Chrysler job postings show stirring interest in EVs

Chrysler is the least charged of the Big Three – its current offerings include no hybrids, one compliance car that it seems to be doing its best not to sell, and a stream of anti-EV comments from CEO Sergio Marchionne and other execs.

However, Automotive News has found evidence that that may be about to change. According to the company’s job postings site, Chrysler is looking for engineers in North America to help develop EV technology for both its US lineup and Fiat.

The posts suggest that Chrysler plans to develop a wide variety of technologies, including stop-start systems, plug-in hybrids, mild hybrids and full EVs. One approach mentioned is “belt starter generator” stop-start technology, which uses a modified alternator that can double as a starter, and can be fitted in the same place as a traditional alternator.

It’s possible that there are pro- and anti-EV factions within the Chrysler/Fiat empire. The high quality and low expectations that the company has put into the 500e are evidence of that.

The group’s global powertrain head Bob Lee told Automotive News that consumers aren’t ready to pay for electric powertrains, and might not be until 2020, so Chrysler plans to concentrate instead on diesels and small turbocharged engines. But Chrysler powertrain spokesman Eric Mayne said that the job postings indicate the company’s future plans.

“We’ve said all along that we’ll need electrification to comply with the regulations going forward, and any hiring that we do on that front is consistent with that plan,” Mayne said. “The range of electrification technologies we’ve said that we’ll adopt starts with start-stop and goes through EVs.”

Mike Duhaime, Chrysler’s global director of electrified propulsion and engineering, made similar comments to the Detroit Free Press in July.

Source: Automotive News