Also see the January concepts: Dodge Circuit EV and Jeep Patriot EV
The three cars introduced on September 23 are production-intent; at least one will be produced in 2010 for North America (and is planned to hit Europe afterwards), and talks in December indicate all three will make the cut. Chrysler also plans to have one hundred electric vehicles on the road in fleet use in 2009.
According to Lou Rhodes, Chrysler's vice president for advanced vehicle engineering, Chrysler's strategy hinges on low cost, using existing designs. The electric cars would, like the old electric minivans, be built on the same assembly lines as gas-engined cars, allowing Chrysler to vary its electric/gas mix as customer demand merits.
Development of Chrysler’s electric vehicles is led by its ENVI group. “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.”
ENVI has a great deal of past work to build on, including GEM’s work in neighborhood electric cars (such as the upcoming Peapod) and the successful all-electric 1990s minivans, EPIC and TEVan.
Chrysler’s Electric Vehicles use three primary components: an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery system, 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. Frank Klegon said that the system was being designed for a 150-200 mile driving range, while 80% of Americans drive under 40 miles per day. “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.”
The Range-extended Electric Vehicle combines electric-drive components 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.
The Dodge EV is a two-passenger, rear-wheel-drive sports car that marries high performance with zero tailpipe emissions. Like the Tesla, the EV is a sports car with high horsepower (a 200 kW or 268 horsepower electric motor), and even higher torque (650 Nm or 480 lb-ft). The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor delivers outstanding performance, accelerating the Dodge EV to 60 mph in less than five seconds, with quarter-mile times of 13 seconds. The Dodge EV has a top speed of more than 120 mph.
The Dodge EV has a continuous driving range of 150 to 200 miles and is recharged with standard 110-volt household current for eight hours. The recharge time can be cut in half to four hours by using a 220-volt appliance power outlet.
The Jeep EV development vehicle is a Range-extended Electric Vehicle that provides a glimpse into the future of a “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” vehicle with renowned Jeep Wrangler capability.
The Jeep EV combines Wrangler’s unmatched off-road capability with the ultimate “Tread Lightly” mindset by providing nature ambassadors with the ability to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time.
The Jeep EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle uses an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system, and a small gasoline engine with an integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed. The 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor generates 400 N•m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque. With approximately eight gallons of gasoline, the Jeep EV has a range of 400 miles, including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions, all-electric operation.
“We are also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of ENVI’s advanced electric-drive technologies,” said Rhodes.
The instant high torque of the electric-drive motor and the ability to precisely control each wheel independently results in off-road capability ideally suited for the Jeep brand, without compromising on-road driving capability.
The Chrysler EV is a range-extended electric version of the 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.
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 can drive 40 miles on all-electric power, with a range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline.
In contrast, the original Chrysler TEVan, produced in the early 1990s, used a 54 kilowatt motor, with a top speed of 65 mph and a range of 80 miles on lead-acid batteries designed to last 20 years or 100,000 miles. The EPIC extended that range to 120 miles.
Also see the GEM Peapod
| Dodge Circuit EV | Jeep Patriot EV
Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.
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