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]