Chrysler announces plug-in hybrid minivan

Chrysler EV hybrid minivan

A surprise press release came out of Chrysler yesterday, announcing plug-in hybrid vehicles “targeted to be produced in 2010 for consumers in North American markets.”

Hybrid minivans from Chrysler is a possibility I had mentioned before, but I didn’t expect to hear of a production target so soon.

“With the Chrysler EV, we are able to blend seven-passenger capability and the luxury of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan with electric-drive technology, demonstrating family practicality with zero compromise,” said Rhodes. “ENVI’s electric-drive development vehicles showcase our accelerated application of electric-drive systems into a wide range of vehicles in Chrysler’s future product portfolio.”

The Chrysler EV combines the electric-drive components of an Electric Vehicle with an integrated small-displacement engine and generator to produce additional electricity to power the electric-drive system when needed. This provides all of the positive attributes of an Electric Vehicle and extends the driving range to be equivalent to today’s gasoline-powered vehicles – without compromises.

The Chrysler EV uses a 190 kW (255 horsepower) motor, producing 350 N·m (258 lb.-ft.) of torque, providing 0 to 60 mph acceleration in approximately nine seconds. The Chrysler EV Range-extended Electric Vehicle can drive 40 miles on all-electric power, and boasts a range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline. This makes the Chrysler EV the perfect fuel-efficient family vehicle.

Even without the plug-in aspect, 360 miles on 8 gallons would be 45 mpg. That’s darn good for a seven-passenger vehicle, if they can pull it off.

In addition to the minivan there are also a plug-in sports car (Dodge) and a plug-in hybrid Jeep. Confusingly, they seem to have given all three the “EV” model name. Check out the ENVI team web pages for (scant) details.

[update: These should qualify for the maximum $7500 tax credit. Some sources say that Chrysler intends to bring only one of the three models to production by 2010, the other two within a decade.]

6 thoughts on “Chrysler announces plug-in hybrid minivan

  1. BethC September 25, 2008 / 6:53am

    Can we buy one?

  2. Ron September 27, 2008 / 11:17am

    It’s about time. I’ve been asking for a hybrid minivan for years. It only makes sense. If it can be produced with a significantly better MPG and at a reasonable price, demand should outstrip supply from the start.

  3. Robert Gould July 26, 2009 / 4:01pm

    Gee, I bought a Dodge Ram Van in 1982, figuring my next van would be electric. After 12 years I gave up and bought a 1994 Grand Caravan, figuring my next van would be electric. 15 years later, I am still driving that 1994 Grand Caravan and hoping someone will finally build a no compromises electric van before this one dies… I’ve only been waiting 27 years now!

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