DaimlerChrysler is developing
hybrid car technology on their own and in conjunction
with BMW and General Motors in a cooperative agreement.
In the cooperative agreement, all three auto manufacturers
will build hybrids using GM's dual-mode hybrid system.
But, DaimlerChrysler has
also developed its own hybrid technology, which it will
use in its Dodge ESX3, Smart ForTwo and Smart Crosstown
ESX3 is currently a concept car, which may roll into
production as early as 2007 and offers a staggering 72 mpg in
fuel economy. The Dodge ESX3 combines the power of a diesel
1.5-liter direct-injection three-cylinder engine with a 20 hp
magnetic electric motor. The body of the ESX3 is an all aluminum
frame, housed in high-impact plastic, providing for a very light
2,250 lb. vehicle.
Smart ForTwo hybrid car will likely hit showrooms
in the later part of 2007. The Smart ForTwo will be sold under
the Mercedes label as is considered a mini city car than runs
at a quaint 1,600 lbs. and a mere 8-feet in length. The Smart
ForTwo and its sister car, the Crosstown are considered European
models, good for parking in tight spaces. The ForTwo is a two-seater
mild hybrid that can achieve 52 - 60 mph for the gasoline version
and 81 - 98 mph for the diesel version.
The DaimlerChrysler Smart Crosstown is a prototype that
has been shown in Europe that is not expected to make it
anytime soon to the U. S. shores. The Smart Crosstown uses
a 45 kw / 61 hp gasoline engine (the same as the Smart ForTwo)
plus a 23 kw electric motor and achieves 59 mpg in fuel
economy. The Crosstown features start-stop capabilities,
drive assistance from the electric motor during startup
and regenerative braking, which the Smart ForTwo does not.
Through the partnership with General Motors, DaimlerChrysler
is slated to roll out its Dodge
Durango Hybrid SUV in 2007. The Durango hybrid
will be manufactured at DaimlerChrysler's Newark, Delaware
plant using the GM hybrid powertrain. The Dodge
Ram Hybrid Truck went into production in 2004
but remains available for sale only as a fleet vehicle.
DaimlerChrysler seems to have taken perhaps a larger leap in
technology than is necessary at this point past hybrid cars
and onto hydrogen cars, developing the largest fleet of fuel
cell vehicles in the world. In taking this leap, DaimlerChrysler
has also developed the Mercedes
F600 Hygenius, which is a hydrogen hybrid-electric
fuel cell vehicle, combining the advantages of both hybrid vehicles
and hydrogen vehicles.
With DaimlerChrysler's investment is new technologies,
it is only a matter of time until more hybrid cars, truck
and SUVs enter the automaker's lineup and start to become