Looks like Chrysler was feeling out-shined by GM’s Volt showing last week. This morning Chrysler unveiled plans for at least four electric vehicle models — an all-electric Dodge EV, a range-extended electric Jeep and a minivan, and a city vehicle, although there’s no EcoVoyager in site. Chrysler says one of the vehicles will be on the market by 2010. Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said the company has “made huge commitments both from a resource standpoint and a financial standpoint” to electric vehicles.
Nardelli is very aware of Chrysler’s down and out reputation — Chrysler was previously dumped by Daimler and then taken over by buyout firm Cerberus. He told CNBC: “We may have been knocked down but we’ve never been knocked out.” ‘Til now Chrysler hasn’t been a prominent voice in the electric vehicle discussions.
So what do the EVs look like? The Dodge EV has a range of 150 to 200 miles, uses a lithium-ion battery pack, takes four hours to charge on a 220 outlet, and 8 hours on 110. AutoblogGreen says it’s based on the Lotus Europa. The extended-range electric vehicles have a range of 400 miles; the minivan EV seats 7, and the jeep EV has a new in-wheel electric capability, using electric motors in each wheel. Chrysler will also be building a city car based on its neighborhood vehicle, the Peapod.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning that lithium ion battery startup A123Systems is in “advanced talks” to supply batteries for Chryslers electric vehicles. GM has also been talking to A123 about supplying batteries for the Volt, too.