The bankrupt Chrysler has submitted a proposal to the Department of Energy to match the $224 million that it and its partners plan on devoting to the development and production of plug-in automobiles. The funds would fall under the DOE’s program designed to promote the United States’ electric vehicle infrastructure.
Of the $448 million total allotment, Chrysler plans on using up to $83 million to construct an R&D/manufacturing hub in Michigan. The remaining $365 million would be used towards unveiling a “demonstration” fleet of 365 cars, which a select group of partners would be able to show off and test. The completion date for the construction project is set for 2010, after which they hope to churn out 20,000 vehicles a year.
Not coincidentally, this proposal has come out a day before a judge is set to rule on the company’s plans to sell many of its most valuable assets. The purchasing company is owned by the Canadian and U.S. governments, Italian carmaker Fiat Spa, and Chrysler’s union.
Taking into consideration Chrysler’s continuing financial woes and its competition, the 20,000 vehicle a year goal is clearly optimistic . However, the company’s ENVI unit has quietly been working on the underlying battery technology and design for a couple years. They plan on rolling out several models utilizing an electric platform, including a Chrysler Town & Country plug-in hybrid, a Dodge Circuit EV (both pictured), and a Jeep Wrangler hybrid.
At least one model is scheduled to be available by 2010.