Chrysler Signs A123Systems as Battery Supplier for its ENVI Program
While its immediate fate still remains contingent on working out a suitable merger agreement with Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A., Chrysler LLC has announced that battery specialist A123Systems will be providing it with scalable advanced Nanophosphate Lithium-ion (Li-ion) prismatic battery cells and modules for use in the firm's upcoming family of ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicles and battery-only electrics. As part of the package, the Massachusetts-based A123Systems will establish a production facility in Michigan to accommodate the manufacture the components.
Chrysler unveiled five zero-emissions vehicles at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit -- the Chrysler 200C EV, Dodge Circuit EV, and EV versions of the Chrysler Town & County, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Patriot EV. At the time, it announced plans to bring at least one of them to market in 2010, although this latest strategic partnership announcement did not indicate which would be the first to make it into the showroom.
In commenting on the arrangement, Lou Rhodes, Vice President-Advanced Vehicle Engineering and President of ENVI, noted that: "Chrysler has successfully worked with A123Systems, both directly and through USCAR, for more than 3 years to improve the technology for automotive applications. We have confidence that by partnering with A123Systems our near-term and long-term electrification goals will be met."