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Chrysler to Develop New Fiat 500 Electric Vehicle for the US; Ram PHEV to Offer 20 Miles All-electric Range

Fiat 500EV. Click to enlarge.

Chrysler Group LLC plans to engineer and produce a battery electric vehicle using the Fiat 500 platform. Previewed earlier this year at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, the Fiat 500EV demonstrates the immediate benefits of the alliance between Chrysler Group and the Fiat Group as well as the speed at which the two companies can work together on advanced vehicle programs, according to Chrysler.

The Fiat 500EV powertrain comprises three main systems; high power electric powertrain module, advanced lithium-ion battery, and an EV control unit to manage power flows. Beginning in 2012, Chrysler Group will manufacture the Fiat 500EV for the United States market. All powertrain engineering and vehicle development will take place at Chrysler Group headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, but will be competitive with similar electric vehicles in the market.

Chrysler Group is the vehicle electrification center of competence for both Chrysler Group and Fiat Group. (Earlier post.) The company is exploring ways to promote zero-emission transportation and the development of an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure through partnerships to be announced in the future.

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. The Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric-vehicle technology.

—Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President Engineering—Chrysler Group LLC

Last year Chrysler Group announced the company’s intention to build the Fiat 500 with a combustion engine for North America. That vehicle will debut in late 2010.

Ram Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Chrysler Group was selected for a US Department of Energy (DOE) grant of up to $48 million as part of a $2.4 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act DOE Vehicle Electrification program. (Earlier post.) Chrysler Group is planning to build a total of 140 Ram PHEVs for a three-year demonstration project that includes various geographic and climatic locations across the United States.

The Ram PHEV features Chrysler Group’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with a two-mode hybrid transmission and a 12 kWh lithium ion battery. The vehicle is capable of up to 20 miles of all-electric range. An overall fuel economy improvement more than 65% is expected for average drive cycles. Chrysler Group has partnered with Electrovaya Inc. to supply the Li-ion batteries for the Ram PHEV test fleet.

More than 21 Chrysler Group partners across the US, including utility companies, government agencies and Universities will independently test the Ram PHEV and provide valuable data for the advancement of the technology.

In 2008, Chrysler Group announced the company’s intention to bring a Ram Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) to market. After closely evaluating the response to hybrid pickups in the marketplace, the company could not formulate an appropriate business case and has decided to cancel development work on the 2011 Ram HEV.



That Fiat 500EV will be the poser vehicle of choice in Hollywood and Greenwich village!
Here in the UK Notting Hill is lined back to back with ICE Fiat 500's, an electric one will sell a bomb.


WOW.. 150 Ram PHEVs!


The less an electric vehicle weighs, the better its range. Their heavy batteries reduce their range.
The only way to get lighter is to remove steel, but steel is needed to absorb collision energy.
The collision death rate of micro vehicles is double that of mid size vehicles.

I have invented a way to make vehicles lighter and safer at the same time.
It will help electric vehicles become lighter and get better range.

In a few weeks I will be granted a US patent for this invention.
My website is

Please help me promote this invention that can save lives and reduce CO2 emissions.

Will S

The 500 EV is a smart choice by Chrysler, and will be in demand as gas prices continue to go up.

The Ram PHEV is a little bit more difficult to sell, with an obviously high price and intrinsic energy-hog reputation.


Glad to see the engineering is happening in Michigan. Since we bailed out Chrysler at least this is keeping some engineers employed and developing more expertise in EV tech.


Yes, the whole "let them fail" crowd fails to take into account consequences and opportunities.


It's the Dodge Ram Contractor Special, back from the dead. Oh, wait, that was the 2008 announcement of a hybrid Ram, which is still dead too.

I don't know if the problem is Chrysler management (still!), the Congress which refuses to make difficult choices, or the American public which is the market for the former and elects the latter. But things are plenty farked up.


Hard to say why things have been so bad for so long with Chrysler and one could suspect that at ;least some of the announcements are market tests or feelers, but at least it shows some brain activity - where there is life there is hope!

competitive creativity is good for markets and it would not help to see reduction in competition in the US although with globalisation there are other options, the bother big two wouldn't want to get too comfortable.


One major reason things have been bad for Chrysler is the disasterous merger with Daimler.
Textbook example of failure.


Dodge was going to have a hybrid Durango more than 5 years ago and scrapped the idea. At least they would have had something out there to show they are trying to do something.


A Fiat/Chrysler 500 EV. Umm.

The heritage will keep many away.
The price, due the EV cost, will scatter the rest.

“That they are trying” will sell no cars.

Stan Peterson

The average car is driven less than 40 miles per day. I have no idea what the average truck's daily truck miles driven, is. But let us assume it is the same, 40 miles per day.

So it goes 20 miles on gasoline at say 17 miles per gallon, and 20 miles per day on electricity from the PHEV plug. Its daily consumption of gasoline would be 1.17 gallons per day total; or its "mpge" is, 34 miles per gallon equivalent, per day.

That results in a significant cut in gasoline consumption, of 49.7%, and its substitution with energy from uranium, wind, water, coal, or natural gas instead.

That will prove useful in cutting oil imports.

Brian moreland

I want an electric car. I am hoping to be in the front of the line when they become available, it's a guaranteed sale as far as I am concerned. If I have to, I will build my own car, however, I would like to buy one from Chrysler/Fiat if they ever build one. I have contacted the local dealership in Meriden CT, they have no idea when it will be available, but the salesman took my phone number and gave me his card and I will call about once a month to see if there is any news. I am almost 50 and this will be my first new car....I still have my first car, a 1967 Mustang fastback.....I think I'll be keeping this new one just as long.

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