Chrysler Group has inked a research partnership with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, to develop electric powertrains and components. The partnership will last five years and has $18.2 million in research funds. Chrysler will provide $9.2 million of the funding for the research project. The carmaker will contribute cash and provide 20 researchers and access to its facilities in Canada and the United States, according to spokesman Eric Mayne.
The rest of the funding will be contributed by various governmental sources in Canada. Chrysler is selling one fully electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e, in California. Presently, the carmaker is not offering hybrid powertrains to the public, but is testing several hybrid fleets.
Chrysler has likewise joined an international consortium in Canada that will study the broader use of aluminum and magnesium alloys in auto production. This three-year, $3.9 million study is funded mainly by the Canadian government.
The study will seek ways to improve the strength and corrosion resistance of aluminum and magnesium alloys and how to do so within current casting methods to keep down costs.
The study will be based at McMaster University but will include researchers from Ryerson University in Toronto and the University of Trento in Italy. The study will also involve Fiat Group's Centro Ricerche Fiat. Chrysler’s SRT Viper features a structural dashboard made of magnesium while its 2014 Ram 1500 uses aluminum for the hood. [source: Chrysler]