Chrysler Group LLC today announced that it will begin building an all-electric car in 2012 and will also roll out 140 Ram plug-in hybrid pick-up trucks for a three-year demonstration project starting in 2011.
The pure electric vehicle, to be built on the Fiat 500 platform, will be composed of three main systems: a high-power electric powertrain module; a lithium-ion battery and an EV control unit. Chrysler says it will be manufacturing the Fiat 500EV for the United States market in 2012.
The Ram plug-in hybrid pick-up truck will be built as part of a $48 million grant from the Department of Energy’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act electrification program. It will use Chrysler’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with a two-mode transmission and a 12 kW-hr lithium-ion battery, with an all-electric range of about 20 miles. The battery maker for the project will be Electrovaya, Inc.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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