Chrysler and GM's eco-friendly investments don't look promising

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

By: Kathryn Lisk

As gas prices continue to soar, the features people seek in a new car have shifted immensely. People care less about the convenience of SUVs and more about gas mileage. Americans continue to buy into the foreign car industry because the Toyota Prius simply can't be beat by any American car. 

It seems  Chrysler is ready to stand up to the challenge. They have designed vehicles that still have the convenience of an SUV or the luxury of a sports car without the gas price. Tom LaSorta, president for Chrysler, unveiled their plan to release three electric cars, including one resembling their current mini van, a four-door Jeep Wrangler, and a Dodge sports car by 2010 that will run exclusively on a lithium-ion battery.

Chrysler is not the first company to bring these ideas to the table. General Motors has already released information on the Chevy Volt, which is also scheduled for 2010 and will run exclusively on battery, as well.

 Chrysler and GM are both praying that releasing eco-friendly vehicles will be exactly what the public has been waiting for. But is it?

The Chevy Volt is currently priced around $40,000, which is a little expensive for a family looking to save money from gas prices. Plus, most cars within this price range are faster and obviously don't need to be charged every 400 miles. This makes long road trips inefficient and difficult. 

Not to mention that neither company has formally contracted someone to produce the lithium-ion batteries. Producing this product on a large scale has never been done before and will be a challenge for either corporation to find someone who can do it by 2010. 

I was very happy to see that American car companies were trying to go green, but I don't think 2010 will be a shifting point for GM or Chrysler. It is definitely a step in the right direction, but it looks as though America hasn't found the answer to the energy crisis yet.


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