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Chrysler Developing “Hydraulic” Hybrid Drivetrain

Maker also planning more conventional hybrids for new 300, next-gen minivans.

by on Jan.19, 2011

Chrysler's minivans will get a new hybrid driveline in 2013, said CEO Marchionne.

With the help of the EPA, Chrysler plans to develop an unusual “hydraulic” hybrid system that could prove particularly effective at bumping up the fuel economy of its larger passenger cars and light trucks.

The maker intends to have the new technology ready to demonstrate by 2012, about the same time it will begin rolling out a new, more conventional battery-electric hybrid system that will first appear on the new full-size 300 sedan and various Chrysler minivans.

“Hydraulic hybrid vehicle technology is one more promising path worth pursuing in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, and we are excited to partner with the EPA to push forward on this track,” said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, during an appearance at the Environmental Protection Agency lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he met with EPA Director Lisa Jackson.

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Hydraulic hybrid systems are not entirely new, having found use in industrial applications, including large delivery trucks.  Where conventional automotive hybrid systems recapture energy normally lost during braking, storing it in an onboard battery pack, hydraulic hybrids use a pump to store energy in a special accumulator, at pressures of up to 5,000 psi.

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Chrysler Disbanding ENVI But Maintaining EVs

U.S. maker will lead EV development for Fiat, too.

by on Nov.09, 2009

Chrysler is shutting down its ENVI battery car unit, though the maker insists it will "absorb" the project into its conventional sales divisions.

Chrysler is shutting down its ENVI battery car unit, though the maker insists it will "absorb" the project into its conventional sales divisions.

Despite taking more than eight hours to brief the news media on its plans for the future, Chrysler and its new masters, Fiat, left some gaping holes, last week – notable among them, the company’s intentions, post-bankruptcy, for electric vehicles.

Now, it seems, that question has been answered, Chrysler is eliminating its ENVI electric vehicle unit, though well-placed company sources tells TheDetroitBureau.com that despite some news reports, this morning, it is not eliminating battery car development.

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Quite the contrary.  The U.S. maker will become the “center of excellence” for all electric vehicle development for both its own product programs and those of its Italian parent, Fiat.

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GM Pursuing Chrysler in Court for Holding Out on Payment for 2-Mode Hybrids

Smaller maker sticks GM for work done to develop models like upcoming Ram Hybrid pickup.

by on Jun.23, 2009

If at first you don't go green... Chrysler abandoned the Aspen Hybrid soon after launch but still hopes to come back with a 2-Mode Hybrid Ram pickup next year.  But it's left GM stuck with development cost bills as part of the smaller maker's bankruptcy.

If at first you don't go green... Chrysler abandoned the Aspen Hybrid soon after launch but still hopes to come back with a 2-Mode Hybrid Ram pickup next year. But it's left GM stuck with development cost bills as part of the smaller maker's bankruptcy.

Chrysler isn’t stopping with diesel-engine maker Cummins as the company leverages its time in bankruptcy court to modify its mountain of debt, including costs occurred while developing the current and future versions of its Ram pickup.

Among others left holding the bag is General Motors.  Attorneys for General Motors have filed documents with the court seeking full payment for development and production costs related to the Two-Mode Hybrid powertrain that Chrysler co-developed with GM and other partners, BMW and Daimler AG. GM is Chrysler’s Two-Mode transmission supplier for the upcoming 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Hybrid.

GM’s documents say Chrysler has promised $173,477 to settle $531,275 in costs associated with: open receivables, payments for 2008 manufacturing costs, tooling, pre-production transmissions for the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Two-Mode Hybrid SUVs (which were killed after only two months of production), and supply agreements. The documents also state that Chrysler has assigned all production-related contracts to the “old” Chrysler, the one that effectively vanished when the “new” Chrysler, the one now controlled by Fiat, emerged from bankruptcy.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comUnder Chapter 11, Chrysler’s assets and liabilities were assigned to two entities: Old Chrysler and New Chrysler. Italian automaker Fiat, which recently merged with New Chrysler after that portion of the company emerged from bankruptcy, hasn’t (yet) assumed the Two-Mode Hybrid contract, leaving it with Old Chrysler.  But that doesn’t mean that the deal is dead, or that GM is walking away with holes in its pockets.

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