Archive for October, 2008

Dodge EV Should Get Your Motor Runnin’

Posted in: Electric Cars, General
02 Oct 2008

dodge-ev.JPGAlthough I have loved the premise of the electric car since Day One, the prototypes we’ve seen unveiled haven’t exactly been something that gets the pulse racing. With the exception of Tesla’s Roadster, the proposed EVs so far have clearly indicated that we’ll have to leave our love of design at the door if we want to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon.

Who knew that Dodge would be the one to break the mold?

jeep-ev.JPGLast week, Chrysler unveiled one new electric model each for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. While Chrysler is getting the Town & Country EV mini-van (yawn), Jeep is adding an electric version of the four-door Wrangler to its fold – which means guilt-free off-roading (as long as you don’t take out any trees while you’re out there.) That’s right – you can leave a smaller footprint but still leave tread marks on the side of the hill.

But it was the prototype EV from Dodge that came as a biggest surprise. Borrowing some design cues from its gorgeous beast of a sports car, the Viper, and throwing in elements of the Lotus Europa, Dodge unveiled one of the most exciting EVs we’ve seen to date.

dodge-ev-console.JPGThe two-passenger rear-wheel-drive sports car has the sleek design and high performance we want from a car, but also gives off zero tailpipe emissions.  It actually looks fun to drive – something that’s been noticeably lacking in too many EV designs – and the 200 kW electric motor is the equivalent of 268 horsepower. That gives drivers better performance than we’ve dared to hope for in an EV, reaching 60 mph in less than five seconds and taunting us with a top speed of 120+ mph.

Thanks to its advanced lithium-ion battery technology, the Dodge EV has a continuous driving range of 150-200 miles, and it can be recharged in eight hours from a standard 110-volt household outlet. (Using a 220-volt appliance power outlet will cut charging time in half.)

The possible cloud surrounding this silver lining is that we’ll have to wait for it; the earliest we’ll see this coming off the production line is 2010.

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