2017 Chrysler PacificaEnlarge Photo
The Consumer Electronics Show has become one of the major events on the automotive calendar in recent years as the convergence of the auto and tech industries has become unequivocal.
The 2017 CES is just around the corner and already we have confirmation that the firms Faraday Future, Honda and Rinspeed will either be showing a new car or concept. And now we can add Chrysler to that list.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that Chrysler will show an electric version of its Pacifica minivan at the January event. The people also reaffirmed that fellow Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] brand Maserati is working on an electric sports car.
FCA has been reluctant to jump on the electric car bandwagon, so far only offering the Fiat 500e in limited numbers for regulatory purposes. But with battery costs and technologies improving, the price of electric cars is coming down while their range is increasing—to the point where they’re almost comparable to internal combustion cars.
There are also stricter regulations coming that will force major automakers to add electric cars in order to bring fleet-wide emissions and fuel consumption averages down.
2016 Fiat 500eEnlarge Photo
FCA’s new electric car plans indicate that the automaker is well aware of these matters.
It’s not clear if the electric Pacifica will be a concept or a production model. It’s also not clear when we might see such a vehicle on sale, and whether it will be a regular production model or a limited “compliance car” like the 500e.
The electric Maserati sports car, based on the 2014 Alfieri concept, is expected to arrive around 2020.
The regular Pacifica, which rides on a new front-wheel-drive platform developed by FCA, is already available as a plug-in hybrid. Known as the Pacifica Hybrid, this model combines a 3.6-liter V-6 working in conjunction with a two-motor hybrid system which substitutes for a transmission and operates like an electrified version of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Powering the electric motors is a 16-kilowatt-hour battery that provides about 30 miles of range.
The 2017 CES runs from January 5-8 in Las Vegas. For more coverage on the event, head to our dedicated hub.