Chrysler reaching for alternative power

July 14, 2008 at 2:01 PM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 14 (UPI) -- Chrysler LLC is three to five years from bringing electric-powered cars to the U.S. market, a company spokesman said.

The Auburn Hills auto giant started an alternative-energy division last fall called ENVI, the Detroit Free Press reported. Plans now call for the company to offer electric engines in three Chrysler brands, company spokesman Nick Cappa told the Press in an e-mail.

General Motors Corp. has said it would have a break-through plug-in hybrid called the Chevy Volt on sale by 2010, the Press reported.

Some feel Chrysler has fallen behind in the move away from gas guzzlers.

"You don't have to have every car. Not everyone wants a hybrid. But it's obviously a profound proportion of the industry right now," said Alan Helfman, vice president of Helfman River Oaks Chrysler Jeep in Houston.

Chrysler plans to offer two SUV hybrids, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango, this September and said it would have a Dodge Ram hybrid available in 2010.

The company has kept quiet on other hybrid plans, however, the Press reported.

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