• Sep 23rd 2008 at 9:08AM
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CNBC's Phil Lebeau got a sneak peek at the new EVs Chrysler is developing, and it looks like Auburn Hills is pulling a Tesla, among other things. The yellow Dodge EV you see here is basically an electrified Lotus Europa. Presumably equipped with lithium ion battery power, the Dodge EV has a reported operating range of 150 - 200 miles and can be plugged in to household 110 or 220 outlets. Figure a four-hour charge on the latter, and 8 or so on the former. Zero-to-sixty is said to be under 5 seconds. Like we said, this is basically Chrysler's Tesla, right down to the Lotus-sourced donor vehicle.
We'll see the Dodge EV introduced formally later this afternoon, along with range-extended EV versions of the Chrysler Town & Country (can you say, "killer app"?) and Jeep Wrangler. With regard to timing, Chrysler says it would like to have "at least one" of these vehicles on the market by the end of 2010, the unofficial official year of the electric/plug-in car.

Look for all three prototypes to head to D.C., where they'll be showcased for Congressional leaders who have a say in whether or not Washington will show Detroit the money they've been asking for.

For now, you can watch the preview unveiling of the cars on CNBC by watching this video. Chrysler's got something planned for 1PM today, so we expect to have a lot more info and photos then. Stay tuned.

UPDATED: Full details now posted here.

[Source: CNBC]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Town and Country EV, that car is a winner in my eyes. I think hybrids are great for minivans.

      As far as that Lotus, looks amazing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That was my initial thought as well with the stow and go. You'd think you could come up with some sort of compromise or better packaging to get it done though, which I am guessing is what they did.

        Still good to see someone do it, as to me it makes for the perfect EV/hybrid vehicle. It's main job is around town driving with the occasional long road trip. Ha, "Kids we are not stopping until we need gas!" Lol, 400+ miles later!
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ Wintrode, my only guess is because of the "Stow" system. Because back seats can be integrated into the floor of the car, where the battery should be. From what i understand that is a HUGE selling point for minivans.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just a pathetic-last minute Hackjob cobbled together in order to convince lawmakers to grant them their bailout (and yes, it is a bailout. Cheap credit for an almost bankrupt lender that has difficulties getting credit at all is nothing but a bailout).

      They didn't even come up with their own car, just threw some electric bits at a Lotus. It looks like a job started just weeks ago, not some serious development effort.

      Like the other Big 2 Chrysler is pathetically trying to cover up the real reason they need the money: Impending bankruptcy.

      All the "re-tooling for the future" talk is just deception.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed and these cars will never happen. I do think Lotus should be given a LOT of credit for making such versatile frameworks that allow for quick mock ups of big ideas.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just when I thought the minivan was dying; it still may be but, that is a great idea for those that want to be the "cool" soccer mom. I really like the Dodge/Lotus thing, if it is just something to showcase their EV capabilities, good job, and I would love to have a Dodge/Lotus EV. Kind of neat that they brought out all of this kind of off the radar and aired them first on CNBC.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dodge Europa? They're going to rebody it at least, like the Vauxhall VX220... right?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess that's ONE way to get the Europa in this country.

      I'm guessing Chrysler is handling the expensive crash-testing/emissions stuff to help Lotus clear that hurdle? Lotus gets an easy route to sell more cars here and Chrysler gets a good EV platform. Sharing can benefit.
      • 7 Years Ago

      this might be a dumb question ,but is this electrified Lotus Europa a mule for a future Chrysler product? or is it more a prototype car to show Chryslers electric-vehicle technology?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota's had a hybrid minivan available in Asia, the Estima, since 2001. All wheel drive & 45MPG. Haven't brought it here 'cause it costs too much. How well is the T&C going to sell at probably double the cost?
      • 7 Years Ago
      What I find surprising is that we haven't homogenized our crash and emissions standards with the EU over the years. This would've provided us with a ready supply of US badged high mileage cars. Although a temporary diesel particulate emissions mandate would probably be necessary. But you could easily see suv's in the 30 mpg range, which would definitely help US manufacturers (see BMW X5 diesel, Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD).

      Ford and GM can build great cars, I see them every day over here, unfortunately its prohibitive for them to design them to meet both market standards.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Europa to show the passion, the Wrangler to show the capability, and the minivan for the every man - this was a VERY smart way to showcase their new focus.

      I've been ga-ga over the Volt for a long time, and I KNOW it will be a fantastic car - but the T&C makes SO much sense.

      Good job Chrysler. Now just give me a 300C Diesel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Makes my Wrangler look even thirstier.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You cannot charge this car on 110V in 8 hours. I have no idea what the Dodge rep was thinking. If it takes 4 hours on 220V (presumably at 30 amps, Tesla quotes at 40), it'll take 16 hours on 110V at 15-20A.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man, Lotus must be the friendliest Automaker ever. They'll work with anybody.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There's a difference though between Lotus the automaker and Lotus Engineering.

        Lotus Engineering, a subsidiary of Lotus the automaker, is a Tier 1 supplier to automotive OEMs and has its North American headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI.

        They supply everything from suspension designs (like the new Dodge Ram's rear coil suspension) to chassis components.

        Chrysler has a long relationship with Lotus Engineering so this announcement isn't simply them just copying Tesla.
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