Of the three electric-powered prototypes unveiled by Chrysler earlier this year, pundits buzzed the most about the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country EV. We understand their logic - though nowhere as sexy as the Lotus-based Dodge coupe (which was revamped for the 2009 Detroit auto show), it's the most practical application of Chrysler's hybrid technology we've seen to date.
Granted, it eschews the flexibility of the vaulted Stow 'n Go seating in favor of battery storage, but in essence, the Town & Country EV is a seven-passenger vehicle designed to operate much like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt: when fully-charged, the first forty miles are driven in EV mode, with a 200 kW (268 hp) electric motor powering the front wheels.
Once power is depleted from the lithium-ion battery pack, the Town & Country EV then activates a small 98-hp gasoline engine, which serves as a generator. Electricity created from the internal combustion engine is sent not only to the battery for recharging, but also to the electric motor, boosting the total range of the vehicle (Chrysler claims it's as high as 400 miles to a tank of gasoline).
Not only does this package make tons of sense for families facing lots of urban driving, but it's also the most likely to be built by 2010: Chrysler's already announced the first ENVI product to reach production will likely be a cargo van (we bet it'll carry Dodge badges), with passenger versions possibly following soon after.
To read more about the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country EV, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
For complete coverage of the 2009 Detroit auto show, click HERE.