Chrysler& s Shocking Promise An EV by 2010 Autopia Wired com

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Chrysler s Shocking Promise: An EV by

Chrysler, all but left for dead by industry watchers, surprised about everyone in Detroit morning by announcing it has not one but three vehicles in the pipeline and we ll see the first of in showrooms by 2010.

The stunning instantly propelled the smallest of the Big automakers to the front of the pack in the to bring an EV to market and places it in competition with the Chevrolet that General Motors last week. Chrysler s GM in betting that electric are the future, and it s gone all-in a make-or-break lineup that range-extended versions of the Chrysler Country minivan and Jeep SUV and an all-electric Dodge sports

We have a social responsibility to our to deliver environmentally friendly, advanced electric vehicles, and our is to meet that responsibility and more broadly than any automobile manufacturer, says Bob chairman and CEO of the struggling automaker. The of the

Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles provides a glimpse of the near future and demonstrates we are serious and well along in the of bringing electric vehicles to

These cars aren t Chrysler says we ll see 100 of them in fleets next year. One the company isn t saying which, but analysts say it s probably the yellow pictured above will be for sale by the end of 2010, the same GM has set for the Volt.

We are well ahead of where think we are, company Jim Press said at the unveiling taking a shot at cross-town GM: Perhaps that s because we t tooted our horn up to now.

isn t tooting its horn with announcement. It s playing a Sousa

Although Chrysler s recently two hybrids. no one saw this coming a company where sales are 24 percent about twice the seen by the industry as a whole. But s been working nonstop on cars since launching the electric vehicle team a year ago. It rolled out a few at the Detroit auto show in but no one took them seriously and Chrysler s own dealers grumbled it isn t fast enough to develop This was the best-kept secret in the industry, Aaron Bragman, an analyst with Global told us.


Basically what they ve is lock the ENVI people in a and throw a lot of money at them.

the gas-electric hybrids like the Prius and the forthcoming Honda the wheels of the three Chryslers be driven only by electricity. The and Wrangler will have motors (255 horsepower in the 268 in the Jeep) that will go 40 on a charge. The small gasoline acts only as a generator to the battery charged as it approaches keeping the vehicle going at 50 mpg. It s similar to what GM is in the Volt.

Chevrolet Tahoe Electric Cars

The as-yet-unnamed sports car will be a vehicle like the Tesla with performance to match.

The EV, based on the Lotus Europa, has a electric motor that propel the car from 0 to 60 in less five seconds. Chrysler its lithium-ion battery which come from A123 one of two companies working with GM on the will provide a range of 150 to 200 and charge in six to eight hours. It s a tribute to our engineers, Tom LaSorda, vice president, told the Free Press .

It s a safe bet the two-seater is the car we re most likely to see in first. The company reportedly work with Lotus an arrangement similar to those led to the Tesla Roadster and Vauxhall (and could bring a of the Fiat Dino). Cribbing Lotus saves Chrysler the and trouble of designing a car, and with a full electric the headaches of integrating an engine an already complex vehicle.

I d say there s a 75 percent chance ll hit that deadline, Mike of J.D. Power Associates us. They ve got the Europa and they can from the mistakes Tesla s

It s an aggressive timeline, but I think can hit it.

That leaves the minivan and the the analysts we talked to said we ll see them in 2011. While people are clamoring for a small car, a minivan and a Jeep sense for Chrysler because are signature vehicles that long been the company s and butter. Basing them on models also allows the to bring them to market because it doesn t have to new platforms or engines.

Photos by Chrysler

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