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1992 Dodge Epic

Dodge EPIC or Electric Power Inter-urban Commuter was a 1992 concept minivan. Powered by nickel-iron batteries with a range of around 120 miles, the EPIC used the complete TEVan powertrain assembly in a different package; the windshield was raked more aggressively, but the A-pillar was modified to change perceptions of the distance from the door to the cowl. The exterior had sliding doors on each side, presaging the next generation of minivans. The rear hatch followed a track that hugged the minivan more closely to make cargo loading and unloading easier. The stow-n-go rear seat folded completely into the floor when not used, another feature that would eventually show up in gas-powered minivans (albeit taking longer).

The production version of the ePIC was introduced in July 1997 and leased to government and utility fleets. It was available as a Dodge or Plymouth and used a 324-volt advanced lead-acid battery pack (nearly twice the voltage of the TEVan). Chrysler did want to use better batteries, but the technology was not yet available. EPICs were all made in Windsor, Ontario.

In 2000, Chrysler's EPIC won two categories in the Tour de Sol - the minivan category and Customer Acceptability. The rally is five days long. About 200 EPICs were being used around the country at the time.

Source: Chrysler Design Public Relations;

Images: Chrysler Corporation

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