Plug-in Hybrids

Published on September 8th, 2008 | by Nick Chambers

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“Producible” Chrysler Plug-In Hybrid: 0-60 in 4 Seconds

September 8th, 2008 by  
 

Apparently, Chrysler has been demonstrating plug-in hybrids to select dealers around the US that have “at least” a 300 mile range and can go from 0-60 in “less than” 4 seconds. According to the LA Times, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Jim Press claims these prototypes are in a “producible” state.

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Following in lock step, Chrysler has screwed the pooch like every other American car company over the last 5 years by completely ignoring the market for fuel efficient vehicles.

While both GM and Ford have finally reacted to this plight by beginning drastic company-wide overhauls from the ground up, I’ve been left wondering: does Chrysler still know that they’re losing money?

After buying Chrysler off of an ecstatic Daimler-Benz last year, private equity firm Cerberus began a plan to turn the company’s fortunes around, including laying off 12,000 workers, closing factories and deleting some models from its line-up. As of yet, none of this has staunched the flow.

So when I hear news that Chrysler has a producible plug-in hybrid prototype that can go from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds, I’m left wondering: WTF mate? Who’s in charge and why are only dealers being allowed to see this thing? Makes me hesitant to believe a word of it… but still… I want to believe.

No word on the time frame until those of us who might actually buy the plug-in will be able to see it, but Chrysler said back in July that it will start producing plug-ins in 3-5 years. Holy crap. Granted, I’m not a businessman, but it seems like that time frame is engineered to put Chrysler out of its misery without a fight.

Wake up Chrysler. If you’ve got the goods, bring it to the market. There’s no room in this brave new world for beating around the bush.

Posts Related to the Re-tooling of the US Auto Industry:

Image Credit: enviziondotnet’s Flickr photostream. Image reproduced and altered under a Creative Commons license. Note that the image above is of a Chrysler concept car that may have no relation to the plug-in hybrid prototype.

Source: LA Times (via Wired)





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About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • I don’t see why one is still referring to acceleration specs instead of the emissions the petrol engine is producing. It’s, unlike the in this blog mentioned Tesla, still is an hybrid so I don’t see what the 300 miles range supposed to mean.

    What’s to use of acceleration it when you’re stuck in traffic jams?

  • I don’t see why one is still referring to acceleration specs instead of the emissions the petrol engine is producing. It’s, unlike the in this blog mentioned Tesla, still is an hybrid so I don’t see what the 300 miles range supposed to mean.

    What’s to use of acceleration it when you’re stuck in traffic jams?

  • Have a look at this guy’s Website – full of ideas on “retooling” Detroit. Not many contributors yet but its a GOOD idea. http://world-class-enterprise.blogspot.com.

  • Have a look at this guy’s Website – full of ideas on “retooling” Detroit. Not many contributors yet but its a GOOD idea. http://world-class-enterprise.blogspot.com.

  • “Producible” likely just means there isn’t any weird future tech (like the Volt’s magic batteries. That doesn’t mean it can be made at a price point that won’t give people heart attacks. Or that it has been run through the gamut of safety & emissions testing required to go to market.

    Of course, plugin hybrids are snake oil anyway. They just relocate the pollution in most cases – including the added bonus of line loss – unless you have enough solar on your roof to power your house AND your car.

  • “Producible” likely just means there isn’t any weird future tech (like the Volt’s magic batteries. That doesn’t mean it can be made at a price point that won’t give people heart attacks. Or that it has been run through the gamut of safety & emissions testing required to go to market.

    Of course, plugin hybrids are snake oil anyway. They just relocate the pollution in most cases – including the added bonus of line loss – unless you have enough solar on your roof to power your house AND your car.

  • kerry Bradshaw

    Are you really brainless enough to believe that acompany would withold a product that everyone is dying to buy????? Where did you learn about economics? I find this article extremely dense and the logic behind the arguments implausible. If Chrysler had built fuel efficient cars years ago, they would have gone Chapter 11 years ago. Get real, foks, nobody wanted, or needed “fuel efficient” cars

    back then – gas was $1.50 a gallon. What would be the point of making (or driving) a cramped little piece of crap? You people are derelicts from the “finite energy” times of the 1970s. Energy ain’t finite, people, so quit making silly efforts to conserve energy. That ain’t the problem folks, in case you’ve been on Mars for the past 3 years.

  • kerry Bradshaw

    Are you really brainless enough to believe that acompany would withold a product that everyone is dying to buy????? Where did you learn about economics? I find this article extremely dense and the logic behind the arguments implausible. If Chrysler had built fuel efficient cars years ago, they would have gone Chapter 11 years ago. Get real, foks, nobody wanted, or needed “fuel efficient” cars

    back then – gas was $1.50 a gallon. What would be the point of making (or driving) a cramped little piece of crap? You people are derelicts from the “finite energy” times of the 1970s. Energy ain’t finite, people, so quit making silly efforts to conserve energy. That ain’t the problem folks, in case you’ve been on Mars for the past 3 years.

