80 Journalists Drive Dodge EV During Geneva Motor Show

March 5, 2009

Chrysler reports a "phenomenal amount of interest" in their ENVI electric vehicles, on display at the Geneva Motor Show. 80 journalists apparently took the chance to drive the Dodge Circuit EV on a test track in close proximity to the show's exhibition hall.

They made a Dodge Circuit EV available to journalists for three days from dawn 'til dusk, and according to Chrysler the vehicle caused more than a few "wow" moments even with skeptics.

Dodge Circuit EV

Dodge Circuit EV

Enlarge Photo

Chrysler claims that the Dodge Circuit EV is a "no-compromise car," and at least for the enthusiast its sub five-second 0-60 mph time sounds compelling. Of course, a roadster presents unacceptable packaging compromises for most drivers, and so Chrysler is also developing an all-electric minivan and a way cool all-electric Jeep that houses an electric motor in each wheel for the ultimate in high-traction rock crawling.

In a seeming direct jab at the E-REV 2011 Chevrolet Volt (which has enough problems at the moment as parent GM teeters on the verge of bankruptcy), Dodge claims that "what’s important for the journalists to realize is that, unlike some other automakers, we’re not out to make just one electric vehicle."

Dodge Circuit EV

Dodge Circuit EV

Enlarge Photo

The naysayers are pointing out that heavily subsidized electric vehicles ain't gonna appeal to American taxpayers who are sick of footing the bill for, oh, the lavish lifestyles of big-wig bankers. Not to mention billions already in life support for auto companies that seem nonetheless destined for Chapter 11.

Both Chrysler and GM argue strongly in favor of pressing forward with electrics. Chrysler's stance: "look at it from the cost per mile, and the total cost of ownership, and then you realize how electric vehicles really make economic sense." A bit earlier today, Richard Read explained a little skirmish between Carnegie Mellon and GM regarding the viability of long- and mid-range electric cars. 

Which do you think lies your garage's future - a fuel tank, a lithium-ion battery pack, or some combination thereof?

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