Chrysler to Ax the 300 and Shift the Portal Electric Van into Production
The Chrysler Portal Concept was unveiled last year at the Consumer Electronics Show. The electric van received a lot of attention, and perhaps because of that interest, FCA has given the green signal to commence production. According to Automotive News, the van will hit the assembly line; however, it will come at the cost of the 300 sedan in the brand’s lineup.
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.
Chrysler has had only one mass-produced electrified vehicle in its history and that was the now-discontinued Durango hybrid. According to a report from Bloomberg, Chrysler is once again kicking around the thought of electrified vehicles, be it by 100 percent electricity or some sort of hybrid system.
Bob Lee, the head of Chrysler’s engine and electrified propulsion engineering department was quoted as saying “We do believe in electrification, sparingly and for the right kinds of targeted applications.” This basically means that Chrysler is taking its dive into electric propulsion very carefully until it knows that there is a market among Chrysler buyers.
That’s not a huge shock, considering that Chrysler was pulled from the financial flames twice in the last decade, or so – once by Daimler and once by Fiat. Chrysler is finally pulling in a profit and now it’s actually carrying its parent company, Fiat, on its shoulders to keep it from drowning in debt.
Speaking of Fiat, Lee also confirmed in the same report that Fiat is moving into production of the anticipated 500EV, the electric-powered Fiat 500. The 500EV will go into production later on this year and be ready for release sometime in the 2013 model year.
The 500EV will likely be the testing grounds for Chrysler to see if it is a profitable venture or not. We are willing to bet that buyers gobble up the 500EV and that Chrysler soon follows suit with a small EV of their own. Down the road, with fuel prices going how they are, we may even see the Viper utilizing a hybrid system, much like Ferrari is planing to install on its upcoming Enzo/F70.
We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know once there is some confirmation on a Chrysler with electric propulsion.
Do auto execs run around town with their briefcases hanging open or is it just luck that leaked patent drawings randomly show up on the ’net at the perfect time? After Chrysler’s announcement of the Sebring’s eventual demise, Noticias Automotivas reports that this images is one of the leaked patent drawings of the future 200C.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept appeared at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show quite unexpectedly and seemed to be set to compete against Chevrolet’s Volt. The concept has a 40 mile range purely on battery power with some added mileage provided by the vehicle’s small gasoline engine. Total power for the concept was said to be about 270hp.
The patent drawings are very similar to the concept car shown to us at the Detroit Auto Show. The drawings feature the same rounded front fascia and distinct grille. The elongated headlamps and fog lamps are still there as is the puckered up back end. In fact, it literally looks exactly the same as the concept vehicle and if the similarity on the exterior extends throughout the entire vehicle, then we can expect the same power and interior as found in the concept as well. However, we might see Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 get dropped in there.
We’ll let you know as soon as we received more information on the Chrysler 200C.
It is no surprise that everyone seems to be going green these days. Yes, a lot of the hustle and bustle is due to the growing concern over our environment, but we will bet on the fact that some of it has to do with another type of greenery. We are talking cold hard cash and with the introduction of the Nissan Leaf (great green name by the way) it is no surprise to us that Chrysler is ready to join the ranks of us tree-huggers. Chrysler announced today that it will jump into the electric car market starting with an electric version of the Fiat 500 with production beginning in 2012. The Fiat 500EV will more than likely be modeled after the prototype demonstrated in January at the North American International Show in Detroit. It will be Chrysler’s first electric vehicle and will feature three main systems to power its engine; an electric powertrain module, a lithium ion battery, and a control unit to manage power flows. The demo previewed at the auto show boasted a range of over 100 miles, but Chrysler would not comment on the range of the production model.
Despite the fact that hybrid vehicles saw increased publicity in 2008 from record-high gasoline prices, sales of the fuel-efficient vehicles in the United States were actually down 9.9 percent over 2007. Vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic saw record sales when gasoline prices topped $4.00 per gallon, but when the price dropped and the economy started to really slide customers shied away from the price premium (usually a few thousand dollars) associated with hybrid cars. Compared to the whole industry falling by 18 percent, the hybrid market remained relatively strong and posted a slight gain in market share rising from 2.17% of total sales in 2007 up to 2.38% for 2008.
With its iconic Prius leading the charge, Toyota dominated the hybrid market by gobbling up 76.5 percent of the market’s share, but its overall sales of hybrid models were down 12.5 percent. Combined, the Big 3 accounted for less than 11 percent of the market, but General Motors and Ford are both hard at work ramping up their respective hybrid lineups with new products set to debut this year. Chrysler, on the other hand, sold just 81 hybrid vehicles in 2008 and recently shuttered the plant that built its only two hybrid models: the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen. Thanks to the numerous additions of hybrids across four of its brands, GM’s hybrid sales nearly tripled in 2008.
With cars such as the low-priced Honda Insight, luxury Lexus HS 250h, two-mode Saturn Vue Hybrid and 41-mpg Ford Fusion hybrid debuting in 2009, consumers will have more hybrid models to choose from than ever before.
A surprise electric vehicle that showed up in Detroit was the mid-sized 200C EV. With some luck, this is the future of Chrysler’s Sebring-sized sedan.
Taking square aim at Chevrolet’s Volt, the powertrain in the 200C EV has a 40 mile range purely on battery power, and then the range can be extended with the aid of a small gasoline engine. The total power from the engines should be about 270 hp. Chrysler wanted to be extra eco-friendly with this concept and painted it in in a water-based Liquid Graphite Pearl exterior color.
Press release after the jump.
Chrysler officials released the Dodge Ev, an all-electric performance sports vehicle with looks very similar to Tesla Roadster and also other 2 cars on built completely or partially with an electric powertrain.
All three models are part of a special company’s project which includes more vehicles such as an extended entirely electric minivan called Chrysler EV and a Wrangler four-doors Jeep. The Dodge Ev is the first car of the series that was presented, working entirely on plug-in and inspired by the Lotus Europa.
Press release after the jump!
Later this month Chrysler will be showing dealers prototypes of three electric cars that can be produced. Chrysler is focusing on developing hybrid electric plug-in vehicles with a range of around 300 miles."We are making substantial progress on electrification of our vehicles," said Jim Press, co-president of Chrysler. "Fuel cells are in the future, but probably more in my kids’ future than my own."
Volt is not even built yet and it is already in danger. As the gas price is getting bigger by the day people are looking for alternative powers. And it seems that the electrical one is the best at the moment.
Chrysler is considering an electric car that might be unveiled in the next three to five years. The company launched a special division within the company last fall called ENVI — pronounced like "envy" — to bring electric-drive vehicles and related advanced-propulsion technologies to market.
"ENVI is currently developing electric vehicles for the three Chrysler brands and is planning on product within three to five years," Nick Cappa, a Chrysler spokesman, told the Free Press.
Around September, Chrysler will begin to offer two hybrids: the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango — both SUVs and both priced below GM’s similar models.