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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.