Step right up, get your plug-in Jeep

Chrysler really threw their hat into the electric vehicle ring today, revealing not one, not two, but three electric or semi-electric vehicles. The one getting all the eyeballs, of course, is the Chrysler EV (real creative name there), which is all-electric, based on a Lotus Elise, and does 0-60 in five seconds. Of course, that one probably won’t ever enter production, or if it does will probably cost far more than a “regular” Elise. More after the link.

The others are more interesting to me. There’s a minivan, which is a savvy move considering families are probably being hit by high gas prices more than any others. And there’s a Jeep. Well, it’s not a real Jeep, it’s one of those new, ugly Jeeps. These cars will be “range extended,” a phrase which unfortunately calls up images of extra-long stoves, while actually meaning that these cars will only go about 40 miles before switching over to a gas engine. Well, it’s a step up from regular hybrids, but that still puts a lot of pressure on the gas engine. After all, if you drive 40 miles to work, you’ll be lucky to have a full charge at the garage before you head home 8 hours later.