The creator (more or less) of the modern minivan, Chrysler, is apparently soon going to be bringing the first plug-in hybrid electric minivan to market in the US, according to recent reports. Quite fitting really — who better to do so than Chrysler?
The news was revealed by the president and CEO of Chrysler for North America, Al Gardner, during a recent interview with the Detroit Bureau — where it was stated that a plug-in hybrid electric minivan was definitely part of the company’s future plans. And that, apparently, the Chrysler minivan should be ready for regal by the Detroit International Auto Show in 2016.
That last bit about the Detroit Auto Show, though, actually wasn’t stated by Gardner, but by the head of Fiat/Chrysler/Alfa Romeo (FCA), Sergio Marcchione.
Gas2 muses on the subject:
It is somewhat mystifying why the world’s car makers have ignored this segment of the market for so long. Say what you will about “soccer moms,” there is no better vehicle for transporting young families with children and all their gear than the lowly minivan. And year after year, the industry sells millions of them for just that reason. The minivan would also seem to be the ideal starting point for a plug-in hybrid conversion too. They tend to ride higher off the ground than sedans and offer lots of places to add batteries and electric motors. So does a pickup truck, now that I mention it.
Chrysler has hit a home run with its 200 sedan lately. The success of the 200 has given FCA confidence that the Chrysler brand can thrive in the middle of the market by offering uniquely American style with the latest and best technology. “Everyone else in the segment is a little dull. The 200 is not supposed to be a “me-too” vehicle,” says Gardner.
Completely agree, it’s really a no-brainer for Chrysler to make a move towards electric minivans — the market is wide open, and seemingly ready for the taking.
With the broader electric vehicles market in the US continuing to grow, and an apparently open niche there, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see such an offering do quite well — if it’s priced competitively of course…
Image Credit: Chrysler/Gas2
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