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Chrysler turns green with Envi

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by tonybelding, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    #1 tonybelding, Sep 13, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  2. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I keep getting "page not redirecting properly" error.:confused::confused:
     
  3. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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  4. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    By default I surf with "cookies" turned off, that's why it didn't work for me. First time I've ever had that error though.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Chrysler ENVI

    media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=7294&mid=1

    …” Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 13, 2007 - Chrysler LLC announced today the creation of ENVI — a new organization responsible for bringing electric-drive vehicles and related advanced-propulsion technologies to market. Lou Rhodes has been appointed President — ENVI. “…
     
  6. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I think this news could be highly important. But to explain why, I'll have to delve into a murky realm of rumors and speculation.

    First some background. . . The conjoined DaimlerChrysler AG was one of the world's conservative, traditional, backward-looking companies. Chrysler's product line was focused on retro styling, Jeep SUVs and Dodge Ram trucks, and hemi V8 engines left over from the 1970s. They turned almost all of their R&D over to the German side of DaimlerChrysler, which was hardly any better. The Germans were looking primarily to a future of diesel engines -- and maybe hydrogen fuel cells someday in the far-distant future. They had very little in hybrids and virtually nothing going in BEVs or PHEVs.

    Chrysler actually had GEM NEVs and PHEV Dodge Sprinter Vans for sale, but showed no sign of moving that technology toward mainstream passenger cars.

    So, now we get into the juicy rumors. . . The one I heard is that DaimlerChrysler AG got into some sort of discussion with Tesla Motors, with a proposed joint venture to produce a PHEV. The rumor is silent about whether the talks ever led to anything at all.

    Well, it could just be something that somebody dreamed up. That's how it goes with rumors. (Remember the one about White Star being based on a Ford Focus? Ha!) However, this one would make a fair amount of sense if it were true. DaimlerChrysler executives must have begun to realize how far behind they are falling in electric powertrain technology. With GM and Toyota racing to produce a PHEV, and Mitsubishi, Subaru and Nissan showing BEV concept cars, there's a growing threat to companies who aren't invested in this technology.

    It could also make some kind of sense for Tesla, since they could design "Blue Star" as a PHEV and have a reliable source of internal combustion engines to put in it, and perhaps even use a DaimlerChrysler factory to assemble it. They would benefit from access to DaimlerChrysler's resources.

    Now we have Daimler and Chrysler going their separate ways. Chrysler is left without much in the way of R&D assets, since Daimler keeps most of those. They need a fresh start. Regardless of whether a deal was ever reached between DaimlerChrysler and Tesla, Chrysler's management is surely aware of any discussions which may have taken place.

    So. . . Here's Chrysler forming their own new division. “ENVI will operate as a ‘start-up’ with an entrepreneurial environment," according to Chrysler, but will have access to Chrysler's resources (newly bolstered with cash from Cerberus).

    It sounds as though Chrysler want to create their own internal organization as a substitute for Tesla. ENVI will fill the same role within Chrysler that Tesla would (hypothetically) have filled in a venture with DaimlerChrysler.

    Of course, saying is one thing and doing is another. It's very easy for pointy-haired management types to toss out buzzwords like "entrepreneurial environment" and "facilitate a speed-to-market development process" and "exploring new and unique ways of engaging target customers". Meanwhile, the whole venture could be easily sunk by corporate politics.

    Also, Tesla have been working on the Roadster for something like four years now. ENVI will be starting from near zero. They'll be counting on those CerberusChrysler resources as they try to play catch-up. It won't happen overnight, if it happens at all.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Compared to GM, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, (etc) Tesla is so small.

    If any of the giants decide they want to make a splash in some area they can potentially throw so much money and staff at something that the results could come quickly.

    Sure we tend to point out that they have so much momentum in the wrong direction that bureaucracy and red tape prevent them from doing things quickly, but there are many tales of "skunkworks" sprouting up with the opportunity to "cherry pick" what they need from the "mother ship" to work miracles in short order.
     
  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I again go back to the bible of EV making, "The Car that Could" where the story is told that GM had the Impact group in a separate building running independently. Amazing story especially because the company was so schizophrenic in making / not wanting the car.

