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Chrysler's electric vehicles due from 2012

A special division at Chrysler hopes to have electric-drive vehicles ready for production in three to five years.

Its ENVI division is charged with bringing electric-drive vehicles and related advanced-propulsion technologies to market.

Some dealers in the USA have questioned why Chrysler is not stepping up efforts to bring hybrid technology to market quicker to combat rising fuel prices and declining demand for its SUVs.

Dealers across the Atlantic have reportedly been told hybrid powertrains won't be available in Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs until the autumn, and in its Dodge Ram pick-up from autumn 2009.

Chrysler's U.S. sales are down 22%, hurt particularly by its truck-heavy lineup.

The privately held automaker has also had to battle speculation about its financing, issuing statements to deny bankruptcy fears and to say it is beating financial goals.

A market forecast by J.D. Power and Associates predicts that Chrysler will offer a hybrid option with the Dodge Grand Caravan next year and with the Dodge Avenger car and Journey crossover in 2013.

Last year, Chrysler announced plans to spend $3 billion to develop more fuel-efficient powertrains.

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