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Click above for high-res gallery of Chrysler's three new EVs

As we learned this morning from Bob Nardelli's appearance on CNBC, Chrysler LLC is getting into the electric vehicle game and plans to have something on the market by the end of 2010 – the same time GM plans to start selling the 2011 Chevy Volt. The vehicle in question will be one of these three EVs, all of which are powered fully or in part by electrons.

The first and perhaps most exciting is the Dodge EV, which is an all-electric sports car like the Tesla Roadster. In fact, Chrysler seems to have taken a few pages from Tesla's playbook, which is evident by the fact that its EV is wearing the body of a Lotus Europa at the moment. Lotus also worked with Tesla on the development of its Roadster and is probably offering its expertise in electronics and lightweight vehicle design to any automaker willing to pay for it.

Chrysler says the Dodge EV uses a 200kW or 268 equivalent horsepower electric motor mated to an "advanced lithium-ion battery pack and an integrated power control module". Peak torque is 480 lb-ft, which helps propel the lightweight Europ... Dodge EV to 60 mph in less than five seconds and a 120 mph top speed. Its range is pegged at between 150 to 200 miles with recharge times of 8 hours for 110-volt outlets and four hours using a 220-volt.

The Jeep EV and Chrysler EV, meanwhile, are both series hybrids like the Chevy Volt, which means they have an electric motor/generator that drives the wheels for distances up to 40 miles before an on-board small displacement engine kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion batteries or provide power directly to the electric motor.

Both vehicles feature an approximate 400-mile range on just 8 gallons of gas, which equates to 50 mpg. The Jeep EV uses an electric motor making 200kW (268 hp) and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the Chrysler EV uses a 190kW (255-hp) motor making 258 lb-ft of torque. However, Chrysler has not mentioned what range-extending gas engines will be used in either vehicle. Its engineers are also exploring in-wheel electric motors for the Jeep EV, which would benefit from being able to control power delivery to each wheel separately while off-roading.

One question you may have is where did Chrysler come up with these three vehicles? The automaker's in-house ENVI division is responsible for having developed all three under a veil of secrecy for over a year. Today's announcement, however, was light on details, so it remains to be seen if Chrysler can accomplish its goal of bringing one of these EVs to market by 2011. We see no reason to bet against them, however, as GM has proven what's possible when a big fire's been lit under your company's collective ass.

[Source: Chrysler]


Chrysler LLC Surges Forward with Production-intent Electric Vehicles

Company Introduces Three Advanced Electric-drive Vehicle Prototypes
  • One targeted to be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American markets, and European markets after 2010
  • Chrysler LLC to have approximately 100 electric vehicles on the road in government, business, utility and development fleets in 2009
  • Chrysler electric-drive technology to be applied to front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive platforms
  • Dodge EV: All-electric Performance Sports Car
  • Jeep® EV: Wrangler Range-extended Electric Vehicle to allow customers to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time
  • Chrysler EV: Town & Country Range-extended Electric Vehicle
  • Chrysler and General Electric pursue joint project with U.S. Department of Energy

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 23, 2008 - Actions speak louder than words.
Chrysler LLC announced today that the Company and its ENVI organization have new production-intent, advanced electric-drive technology packaged in three different vehicles – one for each of its brands, Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge.

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.

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.

At its World Headquarters here today, Chrysler revealed its electric-drive prototypes – Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV – and demonstrated the driving performance and capability of each.

"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," said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO – Chrysler LLC. "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."

ENVI Organization
The development of Chrysler's Electric Vehicles and Range-extended Electric Vehicles is led by ENVI – representing the first four letters of "environmental" – the Company's in-house organization that was formed to focus on electric-drive production vehicles and related advanced technologies. The development of electric-drive systems for future Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles is maturing quickly.

"ENVI was created just over one year ago with the strategic intent to develop electric-drive vehicles quickly for Chrysler, and it is surpassing expectations," said Tom LaSorda, Vice Chairman and President – Chrysler LLC. "With ENVI, Chrysler is developing technology to bring Electric Vehicles and extremely fuel-efficient Range-extended Electric Vehicles to market."

Electric Vehicle Technology
Chrysler's Electric Vehicles utilize just three primary 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.

"This technology provides customers with a vehicle that has zero tailpipe emissions and a 150- to 200-mile driving range – far exceeding most Americans' daily commutes, as nearly 80 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, or 14,000 miles per year," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "Electric Vehicles provide the opportunity to fulfill social responsibility, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and eliminate monthly gasoline bills, while delivering performance and utility that our customers desire."

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 – with no compromises in performance.

Range-extended Electric Vehicles offer environmental responsibility without giving up driving range, comfort or utility.

