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Chrysler & EPA will announce R&D project

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce the creation of a research and development project evaluate new automotive technology.

According to an EPA press release, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and EPA Admininstrator Lisa Jackson will make the formal announcement on Wednesday, January 19 at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The project is designed to “explore and evaluate an innovative drive train technology for light duty vehicles.”

The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in was opened in 1971, shortly after the creation of the EPA. The NVFEL provides emission testing services in support of EPA operations including rulemaking, enforcement actions, and procedures development. The NVFEL is responsible for certifying vehicles and engines meet federal standards for fuel economy and emissions. It also tests engines for in-use compliance and analyzes fuels, fuel additives, and exhaust compounds. The NVFEL currently employs about 400 people.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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