into the electric vehicle (EV) market with both feet. Late in the fall the company unveiled three EV prototypes—a mirnvan, a sports car, and a Jeep—and said one of the three would go into production for North America in 2010. No hints were given as to which vehicle would get the nod. Chrysler will also put a fleet of 100 EVs on the road next year to test the powertrains.
Chrysler called the EV Wrangler a "Range-extended Electric Vehicle" because it has a small gasoline engine onboard to produce energy as needed for the 200 kW electric motor (268 hp, 295 lb-ft). Using lithium-ion batteries, the motor will power the Jeep on electricity alone for 40 miles; with about 8 gallons of gas on board for the engine, that range jumps to 400 miles.
"We are also exploring four-wheel-drive, in-wheel electric motors to demonstrate the full reach of our advanced electric-drive technologies," said Lou Rhodes, vice president of Advance Vehicle Engineering and president of ENVI, Chrysler's in-house organization focused on electric-drive production vehicles and related advanced technologies.
Chrysler has also launched a consumer website—www.chrys-lergoeselectric.com—for those of you who want to monitor the company's progress on the EV front.
SPECIAL RAM, TOO
Texans love their trucks, so Dodge has issued a Lone Star edition of the Ram 1500. The Hemi-powered, Crew Cab 1/2-tons feature chrome accents all over, from the front bumper and grille surround to the 4-inch exhaust tips. Even the 20-inch wheels are available in chrome. Just don't get your hopes up if you live in the other 49 states; the Lone Star Rams are available in Texas only. The suggested retail price for the Lone Star package, which includes the Hemi, is about $2,800.
"We are also exploring 4WD, in-wheel electric motors if
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