Chrysler has submitted three proposals totalling US$448m for two US Department of Energy (DOE) initiatives aimed at rapid vehicle electrification - the Transportation Electrification Initiative and Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative.

Proposed vehicles will include the Dodge Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid-electric, Chrysler Town & Country PHEVs and Chrysler Town & Country electric vehicles.

The programmes are 50/50 cost-share with $224m from Chrysler and its partners combined with a matching $224 million from the DOE.

These funds will accelerate the market introduction and penetration of advanced powertrains, Chrysler said.

"Without US innovation and production capacity, we will simply trade batteries for oil in the pursuit of transportation energy," said Chrysler's senior vice president - external affairs and public policy John Bozzella.

Chrysler plans to use the funds to build a demonstration fleet of PHEVs and EVs, as well as create a new vehicle electrification technology and manufacturing centre located in Michigan.

"The proposal will enable the production of commercially viable products in a shorter time frame." the automaker said. "Combined, Chrysler LLC's proposal will stimulate the economy and help the company achieve its leadership goals in electrified-vehicle development and production."

The $365m submission for the Transportation Electrification Initiative intends to establish a nationwide demonstration fleet of more than 365 test-fleet vehicles for use by selected customers and partners.

Chrysler will demonstrate 100 Town & Country PHEV minivans and 100 Ram PHEV pickup trucks across a range of drive cycles and consumer usage patterns in diverse geographies and climates throughout the US. The company has established more than a dozen partnerships with city and local governments, research and development authorities, utility companies and universities to test the PHEVs.

In addition, through a partnership between Chrysler's ENVI group and the US Postal Service, the automaker will deliver 165 Town & Country EV cargo minivans for daily mail service in four regions throughout the country.