By on January 19, 2019

Are the 66,716 Americans who helped take the venerable Dodge Challenger to a new sales record in 2018 just Luddites, rebelling against a rising tide of electrification and autonomy? Maybe, but the era of a Challenger line powered solely by gasoline is drawing to a close.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley addressed the muscle car’s future at this week’s Detroit auto show, admitting that, at some point, the Challenger needs to grow greener. That means venturing into the unsexy world of electrification — an unthinkable act for some American muscle purists.

Speaking to The Detroit News, Manley said the Challenger, despite enjoying a lasting popularity that’s rare in the industry — at least for a car model, must change with the times if it has any hope of long-term survival.

“The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s,” Manley said of the Challenger’s aging LX architecture and trio of V8s. “New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.”

Image: FCA

It’s not like no one saw this coming. There’s a plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler in the works, and FCA’s 2019 revamp of its lucrative Ram 1500 line saw the debut of “eTorque” mild-hybrid variants of its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Dodge’s Challenger and Charger makes good use of these displacements and, with some weight shaved from a modified LX platform and a lightweighted body, the Wrangler’s turbocharged Hurricane four-cylinder could become a new addition to the engine lineup.

FCA’s Brampton, Ontario assembly plant should begin producing next-generation Chargers and Challengers in 2021, minus the Italian platform originally slated for the models. Late FCA boss Sergio Marchionne admitted last June that platforms sourced from Alfa Romeo or Maserati wouldn’t be able to handle the excessive torque of hi-po Mopar applications.

While a Hurricane four mated to an eTorque system is one low-end powertrain possibility mentioned in our piece, Manley suggests the company’s unsullied 6.4-liter and supercharged 6.2-liter V8s will have to give way to electrified alternatives in the coming decade.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD, Image: FCA

“I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future,” he said. “What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine.” Take that, Hellcat fans.

Take solace, too. Manley claims a move towards electrification is not a sign of Dodge handing in its man card.

“Electrification deployed to increase the performance of the vehicle as its primary goal – with the added benefits of fuel economy – is very different, instead of the other way around,” he added.

While the move towards performance cars equipped with a fuel-saving electric “boost” is gaining in popularity among high-end European manufacturers, some analysts wonder where the same strategy will go over well with American consumers. Especially consumers of a product as quintessentially red-blooded as the Challenger.

Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer isn’t having it.

“There’s a long-standing rule about what constitutes American muscle, but electrification is not part of it,” Brauer told The Detroit News. “I need something that gets my blood pumping.”

He continued, “The Challenger is now challenging the Mustang for sales primacy with a V8. Who would have thought that? In terms of sales, the supercharged V8s have worked well.”

A possible replacement for Dodge’s big boys could be a long-rumored twin-turbo V6 (or inline-six), offered with or without hybrid assist.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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73 Comments on “The Internal Combustion-only Dodge Challenger’s Days Are Numbered, Manley Says...”


  • avatar
    forward_look

    You’ll always have your lawn mowers if you need stinky, noisy, complicated dino-burners.

    Actually, I knew a guy with an electric mower 30 years ago, a GE with lead acid batteries. It worked great then, would work better now with improved batteries.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I bought a battery powered mower (Worx) four or five years ago, probably the best mower I’ve ever owned over 30+ years of push mowers. Nice and light, the only thing I really ever have to do to it is to sharpen the blade and oil the wheels once a year.

      The mower runs on two 56V batteries. It can run on one if necessary, but the rate of drain is much higher. It balances the energy taken from each battery with two in. I moved to much smaller digs a couple of years ago, but at my old place, I had the standard 1/4 acre lot from 1950’s suburbia. The mower could do it on a full charge, unless it was very thick/high. Then I would mow until it stopped, throw the batteries on the charger, have a beer, throw the batteries back in the mower and finish up. With the postage stamp lawn I have now, I can go two weeks or more on a charge.

      If the car companies can make cars as convenient as my mower, I’m all in on a BEV…

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        geo-z, funny you guys brought up electric lawn mowers. ’tis the season.

        I don’t cut my own grass or do yard work any more but I did buy a corded electric lawnmower this year, to suck up fallen leaves.

        Tried a twin-battery mower/mulcher from Lowe’s. Even with 80v there was range-anxiety. Didn’t last long. Took three hours to recharge those batteries.

        That did it for me. Those leaves still had to be sucked up by me since our gardeners are living in Old Mexico from Fall to Spring.

        Thought about the Works, but it was pricey. Ordered one El Cheapo from Sun Joe that sucks 13-amps, dims the lights in the house when you turn it on, and chops the leaves into a fine dust at 3600 rpm, and shoots the dust into a bag.

        Hey, it starts, each and every time. Can’t beat that.

        But I wouldn’t want to mow grass with it. Nothing can beat a 7-horse 22″ gas-powered self-propelled Troy-Bilt walk-behind, which is what I used to use before I donated all my yard machinery to our gardeners.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          Replaced a two-stroke Lawn Boy with a cordless Black and Decker a few years ago. Ordered three 36V lead-acid batteries which provides enough range to take care of the entire yard (1/2 acre lot).

          For reasons cited by others, haven’t looked back…

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I have a B&D electric motor with lead acid batteries.

      I got it after my wife complained about the odor and noise of our gas mower. I’m on my second battery pack, and I’m working on converting the run-out battery pack to a lithium (INR) chemistry with BMS. It turns out that the e-bike kids publish really good technical notes on how to build a 36V battery pack. I could go buy a mower with a lithium-ion battery pack, but I like to tinker — so I’m going to do it the hacker way instead.

      One of my neighbors used his gas mower the other day, and I was left to wonder why he put up with a neighborhood-wide racket, smoke, and transporting volitile/flammable liquids to run the thing. If he were putting up with that for an airplane, I get it (because I really like airplanes) — but why deal with that for a lawn mower? More civilized lawn mowers are the hardware store in a variety of shapes and sizes.

      P.S. There are yards too big for these electric mowers — I grew up on my dad’s hobby-farm and had to mow such a lawn most weeks. But there aren’t any yards that big in my neighborhood — electric push mowers are better suited to the yards my neighborhood than riding mowers (regardless of power source), or gas push mowers.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      And there in lies the charm of a vehicle fitted with a internal combustion engine with all its mechanical noise and sound of its exhaust.

      At best an EV will be just another soulless disposable appliance. They’ll be handsome, sleek and fast no doubt but there just won’t be a connection there – nothing to marvel at or work on when you “lift the hood” nor will they make the right sorts of sounds unless tire and wind noise can somehow be exciting.

      i’m sure I’ll see a few snarky comments about how we should just go back to gapping plugs, setting carburators and points and adjusting valves on an engine hooked to a three speed manual – yeah as an every day vehicle that can be a pain in the ass (I’ve done them all) when you have to do it all the but on your project vehicle that sort of maintence is just as rewarding as rowing your own gears. You get a sense of accomplisment you just dont get with something where the best you can do is apply a wrap or change out the wheels or hit the Lee press-on section at Pep Boys.

      Just as well I suppose in a world where most people are hard pressed to do anything other than let the fob unlock the doors and press a start in order to go about their business. Ask them how to check the oil or tire pressure and in a few places where you cannot pump your own gas where the fuel cap is located and all you’ll get is a blank stare.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        Well said. An ICE I get (of course) and a BEV I get; but, getting the worst of both worlds I don’t get (you still have to fuel and maintain the ICE part, and the batteries will deteriorate over time). Oh, and wake me when the ‘battery revolution’ that’s been ‘right around the corner’ for at least 30 years happens.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “At best an EV will be just another soulless disposable appliance. ”

        yes. Think slabphone. You can throw away all the millions of words and blog entries and morons desperate to be relevant in the world as they write breathless phrases about the next black slabphone, how it’s a hundredth of an inch wider and the side curves around a quarter of a degree more gently and…in the end it’s just another slabphone that looks just like the last slabphone and every on of its competitors.

        And the slabphones are rented, not bought. Useless after a couple of years. Once you’re on the slabphone train, you have to pay to stay on it. Sure you can buy a phone, but you’ll do it again in a year or two because the old one pretty much quit working.

        That’s what the electrified vehicle world will be.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          You know I don’t get this thinking. I get enthusiast vehicles. I have a Fiesta ST. I is an amazing car to drive.

          But some of the most car enthusiast types I know drive electrics. They know all about the intracies of their car and enjoy them greately. I have been driving the most “soulless” electric (leaf) for several days and honestly, it’s fun. Not fin in the manner the Fiesta is, but just quiet and enjoyable.

