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Report: Chrysler to Show Prototype Electric Fiat 500 at Detroit Auto Show

The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler will display a battery-electric version of the Fiat 500 at the upcoming North American International Auto Show. No decision has been made whether the car will be offered for sale in the US, according to the report.

Evadapt
The electric 500 from Alelion and Autoadapt. Click to enlarge.

Italy-based Micro-Vett SpA, which produces electric versions of several other Fiat vehicles, has developed an electric version of the 500, unveiled by the NICE car company in 2008. (Earlier post.) Featuring a 22 kWh Li-ion pack and a 30 kW, 100 N·m drive motor, the Micro-Vett electric 500 has a range of 145 km (90 miles) and a top speed of 114 km/h (71 mph).

More recently, in April 2009, Swedish automobile adaptation company Autoadapt AB said it intends to produce a limited number of electric Fiat 500s, powered by a choice of three different capacity lithium iron phosphate battery packs, power electronics and drive from another Swedish company, Alelion.

According to the powertrain and product strategy laid out by Chrysler executives in November (earlier post), Chrysler is to function as the “global center of engineering competence for hybrids and electric vehicles for Fiat Group and Chrysler Group”. That plan suggested the introduction of a battery-electric light commercial vehicle around 2012, with future introductions left even more unspecified.

Comments

ejj

A BEV micro-car that is cheap and well built might gain traction & a competitive advantage in the American market. Some granolas might be interested in this car and pay Volt-like price, but Chrysler needs sales --- and a price that is similar to the Volt will not move 500's off dealer lots.

wintermane2000

Thats not gona be cheap with a 22 kwh pack...

SJC

They might take that new 1.4l engine and make a series/parallel with maybe 4kWh, upgraded in 2kWh increments and bring it in under $25,000. I noticed the closed in nose like the Coda, lower drag...smart.

ToppaTom

Use a 1.4L ICE and you get another very small economy car that uses gas.

Make it a BEV with too few batteries and you get golf cart utility.

Add more batteries and you get "Volt" price.

Add an ICE and generator & you still get "Volt" price.

The EV1, Insight-I and the Prius show that batteries are still not ready.

How soon?

mahonj

How many seats are left over - the worry is that a car that small has to use the back seat space for batteries (like the e-mini).

Cars this small may not be good choices for electrification at this stage of battery development, unless people accept that they really are city cars and accept considerably shorter range ( say < 50 miles).

If backed up with a car swap scheme (for an ICE F500), it could work.

Will S

TT wrote;

"The EV1, Insight-I and the Prius show that batteries are still not ready."

The EV-1 was killed long ago, though even it had begun an NiMH option with a range of 125 miles.

By "Insight-I" I'm assuming you mean the first Insight (last model year 2006), which achieved (manual) 60+ mpg as an HEV.

The Prius is going to LiOn, so your comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

ToppaTom

Batteries are still not ready.

It makes perfect sense.

If batteries were ready we would have more than token EV and hybrid sales.

If batteries were ready GM would not have abandoned the EV1 and we would not have abandoned the Insight-I, the hybrid SUVs, the $100 Tesla etc.

ALL types of BEV - ALL types - total about 3% of the market.

How simple can it be?

Patrick

"If batteries were ready GM would not have abandoned the EV1 and we would not have abandoned the Insight-I, the hybrid SUVs, the $100 Tesla etc."

Failure of the first Insight had less to do with batteries and more to do with market acceptance - there isn't strong demand for a limited cargo 2-seater economy car regardless of how high the fuel efficiency is. If you created an "Insight-I" with NO hybridization it would still fail unless it were repurposed as a low volume, affordable sports car with a powerful engine and much improved handling.

What evidence do you have to support the claim that the Tesla has failed? What is its market share versus like competitors? Did the Lamborghini Gallardo also fail because it doesn't sell more than 1/100 of a percent of the vehicles on the market?

ToppaTom

"there isn't strong demand for a limited cargo 2-seater economy car regardless of how high the fuel efficiency is."

I agree, my point was that the EV1 and Insight-I were the best they could do at providing very high MPG with the aid of batteries and they were failures.

A desirable (affordable, 4 place) EV1 was not possible then, because of low battery performance-cost ratio.

Tesla, just like the Gallardo and Hummer, is not green and will not reduce oil imports.
Whether they were intended to or not, they won’t.

I did not say they were failures; they will not take any significant market share.


SJC

M85 could make a BIG difference. New cars can be Flex and existing cars can be converted. Methanol can be made locally using natural gas and blended at the pump. We need to go with what we can easily do to make the most progress soon. 50 million Flex cars will do a LOT more to reduce imported oil than 1 million EVs.

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