Chrysler Electric Program Still In Place


According to the last week’s presentation by Paolo Ferrero, vice president of powertrains — see the chart above — the company will roll out its electric products very slowly, starting with a hybrid Ram 1500 pickup in 2010. In 2011, two pilot programs of plug-in electric vehicles — a minivan and a Ram 1500 — would hit the streets in demo fleets of 100 or so.

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If we’re interpreting the chart correctly — and we’ve been told we are — the company will spend much of 2012 evaluating the commercial feasibility of future products before designing and introducing any hybrids in 2013 and 2014. It might sound like Chrysler is sitting on the sideline while Nissan, Ford and Chevy rush into the plug-in game, but at least the fragile company doesn’t stand to lose any chips by going all-in too soon.  

A battery-electric program for light commercial use will kickoff in 2012 with potential expansion in 2013 and later.

Is this less sexy electric lineup a non-story? No. But the Chrysler of last year, which debuted electric concepts that would likely never make money, and the post-bankruptcy, post-Fiat merger Chrysler of today are vastly different. 

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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