Chrysler today submitted three proposals outlining a $448-million plan to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in order to rapidly bring electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid models to market. The proposals were submitted in order to receive two initiatives established by the DOE - the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative and the Transportation Electrification Initiative.

Both are designed to speed up development, demonstration, evaluation and manufacturing of EVs and plug-in hybrids. The programs represent a 50/50 cost-share opportunity, with $224 million to come from Chrysler and an equal amount matched by the DOE.

If approved, Chrysler plans to use the funds to build a demonstration fleet of EVs and plug-in hybrids, as well as create a new-vehicle electrification technology and manufacturing center located in Michigan. Under the plan, this new facility would be functional by next year and be capable of producing more than 20,000 vehicles per year.

As for the demonstration fleet, Chrysler intends to build more than 365 EVs and plug-in hybrids for use by select customers and partners. The majority of the vehicles will be plug-in hybrid versions of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan and Dodge Ram pickup, as the regular petrol versions of these models already cover a wide range of drive cycles and consumer-usage patterns in diverse geographies and climates throughout the country.