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Chrysler gets electric

Teaming up with its in-house electric-drive production/advanced technology team, ENVI, Chrysler have already fitted the Grand Voyager, the Jeep Wrangler and a Dodge performance sports car with the advanced electric–drive technology to give consumers a taste of what’s in store.

The car giant will produce a combination of all-electric vehicles, and range-extended vehicles that use a small petrol engine.

The all-electric vehicles use a simple three component system -an electric motor to drive the wheels, a lithium-ion battery to power the electric motor and a controller to manage energy flow.

The range-extended vehicle uses the same three component system but with a small petrol motor and electric generator for additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed.

Dodge EV

The rear-wheel drive Dodge EV is the only all-electric prototype. It produces 200kW and 650Nm and reaches 100kms/h in a very rapid sub five seconds, on its way to a top speed of 120.

With a continuous driving range of around 300kms, Chrysler claims the Dodge EV can travel more than three times the distance of the average daily commute for most Americans before needing a recharge.

Jeep EV

With range-extended electric technology, the Jeep EV produces 200kW and 400Nm. Using around 36 litres of petrol it can travel up to 650kms, including 65kms of all-electric power.

Chrysler EV

Outputting similar numbers to the Jeep for fuel economy, the Chrysler uses a 190kW motor that produces 350Nm of torque. It gets from 0-100kms/h in around nine seconds.

Sadly, none of them look like the three concept vehicles the American brand featured at this year’s Detroit Motor Show in January, but the pentastar bosses are adamant they are serious about alternative fuels.

“We have a social responsibility to our consumers to deliver environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient, advanced electric vehicles, and our intention is to meet that responsibility quickly and more broadly than any other automobile manufacturer,” said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO – Chrysler LLC.

“The introduction of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge electric vehicles provides a glimpse of the very near future, and demonstrates that we are serious and well along in the development of bringing electric vehicles to market.

“We’re not ready to announce what our first electric vehicle production model will be, but we are developing a full portfolio of electric vehicles and range-extended electric vehicles for production.

This technology will be applied to front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive platforms over the next several years.”