DaimlerChrysler Introduces the Dodge ESX3 Concept Car

February 23, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

DaimlerChrysler (Germany) recently introduced the Dodge ESX3 concept car with a hybrid-propulsion system provided by Delphi Automotive Systems (Troy, MI). Delphi, working as a supplier to DaimlerChrysler and the US Department of Energy (DOE, Washington, DC), developed the Energen Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System components for the ESX3, a third-generation PNGV concept car. The Energen Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System is a high-efficiency, high-energy density, air-cooled, embedded permanent-magnet motor with a highly integrated power electronics system.

According to the companies, the ESX3 electric powertrain combines a clean, efficient diesel engine; electric motor; and state-of-the-art, lithium-ion battery to achieve an average 72mpg (3.3l/100km) fuel efficiency (gasoline equivalent). The ESX3's powertrain consists of a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre, all-aluminum direct-injected diesel engine and 15kW peak-power electric motor. The ESX3 reduces fuel energy use by relying on the electric motor and battery to capture braking energy and reuse it to power accessories and provide a boost during hard acceleration. For additional fuel savings, the engine automatically shuts off when the vehicle is stopped, and the air-cooled electric motor, which weighs 76lbs, instantly restarts the engine when the accelerator pedal is pressed.

In two years, DaimlerChrysler engineers have increased fuel efficiency to 72mpg. "A 2mpg improvement might not sound like a huge engineering accomplishment, but this car also accelerates faster and provides a smoother, quieter ride while being less aerodynamic than its predecessor, the Dodge Intrepid ESX2," explained Tom Moore, vice president of DaimlerChrysler Liberty and Technical Affairs.

Pricing for the ESX3 will be around $28,000 compared with about $21,000 for the similarly-sized Dodge Intrepid.