Chrysler Joins the Party
Chrysler has decided to play with the cool kids and has unveiled three prototypes that use its new electric drive technology. The good news is that this isn't just for car shows; they intend to produce one of the three in late 2010, with a smaller number of EVs going out to fleets for testing in 2009.
The three prototypes are a sports car, a minivan and a SUV. Read on for more details on each. Chrysler's Electric Vehicle Technology
Chrysler's EV technology has been designed for two different usages:
100% electric cars, with only an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack and a power controller. "The electric-drive system is being developed for front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive vehicle applications."
"Range-extended" vehicles, which are basically series plug-in hybrids like the GM Volt. These would have all the elements mentioned above, but also a small gasoline engine to act as generator when the batteries run out of power. This engine would not drive the wheels directly, it would only generate electricity.
Based on the Lotus Europa S, the Dodge EV prototype is an electric rear-wheel-drive sports car. The electric-drive system consists of a 200 kW (268 hp) electric motor that can generate a huge 480 lb-ft of torque pretty much from 0 RPM, a 26 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an integrated power controller.
0 to 60 performance is under 5 second. Quarter-mile is 13 seconds. Top speed is 120+ mph.
Driving range is 150-200 miles. It takes 8 hours to recharge the battery pack from a 110v outlet, but you can cut that to 4 hours with 220v.
It is basically very close to the Tesla electric Roadster.
Unlike the all-electric Dodge EV (above), the Jeep EV is a Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV), or a plug-in series hybrid.
Showing that weight and aerodynamics matter, the Jeep EV has a 27 kWh lithium-ion battery pack - more than the Dodge EV - but its all electric range is only 40 miles. After that, a gasoline engine kicks in and extends the range to about 400 miles (with 8 gallons of gas).