Chrysler


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Adding another economical vehicle to the long line forming at the Geneva Motor Show, Magna Steyr will debut its Mila EV concept, Automotive News reports. The Austrian parts supplier and automobile manufacturer doesn’t plan to sell the vehicle as shown, but intends to use the Mila as a sales piece for its technology expertise.

Magna, which produces the BMW X3 and Chrysler 300C, designed the Mila with flexibility in mind. As a result, the chassis allows for multiple powertrains and drive configurations. In Geneva trim, a 67-hp electric motor powers the four-door hatchback to a range of just below 100 miles. Its lithium-ion battery recharges in just 2.5 hours.

We’ll bring you more pictures and information on the Magna Steyr Mila EV when the Geneva Motor Show beings next month.

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A 200C? Is Chrysler messing with our heads? With Chrysler CEO Jim Press putting on his best game face despite the openly dour moods of some Chrysler executive staff, out rolled a bevy of well known Chrysler vehicles augmented with pure-electric drivetrains.

This is the work of the Auburn Hills automaker’s ENVI division, the play on letters taken from the first four of the word “environment”, a Chrysler project that the brand hoped would be the envy of rivals.
Chrysler had previously shown three of its ENVI EVs on September 23 of last year, when CEO Bob Nardelli showed up to an CNBC interview with a trio of electric vehicles, and then later that day at Chrysler’s world headquarters to a gathering of automotive journalists, wowing viewers and onlookers and simultaneously giving new hope to Mopar fans and alternatively to critics of the production Chevy Volt who didn’t find it as sporty as the concept version shown last year.

The appropriately named Dodge Circuit, simply dubbed EV at that time and painted yellow instead of today’s orange, is about as sporty as cars come, having been built off of the backbone of a Lotus, while the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV and Chrysler Town & Country EV also received new paint schemes for Detroit, and no doubt some unmentioned upgrades. The Auburn Hills-based automaker showed another electrified Jeep that it hasn’t shown before, however, and the zero-emissions Patriot might be its most doable EV yet. None are for sale, for the time being at least, but the company has big plans. But a 200C?
It didn’t take long for the Detroit auto show floor to get swept up in speculation, some of it negative regarding the announcements lack of any real mainstream product to boost upcoming sales and other talk about just what the 200C represented. Was it the new look of the long anticipated 300C replacement, expected to bow at this year’s North American International Auto Show, or possibly a rear-drive replacement for the much criticized Sebring? Chrysler staffers on hand denied any connection to the 300C, stating that the 300C is so gorgeous it’ll knock our socks off, while another insider made it pretty clear that this indeed was the Sebring in prototype trim.

No doubt we’ll have to wait for the Chicago or New York shows to find out for certain, although Chrysler did say that ” the concept provides a clear view of what we’ll see in a next-generation Chrysler performance sedan,” in a press release, so place your bets as to which current model it will replace.
So what is the 200C EV? As the latter half of the name divulges, it’s an electric car using the same powertrain already integrated into Chrysler’s other show cars. True, but while the aforementioned models may be more readily available than the 200C EV, the stylish four-door sedan gives greater hope for Chrysler having a stronger presence in the critically important midsize car market.

In concept form it’s a rear-drive sedan created by shortening the chassis of a current production 300 sedan, and due to its ENVI drivetrain can sprint to 60 mph (62 km/h) in a mere 7 seconds. Although performance was front and centre during its introduction, its powertrain being highlighted, the 200C EV boasts an upscale cabin that would go far to help people forget the current Sebring. It is “free of switches and levers,” says Chrysler, “with all vehicle functions and features managed via a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated portion of the screen dubbed ‘techno-leaf,’ and a stowable tablet PC,” said Chrysler in a press release.

“The Chrysler 200C EV embodies our passion for problem solving by combining the best of engineering and automotive design,” added Ralph Gilles, Chrysler vice president of design. “With the 200C EV, we were able to maximize the effectiveness of the ENVI powertrain with the stunning, wind-cheating vehicle shape, while pushing toward the future with the avant-garde interior and advanced in-vehicle connectivity.”

A series hybrid rather than merely a full-electric vehicle, the 200C EV can commute up to 40 miles on battery power alone between recharges, and if your daily drive takes you further it can extend to a 400 mile range via a small gasoline engine and on-board electric generator. Volt anyone? As if GM had hopes of hanging onto its “reverse hybrid” idea for long, it looks as if Chrysler at the low end and Fisker at the high end have plans afoot.

The all-electric Dodge Circuit can manage a longer range under electric power at 150 to 200 miles, depending on your driving style. It’s unknown which ENVI vehicle will go into production, but the automaker has plans to put one in showrooms in 2010, followed by three more by 2013, although it’s unlikely the three that are added will be current body style Chryslers. It does show, however, that the brand is thinking into the future.

