Chrysler Working on Hydraulic Hybrid Powertrain

The brave new world of hybrids is about to get a major kick in the proverbial behind, hence one major leap forward, if Chrysler manages to come up with a viable result for the project it announced today.

Together with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chrysler will embark in a quest at the end of which it hopes to find a working hydraulic hybrid system for large passenger cars and light-duty vehicles.

Currently used in industrial applications, the system promises to become a very interesting alternative to the plain internal combustion engine, compared to which it has shown, on the large delivery trucks and refuse trucks it is currently used, a significantly reduced need for fuel.

The mule on which the downsized, less complex system will be tested is a Chrysler Town & Country minivan equipped with a 2.4l, inline four-cylinder gasoline engine. To it, Chrysler and the EPA will connect a 117 cc engine pump, a 45 cc drive electric motor and a two-speed automatic transmission.

Combined, the two powertrains should, in theory, prove to be an interesting alternative to today's hybrids. More details on what can be achieved are expected as the research progresses.

“In this hydraulic hybrid project, the Chrysler Group and EPA will evaluate and, hopefully, validate fuel-efficiency gains and greenhouse gas reductions,” Chrysler CEO Marchionne said.

“One of the aims of Chrysler Group’s integration efforts will be to meet driver expectations for smooth and quiet operation, so that Americans will want to buy and will enjoy driving vehicles with this technology.”
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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