New owners, new focus: Chrysler seriously looks at alternatives

Earlier this week, we reported about Chrysler's new ENVI project and the appointment of Lou Rhodes as the engineering group's new President. We now have some more information about the project and its objective to develop new electric and hybrid vehicle technology. ENVI is the name of a new engineering division set up in Chrysler's Detroit headquarters, which CEO Bob Nardelli says will be focusing "on the development of a new generation of environmentally responsible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles."

Chrysler already has two hybrid models ready for launch in 2009, a Dodge Durango and a Chrysler Aspen, that use a hybrid system developed in partnership with GM and BMW. However, officials at Chrysler see pure electric or full-hybrid powertrains as the future and not the current practice of converting existing vehicles to hybrid.

Chrysler is also lacking main rivals GM and Ford, which have already displayed a new generation of plug-in hybrid concepts, but the creation of the ENVI is definitely a step in the right direction.

[Source: Autoweek]

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