Just as everyone is ready to write off Detroit, Chrysler (of all companies) tells the WSJ that it’s going to have a fleet — "portfolio" is the term it used, actually — of electric cars and trucks year after next:
Chrysler LLC is aiming to launch a full "portfolio" of electric cars and trucks, and sports-utility vehicles starting in late 2010, a person familiar with the company’s plans said.
The lineup will include front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive cars as well as so-called "body-on-frame" trucks, this person said.
At least one of the models will be a pure electric vehicle with a rechargable battery pack that Chrysler expects to have a range of 150 to 200 miles, this person said.
Others will have a battery that can last for about 40 miles and a small gasoline engine to provide power and recharge the battery for longer trips.
Chrysler expects these "range-extended" electric vehicles to go about 400 miles on eight gallons of gasoline, this person said….
I’m guessing that there will be a great deal of interest in this "portfolio" if it materializes. After all, my video short "Who Resurrected the Electric Car?" is my second-most watched video EVER on YouTube, with 27,748 views. (Which is first? Don’t ask. What that says about America is more disturbing, and a subject for another day.)
When I saw this breaking news on my Treo this morning, I thought it particularly ironic in light of the three letters to the editor I read in that same paper this morning, trashing Detroit all the way around for failing to do such things as this. I agreed with the letter writers, by the way.
I’ll believe Chrysler can pull this off when it does so. But the news is encouraging, from an Energy Party perspective.