    (Book Spoiler) The weirdest moment for me in the tale of getting the EV1 to market was when higher-ups placed the lobbyist working against the CARB mandate in the building with the EV1 builders! That had to be creepy.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    What's good about all these companies (new Subaru and Chrysler announcements) is that the public's EV education will be more pervasive.

    Wouldn't it be nice if they could all band together to teach in a cohesive way that an EV is unique in it's care and feeding and how they may not be an ideal form of primary transportation for all.

    They need to start with a website like EV-Answers.com then go with some "news" stories in print and finally TV spots.
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    That depends on how you define "quickly". It typically takes GM about three to four years to bring a new car to market, from first design to rolling them off the assembly line. That's even with no radical new technology involved, just an ordinary new car platform. (Take a look at the new Camaro for an example.)
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    (I merged two ENVI related topics together into this one now)
     
  12. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Dodge ZEO & Jeep Renegade concepts

    Thanks to AutoblogGreen. . .

    Detroit 2008: Dodge ZEO BEV sports car - AutoblogGreen

    This car seems highly Tesla-inspired. It reads a lot like the WhiteStar wish list, aside from being a 2+2 layout. However, if you start digging into the specifications given -- battery capacity, curb weight and range -- they appear wildly optimistic. I have to wonder if these numbers were just pulled out of thin air.

    I haven't yet seen any photos, and I have to wonder if Dodge are even showing this car, or if they are just handing out drawings. That would take the idea of a "concept car" to a whole new level of unreality.


    Detroit 2008: Jeep Renegade diesel RE-EV - AutoblogGreen

    This seems to be somewhat more real than the Zeo, at least they have what appear to be photos -- they could easily have been done in a computer.

    Anyhow, I would love to see Jeep go in this direction with a future product.


    Oh, almost forgot this. . .

    Detroit 2008: Chrysler ecoVoyager fuel cell RE-EV concept - AutoblogGreen

    No photos. I can imagine the sound of crickets chirping when this was revealed.
     
  13. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Envi

    Addendum. . .

    Here's a report pointing out the role of ENVI in all this:

    Concepts hint at Chrysler's greener future

    Chrysler will seek customer opinions on the powertrains and styling of the vehicles during the Detroit auto show to help guide its developments of electric vehicles, said Frank Klegon, executive vice president for product development."

    "We set them aside and let them run real fast," said Klegon, who is co-chairman of the group. "The intent at the end of the day is to produce a production vehicle."
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #14 TEG, Jan 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
    cn008_010dg_450-op.jpg
    cn008_007dg-450.jpg

    On interesting thing is that their concepts appear to use bundles with lots of small cells much like Tesla did with their ESS.
    This is a departure from the large format Li-Ions we were seeing from Altair-Nano and such.
     
  15. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Well, at a minimum, manufacturers are realizing electrics are in demand...and a BEV like this one may be THE electric to produce. I'd take this over a Volt in a heartbeat, as it's 100% oil-free. But you are correct, this is going to be expensive to live up to those specs. I too would like to know more about it, but am thankful SOMEBODY is listening!
     
  16. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    One of the frustrating aspects of this is how long the cycle times are in the car business. Now everybody wants to show off an electric-drive concept car, but if you look at the cars they are actually rolling out for sale to the public this year. . . They're big trucks with big V8 engines, muscle cars with big V8 engines, pony cars with big V8 engines, etc.

    They're all cars that began the design process back when gasoline was $1.25.

    And that only makes car companies more timid now, they're afraid they'll start designing penny-pinching, super-green EVs today, and when they roll out to the public in 2012 then gasoline may be $1.25 again. (Which can't really happen, of course, but that's the way some of them think.)
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Great news from the "Tesla Gets Others Off Their Butts" chapter in the big EV history book.

    Pics here: Autoblog
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #18 vfx, Jan 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
    Was not there a Volvo that looked just like this?
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    You mean the "Re-Charge" ?
     
  20. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Which again is just the regular C30 body with new drivetrain. You can buy the C30 with a good diesel engine today in Norway. I suppose not in the US since you don't like diesels yet.

    A funny thing about the C30 is that coming at you directly from the front it looks exactly like a large Volvo sedan until it gets closer and you see the car kind of suddenly stops :)

    Cobos
     

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