Chrysler Wants Made In America EV Batteries

Chrysler's ENVI division is looking for batteries made near its assembly plants and Boston Power might be a likely candidate, speculates Jim Motavalli.

Published: 19-Jan-2009

There are definitely lithium-ion batteries under the hood of the bright orange Dodge Circuit electric sports car that Chrysler unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But if the car goes into production they may well have another manufacturer’s name on them.

Carmakers are being very cagey about their battery suppliers because they’re in an international race to find the best technology, especially if it is accompanied by significant manufacturing capacity. Few carmakers are actually in the battery business, so they’re unusually dependent on outside manufacturers, some of which are fairly recent startups.

On the floor in Detroit, Lou Rhodes, president of Chrysler’s ENVI division, was standing next to the Circuit with a proprietary air. The company has shown no less than five electric and hybrid prototype vehicles (including a minivan and two Jeeps), and it says one will be in production by 2010, and three more on the market by the end of 2013.


The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.


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