Green ENVI for Chrysler ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Green ENVI for Chrysler

Monday, September 17, 2007

Green ENVI for Chrysler

I spend a lot of time talking about Ford, GM, Toyota and Honda (and to a lesser extent, Nissan) because they are the companies with hybrid cars on the market today. But lately, a lot of other companies are starting to get their green initiatives going, either through partnerships or their own hybrid research. Smaller automotive companies, including Porsche, are getting in on hybrid technology because of government pressure on them to reduce emissions.

However, of the Big Three, DaimlerChrysler has been the one company completely behind the others. Chrysler did develop a hybrid diesel Dodge Ram a decade ago for testing, but it never made it past that point.

In the coming years, Chrysler will be introducing their first full hybrid models, the Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid. Both SUV models will be based on the two-mode hybrid system they developed with GM and BMW. The dual-mode hybrid system is said to improve fuel economy by 25% over the gas only models.

Chrysler also has the ForTwo Micro Hybrid. A small two seater, the Smart Micro Hybrid has a mild hybrid system which can improve fuel economy in the Smart vehicle from 8 to 20%. But the car itself is so small I have a hard time envisioning the hybrid making a huge impact here in the US, if it even comes to these shores. I imagine it will be similar to the Insight, and appeal to a certain segment, but won't have a mass appeal.

In the meantime, Chrysler is finally setting up their own engineering division to design and build hybrid vehicles. It will be called ENVI (short for environment) and will be located in Detroit. Chrysler is hoping the new engineering division will bring about the next generation of hybrids under the nameplates of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.

"The creation of ENVI allows us to focus on the development of a new generation of environmentally responsible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles," Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said.

It seems ENVI is focusing in on developing hybrid or electric vehicles that can stand on their own, rather than reworking existing models. For that, they'll use the dual-mode hybrid system (or mild hybrid systems).

Part of the success of the Prius has been not having a more conventional gas-only engine for comparison. Toyota is looking to expand the Prius line into several different models, but as hybrids only. Honda is looking to produce a hybrid only family sedan to replace the Accord Hybrid (built for performance, not fuel economy) and the Insight (small two seater). So Chrysler could be following a very successful trend by creating a hybrid only vehicle in the coming years.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I currently own a honda civic hybrid & a Chrysler pacifica. I use the honda for commuting to work some 40+ miles round trip. I really don't like this vehicle but i can't beat the gas mileage it gets 40-42 mpg. Its a shame that with what is going on with the merger between Chrysler & GM that Envi hasn't put they're cars into production sooner. They look like a homerun from my stand point Especially driving something like the Wrangler unlimited Electric with gas assist motor. I would dump my honda in a second. Fun cars would strike a cord with the american public not hybrid econo boxes with no style.....

Anonymous said...

I currently own a honda civic hybrid & a Chrysler pacifica. I use the honda for commuting to work some 40+ miles round trip. I really don't like this vehicle but i can't beat the gas mileage it gets 40-42 mpg. Its a shame that with what is going on with the merger between Chrysler & GM that Envi hasn't put they're cars into production sooner. They look like a homerun from my stand point Especially driving something like the Wrangler unlimited Electric with gas assist motor. I would dump my honda in a second. Fun cars would strike a cord with the american public not hybrid econo boxes with no style.....

Mike said...

Given how little support Chrysler has put into their hybrids so far, I have little or no faith that any of the electric cars they showed off are on their way to production.

Post a Comment

Comments posted on Hybrid Car Review will be moderated. Please avoid dropping links just for the sake of links. The comment will be deleted shortly after. Keep comments on topic and non-abusive. Thanks!

Automotive Parts

E-Bay Motors

 

  © Link to Privacy Policy

Back to TOP