Chrysler LLC is introducing three electric vehicles today, one of which will go on sale by the end of 2010. Chrysler executives say these new vehicles will shock the industry.
Chrysler will produce an extended-range electric version of its Chrysler Town and Country minivan and four-door Jeep Wrangler SUV. Also, the company will make an all-electric Dodge sports car, Tom LaSorda, Chrysler president and vice chairman, told the Detroit Free Press.
Even though GM introduced its electric Chevrolet Volt last week, Chrysler’s electric vehicles have been in the works for about 20 months, LaSorda said.
Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli was on CNBC this morning, showing the first images of the electric Dodge EV sports car (EV stands for electric vehicle). The EV runs only on electricity from advanced battery technology and has a range of 150 to 200 miles and will go from zero to 60 in less than five seconds. It will plug into a normal outlet to recharge its lithium-ion batteries in about six to eight hours. A 220-volt outlet could be used to cut the charging time in half.
The range-extended Town and Country and Wrangler vehicles, similar to the Chevy Volt, will also run about 40 miles on electricity and will have a gas motor to power the vehicles an extra 350 miles after the battery runs out.
“You can roam the planet and take care of it at the same time, that’s kind of the theme we’re building around this whole thing,” LaSorda said.
One of the vehicles will be produced for North American customers by the end of 2010 and in Europe shortly after, LaSorda said.
Today’s announcement will now put Chrysler into direct competition with GM and its highly-publicized Chevrolet Volt. Who will be next to compete in the extended-range electric vehicle race?
Photos via CNBC.com.