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At this year’s LA Auto Show, Fiat will reveal two new models, the 500 Abarth Cabriolet and 500E electric car.
According to several reports, Dodge is preparing to announce its withdrawal from NASCAR today…
Ford’s C-Max hybrid is all part of the company’s plan to triple electrified vehicle production capacity by 2013…
Gas prices are getting higher and Chrysler would like to sell you its Fiat 500 EV that uses no gas for $10,000 below cost.
What’s the catch? No catch, except its cost could be three times higher than a $15,995 gasoline-powered version.
Citing the high price of developing an all-electric city car, Chrysler Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly said the company will roll out a limited number of Fiat 500 EVs and will take the loss in order to get them out there.
Even at around $45,000, the car will already be a good $12,000 or more than a Nissan LEAF – another purported loss leader – so this is the high price of trying to start an automotive revolution.
Edmunds.com said it could not get a comment from Chrysler reps, but said in order to get an electric alternative to the far more sophisticated extended-range Chevy Volt, pending Ford Focus EV, and others, Chrysler is willing to do what it takes.
Last March, the financially troubled Chrysler first committed to the Mexican-built, Italian-brand car after its 2010 fleet was ranked last in EPA fuel economy ratings among 14 major automakers. Sprinkling the mix with fuel-free units probably won’t hurt on that score either.
Thus far, the expense of bringing EVs to market has been an oft-repeated story in one form or another. The industry is being government mandated, and manufacturers and consumers are being subsidized respectively to develop and buy them. On the positive side, the proposed paradigm shift has created a frenzy of enthusiasm among companies working on much-needed solutions to dwindling oil supplies, greenhouse gases, and other ill effects, with high hopes on the horizon.
The incentive at this point is seen as necessary in today’s far more complicated economic climate to, er, jump start the new industry. No matter where the grand experiment will go, nearly every major automaker is rushing to get into the fray. It would appear the Fiat 500 EV is Chrysler’s first charitable donation to the effort.
[Source: Edmunds Blog]
With the Fiat 500 already on sale in North America (if you can find a dealer), the Italian automaker will expand its lineup with the addition of a convertible model this Spring.
At the recent launch of the 500, Fiat North America CEO Laura Soave revealed that the 500C will be coming in Q2 of this year. Nearly identical to the standard 500 model, this drop-top retains the roof pillars, but uses a retractable material roof to deliver open-top motoring.
Following that car’s debut, we will get a high-performance Abarth model in early 2012, although that was not originally the plan. According to Soave, Fiat didn’t intend to bring any of the more powerful Abarths to American, but demand for the car was so strong the product planners did a flip-flop.
In late 2012, Fiat will follow-up with a battery electric version of the 500 as it looks to compete with similar small EVs set to hit the market in the near future.
The goal is to become a real player in the small car market in North America, which Fiat predicts will more than double by 2014, jumping drastically from 442,000 units last year to almost 900,000 in 2014.
And get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com
Fiat will bring a fully-electric version of the 500 to market, with production starting in 2012. The result of the Fiat/Chrysler alliance, the Fiat 500 EV will use a high-tech lithium-ion battery pack. It will also be developed and engineered by Chrysler at the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
No information regarding power, acceleration, range or recharging time has been released, but Chrysler has said it will be priced competitively with other vehicles in the market.
“The alliance with Fiat presented new opportunities to merge Chrysler Group engineering knowledge with new platforms and the Fiat 500EV is an outstanding example of our efforts,” says Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President Engineering—Chrysler Group LLC. “The Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric-vehicle technology.”
Chrysler will also look to develop an EV-charging infrastructure and is currently looking for partners.
The Fiat 500 gasoline version will debut later this year for sale starting in 2011.
Official release after the jump: