Friday, October 25, 2013

Chrysler, Canada partner with university

DETROIT, Mich. -- Chrysler and the Canadian government Friday announced an $18.2 million joint research program for the development of electric cars that will take place at McMaster University.
The partnership — announced at the university in Hamilton, Ontario — will focus on the development of next-generation electric powertrains and advanced technologies for vehicle weight reduction.
Chrysler said it plans to contribute $9.25 million while the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada will contribute $8.93 million. The research council is a federal Canadian agency dedicated to funding research programs at colleges and universities.
“Chrysler Group is grateful for the support of the Canadian government and McMaster University, a world-class institution with faculty to match,” said Bob Lee, Chrysler’s vice president of powertrains and electric propulsion systems.
The research will be conducted by university faculty members, engineering students and engineers from Chrysler.
The Auburn Hills automaker is behind many of its competitors for electric vehicles but is working hard to catch up.
One reason Chrysler has been slow to develop electric cars was that the U.S. Department of Energy delayed acting on a request for loans aimed at boosting fuel economy in the year following Chrysler's exit from the 2009 bankruptcy restructuring. Eventually, Chrysler decided to go ahead without the government loans.
Chrysler launched its first electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e, in June.
“The 500e is just the first step,” Mike Duhaime, Chrysler’s global director of Chrysler's electrified propulsion and engineering told the Free Press in July. “There are battery electric vehicles in our future.”
Today, Chrysler said its partnership with McMaster will concentrate on six areas of development. They include: electric motors, power electronics, electric machines, motor control, energy management systems, and software.
One of the goals is to explore the weight-saving properties of aluminum and magnesium alloys for wider use in cars and trucks.
Students who participate in the program will benefit both by working with Chrysler engineers and will be among those that the automaker considers for future employment.
With 28,000 students, McMaster University, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is one of four Canada’s top universities.