On Tuesday, on behalf of Chrysler LLC and Chrysler’s in-house hybrid technology design team, Chrysler ENVI, CEO Bob Nardelli unveiled a series of three “production intent” electric vehicles, one of which Chrysler intends to begin mass producing by 2010. Unfortunately, the consuming public will be held in suspense as to which of the three makes the production cut – at least until 2009, when preliminary models become available for commercial and fleet sales. While we await the final decision with bated breath, RideLust has decided to profile each of Chrysler’s ENVI vehicles individually, beginning with the most rugged [read: least like the loathsome Prius plug-in], the Jeep EV.
Jeep EV photo gallery after the jump
Tagged by Chrysler suits as an extended-range electric-vehicle [ER-EV], the Jeep EV is essentially a hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler [though it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Jeep Commander from the rear]. In keeping with the Jeep Wrangler’s legendary off-road capability, the Jeep EV is equipped with a body-on-frame electrical drive train that individually powers each of the Jeep EV’s four wheels. To keep it green, the Jeep EV [like all 3 of the Chrysler ENVI vehicles], is tri-powered by an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and small gasoline engine integrated with an electric generator. By itself, the electric motor generates a whopping 268-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, making it at least as powerful as any standard Jeep. Unlike any standard Jeep, however, the Jeep EV can average approximately 400 miles off of 8 gallons of gasoline, and another 40 miles relying completely on electric propulsion, consuming no fuel and producing zero emissions.
According to Chrysler, the Jeep EV was entirely engineered with to be the ultimate off-roading vehicle, intended to “…[provide] nature ambassadors with the ability to roam the planet and take care of it at the same time.”
We say: So, where do we sign?