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DaimlerChrysler Hybrid Cars

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 cars.

The Dodge 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.


DaimlerChrysler Mercedes Smart Crosstown Hybrid Car


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The DaimlerChrysler 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 standard equipment.