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Electrovaya to supply Li-ion systems to Chrysler for 25 minivan PHEVs in 2-year fleet demo project with DOE

Components of the flex-fuel PHEV minivan. Click to enlarge.

Electrovaya Inc. has signed a contract to supply Chrysler with Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery systems for 25 Town and Country minivans that will be part of a demonstration fleet of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) that Chrysler Group LLC has developed in partnership with the United States Department of Energy.

The 25 Chrysler minivans will join a fleet of 140 Ram 1500 PHEV pickup trucks (earlier post) that are being deployed to 12 partners including local municipalities, state governments, universities and energy companies across the United States.

The minivan contract is the second major PHEV automotive platform for Electrovaya’s Lithium Ion SuperPolymer batteries and follows the Ram PHEV platform.

Electrovaya is both the cell and battery pack supplier for the minivan. Its proprietary Lithium Ion SuperPolymer cell technology is produced using Electrovaya’s novel non-toxic NMP-free process.

Electrovaya’s battery pack for the minivan consists of its large format Lithium Ion SuperPolymer cells, proprietary thermal and battery management systems and all necessary subsystems.

The minivan project. The objective of the Chrysler/DOE project is to demonstrate 25 flex-fuel, plug-in hybrid minivans in diverse geographies and climates, spanning from Michigan, California, and Texas and across a range of drive cycles and consumer usage patterns applicable to the entire NAFTA region.

The vehicles will run for 2 years with relevant data collected to show the product viability under real-world conditions.

The powertrain will include a 3.6L V6 flex-fuel (E85) capable engine, with maximum power of 290 hp (216 kW); 12.9 kWh Li-ion pack; 2-mode hybrid transmission; and power electronics, thermal systems and controls.

Chrysler has built seven minivans for mule level engineering development, two with an early vintage battery pack, five with a new architecture; and is building 14 development vehicles, including 5 for impact and compliance testing. Specific PHEV work includes:

  • Thermal management of Li-ion battery system capable of heating the high voltage battery in extreme cold, and cooling the high voltage battery in extreme hot ambient temperatures, optimizing the operating temp range.

  • Developed powertrain control system to operate within the power limitations of the Li-ion battery over ambient temperature range of -20 °F (-29 °C) to 125 °F (52 °C) while providing predictable and reliable vehicle performance.

  • Developed charging system capable of charging up to 6.6 kW.

  • PHEV systems integrated cold start, cold drive, EV Drive, start/stop, thermal management, battery SOC operational boundaries, level 1 & level 2 torque security validation, transmission dynamometer for E-Motor PHEV drive cycle.

Initial fleet deployment is slated for March 2012. Overall, DOE is contributing $10 million to the project, Chrysler is contributing $15,791,697.




Chrysler made the EPIC EV minivan 10 years ago using NiMH, now they are back making PHEVs. At least the engine is flex fuel and can run on cellulose E85.


Interesting to see how the Electrovaya pack fares against the other technologies on the market. Let's hope these minivans become popular replacements for the ICE versions.

The new message needs to be - these vehicles are built and powered by domestic services. They provide JOBS, security and an end to imported oil costing $450 Billion annually.


If you pack enough of the polymer batteries in there they can do the job. They do not charge nor discharge quickly, but with enough of them that is not a problem.


Electrifying 240 million gas guzzlers would certainly reduce oil imports.

The problem is that may take another 30+ years.

Meanwhile we could start using more efficient ICE, HEVs and PHEVs.

Converting a few million existing gas guzzlers to PHEVs would have a quick direct effect on fuel consumption. Who should pay?

An extra gas tax would make sense if it is used solely to subsidies the conversion program and purchase of new locally produced electrified vehicles. A progressive multi-year approach could be very beneficial to USA.


So this "demonstration fleet" of minivans - what will it demonstrate besides fiscal irresponsibility?


Overall, DOE is contributing $10 million to the project.

That's $400,000 each.
For just a 2 year lease.

"Converting a few million existing gas guzzlers to PHEVs would have a quick direct effect on fuel consumption. Who should pay?"

Not "Who should pay"?
Who WILL pay?
You will.

We need to tax the achievers even more.

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