Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The new Peapod Green Car is released - But is it practical?

So once again, American car companies are behind the 8 ball?

Chrysler, LLC released their eco-friendly Peapod - (an all electric vehicle) for city dwellers today. It's restricted to 25 miles per hour in most states - It's basically a moped with two side by side seats and Iphone plugs. It's certainly cute but at a starting price of $12,500 it really can't compare with the Smart Car (which we're seeing more and more of in the Washington DC area) which starts at $11,900 and uses electricity AND gas.

The Smart Car is a co-creation of Mercedes-Benz and Swatch.

The little two person vehicle maxes out at 90 mph and can be driven on any highway, unlike the Peapod which is restricted to roads that have a max speed limit of 35mph or under.

Granted the prices are similar but the Peapod is not going to help my fellow commuters (who travel on roads above 35 MPH) nor is it going to help with parking in the city. If anything it will encourage folks who now take the subway & bicycles to trade their foot traffic for 4 wheels - adding to the already overcrowded streets.

The Peapod can boast that it's greener than the Smart Car, but I don't think it's anymore practical. It runs for 30 miles on a 6-8 hour charge, where the Smart Car's miles per gallon are 33 - city & 41 highway (a measurement the Peapod can't even make).

I really think that Chrysler bit the big one here. I think that once again US car manufacturers are behind the times. Until someone can give us an electric car that goes at least 70 MPH and lasts for 500+ miles on one charge, we'll be forced to use a combination of gas & electricity to get greener. In the meantime, they should be promoting mass transit instead of thinking about how to move two people at a time in already overcrowded cities.

If I were in the market for a greener car, there would be no question which vehicle I'd be looking at.


  1. I don't think they are too practical either. You're right they should be promoting public transportation instead.

  2. i just noticed how the Peapod grill forms into a little smile in the front, how cute (-: