Tuesday, May 26th, 2009...11:24 pm

Chrylser seeks money from DOE for EV development

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News was released today that Chrysler has submitted up to three proposals for two Department of Energy initiatives, The Transportation Electrification Initiative and Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, the total proposed would be $448 million.  The proposal is a 50/50 cost sharing that would mean Chrysler will fork over $224 million and DOE will contribute the remaining $224 million.

The most interesting piece of news is the inclusion of the Dodge Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle because there had been no previous mention of Chrysler working on a PHEV version of the Dodge Ram.  This is extremely exciting news because the Ram is a very popular vehicle and to my knowledge the first PHEV pickup truck.  Ford hasn’t really said anything about a hybrid or electric version of the F-150 so I believe the PHEV Ram will be in a league of its own.  Here is some advice for Chrysler, please use HUB motors on all four wheels for true EV 4×4!   Chrysler also mentions EV and PHEV versions of the popular Town and Country minivan will also be produced.   Chrysler says they will demonstrate 100 Town and Country’s and 100 Rams across the diverse landscape and climate of the United States to insure feasibility.  Chrysler will also deliver 165 T&C cargo minivans to the United States Postal Service for testing as potential fleet replacement vehicles.  They go on to say “ENVI has created numerous partnerships with energy providers and utility companies in order to develop an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure that will efficiently service its electric-vehicle test fleet.”  I know about one possible partnership that Chrysler has for supplying fast charging stations and that is a company called Aker Wade which is based in Charlottesville, VA.  Aker Wade manufactures fast charging stations that take in 480 volts AC and deliver 400 to 600 amps at lower voltage to charge battery packs in a matter of minutes.   Aker Wade could make Chrysler the next fleet supplier of the United States Postal Service.

Like I have said before, Chrysler has a good idea of making say three drive trains, the EV drive train, the PHEV drive train, and the EV Range Extention drive train.  Then placing any body on any of those drive trains.  This way the public can have more choices when they shop for a new car.  This will also lower producation cost and allow Chrysler to turn a profit quicker than any other idea I have heard thus far.  I can’t wait to see what Chrysler can come up with, lets just hope they stay out of the financial hole.

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