Electric vehicle adversary Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, is now making noise about producing EVs.
Marchionne told Bloomberg Television that the automaker is considering adding pure battery-electric cars to its lineup, including the Maserati Alfieri sports car and a small Fiat city car.
“I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it,” the CEO said. “I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting.”
The electric version of the sleek Italian Alfieri, a grand tourer concept shown at the 2014 Geneva show, is not included in the company’s current five-year plan, which concludes in 2018.
Marchionne said the electric Alfieri isn’t scheduled until after he retires as CEO of Fiat Chrysler in 2019.
Always pessimistic about electric cars, Marchionne said, “I’m not as convinced as some others are about the fact that electrification is the solution for all of man’s ills. We need to experiment as we are doing now.”
A Fiat electric city car for Europe is also on the docket. As Europe begins ditching diesel cars and major cities are passing laws to ban petroleum-fueled vehicles in city centers, a small EV would aid the carmaker in a potential growth market.
Currently, Fiat Chrysler has only one electric vehicle, the stylish Fiat 500e, which is only sold in the U.S.
Marchionne has continuously stated that the model was produced strictly to comply with California’s zero-emissions mandate, and that the company loses about $10,000 on each 500e it sells.
Given Fiat Chrysler’s debt position and its limited, long-term electric and hybrid vehicle program, is a Maserati EV and Fiat electric city car arriving in 2019 soon enough to help the company meet the new global emission and fuel economy standards?