Dodge EV
The Dodge EV development Electric Vehicle is a two-passenger, rear-wheel-drive sports car that marries high performance with zero tailpipe emissions.

"The Dodge EV sets a new standard for what can be expected in electric-drive vehicles," said Lou Rhodes, Vice President – Advance Vehicle Engineering, and President – ENVI. "The electric-vehicle technology enables a fun-to-drive performance sports car and helps redefine the vision of an environmentally responsible vehicle for the Dodge brand."

The electric-drive system consists of three primary components: a 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery and an integrated power controller.

The 200 kW electric-drive motor generates 650 N•m (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.

Working with the latest advanced lithium-ion battery technology, the Dodge EV has a continuous driving range of 150 to 200 miles – more than triple the average daily commute of most consumers. Recharging the vehicle is a simple one-step process: plugging into a standard 110-volt household outlet for eight hours. The recharge time can be cut in half to four hours by using a typical 220-volt household appliance power outlet.

The Dodge EV offers driving enthusiasts a performance sports car that can be driven to work every day – without consuming gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions.

Jeep EV
The Jeep EV development vehicle is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that provides a glimpse into the future of a "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" vehicle with renowned Jeep Wrangler capability.

The Jeep EV combines Wrangler's unmatched off-road capability with the ultimate "Tread Lightly" mindset by providing nature ambassadors with the ability to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time.

The Jeep EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle uses an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system, 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 horsepower) electric motor generates 400 N•m (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.

"We are also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of ENVI's advanced electric-drive technologies," said Rhodes.

The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently results in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road driving capability.

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.

"With the Chrysler EV, we are able to blend seven-passenger capability and the luxury of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan with electric-drive technology, demonstrating family practicality with zero compromise," said Rhodes. "ENVI's electric-drive development vehicles showcase our accelerated application of electric-drive systems into a wide range of vehicles in Chrysler's future product portfolio."

The Chrysler EV combines the electric-drive components of an Electric Vehicle with an integrated small-displacement engine and generator to produce additional electricity to power the electric-drive system when needed. This provides all of the positive attributes of an Electric Vehicle and extends the driving range to be equivalent to today's gasoline-powered vehicles – without compromises.

The Chrysler EV uses a 190 kW (255 horsepower) motor, producing 350 N•m (258 lb.-ft.) of torque, providing 0 to 60 mph acceleration in approximately nine seconds. The Chrysler EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle can drive 40 miles on all-electric power, and boasts a range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline. This makes the Chrysler EV the perfect fuel-efficient family vehicle.

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

Chrysler LLC Electric-vehicle Consumer Web Site
Chrysler LLC has launched a Web site – www.Chryslergoeselectric.com – to allow consumers to view the latest updates on Electric Vehicles and Range-extended Electric Vehicles from the Company. Content will include videos, photography and news, and visitors can sign up for updates. In addition, the site features a blog where consumers can interact directly with the Company.

Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement
Chrysler and General Electric are jointly pursuing a project with the United States Department of Energy to explore advanced energy-storage technology.

"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," said Klegon. "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."

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

"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," said Klegon. "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."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The videos are quite funny, surreal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I for one hope they fail. They pandered to the lowest common denominator by producing agressively styled vehicle at the expense of high weight and drag. Take there so called "economy car" the Caliber it has a .4 Cd and weighs ~3,000 lbs. That's not the thinking we need to solve the energy crisis. We need CAFE standards that limit a companies ability to produce fuel hungry monsters like the Cherokee SRT-8 or just about anything produyced by these guys.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would buy the Jeep in a heartbeat.

      What Toyota, Honda, GM have missed, is a practical Hybrid. The Yukon barely got better mileage than the regular. The Prius, Civic, Volt... not really practical vehicles.

      The minivan? Rental fleets, fleets in general... there is a huge built-in market for that one. As one poster said: mini-vans already hit that price range as they are.

      While I applaud the other manufacturers for their forays into hybrid, they created unique vehicles that required high development costs, testing, etc. Chrysler's planned use of vehicles already out there, that have built-in markets, are popular vehicles... Smart. Very smart. The development cost is low (the models are already out there and real world tested.) Just build them and go.

      I believe there will be a price premium added to them, but that would be off-set by tax credits offered. Besides, Chrysler knows that if they overprice them they won't sell.

      My money is on the mini-van hitting the market first, then the Jeep in limited quantities. Followed by the sports car.

      Chrysler's aim should be to get joe-public into a hybrid that they can live with, then come out with the sports car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, so they are using different battery technology, different vehicle base, different motor/transmission technology, different overall development.... but it has four wheels, is plug-in, and is based on a different vehicle from the same manufacturer known for its unique aluminum structure technology and light weight.... therefore dodge = tesla. Nevermind that Tesla has sued far more companies for far less. Go right ahead and stick with the dodge = tesla meme, it might catch on.