“Chrysler’s broad portfolio of electric vehicle prototypes clearly demonstrates that we are well on our way to bringing electric vehicles to our consumers’ garages,” stated Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president for product development.

Chrysler actually has plans to put 500,000 EVs on the road by 2013, a combination of ENVI developed vehicles and those produced by its GEM division, which makes neighbourhood transports not much larger than golf carts.

The combination of ENVI-modified production models and the new 200C EV caused Chrysler co-President Jim Press to say, “.there’s evidence here of ongoing investment in the future.”

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Chrysler isn’t letting the fact that it’s staring down the barrel of bankruptcy get it down. For the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the USA’s third largest carmaker will be showcasing its plans for an electric vehicle future, in the form of the Chrysler 200C EV concept and the Dodge Circuit EV.

Developed by Chrysler’s ENVI in-house electric vehicle development group, these cars represent the company’s commitment to bringing to market a full range of electric vehicles for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands.

“Our goal is to provide creative solutions to the challenges that our customers face around the globe,” Michael Manley, Executive Vice President said. “We’ve made electric vehicles the primary path to developing clean vehicles for all our product lines. We will produce at least one of these vehicles for North American markets in 2010 and for European markets after 2010.”

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Chrysler claims the 200C EV forms the definitive blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, representing what a next-generation Chrysler sports sedan could be.

The 200kW (268hp) Dodge Circuit EV offers a range of between 241 to 322km, and sprints down the quarter mile in 13 seconds.

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Chrysler’s ENVI group, formed in late 2007, is charged with the task of developing the carmaker’s electric vehicle platforms, and bringing them to market. The group has been given huge power within the company, so that it can move fast and respond to market changes quickly.

“ENVI is quickly bringing electric vehicles to market, completely changing the game for our customers,” said Lou Rhodes, President – ENVI and Vice President – Advance Vehicle Engineering. “Chrysler’s ENVI-powered Electric Vehicles will allow consumers to move away from their reliance on fuel stations and traditional maintenance, and instead enjoy a new, more socially responsible level of performance – instant torque, quietness, smoothness and efficiency – that today’s internal combustion engine vehicles can’t offer.

“ENVI harnesses the promise of electric vehicles, but takes it further,” he added. “By working with electric utilities and with battery manufacturers, we are developing a seamless approach to electric vehicle ownership – an approach that will soon allow consumers to move brilliantly forward in an environmentally friendly, intuitive mobility package.”

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Chrysler will apply its ENVI electric-drive technology to each of its brands and to its front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive platforms

The sexy electric Roadster by Tesla Motors has been getting a lot of attention ever since the first photos came out a few years ago. Part of that attention comes from its looks, which were different from most electric cars that came before, but what’s under the hood is just as interesting.

Tesla Roadster Electric Car Photo

 

BYD is a huge Chinese battery maker who recently started making plug-in hybrids and electric cars. Despite delays some delays in introducing EVs to the US, it is on track to become a big player in the next few years. The electric E6 pictured here is BYD’s battery-powered crossover. There’s also the BYD F3DM and F6DM.

BYD E6 Electric Car photo
The XS500 by the Miles Automotive Group is expected to be a highway-capable electric car sold for $30,000-35,000 in the United States around 2009-2010.
Miles XS500 EV Electric Car photo
the i MiEV by Mitsubishi is a small battery electric car that has got a lot of press lately. Mitsubishi has announced that it would start producing it a year in advance (2009 instead of 2010), and 2,000 i MiEVs will be made in the production run.
Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car photo

The R1E is a small urban battery electric car by Subaru. It was recently tested around New York City.

Subaru r1e electric car photo
The EV1 is now almost a legend, partly because it was one of the first electric cars that the average person could actually drive, and partly because of GM’s campaign to destroy them (see Who Killed the Electric Car?). Recently an EV1 that avoided being crushed was sold for $465k.
GM EV1 Electric Car photo
The REVA (known as the G-Wiz i in the UK) is a small city electric car from India. It’s not the most high-tech EV, and at 745 kg (1,640 lb), it’s definitely not the biggest. But it’s been in production since 2001 and the new version features an improved range.
REVA electric car photo
The ZENN (Zero Emission, No Noise) is a 2-seater neighborhood battery electric car. It has a range of up to 40 miles (64 km) and does not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h). This green car has been in production since 2006.
ZENN EV Electric Car photo
The Tango is an ultra-narrow electric sports car built by Commuter Cars. It sells for an eye-popping $108,000 (you could get a Tesla Roadster for that kind of money), and it is better known as “that electric car that George Clooney drives“. It can do 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.
Tango Electric Car photo
The Aptera 2e (formerly the Typ-1e) is a super-efficient electric vehicle designed be Aptera motors, and it probably has the most avant-garde look of all electric cars featured here. The company also plans a plug-in hybrid version that would get about 300 MPG if plugged in every 120 miles. Google has invested money in the company. The all-electric model will sell for $27,000 and the series plug-in hybrid version will sell for $30,000.
Aptera Electric Car photo
The GM Volt is a “range-extended” electric car is scheduled for 2011. It should be able to drive 40 miles in all-electric mode before a gas engine kicks in to recharge the batteries. More information and photos about the Volt can be found here.
GM Volt plug in electric car photo
Like the GM Volt, the Fisker Karma is a “range-extended” electric car. Its all-electric range is 50 miles, and over that a gas engine kicks in to generate power and recharge the batteries. Fisker has recently opened an engineering center near Detroit
Fisker Karma plug in electric car photo

