Chrysler is coming out with a very ambitious plan.
Instead of making one, or just a few, electric-only models, Chrysler will sell the same models in both gasoline-powered and electric-powered versions. This low-cost, high-variety electric-vehicle strategy will play a big part in any comeback plan Chrysler may present in hopes of getting government rescue funding.
Chrysler’s first electric vehicles will be based on current vehicles. The carmaker hasn’t yet announced what the first model will be but, based on prototypes Chrysler revealed in September, it will likely be a minivan, a Jeep Wrangler 4X4 or a 2-seat sports car built in a Lotus body.
Chrysler’s second-generation electric vehicles, which the carmaker plans to start rolling out between 2012 and 2015, will be engineered from the wheels up to use either gasoline or electric power.
If gas prices stay low, Chrysler factories will produce more gasoline powered models. If gas prices rise, factories can start rapidly turning out more electric cars since the models are essentially the same.