By Patrick Rall
While cars like the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius have been the talk of the down, their fairly conservative styling are obviously aimed for little more than fuel economy. Dodge, on the other hand, has decided to join the EV competition in the form of a sleek sports car. Released alongside the new Chrysler EV (based on the Grand Caravan) and the Jeep EV (based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited), this new all-electric sports car currently wears the skin of a Lotus Europa. Where the other two EVs are based on current vehicles, the drivetrain of the Dodge EV was the focus of the year-long engineering effort from Chrysler’s ENVI group. Little information has been given to the details of the design process, but considering Lotus also worked with Tesla on their roadster, working with them on this concept may have helped Dodge focus less on chassis design and more on the drivetrain.
Even when little is said about the exterior design, Dodge was quick to
boast of the drivetrain, which is fully electric. Utilizing a 200 kW
electric motor driven by an advanced lithium ion battery and an
integrated power controller, the Dodge EV offers 268 horsepower and 480
ft-lb of torque. This drivetrain layout allows the EV Concept to
rocket from 0-60 in under 5 seconds, travel a standing quarter mile in
under 13 seconds, and hit a top speed of 120 mph.
little indication of what Dodge plans to use for a body should it see
production, but the running gear of the Dodge EV certainly seems to
offer a great alternative to an EV market dominated by somewhat bland
economy cars. We would expect that there will be a body of its own
emerging at some point (dare we pray, SEMA?), and whether or not it
keeps the Lotus look is questionable as an aggressive sports car could
fill the empty space created by the departure of the Dodge Viper.
has said that they plan to have an EV Hybrid ready to compete with the
Volt when it hits the market in 2011, and the Dodge EV is realistically
the least likely of the three new EV Concepts, as the other two use
existing, popular vehicles, but with no current sports car options in
the EV field, the Dodge EV Concept could create a whole new market for
the Big 3. There is also no definite answer as to whether Chrysler
will release a full electric model, or a gas-electric hybrid, but the
Dodge EV Concept could certain reach a completely different audience
from the current EVs in the market.