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PHEV Minivans May Be Just The Start

by David Zatz on

Chrysler’s plug-in hybrid minivans may be just the start of a long line of future-tech cars from FCA, according to Allpar sources.

Chrysler itself has made hybrids in the past, but dropped them when fuel prices fell dramatically. It also engineered the powertrain of the Fiat 500e, sold only in California because of its high cost.

While Chrysler and FCA have worked on hybrid and electric powertrains, it gets little, if any, credit for that in the popular press or public mind, because they have almost no product using it — just the electric 500e and the short-lived Durango/Aspen hybrids. However, a plug-in hybrid minivan has been promised for the 2017 model year — and it may have a modular system that allows many cars to get hybrid versions.

Low oil prices are killing demand for hybrid vehicles; recently, one Japanese company dropped an existing crossover.  However, Chrysler’s dual needs for a “more efficient” image and greater CAFE scores may overcome economics and present us with hybrid 200s, Cherokees, and Darts, alongside hybrid minivans. Getting people to buy them may be tougher than the engineering.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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