Chrysler to develop Fiat 500EV for US market
A couple of months ago, as part of our coverage of the 2010 Detroit International Motor Show, we showed you an all-electric version of the venerable Fiat 500 that was on display at the event. At that time, Fiat said that the electric 500 was a technology test bed for future models, but was staying tight-lipped about any other details. This Monday, Fiat-owned Chrysler Group announced that it will be producing the 500EV for the US market, starting in 2012.
All of the powertrain engineering and vehicle development will be based out of Chrysler’s Michigan headquarters. The powertrain itself will be comprised of a high power electric module, a lithium ion battery, and a control unit for managing power flows.
There is no word yet on pricing, other than that it will be competitive with similar EV’s in its market. Last year, Chrysler announced that it will be building the combustion-engined version of the 500 for the North American market. It should be coming out later this year. As Fiats aren’t currently sold under their own name in North America, it will be interesting to see whether or not the 500/500EV gets rebranded as a Chrysler.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
More EV\'s the better. I drive mine every day at 25% of the running cost of an ICE version.
Next yr gas will be $4.50-5/gal and they will be very popular.
I had a Fiat 500 in the 1960\'s, great little car ,, I expect the latest version will be as much fun but environmentally friendly unlike mine which had a big Webber carb and custom exhaust from Abarth
While I hope to see the 500/500EV at U.S. dealerships soon, I hope it won\'t be branded as a Chrysler - that would detract from its exotic appeal and be similar to GM\'s mistake of rebranding the Chevy Cavalier as a Cadillac Cimarron back in the \'80s. Then again, I\'m trying to think if any of the previous attempts by Detroit to sell European models over here with European badging (e.g. Opel GT or Mercury Merkur), have been particularly successful compared to rebranding (e.g. U.S. Ford Contour, which was identical to European Ford Mondeo). Maybe rebranding as a Chrysler or Dodge would in fact translate to higher sales numbers with American buyers, though I\'m a member of that group who\'d prefer to buy it as a Fiat.
Come to think of it (to append to my previous comment - don\'t see any comments posted yet), the Mini Cooper is branded in the U.S. as a Mini, not a BMW, and it seems to be selling quite well. Frankly, Chrysler should therefore brand the 500 as a Fiat, since it will appeal to the same buyer who would consider a Mini.
Fiat 500? Chrysler 500? Dodge 500......at least as a Dodge 500 it ties in with it\'s MUCH larger 300 stablemate.
Yes the Mini is a Mini in the UK and Finland as well! They maybe sold from dealerships alongside BMW ones but you do not see a BMW sign on a Mini! It is a Mini. Pure and simple.
Great for feul economy, I just hope Suburban drivers look down (not back)....
I sincerely hope they bring it over with the Fiat 500 badge intact. Badge engineering it as a Chrysler with associated body work changes would be a crime against humanity.
The Fiat patent fraud. About the Fiat hybrids, the technology double clutch with electric motor between has been stolen by a patent that Fiat Company has never wanted to purchase, but only shamelessly to copy. This hybrid solution will be the basic technology with Chrysler\'s electric and hybrid car program. Please give a look in my blog where her \"vitality\" and boldness of the Fiat planners it appears in all of evidence: http://dualsymbioticelectromechanicalengine.blogspot.com/
If the industries can afford unpunished to copy the ideas and defending it need very expensive trial, to which target need the patents? How our young people can find intellectual courage if the economic potentates crush the rights of the single ones? How to defend the rights of private inventors? Whoever is about to ask for a patent or wants to propose a proper patent to a great firm I suggest to give a look to my experience with the Fiat, to get able to operate with best adroitness. Thanks and good time to everybody. Ulisse Di Bartolomei
I'd rather have a diesel. It's freakin' cold here and I need a heater.
I'd rather have the ford c-max or focus. you get a full car and more range.
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