Chrysler LLC will offer a start/stop system
The system is expected to increase fuel economy 5 percent. Essentially, the vehicle's engine shuts off when the driver stops for a traffic light, for example, and starts when the driver releases the brake pedal.
Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president of product development, told Automotive News that what he calls micro hybrids will be introduced "pretty soon." No timetable was offered.
Klegon estimated that the system will cost Chrysler several hundred dollars per vehicle.
Chrysler would not disclose the source of the technology or say which vehicles will get the system. Several other automakers offer the system: BMW uses a Bosch-supplied system in Europe, for instance, and the Smart ForTwo has a Valeo system.
Last week at the auto show here, Klegon unveiled Chrysler LLC's first Two Mode hybrids, the 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid and 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid. The vehicles have a 385-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 and an electrically variable transmission.
On city streets, the vehicles will run on electric power to about 25 mph, when the gasoline engine kicks in. Chrysler expects an overall 25 percent increase in fuel economy in city and highway driving. On city streets, the increase is expected to be nearly 40 percent. Sales begin midsummer.
Speaking of the two hybrids, Klegon said: "There is a whole trail of things coming behind them. You will see introductions of mild stuff as well as more applications of the Two Mode." No timetable was offered.
Chrysler is a partner in the Hybrid Development Center in suburban Detroit, which it operates with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The companies jointly developed the overall modular Two Mode hybrid system and the individual components.
"Within the partnership," Klegon said, "we are into the next generation of design and development for hybrids, and that is to focus on costs, weight."