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Chrysler Town & Country EV Prototype

Chrysler introduced soccer moms to the minivan over twenty-five years ago, and now Chrysler is once again leading the people-carrier market with the Chrysler Town & Country EV. This seven-passenger vehicle is a modern gas-electric hybrid version of the standard Town & Country.

The power of the Town & Country EV is enough to run to 100 km/h in under nine seconds.

The Town & Country EV fundamentally differentiates itself from the 'normal' hybrid by utilizing lithium-ion batteries as opposed to the nickel-metal hydride variety. Though relatively expensive, these lithium-ion batteries allow the Town & Country EV to run up to 64 km on electricity alone. After that, the Town & Country EV uses a 94-horsepower gasoline motor to recharge the batteries, facilitating another 580 km of possible range on 31 litres of fuel. The Town & Country EV always saves energy with regenerative brakes, but it also has the ability to recharge by standard electrical outlets.

The electric motor's output to the front wheels is rated at 200 kW, or 268 horsepower, and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Though Chrysler isn't commenting on the weight of the Town & Country EV, its power is enough to run to 100 km/h in under nine seconds before continuing on to a maximum speed of 161 km/h.

Seemingly in response to hype about the Chevy Volt, Chrysler announced the Town & Country EV alongside four other 'green' vehicles: Chrysler 200EV Concept, Jeep Patriot EV, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV, and Dodge Circuit EV. These are the products of Chrysler's ENVI (short for "environment") division, which was created after the 2007 separation with Daimler to carry on with green technology research and development. Chrysler is using these products to convince buyers, and, more importantly, government bail-out leaders, that the company can survive in the revolutionizing automotive market.

Six months ago, Chrysler announced that they will have approximately 100 trial electric vehicles in fleets in 2009. They continued on to state that one of ENVI's products will be selected for mass production for the North American market in 2010, followed later with European markets.

Chrysler is in a partnership with General Electric to develop efficient batteries; meanwhile, other companies are also involved in the production of equipment used by Chrysler (among other manufacturers). Though the technology is existent, the largest obstruction to delivering these lithium-ion electric vehicles to market appears to be the high cost of production. Just like early plasma screen televisions however, costs will drop over time.

This seven-passenger vehicle is a modern gas-electric hybrid version of the standard Town & Country.