If there’s one segment of the automotive market that seems to be receiving the least attention it’s the minivan segment. This arena of driving that’s meant for the family hauling vehicles has been replaced over the years with the development of new and smaller SUVs that have taken over the market in a big way. Even so, there are still some automakers that believe in their minivans and expect them to be an essential part of the future of the automotive world in order to provide us with the family transportation we’ll need.
Chrysler happens to be one of these automakers and with the new Pacifica that has replaced the long standing Town & Country and Grand Caravan in one fell swoop it might seem Chrysler is making a last ditch effort to give us a minivan and see how it performs, but that’s not quite the thought process. Chrysler is heavily invested in making not only the Pacifica work for us, but have now created a new minivan that’s called the Portal concept. This concept has no production date as of yet, but the concept itself shows that it could easily make its way to the market in the next couple of years.
The beauty of the Porta is more than just the fact it has more space inside than most minivans but on a shorter wheelbase, but the fact that it’s an EV minivan. This minivan uses a 100 kWh battery pack which is floor mounted and connected to the single motor which moves the front wheels. The expected range of the Portal is 150 miles on a single charge with a recharging time of only 20 minutes on a 350 KW fast charger. Unfortunately those chargers are rare right now, but this is still an admirable concept.
Because this is a shorter minivan from the front to the rear it has many more city applications than most minivans. The doors open on both sides in a fashion that seems to split the front and rear doors on rails to create a large portal opening for you to enter and exit the vehicle. Once inside you’ll see a space that’s full of LCD monitors and ten docking stations for all your gadgets. The seats are mounted on rails and are completely removable to make it easy to reconfigure the minivan into a large living room space.
The Portal was built to show off at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month and offers some of the most advanced features such as SAE Level Three autonomous driving, facial recognition and voice biometric technologies. The settings of the Portal can be set to each individual occupant to make the most comfortable seating arrangement for each person possible while also sharing the digital connection with each passenger inside the vehicle.