Under Fiat SpA, Chrysler has dismantled a team of engineers dedicated to developing a range of electric-vehicles. The move marks a major reversal for Chrysler, which had used its ENVI department and its electric-car program in order to receive $12.5 billion in federal aid.
In August, Chrysler took a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and test a fleet of 220 hybrid pickups and minivans that are now scrapped from its turnaround plan that CEO Sergio Marchionne announced earlier this week. Spokesman Nick Cappa said that on Friday, Chrysler had disbanded ENVI for a more traditional organization.
“Envi is absorbed into the normal vehicle development program,” Cappa told Reuters.
Under the new plan presented by Marchionne, ENVI’s chief Lou Rhodes will become the executive in charge of developing electric-cars for both Fiat and Chrysler.
Originally, Chrysler had plans to launch its first electric-vehicles by 2010. It had pledged to have 500,000 electric-cars on the road by 2013.
– By: Kap Shah