Chrysler Goes Postal
April 22nd, 2009 3:40 PM Share
“Just in time for Earth Day,” trumpets Chrysler Blog, “Chrysler showed off four all-electric Town & Country minivan concept vehicles to the U.S. Postal Service, with the hope that mail delivery service across the country could soon be cleaner and quieter.” Digging a little deeper, Automotive News [sub] reports that Chryco “plans” to provide a fleet of 250 EV T&Cs to the postal service, with testing to begin later this year in Michigan, NYC and North Carolina. The A123 Systems-powered EV minivans, previously seen only in Chrysler’s ENVI vaporware lineups, are reported to have a range of 40–50 miles. Just like Chevy’s Volt! With about as much chance of making it into production. Never mind; Pr waits for no man.
“Fleet is ideal for what we’re presenting today,” ENVI Prez Lou Rhodes tells AN. “Fleet customers travel an average of 18 to 20 miles per day.” Of course retail versions will have Volt-alike ICE range extenders, says Rhodes without betraying a trace of doubt that such a vehicle will ever see the light of day.Meanwhile, Chrysler has contracted local utilities to provide charging stations and is applying for federal stimulus money to expand test fleets nationwide. Interestingly that particular grant program is wholly discretionary, meaning there’s no limit to the amount of cash Chrysler could gobble up in the name of electrification “demonstration.”
Published April 22nd, 2009 2:33 PM
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@ midelectric : "The USPS actually had a sizable electric fleet that was discontinued just after GWB came to office" Actually Ford beat Chrysler to the punch on this one when they delivered 500 electrical postal vans to the USPS in 2001. They even had a 50 mile range. http://www.megawattmotorworks.com/display.asp?dismode=article&artid=346
What a waste of money for Chrysler. And does it even matter for a company that's clearly on its way down the tubes? Even if they had these vans completely ready to build and deliver (which they clearly don't), this wouldn't even come close to saving them, so WTF are they doing wasting time and money on a project like this? Way too little, way too late. Pull the plug already.
I like the idea of a hybrid or electric minivan. I just wish it wasn't a Chrysler.
Maybe some parts of Chrysler want to survive. Bury themselves in a niche with a potential bonanza if they can pull it off.