Annual Report 2016

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Electric and Hybrid Technologies

Transitioning the market toward electrification

In 2016, FCA started production of the new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the industry's first electrified minivan.
It earned a fuel economy rating of 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and is expected to provide an estimated range of 33 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power. The 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is capable of being recharged in approximately two hours using a Level 2 240 volt charger. When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid operates like a conventional hybrid.

The Chrysler Pacifica follows FCA's first battery electric vehicle for mass production, the Fiat 500e, which began production in late 2012. The Fiat 500e launched in the US with an EPA label of 108 highway MPGe rating and class leading 87 miles of combined city/highway driving range.

Additional electrification technologies applicable to rear- and all-wheel drive based vehicles are also being developed, including a mild hybrid using belt starter generator (BSG) technology. BSG offers improvement in fuel economy and a reduction in CO2 emissions at a relatively low cost.

 

An all-electric concept vehicle, the Chrysler Portal, was unveiled in early 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (U.S.). The Chrysler Portal Concept is a forward-thinking interpretation of a next generation of family transportation, focused toward the millennial generation. This concept vehicle has an estimated driving range of more than 250 miles on a full charge, and its next-generation DC Fast Charge (350 kW) technology recharges the battery pack with 150 miles of range, in less than 20 minutes. This concept vehicle is designed with an array of sensor technologies that have the potential to be upgraded to higher levels of autonomous driving mode as technology progresses, if desired.

FCA is also working on electrified solutions in the EMEA region. The Group supports public and private sector pilot projects, aimed at overcoming existing barriers, and testing the market potential for widespread application of electric vehicles, particularly for urban use. In Europe, a car-sharing service was established with the City of Turin (Italy). FCA provided a fleet of eight all-electric Fiat 500e vehicles, which have traveled in 2016 approximately 31,000 km around the city center.

In addition, the collaboration as Official Global Partner for sustainable mobility within the framework of Expo Milano 2015, where 10 Fiat 500e were used as part of the event fleet, was successfully concluded. FCA was provided with real world data on vehicle usage and consumer preferences on electric vehicles. In 2016, FCA has launched an internal car-sharing initiative using part of Fiat 500e EXPO 2015 fleet. This sustainable program is designed to improve employee transportation between Orbassano and Mirafiori FCA sites.

FCA complements its own research and development efforts on hybrid and electric technologies with collaborations with external partners:

  • ongoing work with McMaster University in Canada focuses on developing next-generation, energy efficient, high performance electrified powertrain components, suitable for a range of vehicle applications. The collaboration has already contributed to the expansion of FCA employees' competencies and skill sets in the field of electric/hybrid vehicles, with FCA hiring graduating Master's students from the university.
  • OPTEMUS, a collaborative project, is aimed at extending the driving range of electric and plug-in hybrid cars, focusing on low/high ambient temperatures and real driving style, and leveraging low energy consumption and energy harvesting.