As expected, Chrysler has submitted a detailed plan to Congress outlining how it will attemp to once again regain its status as a viable standalone automaker, and included in the plan's highlights are promises of improved fuel economy and fully electric vehicles. Chrysler says it will launch 24 new vehicles in the next 48 months, at least one of which will be an electric vehicle slated for a 2010 release. That's likely to take the form of the Dodge Circuit that's based on a chassis from Lotus and a battery pack from A123. After that, Chrysler promises to launch more unnamed EVs and extended-range EVs in the following years.
Chrysler also touts the strategic global alliance with Italy's Fiat as another way to get eco-friendly vehicles in the hands of the American population through "access to competitive fuel-efficient vehicle platforms [and] distribution capabilities in key growth markets." The long-rumored Phoenix engine family is also mentioned, which will reportedly improve fuel economy by 6-8% over Chrysler's current V6 engines.
The automaker further says that it supports the development of a uniform national fuel economy standard that reflects the input of all constituents. Sorry, California. To make all of this a reality, Chrysler says it needs an additional $2 billion on top of the $7B that it's already asked for, $4B of which it's already received. There's plenty more to the story, including production cuts, workforce reductions and a slew of concessions from the UAW and pretty much anyone else that has dealings with the automaker. We've pasted the official press release after the break and you can click here to read Autoblog's take on the situation and click here to download the 177-page document as a PDF file.
UPDATE: Chrysler says next Jeep Grand Cherokee will be 19% more fuel efficient and next 300 will feature a new V6 engine (presumably the from the Phoenix line) and a HEMI V8 with cylinder deactivation.