People are rightly skeptical about whether or not the Chrysler electric vehicles will ever make it to market. For now, all we can say for sure is that some of Chrysler's EV prototypes can go for a spin around the Washington DC Convention Center. We were able to go for a ride in the Dodge EV and the Jeep ER-EV with Crysler's Douglas Quigley, executive of product engineering for ENVI (the Chrysler electric vehicle "start up") when we were in town last week, and you can see our video of the rides (no drives yet, sadly) after the jump.
Quigley said that it is not Chrysler's intention to sell 100,000 of the Dodge EVs a year. You can roll your own joke about that, but his explanation was that the battery pack that is good for 150 miles will be expensive and therefore the target audience is someone who wants to cruise through the city or on the track for a few hours on the weekend. He's got a lot more to say about these two vehicles in the video, including how they're being used for testing in Arizona, what might make it into a possible production version and how fun it is to drive the Lotus Europa-based Dodge EV.
Chrysler LLC Descends on Washington, D.C., to Demonstrate Latest Electric Vehicle and Connectivity Technologies
-- Chrysler 200C EV concept, Dodge Circuit EV and Chrysler Town & Country EV make Capitol debut at Washington Auto Show
-- Dodge Circuit EV and Jeep(R) Wrangler part of Public Policy Day ride and drive
-- Chrysler 200C EV concept is connectivity portal to the world outside
-- First Chrysler electric vehicle to be produced in 2010
WASHINGTON and AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The newest members of Chrysler LLC's ENVI electric-vehicle lineup today made their political debut at the Washington Auto Show Public Policy Day. Media, government officials and key opinion leaders have the opportunity to learn about and test-drive Chrysler's ENVI vehicles during a media briefing and an industry ride and drive.
"Two key automotive public policy concerns in Washington today relate to the future of advanced environmental technology and the future viability of the domestic automobile industry," said John Bozzella, Chrysler LLC Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Public Policy. "Chrysler's ENVI electric vehicles have the opportunity to make a positive impact on both concerns."
"Chrysler's internal ENVI organization is focused on electric-drive as a mass-market, clean-vehicle technology," said Lou Rhodes, Chrysler LLC Vice President - Advanced Vehicle Engineering and President - ENVI. "We are committing our resources and funding on electrifying existing models, such as Chrysler's Town & Country minivan, to achieve speed to market, in addition to exploring all new vehicle concepts, such as the Chrysler 200C EV. Chrysler's ENVI team is in Washington this week demonstrating the customer benefits of electric-drive technology by providing policy makers the opportunity to drive the future."
Last month, at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Company showed five ENVI vehicles, reinforcing a commitment to developing and bringing to market a broad array of advanced electric vehicles for the Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge brands.
With 40 miles of all-electric range, Range-extended Electric Vehicles (ReEV), such as the Chrysler 200C EV concept, can be capable of a 400-mile total driving range. As a pure electric model, the Dodge Circuit EV boasts a range of 150-200 miles with zero gasoline consumption and zero tailpipe emissions.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept also tells an important connectivity story by embracing the future of technology with a highly sculpted and richly appointed environment. The interior is free of switches and levers. All vehicle functions, settings and uconnect(R) features are managed via a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated "techno-leaf" and a stowable tablet PC.
Follow Chrysler LLC activities at the Washington Auto Show at www.Twitter.com/Chryslercom .
About Chrysler LLC
Chrysler LLC, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R) brand vehicles and products. Total sales worldwide in 2008 were 2 million vehicles. Outside of North America, 2008 was the second-best sales year in the last decade and the third-best ever for Chrysler International. Chrysler LLC's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee and Dodge Challenger and Ram. Reinforcing a commitment to bring to market a broad array of advanced electric vehicles across all its brands, Chrysler has introduced five electric-drive vehicle prototypes since the fall of 2008. At least one of these vehicles will be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American markets, with European market production later, and at least three more models will follow by 2013.
The Chrysler Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, annually supports hundreds of charitable organizations in the United States and throughout the world. In 2008, the Foundation gave approximately $21 million in charitable donations.
Our travel and lodging for this media event was provided by the Auto Alliance.