          Honestly the most soulless vehicles have ICEs. Drive a Tesla then drive a CVT Altima and tell me which one sucks. Then tell me which owner doesn’t know the first thing about their car.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            I also don’t understand this thinking, either. I would think that anything that expands our the automotive “vocabulary” would be welcomed. FWIW, the car(s) I had in my 20’s are not the cars I would want now in my 50’s.

            Back then, I wanted a car I could wrench upon, test and tune for fun. Now that I’m on the brink of grandfatherhood (that’s weird admitting it), I mostly want my car to get me where I need to go with as little drama as possible.

            Again, horses for courses. I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for cars and the addition of viable electric cars to our choices has actually added to my enthusiasm.

            Miata isn’t always the answer in real life.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            The most engaging vehicles that I have ridden/driven/flown all have one thing in common: the ability respond *right now* to what I want to do. I love riding my bike with the engine in the power band where there is instant response to a desired change in velocity. I love my current car because it exhibits the same quality due to a very aggressive sport-mode transmission mapping and a relatively big non-turbo engine. I am, very much, looking forward to owning an electric car because (assuming it is biased toward performance) they are unmatched in this regard. “Soulless”? I’m not so sure.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Plenty of uses for a “slabphone” too that don’t involve social media (I like not having to dig through CDs in the car) and plenty for around 300 bucks you can get many years out of. But do enjoy your Razr I guess.

          I just hate the “They don’t like the cars I like” so they aren’t enthusiasts BS. This incidentally is why you have to go digging for decent Rock music. A bunch of oldsters decreed that there was no decent music made after Zeppelin or John Lennon died or whatever and refused to listen to new stuff.

          Adapt or die man.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            I’ve been getting the urge to build a Willy’s M38A Jeep with an electric drivetrain.

            No gearbox, no transfer case — just a dual-shaft direct drive motor with a few gizmos attached to replace the functions of the transfer case.

            It would be really cool. But it’s hard to explain why, when part of the appeal of this vehicle is its historic role. Why mix new and old technology? I suppose this question is important for any restomod, but the extremes represented by an EV drivetrain and a post-WWII Jeep really bring it into focus.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Art – This guy who remembers the 1960s really loves the song by Metric, “Satellite Mind”. Killer rock tune that pushes all my buttons. Good stuff is out there.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Battery powered appliances don’t do it for me. I have no issue with corded though. Mower is a 1985 John Deere tractor though. Yard is too big and sloped for a push mower.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Would the new Ram’s e-torque system – particularly now that it comes standard with the Pentastar – count as electrification? I just watched two videos about it, and it sounds like and excellent thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I expect that it won’t be long until the e-torque system makes it into more vehicles and not just those that use the Pentastar or some form of Hemi. That is the entire idea behind a BAS style hybrid, all you have to do is have the space for it and to make a bracket for the specific engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      One of the most terrible failures of green-car marketing was the 1st Malibu “Hybrid” system in the mid-2000s.

      There’s nothing wrong with a BAS system inherently. It’s a perfectly legitimate fuel-saving technology.

      BUT, GM marketing tried to tell us it was as good as a Prius. The realized that green car buyers like to make a statement, so they covered the car with giant “hybrid” stickers. However, they failed to realize green car buyers can read the Monroney Sticker and considered the numbers to be the underlying truth of the statement they were making. And, so, the Prius-killer Malibu hybrid came out with only a 1MPG improvement over the pretty pedestrian Malibu. It was no Prius, and the green car community felt like GM was trying to pull one over on them.

      So, please don’t pretend e-torque is a electrification, or even a full hybrid system. It’s a perfectly good system, but it’s not the same thing as a hybrid, PHEV, or plugin.

      Electrification means the car can be refueled to some extent through an electrical outlet. That’s a small subset of the interesting fuel saving (or power-increasing) technologies.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Luke,

        thanks for this post. I thought the e-Torque sounded great because it does not upend the engine, it just helps with some of its shortcomings. Whether this can be called a hybrid or electrification is beyond my knowledge to argue – but I can see what you mean. Nor do I know what the B&B think about this generally, conservative as they are on the whole. The question is, is that what the man means regarding the LX cars? Otherwise, actual electrification of those cars, like SCE mentions below, would be a hilarious contradiction.

        And by the way, FCA is not GM!

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Hopefully FCA will learn from GM’s marketing mistakes.

