Chrysler Plug-In Hybrid Minivan Expected To Debut At 2016 NAIAS

MAR 24 2015 BY MARK KANE 21

1999 Chrysler EPIC - Help My Pants Are Trying To Attack My Neck

1999 Chrysler EPIC

Chrysler is one of those manufacturers that mostly stays away from plug-in cars, limiting its work in the segment to pilot projects in the minivan and truck segments.

Maybe that will change soon though as it’s expected that next January, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, Chrysler will unveil a new minivan, to be offered  in a plug-in version.

No concrete details are available at this point in time aside from Chrysler CEO saying that the van will get “75 miles per gallon” and will get some manner of all-electric range (we think in the low 30s given the way MPGe maths work, on PHEVs in the US – and the size/efficiency of the van inherently) 

“Al Gardner, president and CEO, Chrysler brand – FCA North America , said during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show, the plug-in hybrid is definitely part of the Chrysler brand’s future product plan.

Last month, Fiat Chrysler Automobile Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said he hoped to have the new minivan ready for an unveiling at the next North American International Auto Show in January 2016.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles should be the first manufacturer in the US to introduce to market a plug-in minivan.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Categories: Chrysler

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21 Comments on "Chrysler Plug-In Hybrid Minivan Expected To Debut At 2016 NAIAS"

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Note to Chrysler: Make a deal with GM to get Voltec drive units. I doubt you can develop better than that.

On a minivan it should be easy to find space to hide the batteries, you could use the ‘Stow n Go’ space.

Chrysler was traditionally known as the engineering company, usually in the forefront with transmissions, gas turbine engines , etc.

But that company is gone. FCA and its chairman isn’t exactly known for innovation, or for any enthusiam towards plug-ins.

Remember the plug-in Viper, Jeep, etc? Never materialized after bankruptcy. Maybe your idea of a VOLTEC will fly. Of course, then why doesn’t GM do it?

Good question, why does GM not make a Voltec SUV or minivan?

I believe that automakers and dealers struggle to deal with EVs. Both are very worried it will kill their traditional business.

The current automaker business model requires large up front investment to set up a production line for each vehicle, and each car is cheap to produce, and has a lot of margin on it to repay the development costs.

So if they look at their traditional way of doing business, they cannot imagine making a profit on a car that contains a super expensive battery, and sells in tiny volumes.

“Good question, why does GM not make a Voltec SUV or minivan?”

My loopy conspiracy theory is that they did not want to do that because the gas SUVs and minivans are MUCH more profitable such that if they created a Voltec version, their profits are gonna drop.

Essentially, I think they’ve been dragging their feet to eke out more profits until they are forced to make them because someone else starts making them. This allows them to tune their technology and wait for battery prices to drop more. And now that Mitz is making the Outlander PHEV, BMW is making an X5 PHEV, Chrysler is making this plug-in mini-van . . . GM may finally start building some more Voltec models.

SL … it seems we are saying the same thing, or am I missing your point?

I think GM will wait on Voltec CUV/SUV/minivan until kWh prices come down to the point where 40 AER for those kinds of vehicles doesn’t break the bbank.

I know what you mean by breaking the bank. GM struck out last time when they had a hybrid SUV. They kept it on the market for a number of years, but it did not sell. Too much money for too little mpg improvement.

Therein lies the problem with MPG (as opposed to the inverse – gallons per mile – or liters per 100km). Choosing a hybrid Honda Civic over a gasoline version has a much larger impact to the MPG number than choosing a hybrid Chevy Tahoe over the gasoline Tahoe. However, the hybrid Tahoe saved MUCH more gasoline per year than the hybrid Civic. It’s a shame these things didn’t sell like hotcakes – they could have had a huge impact on gasoline use.

I agree, Plus I think Autos R in bed with Big Oil & R Helping Big Oil Keep Us all Contained Under Their Controlled Gouging Spell.,For as Long As Possible…But., That Is Changing Hopefully, & Never Fast Enough !

Chrysler’s reputation as the engineering company is something from an earlier archaeological age. By the 70s they were run by accountants. Iaccoca basically improved their accountant approach to building cars – use one platform (K-car) for everything except the trucks and the ancient Omni/Horizon, spend the minimum on R&D, and compete on price. It certainly got them through the 80s (and they acquired AMC along the way, which invested even less in R&D), but by the time he left they desperately needed innovation to compete. They succeeded for a time – the Grand Cherokee timed the market extremely well, the 94 Dodge pickup suddenly made it competitive with Ford and Chevy, the revised minivan was initially a hit (until Honda copied the best features of the Sienna and the Chrysler and took over the market), the “cab forward” sedans were competitive. But it was only a brief innovation revival. They never solved the chronic quality problems and as competitors copied their best ideas Chrysler had nuthin left.

Well I don’t see much changed. The ‘new’ Jeep is basically a Fiat, and not made here.

Fiat and Chrysler are always scraping on the bottom of any reliability study or survey you look at.

Assuming they don’t screw this up (meaning the deliverable has a crappy price/performance ratio), this could be a HUGE success.

Lots of US households have (or want to have) a minivan and already have a garage with an outlet. Give them a reasonable way to save a bunch on fuel cost, and they’ll line up at the dealers.

It’s time for cars with plugs to move from early adopters and incentive seekers to those looking for pure utility. People who don’t care about the environment or anything but their own budget — and there’s certainly a lot of them in the US — will leap at the chance to save money.

Jan 2016 is 3/4 of a year away. Long time IMO. And will this be the production intent version for sales in 2016, or just a concept?

I’m done getting excited over these announcements, Chrysler. This darn well better be a production-intent vehicle and not another concept.

At least they have a concept car. Unlike some vaporcars I could mention … cough – Model E/3 … cough.

At least put a number on the side of it.

After moving their headquarters to London I`m done with them, no more money from my family.

I’m happy to hear that Chrysler is bringing a plug-in mini-van to market. That vehicle class has been under-served by plug-ins.

But the best part is watching Sergio have to eat his words. 🙂

Seeing is believing when it comes to Chrysler.

As far as dealers losing money from services (oil change etc), I don’t Iive in the US so I don’t know the prices but what Chrysler of gm/bmw etc should do is have a service plan like tesla but include some charging included, and break pads, road side assistant, onstar style stuff for $xx amount per year, maybe even cash back on electricity bill, fuel for plug ins

There are photos and more information on the chryslerminivan forum.

I think the minivan is the ideal vehicle for electric use as it’s mainly used to haul the family to school and on shopping trips. All short frequent journeys.