Inspired by current EVs for sale, the black 2025 Chrysler Airflow concept vehicle is shown on display at a car show.

Chrysler Is Committed to an Electric Future

This is a time of upheaval and change for the auto industry, one that will impact the vehicles we drive for decades to come in much the same way the oil crisis of the 1970s did. Although there are some people not in favour of it, there’s no denying that car manufacturers are looking at electric vehicles as the future of what all of us will have in our driveways. Numerous major brands have released battery electric vehicles (BEVs) lately, and we’re seeing plenty of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) hitting the market to add to the large selection of electrified options. A number of car companies have even committed to making only BEVs in the next decade or so, including Chrysler.

In fact, Chrysler has made one of the most ambitious claims of any auto manufacturer out there, stating its entire lineup will be electric not at some point in the 2030s but by 2028, just a few years from now. If you look at EVs for sale right now, however, that statement might seem a bit premature—Chrysler doesn’t have a single BEV on the market at the moment. In fact, it offers only a few vehicles: the reliable Chrysler 300 sedan, the Pacifica minivan, and the Canada-exclusive Grand Caravan (another minivan). Chrysler does offer a Pacifica PHEV that’s been quite popular, but at this point, going all-electric will mean a total reinvention for Chrysler, which is exactly what the brand needs.

Where Chrysler Stands Today

Once one of the leaders in the auto industry, Chrysler has been making fantastic vehicles for nearly a century. Throughout the decades, things haven’t always gone smoothly, but leadership from legendary figures like Lee Iacocca kept Chrysler alive and relevant throughout the 20th century. The financial crisis of the late 2000s hit the entire auto industry hard, and Chrysler was one of the companies most affected by the downturn, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2009. In the years following this restructuring, Fiat purchased Chrysler, and they merged into a new company in 2014, eventually becoming a founding part of the Stellantis group in 2021.

Within Stellantis, Chrysler is one of more than a dozen car companies, each meant to have its own market and purpose. For some of these companies, this has been pretty easy. Dodge focuses on power and performance, Jeep is the leader in off-road engineering and adventurous SUVs, and Ram makes some of the most impressive trucks on the road. However, this has left Chrysler with little in the way of identity, particularly since the brand offers only a few vehicles. While some have assumed that Chrysler was in its final throes before coming to an unfortunate end, Stellantis has faith in the brand, and it seems that Chrysler will instead gain a new identity with a sole focus on BEVs.

The Chrysler Airflow Concept

Chrysler kicked off its new direction by revealing the Airflow concept vehicle at the CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas early last year. Although only a concept and not a sneak peek at a production model, the Airflow gives us a taste of what Chrysler is working on. For starters, the Airflow is neither a minivan nor a sedan but a crossover SUV—something lacking in the current Chrysler lineup. It’s possible that something else will hit the road first, but it shows that Chrysler’s leadership is aware of what’s missing, and they’re working hard to address it.

The Airflow concept vehicle is gorgeous inside and out, which is no surprise since these sorts of displays usually are. That being said, it would make a lot of sense for the new Chrysler BEV lineup to focus on luxury and sophistication as a way to set itself apart from its sibling brands in Stellantis. A BEV lineup is a great start, but the novelty will eventually wear off if every brand ends up with an all-electric lineup. Stepping up luxury and comfort is a great way for Chrysler to maintain a place for itself while getting a jump start on other brands slowly shifting to BEVs.

Specifics have been mostly nonexistent, though Chrysler has said repeatedly that it is shooting for a range of 560 to 640 km from a full charge for its initial BEVs. This would be tremendous and ensure that they’re competitive with every other major BEV on the road. If Chrysler can deliver that kind of range, with impressive performance and gorgeous details and features inside, then they’d have a vehicle people would be clamouring for. Since Chrysler can share resources with the other Stellantis brands, there’s no reason for it not to look at stunning models like the new Grand Wagoneer for inspiration or even exotic vehicles from Alfa Romeo or Maserati.

The white and black interior of a 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is shown.

Reinvention Is the Only Path Forward

According to the original announcements, Chrysler plans on having its first BEV hit the road in 2025, which means we should see it revealed next year. Following that, Chrysler plans on introducing a new BEV each year until its entire lineup is electrified by 2028. That’s an incredibly tight timeline but one that would work in the brand’s favour if it can hit those goals, particularly since it has an advantage: lack of market presence.

In some ways, the fact that Chrysler currently lags behind many other major brands is actually beneficial. For a company like Ford to introduce a BEV F-150 model or for Chevy to make an all-electric Corvette, they have to be careful not to alienate their current customers with the new products. Sure, there’s already an electric F-150 Lightning, but don’t expect the conventional F-150 to be discontinued in the next three years. Chrysler doesn’t have to worry about that. It can go all-in and shift everything to electricity with nothing to lose, especially if it can follow up its initial model with a solid electric successor to the Chrysler 300 and an electric minivan for good measure.

Taking Things Even Further

Going all-electric is just the start; Chrysler also wants to revolutionize how we interact with our vehicles. It has revealed a concept called Chrysler Synthesis that seeks to unify your entire daily experience, from when you wake up in the morning and look at your phone to when you get home in the evening. Each step of the way, a Chrysler Synthesis Virtual Personal Assistant will anticipate your needs, such as modifying your route to account for an entry in your daily calendar and adjusting your house’s thermostat for you when you’re on your way home after work. We’re years away from this kind of technology being fully developed, especially since fully autonomous driving is planned to be part of it. Still, it shows that Chrysler is looking ahead to ways it can reinvigorate the brand.

A white electric car is shown charging.

Will This Be Enough for Chrysler?

Stellantis has been very fair to all of its brands, even brands like Chrysler that have been struggling in recent years, giving them each time to succeed. Honestly, Chrysler needs something new to give it a shot in the arm and knock the rust off—going all-electric with an entirely new lineup is the perfect way to do this. The biggest risk is that the leadership might play it too safe and try to be too conservative with things, attempting to lure old customers back while also trying to get new people in. They need to forget the past and focus solely on building a new name for themselves with customers who have never considered a Chrysler before. If they’re bold enough and deliver a vehicle that lives up to the promise of the Airflow concept, then Chrysler has a real chance at getting back on top of the industry in the next five or six years.