          GM managed to mess up a perfectly good technology by misrepresenting it to the buyer (and misunderstanding what that buyer wanted), and they paid the price for it.

          Ford made different mistakes with the C-Max, but when the car couldn’t deliver the MPGs advertised on the window sticker. That’s as big of a problem to a green car buyer as missing your 0-60 numbers would be for a muscle car buyer — because that number sells the car. Oops!

          In a world with so many great and interesting technology under the hood, it’s vitallymi important that car companies describe what they’re selling accurately.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          The e-Torque is like the first gen Prius.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @Flipper35:
            The 1st Gen Prius uses a Power Split Device (a glorified differential gear) to balanced by a pair of electric motors (one on each side, with a slaved Miller Cycle ICE hanging off of one side) to make its CVT and to charge/discharge the battery. It really is a “magic transmission” kind of setup. The Prius can move the ICE stopped.

            E-torque is just a big starter/alternator attached via the serpentine belt, with an auxiliary battery. It allows the car to start and stop at stoplights, and provides a little extra torque on the low end. The conventional engine and transmission move the car in the conventional way. This is in no way comparable to a Prius system. It’s just a bolt-on fuel saving accessory.

            There’s nothing wrong with bolt-on fuel saving accessories. The world needs more of them. But let’s not pretend that bolt-on fuel saving accessories are like a real hybrid system (which can move the car whole the engine is stopped). GM tried to pretend their e-torque like system was equivalent to the Prius hybrid system, and they were the laughingstock of the green car community — until they introduced the Volt, which was a serious green car (ten years ago).

  • avatar
    MoDo

    The big 707, 808 and 840hp engines were only made because the cars weigh so much and they had to make an impact with them. This is right from the former head of Dodge’s mouth. So yes, power will drop when the cars eventually lose girth but the acceleration times will probably be improved.

    Its simply power to weight ratio

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      and/or maybe b’cuz they realized this would be their last, best opportunity to do so.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        That’s what I think and I am sad to see the Big V8 era come to an end.

        For guys like me who teethed on Chrysler 426, Ford Flat Heads, GM 409 and 454, and Olds 455, this is like a death in the family.

        My family still owns an old Dodge-powered Southwind Motorhome with the gnarly 440. It’s been rebuilt twice over decades and still runs like the day my dad bought it.

        My dad used a 426 Hemi in his dragster back in the 1960s and I spent many hours as a 12-year old helping to rebuilt that engine after a race.

        Hate to see the Big Blocks go.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          I can see the need to move forward, and as part-time driver of various hybrids, the e-movement makes a good case for such forward thinking. But there is something about the sounds that a “traditional” V8 configuration can produce – with a decent helping of cubes and the overhead valvetrain. I fire up the 6.2 litre in my car and the sounds are magic. Starting up the ancient Fury and the sound is glorious. That will all be missed. I suspect those who never heard too much of those sounds would wonder what all this fuss is about but for those who know…

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Most ICE engines make great sounds. Two strokes, flatheads, FPC’s, Diesels. Straight 8’s, V-12s. Great sounds and smells every one of them. People will keep the old ones going just like the old Stanley and Doble steam cars. The sound of horses hoofs hitting the ground is nice too. We still have those.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            mcs: You’re absolutely correct. These things aren’t going away anytime soon. I may come back in 10 or so years when I retire and pick up a sweet 392 Challenger. It won’t be a daily then, for sure…

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          You could always get into aviation and get a Cessna 182 with a 540 cubic inch, air-cooled, six-cylinder, magneto-fired, dual-plug, horizontally-opposed engine with a crank that would make one out of Keith Black race engine look puny by comparison. ;-)

          They’ve been making them the same way for the better part of a century.

          General aviation: the absolute last stand of old ICE technology.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Mo’ engines, mo’ problems.

            (Glider pilot here. I have ASEL/ASES ratings, too, but glider tows are a lot cheaper than Hobbs Hours.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    As Tesla has demonstrated, a pure electric can be much quicker than an ICE.

    Electrifying the Challenger will be very hard, however. Batteries are heavy, and so is the Challenger’s chassis. They might gain marginal benefit by adding a small battery and electric motor, but it hardly seems worth it with the current design. I think they’d need to overhaul the whole car.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      If FCA is being serious about electrification during this design cycle, one hopes that they’ll design a modular body which can hold a proper battery skateboard for the electric variants.