  • Nick Chambers

    More on “kerry Bradshaw” (the above commenter):

    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/off-topic/672-ken-kent-kerry-beauchrt-beuchert-beuchrt-biker-rider-krider-2.html

    He’s a Big Oil Troll that frequents this site and tries to discount everything that could take away from Big Oil’s profits.

  • Thomas C Gray

    The writer of this article can’t possibly be so dumb as to believe that a company with a life preserver in a shipwreak wouldn’t want to use it. “Produceable” means just that – it does not mean “commercially viable.” Chrysler can produce all kinds of things that would be way too expensive for anyone to buy. When you optimists get back to reality, why not realize that a million electricaly propelled cars on the road (Obama’s dream by 2015) will have zero effect on the demand for oil. Those cars will redcue (atmost) demand by less than 1/4th of 1 percent. Defrauding the public ny claiming that subsidizing those million plug-in/EV buyers to the tune of $7 BILLION dollars and still have zero effect on our oil situation shows just how pathetically small the results of electrification will be for the next decade. You people are fraudulently telling the public that oil demand will wither in just a few years. Biofuels will have an effect 24 times greater than electric propulsion during the next decade in reducing crude demand, which is everybody’s goal. Why do you all persist in misleading the public?

  • Thomas C Gray

    The writer of this article can’t possibly be so dumb as to believe that a company with a life preserver in a shipwreak wouldn’t want to use it. “Produceable” means just that – it does not mean “commercially viable.” Chrysler can produce all kinds of things that would be way too expensive for anyone to buy. When you optimists get back to reality, why not realize that a million electricaly propelled cars on the road (Obama’s dream by 2015) will have zero effect on the demand for oil. Those cars will redcue (atmost) demand by less than 1/4th of 1 percent. Defrauding the public ny claiming that subsidizing those million plug-in/EV buyers to the tune of $7 BILLION dollars and still have zero effect on our oil situation shows just how pathetically small the results of electrification will be for the next decade. You people are fraudulently telling the public that oil demand will wither in just a few years. Biofuels will have an effect 24 times greater than electric propulsion during the next decade in reducing crude demand, which is everybody’s goal. Why do you all persist in misleading the public?

  • Nick Chambers

    Mr. Gray,

    The article of this writer is as dumb as a stump… how do I know? It’s me! The moose at the door should have told you.

    Good grief… For the thousandth time… read my article all the way through to the end.

    I didn’t make any of the claims that you say I did. I’m presenting information as it has been received and pointing out that I find it hard to believe that Chrysler would do exactly what you say I claim they would.

    In fact, my gut is that it’s vaporware… but, like I said… I want to believe.

    I didn’t make these claims… Chrysler did. So who’s misleading the public, me or Chrysler?

  • Stone

    On top of the current difficulties for the big three automakers, there is also the uncoming flood of Chinese cars, that are going to undercut profit margins for all automakers and drive some out of business.

    The manufacturing base for cars is only now revving up in China, but once the Chinese get their business in order in this regard, they will get a huge market share in traditional non-innovative segment of cars, globally.

  • Stone

    On top of the current difficulties for the big three automakers, there is also the uncoming flood of Chinese cars, that are going to undercut profit margins for all automakers and drive some out of business.

    The manufacturing base for cars is only now revving up in China, but once the Chinese get their business in order in this regard, they will get a huge market share in traditional non-innovative segment of cars, globally.

  • “Wake up Chrysler. If you’ve got the goods, bring it to the market. There’s no room in this brave new world for beating around the bush.”

    truer words have never been uttered.

    oh, and MEGA props for referencing and linking the end of the world video! I knew what that link would be before i even moused over! nice!

  • “Wake up Chrysler. If you’ve got the goods, bring it to the market. There’s no room in this brave new world for beating around the bush.”

    truer words have never been uttered.

    oh, and MEGA props for referencing and linking the end of the world video! I knew what that link would be before i even moused over! nice!

  • Nick Chambers

    Thanks Jeffrey! Props to you for clicking on the embedded links. I try to put at least one Easter egg in every post. Did you click the link next to it by any chance?

  • Alan

    MaxHedrm repeats the snake oil that electrics just relocate the pollution, which is simply not true. Even the dirtiest power plants (at least in Europe and North America) are cleaner than gas engines right up front. And such comments completely ignore the fact that a power plant upgrade or replacement immediately upgrades all of the vehicles getting power from it. Not to mention the mass migration going on right not to wind, solar, geothermal and other non-polluting sources of power.

  • Alan

    MaxHedrm repeats the snake oil that electrics just relocate the pollution, which is simply not true. Even the dirtiest power plants (at least in Europe and North America) are cleaner than gas engines right up front. And such comments completely ignore the fact that a power plant upgrade or replacement immediately upgrades all of the vehicles getting power from it. Not to mention the mass migration going on right not to wind, solar, geothermal and other non-polluting sources of power.