In the fall of 2008 Chrysler unveiled three electric car concepts, saying that it would produce one. The first is the Dodge EV, an electric sports car.

Dodge EV electric sports car photo

Tesla Motors has signed a deal to supply power train components to Daimler for an electric version of the German auto giant’s Smart mini-car, called the Electric Smart EV, which is expected to be available within two years.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced the deal at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday. On Sunday, Tesla unveiled a higher-end Sport version of its Tesla Roadster electric sports car.

Tesla will supply the battery pack and on-board charger for 1,000 Electric Smart EVsr, a company representative said on Tuesday. Musk told told The Detroit Free Press that Tesla has been working on the deal for about a year and a half.

 

Tesla showed off the power train and battery pack of the Tesla Roadster at the North American International Auto Show this week.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET Networks)

“If the 1,000 vehicle fleet makes sense and the economics are compelling, that will expand to tens of thousands of vehicles per year,” Musk was quoted saying. Daimler “sees the electric Smart as being a large percentage of EV (electric vehicle) sales.”

Tesla is ramping up production of its first car, the Roadster, while looking to earn money through its power train business. Daimler is its first auto manufacturer customer.

A deal between Tesla and Daimler had been rumored for months.

In August, Financial Times Germany reported that the supply agreement was for electric Smart cars planned for a pilot to test lithium-ion battery Smart cars and a network of charging stations in Berlin, Germany.

Chrysler’s General Electric Motorcar delivered the first six, out of the thousands of NEVs the U.S. Army plans to lease in the coming years.

(Credit: U.S. Army/General Electric Motorcards)

The Big 3 of Detroit aren’t the only ones singing the praises of electric vehicles this week.

The U.S. Army on Monday announced an initiative to potentially replace up to 28,000 gas-powered vehicles at more than 155 Army installations with Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) in the coming years.

NEVs are not highway-legal electric vehicles, but rather light-use electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 25 mph. The Army intends to use them for nontactical things like on-base transportation for visitors, or maintenance personal and their equipment, according to Paul Bollinger, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Energy & Partnerships.

Plans are already in the works to replace 4,000 gas-powered vehicles over the next three years with leased NEVs through a partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. government’s main procurement agency.

Global Electric Motorcar (GEM), a division of Chrysler, delivered the first six NEVs to Fort Myer, Virginia on Monday. Two of the NEVs are four-seat sedans. The other four are two-seat trucks with flatbeds and a payload capacity of 1,000 pounds. Both models have a range of 30 miles at 25 mph on a full eight-hour battery charge, and cost about $10,200 each.

While GEM is the first manufacturer to have won a contract for this initiative, it will not be the only supplier. Contracts are still open for bid to any company on the GSA’s approved vendor list, Bollinger said.

The Army expects to replace a total of 800 army vehicles with NEVs this year, and replace 1,600 per year for 2010 and 2011.

By replacing 4,000 gas-powered vehicles with NEVs the Army will save 11 million gallons of fuel and 115,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the 6-year life of each vehicle, according to a statement from U.S. Army.

As part of the lease agreement, GEM will take care of battery replacement and maintenance costs.

One of the leading reasons the U.S. Army ultimately decided to go with NEVs as opposed to hydrogen or another alternative fuel vehicle, according to Bollinger, is that NEVs require little infrastructure to implement.

“These plug into any three-prong electrical outlet. There’s nothing big or complicated about it whatsoever. Most will go into depots where they come into a central area to be charged,” Bollinger said during a press teleconference.

The Army has estimated no more than $200 per vehicle for implementation, in the event that a three-prong electrical outlet is not readily available for the NEV to plug into and needs to be installed. And it expects to pay about $400 in electrical power for each vehicle per year, according to Bollinger.

While a potential 28,000 vehicles is good news for those electric vehicle manufacturers on the GSA’s list of approved vendors, there could be even more orders soon up for grabs from two other branches of the military.

“No one from the Air Force has told me face-to-face that they would like to move in this area, but I’ve heard it in back channel communications. But the Navy has told me. They are interested in piggy-backing on the Army’s order,” said Bollinger.

GEM’s four-seater sedan.