      It’s hard for driveway hackers to re-engineer the body to accept batteries, which if why EV conversions tend to be hacky this way. But, if FCA is thinking about this during the car’s design cycle then, well, creating a body body variant which can hold the battery shouldn’t be much harder than anything else they have to do to bring the car to market…

  • avatar
    aajax

    If hybrid V8 power is good enough for the Porsche 918, it’s good enough for the Challenger.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Let’s see… nearly 67,000 Challengers, over 80,000 Chargers, and over 46,000 Chrysler 300s. That’s 193,000 vehicles sharing the same platform that’s not much different from the Grand Cherokee.

    That’s too big a market to walk away from, especially when the number was over 200,000 just a couple years ago, reduced because there were few upgrades to the Charger and 300.

    If there’s to be a new platform for all three models (and the Grand Cherokee and coming Wagoneer) that includes hybrid or plug-in electric options, there’s no need to stop making them. A modern assembly line should be able to handle both drivetrains on the same vehicle.

    Let the other automakers invest heavily in electric/autonomous vehicles, and continue to give buyers the option of choosing ICE-powered vehicles. That market is probably much bigger than car executives realize.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Unthinkable?? I popped a (censored) when I heard this and I’m a huge American muscle fan, probably as huge as it gets. This means the model will survive. Can’t wait!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I don’t like this sort of tech in the more handling oriented cars. My Fiesta ST with a heavy battery would be, I believe less fun. Not to say future tech and platform designs won’t remedy that.

    But in a heavy car like this that the “performance” varients are designed to go fast 1/4 mile at a time in a straight line ..who cares? The truth is electrification would make them FASTER in the 1/4 mile…even the hellcat. Do it

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Don’t forget that, in a proper hybrid, the battery weight is offset by smaller and simpler ICE components. Also, the actual gearbox is much simpler (a glorified differential), but it has more stuff surrounding it.

      The weight trade-off isn’t as simple as throwing a battery in the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The transmission in a hybrid is not necessarily much simpler. The Ford/Toyota power split is much simpler but many mfgs combine the motor with their conventional transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Yeah, the GM Two Mode system (used in the Tahoe Hybrid and Silverado Hybrid) is a beast.

          They’d have been much better off with something more like the Toyota HSD, even if they had to put two HSD-sized transaxles in it to handle the extra mass of the Tahoe/Silverado.

  • avatar
    ajla

    FWIW, mechanical fury is a part of why I bought a new Dodge Charger in 2014. It’s the USP. You take that totally away, **even if it’s faster**, and I’m going elsewhere. There are other RWD cars within the V8 LX price range.

    There’s a FUBAR way (PHEV turbo-4, full BEV) to do this and there is a correct way (hybrid V8, PHEV I6) to do this. Manley’s words don’t exactly inspire confidence though.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      FCA would be crazy not to offer a conventional powertrain option in the Charger/Challenger. My guess is that many muscle car buyers want a V8, no matter how good the other options are — and it would be a shame to leave their money on the table.

      Reasonable people can disagree about whether sound and fury is a good thing in an engine. “Louder and slower” seems like a worse car to me, but I can see how someone who isn’t me could be in to that sort of thing. There’s every reason to sell people who enjoy that sort of thing the car they want.

      As for me, I wouldn’t consider a Charger / Challenger unless it has a plug. But, with this announcement, I can suddenly see myself driving one. Cool!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My experience with battery powered lawnmowers and weed eaters has been less than spectacular. I bought one of the Worx edgers with a lithium battery (even got extra batteries) and could at best get 15 minutes out of a 5 hour charge. I also had a Dr. Trimmer battery lawn mower that lasted maybe a little longer but it did not have a lot of power. Liked the quiet, instant starting, and being cleaner but the product was substandard. I do have a Black and Decker electric corded lawn mower besides my gas mower and it has much more power than the battery powered Neutron mower I had. Liked the idea but it was expensive to buy with expensive batteries with poor performance.

    As for battery powered cars I am more inclined to try a hybrid. Maybe this technology will get better and less expensive but with my experience it would be a long time before I would try it again. As for Worx I would never buy their products again–they do not honor their warranties. Ended up putting the mower and the edger out for the garbage which is not environmentally sound but I couldn’t give them away. A hand push reel mower with human power does a much better job than the battery mowers and is a lot less expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      My experience with a B&D electric mower was that even moving quickly over a light cut, one charge couldn’t finish my lawn.

