Photo: A123 Systems/Chrysler
...But Will Chrysler Survive Long Enough to Make Electric Cars?
Chrysler and A123 Systems have signed an agreement: Chrysler will use "Nanophosphate lithium-ion prismatic cell" batteries from A123 in its ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicles and battery-only Electric Vehicles (the three EV concepts are a Jeep, a minivan and a sports car).
Chrysler Jeep EV. Photo: Chrysler
A123Systems has applied for $1.84 billion in direct loans from the US Department of Energy’s ATVMIP program to support the construction of new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States, with the first construction location in southeast Michigan. There, the company will manufacture the cells, modules and battery packs for Chrysler LLC. [...]
Chrysler has worked with A123Systems, both directly and through USCAR, for more than three years to improve the technology for automotive applications, said Lou Rhodes, Vice President-Advanced Vehicle Engineering and President of ENVI.
So the partnership isn't new, but this takes it to a whole new level... If Chrysler survives and finds the cash to keep developing its EVs.
Of course, part of the point of this partnership might be for Chrysler to be able to tell the US government: "See, we have a plan!"
But even if that works, how long will it take for those cars to come to market? In the short-term, bringing over smaller fuel-efficient cars from Fiat seems more promising. But who knows, maybe in ±5-10 years Chrysler will have re-invented itself and will be making great electric cars, and A123 seems like a perfect partner to help them do that (if the rest of the car is competitive, of course).
Via Technology Review, Green Car Congress, AutoblogGreen
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