In a development that may fall under the "dogs and cats living together-mass hysteria" category (quote courtesy of Ghostbusters), Chrysler might finally be ready to commit significant resources towards developing electric-drive powertrains as a way to boost its fleetwide fuel economy.

So says Automotive News, which found a post on Chryslercareers.com that indicates that the company is casting its net for dozens of engineers and other folks that may help accelerate hybrid and electric vehicle development. Specifically, the company, which hasn't made a hybrid in about five years, is turning to stop-start systems as a way to join the green-vehicle party. Chrysler has tested plug-in hybrid versions of its Ram 1500 pickups, but maintains that there won't be any production versions of these models. Years ago, Chrysler developed EVs through its ENVI unit, but that was disbanded in 2009. Remember the Dodge Circuit EV pictured above?

That all means that, right now, Chrysler's exposure to advanced-powertrain vehicles is the all-electric 500e produced by partner Fiat. That car is available in limited numbers only in California, and reports have alternately surfaced that the car's either sold out or just not available at the $199-a-month lease rate that's been heavily advertised. Fiat has also said it takes a roughly $10,000 loss for each Fiat 500e sold. Check out Autoblog's review of the car here.


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  • 19 Comments
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tomorrows headline: GM Ackerson says Chrysler wasting their time hiring EV engineers. GM "knows it all at this time and it would be a waste of anybody's time to try to learn anymore.
      Neutral President
      • 1 Year Ago
      The quote was Bill Murray, but it was from Ghostbusters, not Stripes.
        omni007
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Neutral President
        Bill Murray was quoting Firesign Theater's "Everything You Know Is Wrong".
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should hire a new CEO while they're at it.
      Nucking Futs
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember our engineers back in the early 90's at Westinghouse Electric (before being purchased by Northrop Grumman), working with Chrysler on an electric van. Most people wouldn't appreciate the amount of engineering that went into the design of the controllers for the inductively coupled 3-phase AC motors. The 3-phase AC motor is pretty much industry standard now. Careful consideration was needed for designing the "soft start" because the incredible amount of instant torque an electric motor could produce would twist off axles or crunch differentials. To give the simulated feel of a gasoline engine, which has a softer more gradual application of torque, the engineers designed the controllers for the electric motor to gradually apply torque. They felt they needed to create a simulated torque curve similar to that of a gasoline engine in order to be more acceptable to the public.
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just hiring EV engineers now? So we'll see a Chrysler EV in about 15 years?
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is my favorite Lotus body for an EV conversion. I think it was based on the Europa? Just swap out the Chrysler corporate nose piece for the Lotus original, and debadge it and nobody would even know you were in a Chrysler. The plugin hybrid Jeep Wrangler was pretty nice too. Unstallable electric torque starting at zero rpm would be nice for offroad, and having gas backup would be a nice match for long range. The gas Wrangler gets such poor MPG, that if owners were able to drive in EV mode even half the time, the owner would save more gas every year going wrangler PHEV than they would buying a Volt over a Cruze. Chrysler was on the right path before the entire global economy crashed. Maybe they can quickly pick up where they left off.
      HVH20
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like they ran out of gears trying to meet CAFE standards and realized it involves electricity.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      DAMN IT DANNY!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmzuRXLzqKk Not Stripes.... Ghostbusters! Get your Murray quotes together man.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        At this point, if Danny can't get a simple movie quote right... I can't trust any other information he writes
        ABG Sebastian
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Curses. Fixed, but the damage has been done... :)
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ABG Sebastian
          The "damage" is continuous with this guy. Nearly every article Danny has written, contains some level of crap. If you want a permanent "fix"... time to fire Danny King.
        Dave D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        You beat me to the punch!
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        At least when he gets something about Murray wrong, he corrects it in the story. He doesn't do that for anything actually to do with green cars.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          yeah... and I think Blanco caught the error and fixed it. Danny has never responded to his many mistakes.
      brotherkenny4
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Fiat has also said it takes a roughly $10,000 loss for each Fiat 500e sold." If Fiat never sells a certain volume of that vehicle then they will always lose on it. It's a self fulfilling prophecy, that suggests a level of dishonesty on Fiat's part. No product from a major corporation is profitable instantaneously. The i-phone was a loser until they passed a certain volume.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Haha . . . Sergio has to eat his words and start building EVs after realizing that they are a fast-growing market and necessary if you want to meet your CAFE standards and ZEV requirements.
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