Chrysler Ends ENVI Program ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Chrysler Ends ENVI Program

Monday, November 09, 2009

Chrysler Ends ENVI Program

As part of the case for creating a bailout for Chrysler, the new ENVI division was set up last year. Chrysler put together three electric prototypes, and promised that one of them would be in production by 2010. They went on to pledge 500,000 electric vehicles by 2013.

Now that the bailout and bankruptcy is over, however, things have changed.

Chrysler, now owned by Fiat, laid out their five year plan, which will increase fuel efficiency based on Fiat expertise. But very little was said about hybrids or electric vehicles. Dodge will get the hybrid Ram, but if it follows the path of the prior Chrysler hybrids (sold for just two months), don't expect too much.

And now the ENVI division has been 'disbanded.'

"Envi is absorbed into the normal vehicle development program," Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told Reuters.

"Until the (battery) storage gets resolved, I think electric vehicles are going to struggle," Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

Cappa confirmed that the ENVI group no longer exists, but is apparently upset at the term 'disbanded,' saying that the group's members all are still working and that former ENVI chief Lou Rhodes is still in charge of vehicle electrification programs - for both Chrysler and Fiat.

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