• Apr 22, 2009
Chrysler U.S. Postal Service Minivan - Click above for a high-res gallery

Chrysler is celebrating Earth Day today by unveiling the first four of what will be a fleet of 250 battery powered minivans for the US Postal Service. The U.S.P.S. will be using the vans for variety of duties at locations around the country – including daily home delivery.

The vans themselves are based on the concept Town and Country EV that was unveiled last Fall by Chrysler. However, because of the duty cycle used by the Postal Service – which generally amounts to only about 18-20 miles per day on a fixed route – these vehicles are being built without the range extender seen on the concept. However, the electric drive portion of the vehicles, including the motor, electronics and A123 System lithium ion battery pack is identical. The head of Chrysler's ENVI division Lou Rhodes told Autoblog Green this morning that Chrysler is marketing this battery-only version of the van to commercial fleet customers who typically have a shorter range requirements. The extended-range version will be focused on retail customers.

The initial batch of vehicles include a pair of right- and left-hand drive versions, and the total fleet will include a mix. The Postal Service will be using the vehicles for whatever applications they have in different regions of the country. The intent is to evaluate the usability of electric vans, as well as the interaction between the vehicles and the infrastructure. In addition to the post office, Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), Duke Energy, DTE Energy and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will participate in the test program.



[Source: Chrysler]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good stuff. It'd be wonderful if Chrysler could test their systems and THEN bring the technology to market perfected. Wither art thou Canada Post?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler restructuring negotiations with creditors(who just made a counter offer that is sure to be rejected by feds) and CAW aren't working out, and it is now increasingly likely that Chrysler bankruptcy filing of Chapter 7 is inevitable by the beginning of next month.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is this not a Wrangler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Still here.

        Sorry I hurt your feelings little man. It was just a joke, lighten up!
        • 5 Years Ago
        you didn't hurt my feelings pokey, you just didn't really bring anything to the table. nice to see you're still around though.

        and again, the reasons to NOT use a wrangler for this purpose are many, i understand. but i'm sure the image of a white and blue RHD wrangler would bring back found memories for many. not to mention there are plenty of places just such a vehicle is still required to provide people with basic postal service. which is why i'm pretty sure the USPS still uses wranglers in some areas. (correct me if i'm wrong)

        besides, Chrysler did just show an electric wrangler at an auto show recently....
        • 5 Years Ago
        i guess i was just being nostalgic for the old left-hand-drive white wranglers the USPS used to use when i was a kid.

        PR wise its a toss up as to whether they should have used a T&C or a wrangler. i cant imagine a bright white wrangler with the USPS eagle graphic on the side wouldn't have awesome great in the press release.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Why is this not a Wrangler?"

        Rent one and spend eight hours in the saddle, and you'll have your answer.

        This looks to be an excellent solution to the fleets of USPS Grummans still rattling around... I'm hugely impressed. Didn't see this one coming from Chrysler!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I totally agree, and also would love to see more Wranglers roaming around -- but this makes a better business case I suppose.

        And you just answered my question of ''Why not a Dodge Caravan" -- not that a T&C is luxurious anymore, and I doubt its adding any extra cost. But brand awareness in Chrysler is probably what they're shooting for.

        I have to say, looking at the newer T&C EV photo's in that subtle brown colour, big wheels out to the corners etc, it actually looks very stylish -- almost like the BlackJack concept from last year. If they can do a redo on the interior like they have with the RAM and Jeep GC, Chrysler could really pull off this transformation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I imagine this is marketed to moving larger packages, and not for rural routes or going through the rubicon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Pokey thank you for your thoughtful response. now go away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler is about to become Lincoln and Mercury, come on guys, just sell it as a Dodge.

        PS, i really hope Postal Office gives Chrysler a nice, sizable contract.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i think with the EVs chrysler is trying to really separate its brands....

        chrysler - sedan, minivan

        dodge - small car, sports car

        jeep - SUVs
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've always thought of the lineup as,

        Dodge = crap

        Chrysler = slighly more expensive crap

        Jeep = The awesome Wrangler, and some other crap

        I kid I kid. Or do I?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've always thought of the lineup as such:

        Chrysler = Premium/Luxury
        Dodge = the everyman, trucks/suvs/minivans, sports cars

        And Jeep can keep on doing what it's doing. Make the ComPatriot more fuel efficient, Wrangler needs drivetrain refinement but everything else is fine, and the GC has already had a do-over. Don't need the Commander, even though I personally find it kick-ass if only for the looks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems perfect to use an electric vehicle for Postal duty. They don't drive far, and they are always stopping and going, which is when electric/hybrid cars are at their peak efficiency. Plus there is nearly nothing that will need regular maintenance in an electric car, so that will save money. Seems like a perfect fit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If there ever was a need for a pick up, SeaUrchin, it would be for you to haul all the bull-shi# that comes out of your brain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin

        Jackass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, seems spot on for the specific needs of a postal truck, why hasn't anyone thought of this before?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Zama, Postal Truck?

        http://www.autobloggreen.com/photos/chrysler-ev-usps-mini-van/1510714/

        Look at how huge it is, this is the car every business in USA should own, no one needs pickups.
      • 5 Years Ago
      too bad they're bankrupt
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Jim - "bankruptcy is not a death sentence." Name ONE auto company to file for bankruptcy and come out of it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        news to me....
        • 5 Years Ago
        By that logic the entire U.S. is bankrupt and so is almost every citizen. Why just pick on Chrysler then?
        • 5 Years Ago
        bankruptcy is not a death sentence.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still not as cool as my Legacy postal wagon though. RHD ftw.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ^^^^^
      Wow...what's it like to be allergic to positive comments and compliments? Why the need to be so negative, when obviously they're TRYING to pick themselves off the ground and do SOMETHING?

      Haters...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't group us all together -- I really want to see Chrysler pull itself out of this mess and get back to the upward trend of the late 90's prior to Daimler coming in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I guess that was a reference to mikecanada. Damn Canadians. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler is going under.

        The only quesiton is sooner or later.

        I prefer it sooner before they suck billions of taxpayer money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler went back to their old logo?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see the USPS use the Chevy HHR Panel, that seems like a natural.

      Of course, every other car I see around here is a damn HHR, so I am kind of sick of seeing them already.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Question is why does it have navigation, I hope they already know where they mail should go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thats the uconnect touch screen. And if already demonstrated by the Aspen and Durango Hybrids it's also the source of the energy monitoring screen. So most likely it brings up data on the screen about battery life and whatever else.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So for everyone who said Chrysler electric program was nothing more than fluff..eat it.
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