As we mentioned last week, Chrysler is getting into the hybrid and electric car game through Envi, a semi-independent unit dedicated to electric drive vehicles. Pro-automobile Michigan residents (that's almost a redundant phrase there) can be proud that Chrysler has announced that ENVI will be located in Auburn Hills. But, as Sven Gustafson, writing for the Oakland Business Review, found when he spoke to industry insiders about the new environmental endeavor, some things about Envi aren't as clear.
Erich Merkle, an automotive analyst with IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said that educating the consumers is just as important as making sweet green rides. "I think the technology is great, but the real problem with this type of technology quite honestly is the consumer has to realize the benefit and be willing to pay up for that benefit," Merkle told Gustafson. "That's the real issue going forward with anything that's going to really take you to the next level in terms of fuel efficiency."

Nick Cappa, a Chreysler spokesman, took the opposite side, saying that Chrysler is listening to customers. "It's about Chrysler wanting to build vehicles that customers are clamoring for," he told Gustafson. "If they want it, we're going to build it."

Well, let's hope somehow Chrysler figures out how to get their MPG numbers up and gets customers to understand what they're doing.

[Source: Sven Gustafson, Oakland Business Review via EV World]

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