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Chrysler-Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne has never seemed too excited when speaking of electrified vehicles. Sometimes, people don't change; they're dragged kicking and screaming into the new reality.

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Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and Lisa Jackson, Agency Administrator for the EPA, announced a new research project to bring hydraulic hybrid technology to the marketplace. The new hybrid will be based on Chrysler's Town & Country minivan, although this shouldn't be confused with the other minivan hybrid Chrysler is working on for 2013.

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The closest Americans can get to a hybrid minivan in 2011 – an entirely practical vehicle if there ever was one – are the Prius V and the 2012 Ford C-Max, both of which are due later this year but are not really minivans. This will sort of change in 2012 thanks to a new research project announced today by Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and Lisa Jackson, Agency Administrator for the EPA.

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Pickup truck fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of light-duty diesel engines in half-ton trucks for the past several years, and it now appears that at least one automaker is about to deliver. According to a report from the all-Mopar-knowing minds at Allpar.com, Chrysler's dealer computer system is showing new entries for a diesel-powered Ram 1500 in regular and Quad Cab configurations.

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In a case that's sure to light up our own comments section along with untold numbers of message boards across the web, our friends at PickupTrucks.com are reporting that General Motors has filed documents in court in an attempt to get New Chrysler to honor its full pre-bankruptcy debt of $531,275 (of which Chrysler has so far only agreed to pay back about a third) for work on the sophisticated Two-Mode hybrid powertrain that was jointly developed by the two American automakers along with Daimler

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Our friends at PickupTrucks.com are reporting that General Motors has filed documents in court in an attempt to get "New" Chrysler to honor its full pre-bankruptcy debt of $531,275 (of which Chrysler has so far only agreed to pay back about a third) for work on the sophisticated Two-Mode hybrid powertrain that was jointly developed by the two American automakers along with Daimler and BMW.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Aspen Hybrid

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Aspen Hybrid

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Chrysler seems to be more than a little behind its cross-town rivals when it comes to electric vehicles and hybrids. After all, GM has committed a great deal of its available resources to get its Volt to market as quickly as possible and matches Chrysler's full-size SUV hybrid offerings. Ford has been selling a hybrid version of its own Escape for years with good success. Meanwhile, Chrysler has shown off three EV concepts that don't quite seem ready for prime time and has just released its firs

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Click the Aspen Hybrid for a high-res gallery

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As the years pass, fuel saving technologies like hybrid drivetrains will become increasingly common. Chrysler currently holds the distinction of having the worst average fuel economy of any major manufacturer in the United States, which is certainly not something they are proud of, we're sure. The automaker's first hybrid vehicles, the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen duo, were just priced at a fairly aggressive $45,340 base and speculation has already begun on what models will be next in line f

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Following up on the recent announcement of a mild hybrid joint development program with BMW, DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche has talked to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport about hybrids. Zetsche announced that following next year's introduction of the two-mode hybrid Dodge Durango and the 2009 release of a mild-hybrid Mercedes, all future vehicles from DCX will be engineered to accommodate hybrid drive-trains. The systems will be optional in most cases, and will probably be of the mild hy

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During the bloodletting press conference this morning in Auburn Hills, Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda gave some hints about future product plans for Chrysler. In addition to the usual reduction in the number of platforms and engine families, LaSorda announced that Chrysler would be spending $3 billion in power-train development to improve fuel efficiency. He indicated that there would be a new Mercedes-Benz four cylinder diesel coming to Chrysler products in addition to the 3.0L V-6 already anno

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It's time. President Bush will tell auto execs from the Detroit auto companies that he supports building more hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles, according to spokesman Tony Snow. Snow said that during tomorrow's long-awaited meeting with the heads of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, Bush will say (at the very least) that he wants the companies to succeed, in part by offering green cars. Two previously scheduled meetings between the President and the

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Now we're getting somewhere. Mitsubishi Fuso will sell a diesel-electric hybrid light truck in Japan this fall. The company expects to sell several hundred of these trucks, called the Canter Eco Hybrid, before January. Mitsubishi Fuso, which is mostly owned by DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, is a key component to the parent company's growth in Asia, according to this AP article in the Houston Chronicle.

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