Et tu, Chrysler?

I could have hoped that we were beyond the time when car companies would say they love electric vehicles and then turn around moon us. But I’ve been in the EV world too long to believe we’re done with these shenanigans yet. The latest example — Chrysler, which this year took $70 million in U.S. Department of Energy money to electrify some of its vehicles and used promises of launching a whole slate of electric vehicles to win $12.5 billion in federal aid. Now Reuters reports that Chrysler has dismaComedy_and_tragedy_masks-IIntled its electric vehicle (EV) program team and folded it into its conventional internal combustion engine vehicles departments.

Dear President Obama: Can we get our money back from Chrysler, please?

But I am encouraged by continuing signs of strong consumer enthusiasm for electric vehicles. In a grassroots gathering of people who have leased the electric BMW Mini E — none of whom had owned an EV before — they all told Edmunds Green Car Advisor John O’Dell that they’re having great fun with the car and would buy it in a nanosecond if the Mini E was for sale.

When the new, more affordable electric cars and plug-in hybrids hit the market in 2010 (the GM Volt, the Nissan LEAF, and the Fisker Karma), it’s going to be up to the likes of you and me to show the world that they’re the companies we’re interested in, not companies that back away from the electrification of transportation.

Posted by Sherry Boschert, Plug In America board member and author, Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America

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