Dodge will be discontinuing two of its most popular gas-powered cars.
Next year’s 2023 gas-powered models will be the final ones for Dodge Chargers and Dodge Challengers. These muscle cars will cease production in December 2023. “The days of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 are numbered,” says Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.
“We are celebrating the end of an era—and the start of a bright new electrified future—by staying true to our brand. The brand will mark the last of our iconic Charger and Challenger nameplates in their current form in the same way that got us here, with a passion both for our products and our enthusiasts that drives us to create as much uniqueness in the muscle car community and marketplace as possible,” says Kuniskis.
Why it’s news
The announcement represents a symbolic moment for the automotive industry, that iconic American brands are shifting focus away from internal combustion engines and toward electric vehicles. It represents a commitment from one of America’s most significant carmakers that the change to electric vehicles is real.
The decision comes in the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s push for environmental legislation. The administration is preparing automobile manufacturers to shift gears to 50% of future sales being electric by 2030, followed by 100% in 2035.
“President Biden, American families, automakers, and auto workers agree: the future of transportation is electric. The electric car future is cleaner, more equitable, more affordable, and an economic opportunity to support good-paying, union jobs across American supply chains as automakers continue investing in manufacturing clean vehicles and the batteries that power them,” said a statement from the White House.
Backing up a bit
“Dodge parent company Stellantis ranks the worst among major manufacturers for U.S. corporate average fuel economy and carbon emissions,” reports CNBC.
Stellantis is entering the electric-vehicle market at a turbulent moment, according to Teslarati, a media company that covers Tesla and SpaceX news. It may not be able to access tax credits, struggling with supply chain issues, and will be facing stiff competition from other automakers. The company already announced plans though in May its plans to invest $2.8 billion in overhauling two Canadian plants for EV production.
Dodge’s parent company Stellantis stated that it will launch “the world’s first full battery electric muscle car” in 2024, according to Barron’s. It is unclear if either discontinued model will be released as an electric vehicle. Kuniskis has suggested that the names will be reused for hybrid or electric vehicles. “He’s previously said he believes electrification —whether hybrid vehicles with less powerful engines or all-electric models—will save what he has called the new ‘Golden Age of muscle cars,’” according to CNBC.