Toyota opened new horizons when launched the first generation Prius, as it represented the beginning of a new era of efficient technologies. Shortly after, Toyota was followed by Honda and them by the German manufacturers and also by the Americans.

Chrysler however is only at the beginning of the road, as for the moment its green vehicles are in stuck the testing phase.

The company started the development of green technologies with three different vehicles, namely the Dodge EV, Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town & Country. All three prototypes are tested together, as the company wants to carefully analyze the public’s interest for this new technology.

But, while the first two models have some small chances to be launched on the market, the Chrysler Town & Country is only an experimental prototype. Though, even if for the moment the Chrysler Town & Country EV is not planned for mass production, the vehicle could represent a good alternative for those seeking for an ultra efficient and practical van.

Design

2011 Chrysler Town & Country EV Exterior
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The EV version of the Chrysler Town & Country keeps the same exterior style found at its conventionally powered sibling.

The car was built with practicality in mind, so the boxy shape was inevitable. Though, the vehicle received a few details which help it move away from the typical van shape.

Naturally, the best looking part is the front fascia, where the Town& Country is fitted with the company’s signature grille with chrome inserts and horizontal bars. The wide grille copes well with the utilitarian nature of the vehicles and also enhances its the purposeful stance. On each side of the grille we’ll find the massive headlights which are a bit robust for our taste, but gel well with the front end design.

Along the sides, the car received a set of practical sliding rear doors, while at the back, the bumper serves as a convenient foot step which helps you get easier to the load area. The back also adds LED taillights and some chrome trim to echo the front fascia.

Interior

2011 Chrysler Town & Country EV High Resolution Exterior
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Thanks to the bulky exterior design you are welcomed by a spacious and practical cabin, so you won’t complain about head- or leg-room. But while we don’t have any complains about the interior space, the interior design is a bit dated and dull. At least the cabin it’s fairly practical and every control can be reached without too much drama.

Like most vehicles in this class, the Chrysler Town & Country is fitted with a lot of hard plastics but the build quality it’s fairly solid.

The instrument panel if fitted with a set of large gauges which keep you informed about the electric motor and other useful stats. The gauges received black faces with white numbers and chrome trim, which makes them fairly easy to read during both night and day trips.

The driver is also greeted by a modern four spoke steering wheel which comes with a few integrated controls for the trip computer, phone, audio system, cruise control and navigation system. Moreover, the steering wheel comes with telescopic adjustments, thus helping you to find a proper driving position. Talking about driving position, the seats are fairly supportive and comfortable and the all-around visibility is part of the first class as well.

Engines and technologies

2011 Chrysler Town & Country EV Exterior Drivetrain
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The plug-in Town & Country uses Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, combined with a two mode hybrid system and a 12.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The hybrid system offers a combined output of 290 hp and the company says that the vehicle has a maximum range of 400 miles on approximately eight gallons of gasoline.

It’s also worth noting, that the sprint from 0 to 62 mph can be made in less than 9 seconds, so the EV it’s not only green but it’s also pretty nimble given its gargantuan shape and size. Moreover, the Town & Country EV is able to run on electric power alone up to 40 miles, which is pretty close to the Chevrolet Volt’s performances (35 miles).

The company declared that a full charge takes between 8-15 hours to charge from empty at 110 volts, or 2-4 hours at 220 volts.

Chrysler Town & Country EV Specifications

Powertrain 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6
Performance 290 horsepower
Total Driving Range 700 miles

Verdict

2011 Chrysler Town & Country EV Exterior
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Unfortunately the Chrysler Town & Country EV is only a prototype and won’t be available on the market anytime soon. For the moment, the vehicle is used only to test the hybrid system for future models.

However, if Chrysler testings are going well, the 290 hybrid powertrain could have what it needs to compete with success against the best hybrids found on today’s market and its generous 400 miles range it’s also worth to be taken into consideration.

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