By Patrick Rall
We are in the midst of the hybrid automotive era and while seemingly everyone has at least one super efficient hybrid in their lineup – Dodge does not and neither does any other Chrysler Group brand. The Fiat 500e brought electrification to the Chrysler Group lineup but with the exception of the poor selling and short lived Durango (and Chrysler Aspen) hybrid, Chrysler hasn’t made much effort in competing with the likes of the Toyota Prius or Ford Escape hybrids. Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has made it very clear that he isnt all that interested in offering hybrids as he believes that they are not the long term answer to achieve more efficient vehicles but from a consumer standpoint – do you think that Dodge needs a hybrid?
The Dodge Durango Hybrid struggled because it was an expensive option for very little return but hybrid technology has come a long way over the past few years so if the company was to pick a more reasonable vehicle than the least efficient vehicle in their lineup, a modern Dodge hybrid would stand a much better chance of succeeding. The Dodge Dart already offers better than 40mpg so with the implementation of a hybrid drivetrain, the Dart could be one of the most efficient models in the segment but with the small hybrid market already jam packed with attractive options…should the company even bother?