CEO's are like politicians, if their lips are moving, they are spinning the truth. I will not go so far as to say that he is lieing, but even this short article reveals that the Fiat 500e is only going to be sold in CA. So if it is not a "compliance vehicle" why not expand the market as large as possible. Has anyone noticed that Suzuki cars is dead? Why? They had few dealerships and no market penetration. If these guys are serious about the future of electric vehicles, market them nationwide! We are always hearing about economy of scale. Then scale it up!
Maybe the CEO is right, they cannot make a profit on them so now they simply make enough to remain compliant. Then they turn around and market their real profit vehicles, trucks and luxury vehicles! But hey the Viper is coming back!!! Rich people in CA want to buy that, so then Chrysler needs to be compliant to sell in CA.
Cap'n, as far as electric vehicles (and to some extent hybrids) go, it is important to have a design that is appropriate for the technology. The first successful hybrid, the Prius, was a totally new design. I recently saw an original one, by the way. It is TINY! The car was going 55 in the right lane on an Interstate with a 65 MPH speed limit. There was a long line behind it. It looked so antiquated.
The 500 is an old model designation for Fiat. I have an Italian engineer friend who had one in Milan when he was young. When the 500 first came out in the US I asked him if he was going to get one. His response was along the lines of are you kidding?
It is interesting as far as the 500e goes that they worked on the aerodynamics, but not the weight. A curb weight of 2,980 lbs is not light. It must be due to the battery. On the other hand, why are more composites not used in the body? That would also extend the range.
The constant stress I have to keep my phone charges, will soon apply to my car. I have to say, I am not looking forward to that. I'm hoping that wireless power transfer options will be prevalent when EVs are affordable to most people. (IE: see Witricity)
Also, 80 mile range is great for a zip-car style rental service, but I shy away from that for a regular car. I'd say at least 150 is target. Anyone here have an EV?
The battery is 24-kWh and is made up of 97 lithium-ion cells, naperlou, so, yes, it's big. It does use some composite materials, according to the press materials, but it's not clear yet where the composites will be used.
Cabe, you've raised a point that is seldom brought up. Right now, the owners of EVs tend to be early adopters who seem to have no issues with re-charging their cars. But will all consumers have the necessary patience to deal with the required recharging times?
Charles, finally Fiat also joints with the EV sector by introducing Fiat 500e. Any test drive result data sheet is available for reference. What about the market opinion and how fiat is distinguishing their product from other competitors.
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