Chrysler is getting charged up about electric vehicles. In a surprise move, last year, the ailing American automaker rolled out a trio of battery-powered vehicles that it announced would go into production during the coming decade. Vice Chairman Jim Press has since said that one of them is set to debut as early as 2010. But which one?
Would it be the Jeep EV, a modified version of the Dodge Wrangler? Or perhaps the Chrysler EV, which starts out as a Town & Country minivan? Both of these products fit into the Plug-in Hybrid – or, if you prefer, the extended-range electric – category, since they use a combination of lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor drive system paired with a conventional gasoline engine.
Well, if what we saw rolling down Woodward Ave., Detroit’s main drag, this past weekend, is any indication, the ailing automaker is getting ready to make a move with the third of its EV trio, the little Dodge EV. The sexy little 2-seater fits into the pure battery car category. If the basic design looks familiar, that’s because it starts out as a Lotus Europa modified to accept a lithium-ion battery pack, electric motor and computer control system. (more…)