Chrysler, EPA Partnering to Develop Hybrid Technology

Chrysler, EPA Partnering to Develop Hybrid Technology

Goal is to design a Chrysler minivan as a demonstration vehicle.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., earlier this week to announce a cooperative agreement to develop and adapt hydraulic hybrid technology for the light-duty vehicle market.

The EPA and Chrysler anticipate that the hydraulic hybrid technology will increase overall fuel efficiency by 30% to 35% based on 60% city driving and will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.

The goal of the partnership is to design a Chrysler minivan as a demonstration vehicle, using EPA's own patented technology, according to the agency.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: The agency and Chrysler "are working together to explore the possibilities for making this technology affordable and accessible to drivers everywhere."
"Hydraulic hybrid vehicles represent the cutting edge of fuel-efficiency technology and are one of many approaches we're taking to save money for drivers, clean up the air we breathe and cut the greenhouse gases that jeopardize our health and prosperity," Jackson said. "The EPA and Chrysler are working together to explore the possibilities for making this technology affordable and accessible to drivers everywhere. This partnership is further proof that we can preserve our climate, protect our health and strengthen our economy all at the same time."

The EPA's hydraulic hybrid systems captures and reuses the energy lost in braking through a hydraulic pressure vessel. The system also can turn off the engine when it is not needed and only fully use the engine when it can operate at peak efficiency, according to the agency.

The agency noted that its hydraulic hybrid technology, which was developed in the agency's lab in Ann Arbor, is being used in large delivery and refuse trucks across the country.

The EPA-Chrysler partnership "seeks to bring this same cost-effective technology to passenger vehicles," the agency said, noting in a news release that a minivan "can be adapted cost-effectively to the technology because the hydraulic components are widely available in other industries."

"In addition to creating the jobs of the future, clean energy benefits the U.S. economy by ultimately making energy costs more affordable for consumers-especially if their dollars stay in America," Marchionne said. "Hydraulic hybrid vehicle technology is one more promising path worth pursuing in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, and we are excited to partner with the EPA to push forward on this track."

EPA's work for the project will take place at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
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