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CHRYSLER CORP. AND NORVIK TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCE JOINT 'FAST AND SMART' ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY CHARGING SYSTEM

 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Corp. (NYSE: C) and Norvik Technologies Inc./Norvik Traction Inc. today announced a joint agreement for development of a fast, energy efficient and smart electric vehicle battery charging system they hope will give future electric vehicle customers the refueling speed, safety and convenience of today's gasoline-powered vehicles.
 The Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging System, a major electric vehicle technology breakthrough unveiled to media at the 1993 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, allows quick charging of any battery, can be used every time a charge is needed, is simple to operate, and actually extends the life of the battery.
 "This month, Chrysler took two critical steps in making electric vehicles a viable part of this country's transportation system," said Francois J. Castaing, Chrysler vice president-Vehicle Engineering. "We began production of the first of 50 Dodge Caravan Electric minivans, which are the first federal safety-certified electric vehicles in this country, and today we are announcing a technological innovation vital to improving the electric vehicle infrastructure with the Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging System."
 The Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging System is not the fist battery quick-charging system to be introduced but may be the smartest and most user-friendly for both the customer and the batteries. And, as part of their agreement, Chrysler and Norvik are working to make the system even easier to use and more widely available by moving the system's smarts into future electric vehicles through the proprietary Battery Energy Management System (BEMS).
 Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging Station
 What makes the Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging System station smart is its ability to instantly determine the chemical or physical make-up of a battery and quickly and efficiently charge it without producing a state of battery-damaging overcharge.
 Specific elements of the Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging Station include:
 -- Fast, smart and simple to operate;
 -- Can be used with any battery. System already has beet tested on lead-acid, nickel-iron, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride battery technologies;
 -- Can be used to quick charge every time. Other "brute force" charging systems are designed to be used only 5-10 percent of the time, with regular slow or overnight charging the majority of the time.
 -- No overcharging and thus no loss of energy through heat results in a very energy efficient system. The current Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging Station operates at a 95 percent or greater charge efficiency rate;
 -- Extends the life of the battery. By not overcharging, as is done with other quick charging systems and in regular overnight charging, the expected life of the battery is actually extended. This also provides an opportunity to produce less expensive, less heavy-duty batteries as the threat of deterioration because of overcharging is eliminated; and
 -- Can be used in all weather conditions.
 "The trick of the Smart Charging System is that it takes the diagnostics -- the pulse of the battery -- several times every second and then adjusts the charge current," said Jiri K. Nor, Norvik vice president of Research and inventor of the Norvik charging technology. "It gives the battery as much current as it can take, not more, not less. So you have the fastest possible charge."
 How fast, according to Nor, really depends upon the battery.
 "The best batteries we found could be charged in about five minutes," he said. "Other batteries, for electric vehicles for example, may be built similar to today's fastest charging batteries or even further improved.
 "With the right combination of battery and charger and our charge control technology," he added, "we can refuel electric cars as fast as we now pump gasoline."
 Today, the Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging Station will provide a full charge (0-95 percent state of charge) in about 25 minutes when a common 480 volts (AC) is supplied from the utility grid to the station. The charging station then converts the voltage to a lower DC voltage (250 volts) for the Dodge Caravan Electric of today.
 In the future, the Smart Charging Station, without any change in voltage from the utility grid, will run at higher DC voltage and charge the vehicle faster as the battery system design is changed and as the smarts of the Smart Charger Station are integrated into the vehicle as the BEMS. The end result, according to Chrysler and Norvik, is a full charge capability (0-95 percent) in as little as 10 minutes.
 Battery Energy Management Systems (BEMS)
 "Today the Chrysler/Norvik Smart Charging Station controls the process of charging," said David R. Smith, Chrysler's program manager-Special Projects Engineering. "Part of our agreement with Norvik is designed to take the station's smart part, the electronic controller and develop it as an integral part of the electric vehicle.
 "We call the smart part the Battery Energy Management System or BEMS," said Smith. "The BEMS will move the control of the fast charging out of the charging station and into the vehicle. The result will be a universal charging station that will provide power to an almost constantly changing electric vehicle and BEMS technology."
 Leaving the electronic charging controls in the charging station could result in obsolete stations throughout the infrastructure as new, more advanced battery systems and electric vehicles are developed. Moving the smarts vis-a-vis the BEMS into the vehicle will allow what Chrysler and Norvik engineers believe will be obsolescence-proof charging stations.
 "This is one example where the less it knows, the better it is," said Smith. "If we can refine the BEMS in the vehicle, we can keep the charging station dumb,' and it will be able to provide the power requested by the BEMS for recharging regardless of technological breakthroughs. That translates into a far less expensive development of the electric vehicle infrastructure."
 The development of the BEMS also will allow for integration of other vehicle controls in conjunction with the smart charging system.
 "The BEMS could serve as an excellent monitoring system for the customer and the vehicle service experts," said Smith. "Service experts could read the information stored in the vehicle computer -- mileage information, charging data, motor and battery problems to name a few -- and determine service accordingly.
 "The BEMS also could serve as a powerful tool for the electric utility companies," he said. "Information accumulated in the BEMS regarding charging requirements and experiences could be fed to the utilities for their inspection of current and future electric power distribution requirements."
 According to Smith, Chrysler and Norvik hope to have working prototype versions of the BEMS equipped in Dodge Caravan Electric minivans in about six months for further evaluation and may offer the system on 1994 Dodge Caravan Electric production models.
 Contents of the Chrysler/Norvik agreement were not disclosed. Chrysler Corp. is headquartered in Highland Park, Mich. Norvik Technologies Inc. and Norvik Traction Inc. are headquartered in Burlington, Ontario.
 -0- 12/30/92
 /CONTACT: Jason Vines, 313-576-8095, or Michael Coates, 213-622-1644, both of Chrysler Western News Bureau/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corp.; Norvik Technologies Inc./Norvik Traction Inc. ST: California IN: AUT SU:

JB-LS -- LA007 -- 0576 12/30/92 11:01 EST
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