Chrysler presents electric minivan concepts for U.S. Postal Service

Chrysler hopes to install charging stations at post offices across the country for its new fleet of electric mail vans

Chrysler hopes to install charging stations at post offices across the country for its new fleet of electric mail vans

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Chrysler may be on the brink of bankruptcy but that hasn't stopped the company from trying to claw its way back into the now burgeoning electric market - with the help of the U.S. Postal Service. This week the company showed off four all-electric Chrysler Town & Country minivan concepts, which it hopes will help its application for federal grant from the Department of Energy's 'Transport Electrification' stimulus program.

Should Chrysler win this grant, it hopes to establish a nationwide demonstration fleet of zero-emissions minivans that could be used by the U.S. Postal Service for mail delivery. The concepts come from Chrysler's ENVI division, which is focused on hybrid and electric vehicles. The four concepts shown were specifically targeted for use by the U.S. Postal Service.

While nothing is set in concrete yet, the Postal Service was keen on the idea, with a spokesman stating that they were looking for "energy-efficient replacement vehicles for our aging fleet" in order to reduce their "transportation-related carbon emissions".

Should the federal grant be received, Chrysler has already envisioned how it will provide infrastructure for the electric minivans to be charged and maintained. According to the company, it has enlisted the involvement of key energy companies, including Duke, ConEd, and DTE. Each of these companies have signed 'letters of intent' to equip post offices with a charging infrastructure.

The batteries for the vehicles will likely come from Chrysler's new battery partner, A123 Systems, which will be building a battery production facility in Michigan in the near future.
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Comments (5)
  1. Mail men/women here in the States already drive like idiots but at least I can hear them coming and now we're going to give them "stealth" vehicles to drive!

  2. ^ excuse me, i would not judge like that, w/o the post office, you don't get your paycheck . My dad has been in the post office for 36 years, and in those years his entire post office has only gotten into 2 accidents both of them not their fault. Post men/women have to take a 20 hour (i think) driving course and has to drive in a simulator to drive a post truck, and if you get into one accident, you have to go through it again.

  3. LOL I guess you have not heard of the following. Direct deposit of paychecks, on line bill pay, Fed Ex and UPS. I have not used/bought a U.S. post office product since I got married six years ago and it damn near killed me to buy stamps for the invitations!!!

    Oh and one more to ad to your list. The fact that I no longer subscribe to car magzines that would normally come via the U.S. post office as I can now get all that information via the web for free!

    Which also raises the question, with a decreasing business model how are they going afford a vehicle which typically has a higher cost of entry than its gasoline counter part?

  4. So this is how I'm going to get all that junk mail....

  5. I don't think that anyone is going to disagree that snail mail is all but dead.

    But just because these vans are targeted at a failing business doesn't mean that they are not a valid idea to help Chrysler get back in the black.

    Chrysler is going to be in debt to all of the taxpayers for most of the foreseeable future. Wouldn't it make sense to try to put some of that money back in your pocket by pushing this vehicle into government fleet production.

    And what is wrong with it being zero emission vehicle also.

    Sounds like a win - win to me

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