Gearheads across the U.S. got a shock this week. The iconic Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars will soon be electric-only vehicles.
In response to a MotorTrend story saying the Hemi V8 would return for future models of the pair of Dodge classics, a company spokesperson told Motor1 that the report was incorrect. The next generation of both the Charger and the Challenger, according to the outlet, will not only be missing the V8 but also all internal-combustion engine options.
Instead of rumbling, powerful gas engines that have been an iconic part of these American standards, the new Chargers and Challengers will be battery electric vehicles or BEVs.
Though the change will likely not please die-hard fans of muscle cars, the notion of a so-called “BEV muscle car” — or what Dodge calls “eMuscle” — is not a surprise. The carmaker teased an electric muscle car last month that it planned to release in 2024 — and the limited images the company provided evoked memories of the Challenger’s first appearance in 1969 with the 1970 model.
With the year’s surge in gas prices, the e-vehicle market has seen a boost. Forbes reported more than a dozen manufacturers have pledged to make the shift to electric over the coming years. But it’s not going to be a cheap change — something anyone who has watched the current market knows. The combination of the cost to create the cars and, most notably, their batteries, increased demand, and growing scarcity has led to massive price jumps. Kelly Blue Book puts the average price at $65,000.
However, the market is not slowing down. In July, the New York Times reported that Americans are buying up e-vehicles at a record pace and are apparently “undeterred by rising prices and long waits for delivery.” And the International Energy Agency said that the global market for these vehicles broke sales records last year and sales continued to grow in 2022.
Now the new climate reconciliation bill from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, W.Va., and Chuck Schumer, N.Y., that made headlines late last week looks like it could also become a factor in the EV market. The legislation, Axios reported, includes tax credits for buyers and business incentives for domestic EV battery production and mining of raw materials.