Chrysler believes there’s a significant margin to improve internal-combustion engines efficiency. However, as the price of oil increases and as new trends (such as electric cars) become to gain relevance in the market, Chrysler is worried about losing in sales. This is probably the main factor that makes it invest on alternative fuels. However, so far, those investments are only reflected on a really small scale. One of the most recent projects developed by the Chrysler Group was a limited edition of “bi-fuel trucks that run on a combination of CNG and gasoline”. Chrysler as the brand inside the group hasn’t done much more than developing an electric concept car in 2009 – the Chrysler 200C EV concept. It was a sort of an hybrid in the way that it was assisted by a small gasoline engine to produce energy to extend the base range of 40 to 400 miles. Other than that, Chrysler recently had in hands an unusually interesting project related electric power. Partnered with NextEnergy technology, Chrysler evaluated the possibility of using electric cars to transfer power to the grid. This would offer several advantages:
- “Reduced reliance on “spinning reserve“ – the expensive practice of having huge generatiors at the ready to balance spikes in energy deman”
- “Putting money into the pockets of EV owners”
- Using solar panels, “EVs could provide a ray of a sunshine in the form of supplemental power”
Serving as test cars for this project, four electrified minivans were used.
This project, like similar ones before related with “alternative fuels”, is yet to be reflected on Chysler’s vehicle lineup.
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