Chrysler Backs Off Electrics

Chrysler electric models like this Dodge EV will no longer receive serious focus at the car company.© Chrysler

Chrysler has abandoned plans to produce a significant line of electric and plug-in hybrid cars, prompting outrage from environmental groups like Friends of the Earth. The company, recently bought by Fiat, has decided to simply improve its conventional cars and to disband ENVI (short for environmental), its electrical vehicle division. Instead of producing the promised 500,000 electric and plug-in vehicles by 2013, Chrysler is now committing to just 28,000 to 56,000 electric vehicles by that year.

Friends of the Earth and others are particularly dismayed at the car company"s abrupt turn-around because Chrysler has accepted $15.3 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money, "in part because of its promise to invest in electric vehicle technology."

"Chrysler’s decision to abandon its electric car production plans has consequences," reports Friends of the Earth. "Our policy team estimates that more than one million extra tons of carbon dioxide—the chief gas causing global warming—could be emitted each year, starting in 2014, because of Chrysler’s cancellation of this program."

The group is asking people to send a letter to the company, threatening to not buy any Chrysler product until the company reinstates its electric vehicle program.

SOURCES: EV World; Friends of the Earth Petition.