  • ha ha. i like your style. LeBaron 08.

  • ha ha. i like your style. LeBaron 08.

  • Press is using the 2005 Toyota “VOLTA” concept car, which is a muscle-car EV with very high kW power rating (perhaps 150 kW), a relatively small and cheap battery, and a genset large enough to power the motor and/or recharge the batteries (perhaps 80 hp, because you don’t need 150 kW all the time! And you get some of it back via regen braking).

    Chrysler can’t produce the car because of the agreement by the auto companies to not produce an EV or plug-in car. It’s easy to do, as they proved in the 1990’s, but unless force, they won’t do it.

  • Press is using the 2005 Toyota “VOLTA” concept car, which is a muscle-car EV with very high kW power rating (perhaps 150 kW), a relatively small and cheap battery, and a genset large enough to power the motor and/or recharge the batteries (perhaps 80 hp, because you don’t need 150 kW all the time! And you get some of it back via regen braking).

    Chrysler can’t produce the car because of the agreement by the auto companies to not produce an EV or plug-in car. It’s easy to do, as they proved in the 1990’s, but unless force, they won’t do it.

  • Why does the american car industry move this slow?

  • Why does the american car industry move this slow?

  • Why does the american car industry move this slow?

  • Why does the american car industry move this slow?

  • Patrick

    This is good news for Chrysler. I see all the typical bashers are out in full force. I read all these negative comments from individuals who are totally clueless. Having operated an electric hyster forklift when I was young I can tell you electic motor driven cars going fast will be pretty normal. Sure it’s going to get mentioned but remember the most effecient gas engines also have a lot of horsepower. Back in the late 60’s massive horsepower was produced from ineffecient oversized engines. The Hemi engines of today can’t be compared to the originals other then the fact the heads have a simular cavity above the pistons. I’d look for Chrysler and Ford to launch an electric plug in car about the same time as GM’s Volt. Remember Chrysler is not new to plug in technology. They’ve built several plug in mini-vans in the past. Speaking of which they’ve increased the fuel mileage on the minivans 2 mpg for 2009. Not much but it’s better then Toyota and Honda’s fuel mileage. They should put the 2.4 I4 cylinder back in the minivans. That engine in the past posted better mileage and they could offer a lower MSRP then the competition as well.

  • Patrick

    This is good news for Chrysler. I see all the typical bashers are out in full force. I read all these negative comments from individuals who are totally clueless. Having operated an electric hyster forklift when I was young I can tell you electic motor driven cars going fast will be pretty normal. Sure it’s going to get mentioned but remember the most effecient gas engines also have a lot of horsepower. Back in the late 60’s massive horsepower was produced from ineffecient oversized engines. The Hemi engines of today can’t be compared to the originals other then the fact the heads have a simular cavity above the pistons. I’d look for Chrysler and Ford to launch an electric plug in car about the same time as GM’s Volt. Remember Chrysler is not new to plug in technology. They’ve built several plug in mini-vans in the past. Speaking of which they’ve increased the fuel mileage on the minivans 2 mpg for 2009. Not much but it’s better then Toyota and Honda’s fuel mileage. They should put the 2.4 I4 cylinder back in the minivans. That engine in the past posted better mileage and they could offer a lower MSRP then the competition as well.

  • Richard

    “why not realize that a million electricaly propelled cars on the road (Obama’s dream by 2015) will have zero effect on the demand for oil. Those cars will redcue (atmost) demand by less than 1/4th of 1 percent. ”

    Hey Thomas C Gray, which is it, a 1/4 of 1% of zero? I’m confused. If it’s not using oil, why is not reducing the consumption? So if business as usual, then it’s still going down? Which OIL company do you work for, again?

  • Richard

    “why not realize that a million electricaly propelled cars on the road (Obama’s dream by 2015) will have zero effect on the demand for oil. Those cars will redcue (atmost) demand by less than 1/4th of 1 percent. ”

    Hey Thomas C Gray, which is it, a 1/4 of 1% of zero? I’m confused. If it’s not using oil, why is not reducing the consumption? So if business as usual, then it’s still going down? Which OIL company do you work for, again?

  • G

    MMmmm cars from China. With all the endearing qualities of their industry mindset. One Chinese auto magnate openly voiced that safety and emissions regulation were viewed as “unecessary” and “excessive” in the USA. Combined with their free market style tendency of sliding by quality control for a fast buck? Go ahead by one, see how long it lasts, or you for that matter. You will save money on a coffin 🙂

  • G

    MMmmm cars from China. With all the endearing qualities of their industry mindset. One Chinese auto magnate openly voiced that safety and emissions regulation were viewed as “unecessary” and “excessive” in the USA. Combined with their free market style tendency of sliding by quality control for a fast buck? Go ahead by one, see how long it lasts, or you for that matter. You will save money on a coffin 🙂

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