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Old 12-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Chrysler's plan to beat the Chevy Volt




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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Chrysler is pinning a huge part of its future on a plan to produce a full line of electric vehicles, at a reasonable cost to both the carmaker and the consumer.



While General Motors is moving ahead with its Volt electric midsized car, Chrysler says it already has plans in place, not just for electric cars, but also for minivans and even off-road vehicles.



Chrysler's strategy hinges on keeping it cheap. The carmaker will dispense with flashy designs in exchange for low cost and flexibility. And it plans to pile on more electric-powered models quickly once the program launches in 2010.
"We aren't a one-electric-vehicle company," Lou Rhodes, Chrysler's vice president for advanced vehicle engineering, told CNNMoney in an exclusive interview.


Rhodes is also president of Chrysler's ENVI, a separate business division tasked with bringing new electric vehicles to market.


Instead of making one, or just a few, electric-only models, Chrysler will sell the same models in both gasoline-powered and electric-powered versions. This low-cost, high-variety electric-vehicle strategy will play a big part in any comeback plan Chrysler may present in hopes of getting government rescue funding.


Chrysler's strategy substantially cuts costs, Rhodes said, and it reduces the risk of entering uncharted market territory. That will translate into lower costs and more choices for customers.



If gas prices stay low, Chrysler factories will produce more gasoline powered models. If gas prices rise, factories can start rapidly turning out more electric cars since the models are essentially the same.


Chrysler's first electric vehicles will be based on current vehicles. The carmaker hasn't yet announced what the first model will be but, based on prototypes Chrysler revealed in September, it will likely be a minivan, a Jeep Wrangler 4X4 or a 2-seat sports car built in a Lotus body.


At least some of Chrysler's products will be extended-range electric vehicles, like GM (GM, Fortune 500)'s Volt. Because the car's body will not have been designed around optimal weight and aerodynamics, the Chrysler vehicle will need a more powerful electric drive system to provide performance similar to the Volt's. For instance, Chrysler promises the same 40-mile all-electric plug-in range as the Volt. (After that, a small gasoline engine will start up to produce more electricity as the car drives.) But the heavier Jeep prototype has a 27-kilowatt-hour (KwH) battery back compared to the Volt's 16 KwH pack.


Round two


Chrysler's second-generation electric vehicles, which the carmaker plans to start rolling out between 2012 and 2015, will be engineered from the wheels up to use either gasoline or electric power.


No matter which drivetrain the customer chooses, the vehicles will not be compromised, Rhodes insists.
"If you know what you want to achieve up front, you can certainly design that flexibility in up front," he said.
Electric cars will not have useless transmission tunnels running along the center of the floor, he said. If a rear-wheel-drive gasoline car needs that, a different floor will be used when that version is built.


The electric power systems are also being engineered for maximum flexibility, Rhodes said. Bigger, heavier vehicles take more power to move, whether that power is from gasoline or batteries. For gasoline-powered cars, engineers have to design larger and smaller engines for different uses. A small Jeep Compass, for instance, gets a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine while a Jeep Commander SUV can come equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine.


But what if going to a larger engine was as simple as just plugging in more cylinders? Chrysler's electric drivetrains will work something like that. To hold more battery power, larger vehicles will simply get more battery cells. The cells themselves will be exactly the same whether in large or small vehicles. That's important because batteries are the biggest expense of creating an electric car.


"The real economy is in the cells," said Rhodes.
Likewise, the electric motor will be the same. It will just be up-sized for bigger jobs.
"All we change is the length of the rotor and the number of windings to span between different power outputs," Rhodes said.


Even the housing that goes around the motor will be same regardless of the size of the motor . The magnesium housing will be so lightweight that it simply won't be worth the added cost of creating smaller housings for the downsized motors, Rhodes said.


