LLC will deliver 165 Chrysler Town & Country EV cargo minivans for daily mail service in four regions throughout the country. ENVI has created numerous partnerships with energy providers and utility companies in order to develop an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure that will efficiently service its electric-vehicle test fleet.
The Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. Within the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, Chrysler LLC plans to use as much as $83 million to build a new vehicle electrification technology and manufacturing center in Michigan. This new facility would house development, testing and electric-drive component manufacturing in addition to final assembly of EVs and Range-extended Electric Vehicles (ReEVs). The complex would be functional by 2010 and produce more than 20,000 units per year.
Chrysler LLC says it would utilize both DOE programs as first steps toward the commercialization of “no compromise” electrified vehicle technologies beyond Hybrid-electric Vehicle (HEV) applications currently on the road.
Last month, ENVI, Chrysler LLC’s in-house electric vehicle organization, made multiple announcements aimed at accelerating the market introduction of electric-drive vehicles. The company created a lithium-ion battery production partnership with US-based A123Systems (earlier post) and facilitated a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Southeastern Michigan—a joint program with A123Systems and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (earlier post). Chrysler also announced its plans to address the future needs of fleet customers, such as the US Postal Service, with a pure-electric Chrysler Town & Country EV Cargo minivan.