Chrysler quiet on electric-vehicle buzz

There has been a huge buzz recently around electric-vehicles and lithium-ion battery development; however, one automaker ,who was once a key player on the segment, has gone missing – Chrysler Group LLC. Last we heard, Chrysler and its ENVI department had planned to have an electric-car in the showrooms by the end of 2010.

Even during its stay in bankruptcy court, Chrysler submitted three proposals to the U.S. Department of Energy, outlining a $448 million plan to “rapidly bring” electric-vehicles and plug-in hybrids to the market. Following that we heard reports that the once cancelled Lotus Europa-based Dodge Circuit was back in Chrysler’s product plans. In fact, Chrysler had three other electric vehicles that were planned for 2013.

However, today, it’s unclear whether new CEO Sergio Marchionne remains committed to Chrysler’s ENVI electric-vehicle initiatives. Not to mention that Fiat, like other European auto companies, is a big fan of diesels rather than hybrids or electric-cars.

“Chrysler really isn’t in the game at the moment, at least not near enough for us to expect something in showrooms in 12 to 18 months,” Stephanie Brinley of AutoPacific Group.

– By: Kap Shah

Source: Free Press