When the old pre-bankruptcy Chrysler unveiled a lineup of electric vehicles in September 2008, one of the vehicles was a low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) dubbed the Peapod that was supposed to go on sale by late 2009. It now appears that the Peapod, which was to be based on the existing GEM NEV, is history. As we learned in November 2009 when Chrysler announced its future business plan, the automaker drastically cut back its electric vehicle plans based on poor sales expectations. The Peapod was to have eventually spawned a new, full-speed electric commuter car. However, Chrysler and Fiat have now instead opted to build an electric version of the Fiat 500. After realizing what would need to be done to transform the Peapod to meet federal safety standards, it probably became apparent that converting an existing platform would make more sense.
The assets of the old GEM, which was wholly owned by Chrysler, were left behind with the rest of the old Chrysler in bankruptcy court for disposal. The new GEM will now focus on the existing low-speed electric vehicles instead. The designer of the Peapod, Peter Arnell, may still pursue building an EV although if he does it will be a full-speed type like the Nissan Leaf rather than an NEV.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]