Chrysler Provides Details on New ‘Electric Cars’ News & Opinion PCMag com

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Chrysler Electric Cars

Chrysler Provides Details on New ‘Electric Cars’

Chrysler has entered the race for an electric car, unveiling three prototypes that could be one the market in 2010. The company has committed to launching just one of the new versions, however.

Chrysler unveiled three models: the Dodge EV, the Jeep EV, and the Chrysler EV, only one of which will be brought to market as part of its ENVI program. In 2009, the existing GEM Peapod will go on sale; 38,000 Peapods are in active use today, according to Chrysler.

You’re looking at a full line of electric vehicles, so one has to believe, has to understand that we’ve made huge commitments both from a resource standpoint and a financial standpoint, said Bob Nardelli, chief executive of Chrysler, who spoke to CNBC Tuesday morning.

The new models will go head-to-head with the Chevy Volt, as well as other gas-electric hybrid vehicles already on the market.

However, only one of the prototypes is a pure electric car, the Dodge EV. Both the Jeep EV and Chrysler EV has a gas engine as backup, taking over after both vehicles have gone about 40 miles under electric power. The range of the Dodge EV, however, is between 150 to 200 miles under battery power, according to Chrysler.

Here’s a quick rundown of the new models:

Dodge EV: This purely electric roadster is Detroit’s answer to the Tesla Motors electric sports car. With an electric engine capable of generating the equivalent of 268 horsepower and 480 lb/feet of torque, the sportster boasts an estimated 0-60 time of less than 6.0 seconds, and a quarter-mile in less than 13 seconds. The top speed is about 120 MPH or beyond, with a range of between 160 to 200 miles on a single charge.

According to Nardelli, recharging will take eight hours using U.S. standard 110-volt outlets, or about half that using a 220-volt connection.

By comparison, Tesla’s roadster does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, with top speeds of over 130 MPH before the upgraded powertrain was installed.

Chrysler Electric Cars

Jeep EV: The Jeep platform might seem to be an unusual choice for a gas-sipping hybrid, as the Jeep was originally built as a workhorse for the U.S. military. Chrysler hasn’t released figures for the estimated curb weight. Both two- and four-wheel drive versions will be produced, however, with 268 horsepower and 296 lb/feet of torque. The Jeep EV will go 0-60 in about 9 seconds, with a top speed of about 90 MPH.

The estimated range is about 400 miles, with more than 40 miles on the electric motor.

Chrysler EV: It wouldn’t be a Chrysler without a minivan. The seven-passenger Chrysler EV apparently includes the Dodge EV’s engine, as the horsepower and torque are rated identically. The minivan will do 0-60 in 8.7 seconds, with a top speed of more than 100 MPH.

Like the Jeep EV, the range will be about 400 miles, with more than 40 miles using the electric motor.

The GEM Peapod: The Peapod is already USA’s number one zero-emission electric vehicle, with 38,000 of its six models in active use today, according to Chrysler. Chrysler has published more detailed specification for the snug little urban vehicle: a curb weight of 1,290 pounds, with a gross weight of 2,200 pounds. The tiny little two-person car measures only 114 inches long, by 67 inches wide, by 70 inches high, with a turning circle of just 32 feet.

The Peapod’s tiny 12-hp electric motor delivers speeds of just 26 miles per hour, with a range of 30 miles. Charging times are still between six to eight hours, however.

Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars

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