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Intrepidation

Chrysler unveils new electric minivan for U.S. Postal Service duty

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usps1_opt.jpg

Chrysler is celebrating Earth Day today by unveiling the first four of what will be a fleet of 250 battery powered minivans for the US Postal Service. The U.S.P.S. will be using the vans for variety of duties at locations around the country – including daily home delivery.

The vans themselves are based on the concept Town and Country EV that was unveiled last Fall by Chrysler. However, because of the duty cycle used by the Postal Service – which generally amounts to only about 18-20 miles per day on a fixed route – these vehicles are being built without the range extender seen on the concept. However, the electric drive portion of the vehicles, including the motor, electronics and A123 System lithium ion battery pack is identical. The head of Chrysler's ENVI division Lou Rhodes told Autoblog Green this morning that Chrysler is marketing this battery-only version of the van to commercial fleet customers who typically have a shorter range requirements. The extended-range version will be focused on retail customers.

The initial batch of vehicles include a pair of right- and left-hand drive versions, and the total fleet will include a mix. The Postal Service will be using the vehicles for whatever applications they have in different regions of the country. The intent is to evaluate the usability of electric vans, as well as the interaction between the vehicles and the infrastructure. In addition to the post office, Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), Duke Energy, DTE Energy and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will participate in the test program.

Autoblog

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Cool, about time the USPS started to update their fleet of delivery vehicles. This is nice looking upgrade for them.

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This means that Chrysler has done a lot of EV work without making a scene about it like GM. Not that I'm blaming GM for making use of the PR, I'm just saying it's impressive what Chrysler has been able to do in quiet.

Also, for all of the people who said the ENVI's were nothing but fluff...eat it. :P

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It's going to be hard to beat the economy of the ULVs with the Iron Duke in them.

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Thats one nice looking van.

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usps1_opt.jpg

Chrysler is celebrating its last days in business today by unveiling the first four of what would have been a fleet of 250 battery powered minivans for the US Postal Service. The U.S.P.S. will be using the vans for variety of duties at locations around the country – including daily home delivery.

Autoblog

Fixed.

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Fixed.

lol

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Curious as to why they're making it a Chrysler rather than a Dodge...

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Curious as to why they're making it a Chrysler rather than a Dodge...

Maybe because it helps distinguish them from the normal Dodge mail vans? It could also be that "Chrysler" as a brand represents "Chrysler" as a company more easily.

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Fixed.

GM may not be far behind them. So let's LOLOLOLOL at that too.

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GM may not be far behind them. So let's LOLOLOLOL at that too.

Ah who cares the haters won't be happy until both of them are run into the ground anyway. lol

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Ah who cares the haters won't be happy until both of them are run into the ground anyway. lol

Sad but true.

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(assuming, for the moment there's a future here to discuss)

Ummmmm.... how long, in seconds, before detractors start linking the Town & Country with 'driving an unlettered mail truck' ??? This is NOT what I would call an aspirational association by a long shot.

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FAIL

jeep1.JPG

PWNS ALL

It would be cool to see a new Postal Jeep based on the current Wrangler, I think....

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(assuming, for the moment there's a future here to discuss)

Ummmmm.... how long, in seconds, before detractors start linking the Town & Country with 'driving an unlettered mail truck' ??? This is NOT what I would call an aspirational association by a long shot.

I'm surprised they don't trim them as a Caravans... I think some places already use Caravans as postal vans.

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Um I'm pretty sure the LLV can carry at least twice as much as the Jeep and gets 18 mpg which I'm sure is about 5 mpgs more than the Jeep can get.

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Um I'm pretty sure the LLV can carry at least twice as much as the Jeep and gets 18 mpg which I'm sure is about 5 mpgs more than the Jeep can get.

Yes but the LLV is ugly and the new ones are even worse. Plus a minivan can haul more than either.

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(assuming, for the moment there's a future here to discuss)

Ummmmm.... how long, in seconds, before detractors start linking the Town & Country with 'driving an unlettered mail truck' ??? This is NOT what I would call an aspirational association by a long shot.

Can't argue with how the naysayers will try to spin it. However it's only $250 and it's meant to be a showcase. Kind of like the FCX Clarity or Equinox Hydrogen thing but electric and for work duties instead of commuter. I think it's a good way to put the system to the test.

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Sounds neat. I wonder what the pricetag is. Might be reasonable, since the buyer isn't paying for 2 drivetrains like in a hybrid. One potential issue I could see is with weather and outside power stations. A smart design should make that a rare issue, but still something to be considered. I doubt the postal service is going to start having garage space for their fleets. I could see some of these early oddball test models getting garage treatment, tho.

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