• Nov 7, 2009
Dodge Circuit - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report from Reuters, Chrysler has disbanded its ENVI program and integrated the group back into its normal product development organization. Former ENVI head Lou Rhodes will now take the title of group line executive in charge of electric vehicle development and will manage that group for both Chrysler and Fiat. Though we weren't exactly expecting this change, the move isn't entirely unexpected.

At this point, we don't yet know what this reorganization means for the electric vehicles that Chrysler had previously promised to put into production, the first of which was to be the Lotus-based Dodge Circuit that was hopefully supposed to be on the market by late 2010.

Fiat CEO and newly-appointed head of Chrysler Sergio Marchionne said earlier this week during Chrysler's painfully long new product plan presentation that electric vehicles are still a very tough proposition with current battery technology. In fact, the automaker expects that less than two percent of its lineup will be electric by 2014, which would amount to less than 60,000 vehicles per year.



[Source: Reuters]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't worry, Chrysler won't stop making cars until after the 2012 election.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does Lotus supply every car scam...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well no one can say this wasn't expected. When you looked at their ENVI department, there was never any vehicle that was solidly promised to be a production vehicle. They said they wanted to sell the Circuit but there were no solid plans.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiat make good diesels and efficent cars on LPG and natural gas, but they don't have an EV in the pipeline (sadly), I don't know how much ENI is linked to them (Europe's ExxonMobile) so it is sad that Chrysler isn't going down the EV route.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, we here at Chrysler had to say we would build EV's in order to get bail out loans from the government. Now that we have those loans and have merged with a nother company you can't make us do a damn thing having to do with EV's. Well looks like we out smarted the government again guys, good job.

      He, he, hea, stupid Obama he actually though he could make us build EV's by bailing us out. Hell our parent company Fiat ought to sue the US government just on general principal to let them know they can not mess with the auto industry no matter how much money they give us. You want EV's give your loans to Tesla we build gas engines here at Chrysler, we have been doing it for a hundred years and will be damned if the government thinks they can bribe us with billions of dollars to change.

      We have been telling you batteries are just not ready. Yes the 2001 Rave 4's continue to run 100,000 miles off electricity to this day but that is an anomaly and those batteries are unavailable because a oil company bought and sequestered them. We ask the oil companies if we could use them and they said no. So the ICE is still the best thing we have, I'm sorry public but thank you very much for the money and we will do every thing we can to pretend to give the public what they want and keep our ICE repair, parts and service revenue streams intact.

      Also I would like to thank the military for securing our cars fuel sources for free and subsidizing gasoline in the US for free. Excuse me I guess it is not free but to us it is as we do not have to pay for it. We just make profits from it. Thank you, thank you once again, suckers... er uh, I mean customers.

      Signed: CEO of manipulation of government funds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt the Circuit will ever make it to production, but I sure hope it does !

      Also, err... "Though we weren't exactly expecting this change, the move isn't entirely unexpected" - quality writing, right there, guys... ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        [Also, err... "Though we weren't exactly expecting this change, the move isn't entirely unexpected" - quality writing, right there, guys... ;)]

        Haha, my thoughts exactly!
      • 5 Years Ago
      On November 4th Earth2Tech posted Chrysler's slide detailing "Chrysler Group's electrification plan", I guess every other journalist was asleep by that point in the presentation ;-) Go look at
      http://earth2tech.com/2009/11/04/chrysler-reveals-5-year-plan-for-hybrids-electric-cars/

      As I wrote in your "Diesel back in the picture at Chrysler, start-stop in Q4 2010" thread:

      The only 2010 vehicle is a Dodge RAM 1500 hybrid, in 2011 there's a PHEV minivan for "DOE Grant PHEV Demo Fleet", and commercialization follows years later. There's nothing definite at all for BEVs except an unidentified "Light Commercial" (Fiat?) BEV van in 2012. None of the BEV ENVI models appear on the slide.

      However, "Chrysler Group is lead engineering center for hybrid/electrification for Chrysler & Fiat Group." Based on ... the sales of a few dozen Asspen hybrids before it was discontinued?!!

      I wish Fiat+Chrysler well, but an also-ran in Europe with stretched finances and one cute small car is not in a strong position for the coming shift.
      • 5 Years Ago
      going by Ray's post.. I highly doubt Chrysler even asked for the batteries back, especially considering the big three sued California back in the day when big oil and the car companies were trying to kill off the electric car ( Who Killed the Electric Car? ) And it's also funny that the car companies keep using the excuse about battery technology not being ready. That is a load of bull****. There are a few companies that make good batteries, like A123 that they could work something out with. All I hear from the automakers when it comes to making EVs are the same excuses about batteries and cost. if you mass produced it mass marketed it instead of limiting it to one or two states then it'd sell better. Granted the average American consumer is too ignorant to move onto something more efficient instead of their SUV that gets 12 mpg. especially since for the vast majority the EV would work just fine, the soccer mom doesn't need a 5,000 pound tank to drive her kid around in to school. the single guy next door who never uses the cargo room or tows anything with his Tahoe doesn't need the behemoth to cruise to the store. Now.. if you needed a truck to haul something, I can see having that as a backup for just that, but not if it's once in a blue moon.. for that just rent one. otherwise an electric car or even minivan would work perfect for most people. If the EV was mass produced, the price will come down and the technology in them would get better including battery tech. Which boils down to more range and less charge time, but people can't take their heads out of their butts long enough to see that big picture
      • 5 Years Ago