Chrysler has revealed a set of plug-in electric vehicles that it believes will bring it ownership of the EV market in the US. Hot on the heels of GM’s high-profile launch of the Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler has released details of the Dodge EV sportscar, based on the Lotus Europa, and electric versions of the Jeep Wrangler and Town & Country minivan.
The most surprising is the Dodge EV, with its clear similarities to the Tesla Roadster, which is constructed by Lotus and based on an Elise. Chrysler has come under pressure from its dealers because the lack of electric vehicles in its model range. The announcement that it wants to apply electric drive technology to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and body-on-frame four-wheel-drive vehicles vehicles should go some way to bringing them onside.
Chrysler has predicted a range of 200 miles for the new Dodge EV, much the same as the Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster. The car will be equipped with a 200kW motor delivering 480lb ft of torque, enough to take it to 60mph in less than five seconds, claims Chrysler. The larger vehicles have a different set-up, allowing them to run on electric motors powered by onboard batteries for about 40 miles, before swapping over to traditional engines.