Chrysler Wheels Out Plug-in Hybrid Town & Country Minivan
Chrysler has finally delivered its first four plug-in hybrid minivans. Though not scheduled for full-scale production, the plug-in hybrid Chrysler Town & Country minivan could be the perfect solution for large families looking to go green.
Unfortunately, the plug-in Chrysler minivan is for test-fleets only. Chrysler delivered four of the plug-in hybrid people-hauling machines to the city of Auburn Hills, Mich. The plug-in minivans are part of a fleet of merely 25 vehicles and will be used to evaluate how often the vehicles need charging and to determine how the vehicles are used on a daily basis.
"This Town & Country minivan is the only minivan to boast a plug-in hybrid powertrain in combination with flex fuel capability," said Abdullah A. Bazzi, senior manager of electrified powertrain programs at Chrysler. "We’re pleased to have four of these 25 vehicles being tested right here in Chrysler’s backyard where they can get real-world use and be evaluated promptly."
For testing purposes, four Level 2 charging stations will be installed at municipal sites in Auburn Hills. City staffers are expected to drive the plug-in Town & Country minivans approximately 16,800 miles over the course of the two-year test period, which should provide Chrysler with ample data to assess.
The project is moving at a slow pace, compared to the overall EV market— in which lots of real-world data and experience has already been gathered. Does Chrysler really need two years of data collection? Still, the success of a test-fleet of electrified minivans could convince Chrysler (or a competitor) to actually build the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid family-oriented people-mover.
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