In a development that may fall under the "dogs and cats living together-mass hysteria" category (quote courtesy of Ghostbusters), Chrysler might finally be ready to commit significant resources towards developing electric-drive powertrains as a way to boost its fleetwide fuel economy.
So says Automotive News, which found a post on Chryslercareers.com that indicates that the company is casting its net for dozens of engineers and other folks that may help accelerate hybrid and electric vehicle development. Specifically, the company, which hasn't made a hybrid in about five years, is turning to stop-start systems as a way to join the green-vehicle party. Chrysler has tested plug-in hybrid versions of its Ram 1500 pickups, but maintains that there won't be any production versions of these models. Years ago, Chrysler developed EVs through its ENVI unit, but that was disbanded in 2009. Remember the Dodge Circuit EV pictured above?
That all means that, right now, Chrysler's exposure to advanced-powertrain vehicles is the all-electric 500e produced by partner Fiat. That car is available in limited numbers only in California, and reports have alternately surfaced that the car's either sold out or just not available at the $199-a-month lease rate that's been heavily advertised. Fiat has also said it takes a roughly $10,000 loss for each Fiat 500e sold. Check out Autoblog's review of the car here.