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