Chrysler's e-car strategy has vanished down the plughole, taking with it any chance of us getting intimate with the Lotus Europa-based Dodge Circuit. Circuit Chrysler's ENVI arm is to close, ending hope of the Lotus Europa-based Dodge Circuit Things have been ominously quiet at Chrysler's ENVI e-car division for a while and …
So, they made all the right noises about changing their ways, producing more efficient, high mileage cars whilst they were in the shit. Now the government has bailed them out they can drop all of that crap and get back to forging ugly, 19th century monstrosities and flogging them to backwards yanks who believe it's patriotic to buy American.
"How Chrysler’s news will sit with President Obama’s plan to get 1m e-cars onto American highways by 2015 still isn’t clear."
Simple, they will all be imported European and Japanese e-cars. No red-blooded merkin would object to that.
Words fail me.
One thing that's been consistant about the 'leccy concept vehicles is how unutterably fugly they are*.
So here's a manufacturer (FIAT) looking through its current vehicle portfolio for something to electrify, providing a golden opportunity to make something that "looks right" and what do they decide on? The bloody Doblo.
Note to car makers: It is permissible to make an electric vehicle without it looking like a warthog's arse after a good slapping.
*Hideously expensive electric supercars excepted of course. Nobody's going to pay over a hundred grand for a reimagining of a vomiting walrus.
When you look at end-to-end energy usage, if your electrickery is mostly coming from renewable resources then pure-electric cars are great. But if most of your energy is coming from coal, oil and gas, it's a pointless exercise - hybrids (and efficient "normal" cars) use that fossil-fuel-derived energy way more efficiently because it doesn't have to go through all the inefficient conversion steps along the way.
Is there only one?
Is there only one manufacturer actually looking at a sensible small compact (2 / 2+2 Coupe) hybrid that doesn't cost north of 40k and actually looks like a car not a tupperware box?
Seems so! ... come on honda wheres my CRZ?
The Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings threw out 200 years of American bankruptcy jurisprudence. Why? Because it was so important to keep it alive to make these real-soon-now e-cars. I have a sneaking suspicion that GM, who benefited from Chrysler's foray into Chapter 11, might follow suit, and unplug the Chevy Volt.
Chrysler not long for this world
I suspect that it will be Chrysler in name only. I find it worth note that they are spinning the Ram trucks and Jeeps out into separate divisions. They have stated they plan to replace the small and mid-sized cars with Fiat designs within the next few years. The Viper is gone, to be replaced possilby by a Ferrari derivative. There won't be much left that's Chrysler -- Full sized cars (Dodge Charger & Chrysler 300) and mini-vans.
Swirling down the flusher
Its almost gratifying to see the car companies that were bailed out continue swirling down the crapper while those that did not get bailed out are turning profits. Now about Government accountability?
I don't get this mania for electric cars
It does nothing to save the environment, it just moves the pollution out of the city, and probably, due to electricity generation, transmission and battery inefficiencies, increases the CO2 output. Unless you're France or Norway with massive amounts of renewable electricity.
I just wish someone could come up with a tiny, 2 seat car, limited to about 100 miles range and 50 mph, with a super efficient small petrol engine and do a comparison, because I bet it would be much more energy and C02 efficient. To make it match the electric cars, it could even look hideous too...
What really depresses me about the global warming 'debate' is the absolutely piss-poor quality of the argument. Too much wishful thinking and point-scoring, and not enough common sense and practicality - means nothing will get done until either we're all drowning in 2080 or it turns out that all the models were wrong and so it makes no difference anyway.
I sell solar technology and it's not going to be viable in the UK for at least 10 years because it's too expensive and no-one understands how to use it properly so it's used wrong and saves no energy. And that's solar-thermal. Photovoltaic is completely impractical here, unless we can arrange to get more sun that we currently have or the technology gets massively more efficient in say 20-30 years time.
... I suppose global warming may sort that problem out...
IIRC this is their 3rd bailout.
I suppose that having given *so* much money to various banks to save the asses of those who handed mortages to Mr & Mrs Otis Q Crackhead the relevant Chrysler played the sympathy card to their local Senators & Con-gresspersons.
The fact they did'nt spend the last shedload of bailout cash well enough to need *another* one (or two?).
Seriously had Chrysler gone to the wall what would have happened?
Some bits get closed for good. Some get sold to other manufacturers. Some *might* have set up as a new independant car mfg.
Workers for all of the above (provided they don't re-locate the plant) get re-hired and most of their suppliers (who no doubt are mostly as internationally uncompetitve as the companies they supported) would stay in bussiness.
A certain proportion of those workers would be near retirement age anyway (IIRC US auto workers pension arrangements are quite good).
$12.5Bn. If their were 10 000 workers involved that $1.25m *each*. If a 10x that are involved that's still $150k
American governments like to say they have a free enterprise economy. That is *unless* your big enough to have lobbyists to beg for your survival on your behalf. Then your a "Strategic asset" which "cannot be allowed to fail."
Some of Chryslers e-car designs looked good and there is interest in the concept and the vehicles themselves. Enough to make a business? We'll never know.
The deal's been done and the US taxpayers certainly have been.