How will Dodge transition a brand best known in recent years for its gas-swilling, tire-scorching Hellcats, Demons, and Hemi V-8 engines to a brand that sees electric performance as the future?
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis recently provided Automotive News some more hints, at a Dodge-sponsored drag-racing event. On the way to a battery electric muscle car due in 2024, the brand plans to show a fully electric concept car next year, after a better outline of its electrification plans this fall, Kuniskis outlined.
Dodge claims first BEV muscle car - 2021 Stellantis EV Day
Stellantis holds 14 very diverse vehicle brands—many of which have already established some foothold in the plug-in market—yet Dodge was one of just six of the brands chosen to be outlined at a company EV Day presentation in July.
The path for Dodge is different than any of Stellantis’ other brands, as Dodge hasn’t ever offered a plug-in vehicle. And the preceding company, Fiat Chrysler (FCA), was known for making decisions that prioritized selling as many of its higher-profit, lower-mpg vehicles as it could—even if it had to pay a penalties for the environmental cost.
STLA Large platform - Stellantis EVs
The electric vehicles now being developed on dedicated STLA electric vehicle platforms will be around for many years, Kuniskis suggested, and according to Automotive News the 14 brands each have a ten-year window in which to prove themselves, as they electrify.
Kiniskis told Automotive News that the heart of the muscle-car market is around $40,000 to $50,000, which could put them in a price pinch if they’re going to position fully electric as something the brand can embrace on a large scale, rather than as a very limited-volume, higher-priced performance leader.
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Dodge’s engineers will likely manage to meet Dodge’s target of “tearing up the street, not the planet,” and improving on the performance its current muscle cars offer. But in order to comply with tougher new federal fuel economy and emissions standards, and a voluntary target of 40% plug-in vehicles by 2030, Stellantis will need to make these Dodge electric vehicles more than niche efforts. That’s the hard part.