The next-generation power train blitz from Chrysler continues following the unveil of the Dodge EV with the Chrysler EV, a Chrysler Town & Country equipped as a Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV). Following GM's lead with the Chevy Volt, the Chrysler EV promises the same 40 miles on all-electric power followed by a recharge from an on-board generator (ie: a two-cylinder gas engine). Considering the packaging advantages for batteries available with a big van, the claims seem almost easy to hit in comparison to similar claims from the Volt. Among today's unveils, the electrified minivan seems like the killer-app here, with the possibility of pollution-free kid hauling and a claimed 400 miles on eight gallons of gas (50 MPG!). Stay tuned for more as Chrysler continues to work out how to do this whole "PR thing." Update: We finally wrestled details out of Chrysler. Check below for the press release
Hat tip to Popular Mechanics on the live pictures from the Chrysler EV reveal!
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. 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.”