Chrysler to launch a hybrid SUV
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 30, 2007
Chrysler will launch hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs according to a report from CNNMoney.com. It will be the automaker’s first hybrid engine car.
The SUVs will use the so-called “two-mode” hybrid system developed in a partnership between Chrysler, General Motors, and BMW. The V-8 engine will use “electric motors to provide additional power, allowing the gasoline engine to work more efficiently and to shut off altogether whenever the vehicle is stopped,” reports CNNMoney.com. “Batteries for the electric motors are charged using power from the gasoline engine.”
Chrysler says the SUVs will be 40 percent for fuel efficient under city driving conditions and 25 percent more fuel efficient overall, translating to just under 19 miles per gallon of gasoline.
Chrysler, GM, and Ford have been fast losing market share to Asia-based automakers that manufacture more efficient models, including the Toyota Prius and hybrid Accord from Honda.
During the first quarter of 2007 Toyota’s car sales surpassed GM for the first time.
Environmentalists have long criticized Detroit for its slowness to build more efficient cars and say that industry troubles can be tied to lack of innovation.