Posted by: carboncreditsusa | January 14, 2009

“Electric Vehicle” Update: Chrysler 200C Unveiled As An “Extended-Range Electric Car” Using Small Gasoline Engine To Assist With Driving Range

200cevchrysler

“..the 200C EV concept is an extended-range electric car with a small gasoline engine that would not drive the wheels, but would provide power to stretch the range of the electric motor…”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/automobiles/autoshow/chrysler-200c.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print

IS IT REAL? Its extended-range electric drivetrain isn’t ready for prime time, and its futuristic ultra-connected instrument panel is intriguing, but largely hypothetical. But as a design exercise, the clean, sleek 200C seems much more polished than the concept cars Chrysler showed here a year ago. This could be what the next Chrysler 300 sedan, or its successor, will look like.

WHAT THEY SAID: The 200C exhibits “the inspired and soulful look at what a Chrysler sedan should be,” said James Press, a company vice chairman.

WHAT THEY DIDN’T SAY: With Chrysler’s factories closed for at least a month to conserve cash, and the company seeking $3 billion more in government loans (in addition to the $4 billion it received so far), Chrysler has to stretch its research and development dollars. Furthermore, while General Motors, Ford and Toyota have offered specific information on their plans to develop and produce advanced batteries for electric cars and hybrids, Chrysler has offered few details, though it promised in Detroit to bring out an advanced electric vehicle in 2010, with at least three more to follow by 2013.

WHAT MAKES IT TICK? Like the ballyhooed Chevy Volt, the 200C EV concept is an extended-range electric car with a small gasoline engine that would not drive the wheels, but would provide power to stretch the range of the electric motor. Inside, the 200C is even more novel: its Uconnect features would let users build a network of “buddy vehicles,” whose locations could be tracked on a dashboard screen; allow parents to set strict limits on how their teenagers drive and where they go; and provide a slide-out computer for a front-seat passenger.

HOW MUCH, HOW SOON? It is unlikely that Chrysler could beat Toyota and G.M. to market with an extended-range electric car. But gasoline or hybrid powertrains could also be installed in the 200C. With the full-size 300 sedan nearing the end of its cycle, the slightly shorter 200C could offer a glimpse at the next generation.

HOW’S IT LOOK? Sleek, elegant and devoid of any odd styling quirks, the 200C was one of the Detroit show’s nicest surprises. It can also be seen as a harbinger of a new direction for the company’s styling studios under a new design chief, Ralph Gilles, who created the 300.


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