      B&D battery string trimmer required 2 fully charged batteries to clean up landscaping, trees and fences.

      #BatteriesBad

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        How big is your lawn?

        My 1/3rd acre is easily covered by a lead acid battery-powered B&D mower. My only complaint is that the battery is heavy, but newer lithium ion and LiFePo4 batteries are lighter.

        The mower I have wouldn’t be well suited to the 5 acre lawn my dad had growing up — and we mowed most of it with a diesel tractor and a brush hog. That doesn’t make batteries bad — you just have to use the right tool for the right job.

        Given all of the BS that comes with owning and maintaining a gasoline powered lawn mower (hauling flammable liquids in my minivan, exhaust odors, noise, oil changes, and a relatively complex engine), the overgrown power drill that I use to mow my lawn is a clear winner where I live.

        I readily admit that the battery mower is not perfect for every lawn but most of the houses in my neighborhood are on 1/3rd acre lots, and so I’m mystified why my neighbors put up with the disadvantages of a gas mower. Tradition, I gues?

        Of course, different sized lots require different tools, and a riding lawn mower or compact farm tractor makes sense on bigger lawns — and most of them are gas powered. Use the right tool, and fuel it with the least annoying fuel that matches your needs. In my case, the B&D battery mower is a clear winner over gas, and by a big margin.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          My son has a small lawn and his Ryobi lithium battery mower works great. It has enough torque to get through wet grass that would kill a gas mower.

          Gas mowers can be a pain. They definitely don’t like the ethanol that’s in gas these days.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “I’m mystified why my neighbors put up with the disadvantages of a gas mower.”

          I have a .65 acre lot, which may be too large for an electric mower (?), but I use a gas mower just because you can get them for like $25 at yard sales. The Husqvarna I use now was literally free because the house’s previous owners left it behind.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          A little electric push mower has no cupholder for my beer like my old Deere lawn tractor does.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          Horses for courses. I mentioned that I bought my BEM (Battery electric mower)? when I still owned a 1/4 acre lot four years ago and it was fine. I like smelling like grass when I’m done mowing, not exhaust fumes. But if you have ACRES to mow, it’s not the right tool for the job. This should be obvious to anyone not trying to score points on an internet bulletin board…

          With the tiny house, comes the tiny lawn. I had tried the Lowes/Home Depot/Menards human powered reel mower, but the cheapo ones cut terribly. Even after all of the YouTube videos on how to sharpen and tune those things, I still could not get a good, clean cut. I gave it away. I may eventually relinquish my BEM when my kid gets another house and buy one of those expensive reel mowers that actually CUTS the grass, not tears it up…

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I wonder if Chevrolet and Ford are thinking of similar powertrains for the Camaro and Mustang.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I will miss these beasts. Hemi V-8 power one of the last of their kind.

  • avatar
    scott25

    As long as it has a V8 and sounds like a V8, no one will care, no matter what’s attached to it. It’s only if they get rid of a V8 option or halo version that they’ll have a problem. There’s no point keeping the Challenger name going otherwise. Come up with a new name and it’ll sell.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Glad to see electric vehicles maturing and possibly replacing vehicles with ICE’s. Similar to Man’s progress beyond shooting and butchering animals for sustenance, we can stop the use of stinky, polluting, and uneconomical petroleum because the electricity for these vehicles cleanly comes through a cord from that little plastic wall plate in the garage much as the meat we consume is made in the back room of the local grocery. It’s magic, I tell ‘ya.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That magic has to get to that little plastic wallplate somehow and the sun don’t always shine and the wind don’t always blow.

      And butchering animals to this day is a huge business, at a price the majority of us can afford. Bon apetit.

      Now THAT is magic!

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        The closest utility-owned power plants to me are solar. About 4 miles away. Both produce about 3 mW together. They have websites available for ratepayers to check the output. It’s gray, cloudy, and winter in the Northeast, but they seem to still manage about 50% output. Better than nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I just got done doing work on a coal unit producing 1.1GW; 3 MW is a rounding error for that old Westinghouse unit. But it sure hasn’t been a rounding error for my electricity cost over the past 10 years.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            My rates in NM have more than tripled since the State ordered PNM to build more solar and wind farms. Many that continue to stand idle daily for one reason or another.

