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Chrysler signs battery deal

Super charged: The sporty Dodge Circuit electric vehicle.

Chrysler signs battery deal with A123Systems for its ENVI electric vehicle plan

Chrysler logo7 Apr 2009

CHRYSLER has signed an agreement with A123Systems to supply battery packs for its planned ENVI electric vehicle range.

The news comes a week after president Barack Obama ordered the company to come up with a new survival plan within 30 days to qualify for $US6 billion loans it needs to avoid bankruptcy.

Chrysler plans to introduce its first electric vehicle as early as next year, and is also working on a range of hybrids.

A123Systems is an American company with plans to set up a factory in Michigan, and has applied for $US1.84 billion in funding from the US energy department to fit-out its production line.

For automotive applications, it produces an advanced form of lithium ion battery which it says uses a nanophosphate lithium ion prismatic cell.

Chrysler has already used the A123Systems battery technology in previous concept cars rolled out under the ENVI banner, including the five electric vehicles presented at the Detroit Motor Show – the Dodge Circuit EV, Jeep Wrangler EV, Jeep Patriot EV, Chrysler Town & Country EV and the Chrysler 200C EV.

While it seems like a strange time to announce a tie up for future model development, the chief of Chrysler’s ENVI division, Lou Rhodes, told Associated Press that the financial troubles at the company had not slowed its electric vehicle development.

A123Systems was also in the running to supply the batteries for the General Motors Volt, but lost out to LG Chem.

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