- Helping you drive happy

Chrysler in electric mode

Automotive expert , Updated:
True innovations from the American automakers were few and far between at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but they did take the opportunity to demonstrate their know-how in terms of alternative powering methods. Chrysler and its Jeep and Dodge banners unveiled three completely electric prototypes that might well fit into the manufacturer's medium-term plans.

The first, dubbed Dodge EV, is directly inspired by the sporty Lotus Europa. Style-wise, it looks exactly the same. But its engine couldn't be more different: it features a 268-hp electric mill that can make the 0-to-100-km/h dash in under 5.1 seconds. Without the slightest drop of fuel, and simply by plugging it into an outlet, the Dodge EV can travel up to 322 km.

Inspired by the Jeep brand, the EV receives the same electric powerplant, supported by a small gas engine, the role of which is not to power the vehicle but simply recharge the battery when it's empty. General Motors is currently studying the same system for its Chevrolet Volt. The Jeep EV is nonetheless equipped with all the four-wheel-drive systems the brand is so fond of.

And the third member of the trio, the Chrysler EV, is geared towards families with its minivan-inspired design. Its electric engine is different, however, as it settles for 255 ponies. The entire car is more comfortable and spacious and needs to be plugged in to recharge.