*Below is a snippet of TheDetroitBureau.com’s article by Paul A. Eisenstein, publisher & editor-in-chief.
During the past decade, Dodge rolled out one model faster than the last using variations of its 6.2L V8. Now, according to TheDetroitBureau.com, the muscle car brand is working up what will be its fastest model ever. The caveat is, this model will forego the familiar Dodge Hellcat engine for battery power.
Until recently, Dodge and the other brands that made up the old Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), lagged behind rivals when it came to electrification. Now part of Stellantis, following FCA’s merger with France’s PSA Group, the automaker is rapidly shifting focus. At least six all-electric vehicles are currently in the styling studio in Auburn Hills, MI, along with at least one plug-in hybrid.
The move reflects a dramatic shift in focus happening throughout the auto industry. Ford has nearly tripled its commitment to battery technology in the last year. Volkswagen has committed $86 billion to electrify its various brands, and General Motors hopes to abandon gas and diesel entirely by 2035.
According to TheDetroitBureau.com, one ranking official within Stellantis said the BEV under development “will be the fastest (Dodge) ever,” which would put its launch times down in the 2-second or less range.
All this amounts to a major turnaround for the FCA side of that newly formed company. What helps is battery prices have plunged sharply — from as much as $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010, to under $150 today. The industry target is less than $100 by mid-decade. Battery vehicles have gotten significantly better range, and as EVs like the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Wrangler 4xe demonstrate, manufacturers are delivering unexpected benefits such as high-performance and off-road credibility.
There’s also the pressure from rising competition in the EV space, as well as increasing pressure from regulators laying out formal timetables for phasing out internal combustion technology.
By mid-decade, expect to see PHEVs and BEVs in the line-up for virtually every brand at the company (Stellantis), now the world’s largest automaker by volume. We trust they will take advantage of the massive torque electric motors can deliver to burnish their performance reputations.