Electric cars aren't just a side-show or a public relations move for Chrysler, Rhodes insists, but a major strategic move. Through its GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) subsidiary, Chrysler already claims to be the largest seller of electric vehicles in the U.S. But those are so-called "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles," ultra-light cars with a top speed limited to 25 miles per hour. Chrysler claims sales of 40,000 GEM cars over the last 10 years. With its new plan, Chrysler plans to produce over 500,000 electric vehicles by 2013.
"This is going to be a big deal for Chrysler," he said.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/15/auto...on=money_autos
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
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The carmaker will dispense with flashy designs in exchange for low cost and flexibility

OH dear God, they are going to get uglier!!!!
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Yeah, but now they will be powered by AA batteries.....
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The carmaker will dispense with flashy designs in exchange for low cost and flexibility

OH dear God, they are going to get uglier!!!!

I thought the author was trying to insert some humor into the article
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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Why did it take the big car makers until 2008 to realize this??????

Who was feeding them money not to mass produce alternative propulsion vehicles???
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The carmaker will dispense with flashy designs in exchange for low cost and flexibility

OH dear God, they are going to get uglier!!!!
I was thinking the same thing.

Overall though, I think this article is completely a work of fiction. I honestly think that unless Chrysler has already secretly partnered with another automaker (probably Chinese) to get these cars on the road, that none of these vehicles are ever going to see the light of day. They are just blowing smoke up someone's rear end in hopes of some miracle will save them. They have got some of the worst vehicles on the road right now, so for them to come out with something extraordinary would be a hell of a shocker.

I really hope I'm wrong and they indeed are serious about this, but if that was the case, somebody would have leaked some rumors out by now. THere would have been spyshots of something on the net. Instead we have gotten almost complete silence from them over the last few years in terms of their R&D plans.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:19 PM   #7
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Hazdaz, they have shown off some ENVI concepts: an electric Jeep, minivan, and a Lotus Europa. that's not to say that their plans aren't complete bunk, especially the timeline.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:56 AM   #8
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^^ Dude, showing off a non-functioning (or not fully functioning) prototype, or a $1M one-off is one thing, but actually bringing real, working vehicles out to production for a reasonable price is something completely different.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Imagine the guy with the electric wrangler that figures he can ford as deep as he wants thinking the engine doesn't need air. Then finding out what electrical components are sealed....

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Old 12-18-2008, 12:03 PM   #10
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Wonder if they called Subaru Design in Japan for some "help", that's a sure way to get to ugly fast.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
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Default Chrysler looking to close 64 GEM stores



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Chrysler, owners of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), is looking to close 64 of its franchised retail outlets due to slow sales and low demand.

The GEM electric-vehicles, which include six-passenger or utility models, are mainly used in low-speed limit neighborhoods (such as corporate campuses) or on public roads with a speed limit of less than 35 mph.

Chrysler says that their move to close isn’t because GEMs are selling poorly, but because sales are poor at specific store locations. ”Many are not located in areas where GEMs do well,” a spokesperson said. Most GEM customers run private corporate fleets, but a growing number are individuals who live in planned communities where low-speed transport is a viable option
http://www.egmcartech.com/
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:20 PM   #12
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image that, people do not want a slow poor performing electric car. I can't imagine why
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:27 PM   #13
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Is a plan really needed to beat the Volt? It will fail on it's own...
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #14
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Is a plan really needed to beat the Volt? It will fail on it's own...
really, like GM is going to give the taxpayer 50 billion back,with all the profit they make 0n the Volt..Not!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:39 PM   #15
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I want a hybrid Wrangler.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:12 AM   #16
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I want a hybrid Wrangler.
^^This
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #17
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Just give me a ****ing diesel wrangler you dumb bastards!
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:55 AM   #18
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^^Yup; diesel makes much more sense in an SUV than electric.

Quote:
The GEM electric-vehicles, which include six-passenger or utility models, are mainly used in low-speed limit neighborhoods (such as corporate campuses) or on public roads with a speed limit of less than 35 mph.

Most GEM customers run private corporate fleets, but a growing number are individuals who live in planned communities where low-speed transport is a viable option
This to me is a much more sensible use for electric vehicles than as a replacement for regular cars. (at least in the short term)
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