Chrysler To Launch Plug-in Hybrid Minivan Next Year

From Paris, Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the company will bring to market its plug-in hybrid minivan late next year – a year ahead of its previously announced timeframe.

In May this year we reported its Town and Country PHEV would come along in 2016, and could boast upwards of 75 MPGe while taking design cues from the 700c concept (pictured).

The new plug-in hybrid will be one of more Chrysler hybrids to come, including a full-sized crossover. A report by Automotive News offered scant details about the minivan’s powertrain, but earlier this year it was suggested it could get a nine-speed transmission and offer all-wheel drive.

In 1984 Chrysler made a big splash in the market with its first minivan that began the downward spiral for station wagons as a vehicle of choice for American families.

Chrysler presently has no hybrids for sale in the U.S. and here it is launching a vehicle in a type that proved successful before – and indeed, there is a gaping hole other automakers have chosen not to fill, although they have the technology in place.

But Marchionne made no predictions that plug-in power would replace combustion, and in fact, he stated limitations with battery energy storage would keep them a minority player until further notice.

“I keep on running into this fundamental economic obstacle of overcoming the cost equation of electrification. You can’t,” Marchionne said. “You can’t unless there is a wholesale change and a fundamental shift in the pricing structure of cars.”

So what will it cost? That was not divulged either, but they’re building it, bringing it early, and earlier this year Chrysler brand head Al Gardner said the plug-in minivan would be have efficiency to rival a Prius.

Automotive News