DaimlerChrysler Building Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

* Advanced battery research will help future hybrid development

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Up to 40 Dodge Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will be placed in operation with customers in California, Kansas City and New York among other locations within the United States. As part of a test fleet program DaimlerChrysler is placing the Dodge Sprinter PHEV with a variety of customers around the world. The company is the only auto manufacturer to investigate the feasibility of plug-in hybrid technology in real world tests.

Plug-in technology lends itself to commercial applications in which the vehicle returns to base after each shift to be plugged into the power grid but also works well in urban traffic situations for daily commuters.

Battery development is one of the keys to the success of hybrid transportation and PHEV's yield valuable information through durability tests.

Based on Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle technology, The Dodge Sprinter PHEV has the ability to drive up to 20 miles on electric only power. It accomplishes this with a switch on the dashboard giving the operator the ability to manually switch between modes as needed or automatically by the vehicle control system. Two different combustion engines are being mated to the PHEV system, a five cylinder diesel and a V6 gasoline. The diesel version will yield the highest fuel economy benefit and is the first fleet test of a diesel plug-in hybrid system.

Plug-in hybrid technology is part of DaimlerChrysler's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which also includes exceptionally efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesel technology, ethanol flex-fuel and zero-emission fuel cell vehicles.

CONTACT: Nicholas Cappa, +1-248-512-4266, Email Contact , or
Cole Quinnell, +1-248-512-0315, Email Contact , both of Chrysler

Web site: http://www.media.daimlerchrysler.com/

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