            The elec customer is the one who funds all this expansion in the form of higher rates.

            Seems to me if this solar and wind expansion were a money-making venture, the elec utility would trip all over themselves to invest in them.

            But they are not, because this crack pipe is a wet dream for the eco freaks that’s dragging the rest of the citizenry down the financial drain with it.

            And with all this extra power-pro, reliability still hasn’t improved.

            My UPS units are constantly clicking and whirring when there is a power fluctuation, in spite of a two-feed system from the Texas Grid and from the Palo Verde Nuclear plant in Tonopah, NV.

          • 0 avatar
            bullnuke

            The emergency generator at my last job (a medium-size OEM coatings manufacturer) was 2MW, a diesel V16 Cat. It would generate night or day, windy or not. I’d use it to peak-shave and made the company money ($0.48/kWh) from the local utility. It did crank over with electic (24vdc) so there’s that.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            we’re a group of small towns without a huge population or manufacturing.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            The consortium we get our power from is owned by several small towns and has to answer to voters. No profits going to shareholders. We have some of the lowest power rates and fantastic reliability – especially when you consider we’re in an area that is heavily forested.

            We buy our power from outside the consortium, so anything we produce on our own cuts our costs. If they lose money on the solar, the voters won’t let them get away with it. The solar is probably 1% of our power. They’re moving slowly with it. But, the solar is there because everyone wanted it. It wasn’t a government mandate.

            We’re also small enough that they can do cost-cutting by doing things like converting all of our street lights to LED. That saves about $5,000 per year even with the costs of conversion. Now, they don’t have to spend as much time maintaining streetlights.

  • avatar

    I live in a condo. I know other people who live in condos and apartments. NONE OF US will ever find an electric vehicle to be a practical choice. What am I supposed to do, run an electrical extension cord across the parking lot from my kitchen window to charge my 2026 Challenger eR/T? This crazed, beyond reason headlong rush off the cliff to all-electric vehicles is simply not going to end well.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      My God man it is the 21st century. Are you saying installing some outlets in the parking area is an insurmountable challenge? We have electric vehicles running around Mars for crying out loud. Just give some property tax incentives to property owners to put them in and don’t give me that “no subsidies” garbage because you know if GM or Toyota wanted that land to build a factory your representative would eminent domain your kiester and throw money at that company.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Very much this – some northern cities already have parking lots wired up for block heaters, so transitioning to charging is hardly infeasible (I think the Finnish already do this, and I was in Copenhagen last year, where they have a certain amount of on-street charging posts available for EV’s).

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I can see a future where landlords are required to provide EV charging for any parking spaces they own. Likewise, cities might decide or be forced to provide charging for public street parking in the vicinity of apartments.

      Such charging facilities could add the costs to the individual renters who use them, or they could be run by one of the for-profit charging companies out there. If it’s the latter, it would be cheaper to use gas.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        As a landlord, I’d consider installing them. Of course your going to have to pay to use them, but as long as you pay to use them… why wouldn’t I go ahead and install them?

        I’m not talking about crazy high prices or anything… But if they cost about $5000-10k to add a few, and I could get that money back in 36 months, I’d do it. (don’t tell me thats high- it cost $7000 to run power lines under the street)

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Charging times are coming down, range is going up. That is 2/3 of the equation. Once cost comes down on the 200+ mile cars I think you’ll see more folks choosing them. They won’t work for everyone but that doesn’t mean they will go away.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Most ICE engines make great sounds.”
    Exactly!

    The deep, brawny roar of a large displacement V8 definitively possesses a immense sex-appeal that is difficult to quantify, but very, very real.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    The castrating knife of government regulation cuts its way a little deeper. Soon Dodge’s testicles will be completely removed along with the rest of the domestic automakers.

    All the while, the eunuchs will chant in unison “Progress!” and “… but electrics are faster.”

  • avatar
    russification

    wildly optimistic industry projectinos over a dried out global capital market. future borrowers will have
    a)exhorbitent tax burdens to support government debt growth on pace to stop out the largest car markets in the coming decades
    b)consomer credit profiles who will need to borrow money for these new vehicles
    c)all of the above coalesce into larger market/political disturbances upsetting any further drift into undue complexity.

    my bet is that easily serviceable, readily available, cars and parts will out last forthcoming injection-molded plastic golf carts..


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