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Calling Cliff Clavin: Chrysler Unveils Electric Postal Van

Talk about e-mail.

Chrysler has announced that it intends to apply for a federal grant to provide the U.S. Postal Service with a fleet of all-electric versions of its Town and Country minivans. The proposal is being made in partnership with several major utility companies, including Duke Energy and ConEd, who will provide the infrastructure needed to charge the vehicles.

Even as it faces possible collapse in the coming weeks, Chrysler has been pushing forward with its ENVI electric vehicle program, showing several concepts for electric cars and trucks at recent auto shows.

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The vans being offered for the program should have a range of approximately 40 miles, and are based on an extended-range electric Town and Country concept that also has a gasoline powered engine onboard for when the battery goes dead. Given the needs of postal carriers, the range of the pure electric version should meet the requirements of the U.S. Postal Service.

The money for the grant will be provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Transportation Electrification stimulus program, part of the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

If the Chrysler bid is chosen, Mr. Zip may need to change his name to Mr. Zap.

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