Chrysler to be oh, so green
Chrysler wants the world to know that it’s found a market.
It’s going to be green.
To that end, the company has been hyping three “alternative fuel” concept vehicles which it expects to display at the North American Automobile Show to be held in Detroit this coming January.
But, there’s a kicker.
Chrysler will show off the “ecoVoyager” concept sedan – a fuel cell and lithium ion batteries in a curving body lacking horizontal emphasis provided by a traditional hood – sorta like a minivan left in the sun too long and started to melt. The ecoVoyager’s batteries and fuel cell “would” give it a 300 mile range.
Then there’s Zeo, an electric four-seater also using lithium ion batteries. Stylistically, Chrysler’s covering the bases. This one has a hood: it’s a “long-nosed hatchback.” In a p.r. stretch, the company claims that the battery car traces to Dodge’s performance history. (Lacking any success in NASCAR lately, the company’s only performance is in history.)
Lastly, there’s a green Jeep: this one a lithium ion battery powered by a diesel. Yes, they’re actually painting the thing green.
It’s not just that the “alternative fuel” powerplants for these vehicles are still in the experimental stage.
It’s that they don’t even exist.
None of the vehicles will have a powertrain of the type around which the concept is ostensibly designed. No lithium ion batteries in any of them. No fuel cells. About the only thing that’s real in any of them is the green paint.
Of course, concept cars used to be more accurately called “dream cars,” so maybe what Chrysler’s doing is fair. But the whole exercise gives the impression of a company lacking original thoughts, only able to cobble together at the last minute “concepts” designed to say “me, too” to what other car companies have been doing for several years, and some are actually intending to market.
But, then, “me, too” has always been Chrysler’s motto – and business plan.