NEWS: Chrysler Electric Car Development Team, ENVI, Disbanded

November 9, 2009
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Chrysler’s ENVI group, which crafted several electric vehicle concepts and was charged with bringing such technology to production, is no more. According to Reuters, the band of engineers within the group are now part of Chrysler’s normal vehicle development ranks.
Announced in 2007, ENVI’s original goal was to prepare electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that could feasibly be produced by 2010. Chrysler went so far as to say it could have a half-million EVs on the road by 2013. Prototypes included plug-in hybrid forms of the Jeep Patriot, Wrangler, and the Chrysler Town & Country, along with an electrified version of the Lotus Europa called the Dodge Circuit.
Although the ENVI group’s activities were a major talking point earlier this year when Chrysler sought government aid, those vehicles are no more. However, Chrysler’s engineers will still take the lead in developing new electric and hybrid vehicles for the Fiat organization, and former ENVI chief Lou Rhodes is now in charge of EV development for the entire company.
According to Reuters, Fiat is interested in developing an electrified commercial van for the U.S. market -- a suitable replacement for the Town & Country EV cargo van once promised, and a possible competitor for the forthcoming electric version of the Ford Transit Connect.
Source: Reuters
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