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Chrysler developing all-electric Fiat 500EV for U.S. market

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Filed under: Technology, Chrysler, Fiat, Electric

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Chrysler Fiat 500EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

We knew Chrysler was up to something when it showed off an all-electric Fiat 500 at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Today, the automaker has officially announced that it will engineer and produce the Fiat 500EV for the United States, starting in 2012.

As of this writing, details about the 500EV are slim. We do know that the powerplant will be comprised of three main systems - an advanced lithium-ion battery, high-power electric powertrain module and an EV control unit to manage overall power flow. The 500EV will be developed and engineered at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

In more Chrysler EV news, the automaker will be receiving up to $48 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a total of 140 Ram plug-in hybrids. Originally, the automaker had plans to bring a Ram hybrid to market, but due to the slow-selling nature of other gasoline-electric pickups, Chrysler's plans were canned. This new round of electrified trucks will be used in a three-year demonstration project that will aid in expediting the development of vehicle electrification technology. No word on if we'll see a production version of the Ram PHEV anytime soon, however. In the meantime, buyers hoping for a high-mpg Ram can look forward to a light-duty diesel option currently being considered. Hit the jump to read the full details in Chrysler's press release.



[source: Chrysler]

Continue reading Chrysler developing all-electric Fiat 500EV for U.S. market

Chrysler developing all-electric Fiat 500EV for U.S. market originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Mar 2010 10:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Plug-in 500 is expected in '12

BY GREG GARDNER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Chrysler and Fiat will produce a plug-in electric version of the Fiat 500 minicar sometime in 2012 -- the first electric vehicle to be marketed under the partners' alliance.

The powertrain on the new 500EV will feature a lithium-ion battery connected to an electric-vehicle control unit to manage flow of power to the engine.

Every part of the vehicles, except the powertrain, will be assembled in Toluca, Mexico, where Chrysler is launching gasoline-engine versions of the Fiat 500 later this year. The battery is being developed by A123 Systems of Watertown, Mass.

Neither Chrysler nor A123 would say where the batteries will be produced, but in April 2009, the state of Michigan gave the battery company $100 million in tax credits to make lithium-ion batteries in Livonia.

"With the support of the state's leadership and highly-skilled workforce, we expect that our planned new facilities in Michigan will serve as a global product center, powering a new generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks," A123 CEO David Vieau said at the time.

Last August, Vice President Joe Biden announced the U.S. Department of Energy's $249-million grant to A123 for the Livonia plant.

Chrysler is not discussing the 500EV's range, or how far an owner can drive it between rechargings.

Scott Kunselman, Chrysler senior vice president of engineering, said the project is an example of the benefits the Chrysler-Fiat alliance is already generating.

Separately, Chrysler reiterated plans to produce a test fleet of 140 plug-in electric versions of its Dodge Ram pickup with help from a $48-million Department of Energy grant announced last year.

Those battery-powered trucks will mate a lithium-ion battery supplied by Electrovaya with Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine with a two-mode hybrid transmission.

The Ram EV is to be able to travel up to 20 miles on the battery alone. Compared with a conventional gasoline-powered Ram, the Ram EV is expected to get 65% better fuel economy. Chrysler has canceled a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Ram that would not require recharging.

That plan was announced in 2008 and aimed at a 2011 model-year vehicle, but Chrysler said it could not find a viable business case for proceeding.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100323/BUSINESS01/3230326/1210/Plug-in-500-is-expected-in-12

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