Chrysler's Volt competitor coming by 2013

A tanking light truck market has hurt Chrysler more than most automakers, and a quick glance at the Pentastar's lineup shows that its lack of a small car isn't helping matters, either. Another thing that Chrysler doesn't appear to have in the immediate future is a plug-in hybrid or electric car. That doesn't mean such a product will never exist, though (right?). Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told the Detroit Free Press that Project ENVI will produce an electric vehicle in "three to five years." Though Mr. Cappa didn't give any details about the project, he did say the skunkworks tech could "turn everything into a range-extended vehicle and take it beyond the 2020 campaign for 35 miles per gallon." We're not sure if "turn everything" means that ENVI is going to enable every Chrysler vehicle to surpass 2020 fuel economy levels, but it sure sounds like it.

For Chrysler's oversized dealer body, a 2013 time frame might as well be the date of the unveiling of the Chrysler Starship Enterprise. They're looking for something to sell now, and the Pentastar has given them very few commitments. The dealers are pleased with upcoming diesel models, and a two-mode minivan will help some, but efficient vehicles with plenty of volume is the order of the day. Make that yesterday.

[Source: Free Press]

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