      I say the caravan is first to market.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How you can argue against the statement that Dodge has taken a page out of Tesla's playbook is beyond me... *boggle*
        • 6 Years Ago
        Kind of a stretch, don't you think ?
        • 6 Years Ago
        so from here until infinity, any sports-oriented plug-in EV is a copy of Tesla.......
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well it IS based on a Lotus which shares some architecture with the Elise that Tesla Massively rebuilt?

        My current theory is that Lotus is secret behind the electric craze, and is just trying to see how many other car makers they can do engineering work on. Who wants to bet that the new Dino is electric? (Fiat went to Lotus because we all know how good generic italian eletricals are...)

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not at all...

        my argument was in the OP and was succinct

        "Ok, so they are using different battery technology, different vehicle base, different motor/transmission technology, different overall development...."
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have difficulties to trust Chrysler. With this announcement, building an electric car becomes suddenly too easy. No! No!

      Lotus is building an all new Lotus Elise EV, and for some reasons, this Dodge EV looks almost like the Lotus Elise EV.

      I applaud the idea. But this announcement leaves us with many answered questions.

      Why not say that they are in talk with Lotus to sell a rebadged Lotus Elise EV as Dodge EV in the US? Why not?

      Chrysler lately said it is in talk with Nissan and Cherry to sell their small cars in the US as Dodge and Chrysler.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Are we forgetting that these are not the first hybrid renderings from Chrysler. They have been developing and testing these technologies for years now. The Patriot (race car not the sport-ute), Intrepid ESS-ESX series, to name a few. Yeah the Dodge EV looks like a Tesla but I am willing to bet it's just a test mule for their component packaging. If I recall correctly, the ZEO is a four seater.........think "practical"!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is game changing for the auto industry. The EV Town and Country is huge as is the Jeep. Now that smug little Prius just looks idiotic. The Chrysler minivans still sell well but to have one that gets 50 mpg is unbelievable as is a Jeep getting that range.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only way these get 50 mpg is if the marketing people screwed with the math.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Prius doesn't look idiotic if these other electric vehicles cost $40K while the Prius costs $24K. We don't know that part yet. But based on what Honda is saying, Toyota does have a worry with the new Insight.

        But not for a while. Short term, there are going to be more hybrid and electric potential buyers out there than there will be cars to sell them, so everyone should do O.K. until production can meet demand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These are development vehicles, which is good since Dodge has a back-catalog of really nice small roadster shapes it could use instead of the Europa body.

      It also means Mr Gilles design talents could be used to clothe some radically new shapes, since theres no need to stay traditional when there's not an engine under the hood.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sweet news! I frickin love it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hell yeah! I'd drive that coupe in a heartbeat.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes. I want a Dodge EV. Chrysler will probably make a few body changes & maybe a facelift or 2. Chrysler FTW
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ugh, why pick one? All three, priced competitively, would sell like CRAZY! While my gut tells me the Chrysler EV will get the nod, I really would love the Dodge EV to get produced as well. Give Tesla some competition, and a pricepoint that would compete with its gasoline-performance-equivalents. This is exactly the kind of turnaround Chrysler Co. needs, and to cross the boundary from trendy blatantly-obvious-hybrid to a more exciting, traditional design is a godsend. VW isn't neutering the design of the TDI because it's an efficient turbo diesel, why should hybrids bear the lame-sauce looks forever?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So hold on... GM can take the Volt from concept through production and people still cry "Vaporware!", but Chrysler can announce 3 Volts at the same time (and with the same production deadline) and no one cries foul?

      Seems odd.

      Personally, I think it's great that they're showing us these cars. They're all really solid ideas. If they can deliver it, they'll do well. Hopefully they'll drag them out to SEMA so I can check them out in person.

      The Jeep should've been a Wrangler though!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought the same thing both in comments and the Wrangler. Also, with 2 years to the first of these makes production, I have no comment until we get closer, its obviously very, very early and they felt they had to announce it now.
        • 6 Years Ago

        You're totally right. (But you know what I meant!)

        We need our soft-top short wheelbase Wrangler EV fix!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Jeep is a Wrangler... specifically of the four-door "Wrangler Unlimited" variety.

        The 'reglur Wrangler is probably a bit to short to fit all those batteries between the wheels.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have some major reservations about an EV Wrangler- Wranglers love a day at the beach- water and high voltage batteries just scare me a little.
        The T&C sounds spot on though, and an EV Journey would rule as a family car.
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