Chrysler works with US EPA to develop hybrid technology

A deal between US auto giant Chrysler and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will see the two work to develop and adapt hydraulic hybrid technology for the light-duty automobile market.

The goal of the partnership is to design a Chrysler minivan as a demonstration vehicle using EPA’s own patented technology. It is anticipated that the hydraulic hybrid technology will increase overall fuel efficiency by 30–35 per cent and reduce overall greenhouse-gas emissions by 25 per cent.

EPA’s hydraulic hybrid technology, developed in the agency’s lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is already being used by large delivery and refuse trucks across the US.

The new partnership seeks to bring the same technology to passenger vehicles. A joint engineering team will design and integrate the hydraulic hybrid system into the minivan, and test the demonstration vehicle in 2012. The minivan will feature a powertrain that replaces the automatic transmission.

Other key engineering partners working on this project include FEV of Auburn Hills, Michigan, and the Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio, Texas.