As company after company announces electric vehicle additions to their lineups by 2010, Chrysler is again expected to be a late arrival to the green-car party. The automaker started the semi-autonomous unit, ENVI, last year specifically to design and develop electric drivetrain vehicles like the Dodge Zeo concept pictured above but any belief they can put one of their creations on a showroom floor in a timely (read "competitive") fashion seems misguided. Company spokesperson, Nick Cappa, in a recent e-mail to the Detroit Free Press said they are currently developing electric vehicles and are "...planning on product within three to five years,". After the past disastrous quarter ,that saw sales plunging 22 per cent, there are many who aren't sure the company will even last that long. Bought up by Cerberus Capital Management last year, it has recently been busy fighting off bankruptcy rumors.
Nick Cappa, for one, still seems to be taking the long view. Defending the company's tortoise-like pace getting into the rapidly expanding hybrid market he says, "If you want to go ahead and make everything a full hybrid system, fine, but what if you can turn everything into a range-extended vehicle and take it beyond the 2020 campaign for 35 miles per gallon? The new technology ENVI is developing could do that." We hope, indeed, his confidence is well-placed and that they pick up the pace a notch or two.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]