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Chrysler pulls plug on planned hybrids

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Amid the economic turmoil at Chrysler, they have killed their planned hybrid programs before ever delivering a car. The Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen hybrid sport utility vehicles have been discontinued. Chrysler had claimed to have 3,000 orders already for the hybrid SUV models, but those orders will never be filled now. The downturn in SUVs as well as the economic downturn were too much for company to continue down the path of these more expensive models.

With plant closures, a 25% workforce layoff, and ongoing talks of a merger with GM, the future of Chrysler’s hybrid efforts seem uncertain. However, the planned plug in electric vehicles we reported about last month are apparently still on track.

Posted in Chrysler, Hybrids by admin on 29|10|08
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Honda Insight hybrid looking to capture Prius market

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Honda recently unveiled their answer to the wildly successful Toyota Prius: the 2010 Insight. Set to be released in mid 2009 for the 2010 model year, this hybrid should carry a price tag of $20k or less. Which would undercut the Prius by several thousand dollars in the lucrative hybrid market.

The car uses a less complex form of hybrid technology called IMA, that does not allow electric only operation, but utilizes a full time hybrid mode for increased efficiency. Sources at Honda say they aren’t interested in pursuing a plug in type electric car currently. “We’re not planning to make a pure battery-based electric vehicle,” a company rep said. “The next phase we see is the fuel-cell vehicle.”

Performance and mileage is expected to be similar to the current Civic hybrid at around 42 mpg. Will Honda dominate the hybrid market with the Insight? We’ll have to wait until 2010 to see, but it should be interesting.

Posted in Honda, Hybrids, Manufacturers by admin on 03|10|08
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