Fiat Chrysler Rumored to Show Pacifica EV at CES

Fiat Chrysler automobiles may be showing an all-electric version of its Pacifica Hybrid at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.

According to Bloomberg , the automaker that gave the world its first plug-in hybrid minivan may go one better with an all-electric model as it seeks to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations.

The vehicle is to debut at what is considered the largest tech show in the world which takes place around the same time as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, also one of the most influential shows in the automotive industry.

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An EV is important for the company, as Fiat Chrysler has lagged behind most other automakers when it comes to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been hesitant to invest in electric cars, mainly due to his belief that they won’t be profitable soon enough. Limited resources due to debt have been another reason.

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This is at a time when corporate average fuel-economy regulations are set to grow stricter in the coming years, should regulations set during the Obama Administration not be rolled back by President-Elect Donald Trump after he takes office, or by the EPA, which was already set to conduct a midterm review on those regulations, with decision on whether to tighten, relax or maintain the current rules due by April 2018.

Automakers, including Ford (which has plans to invest over $4 billion into EVs), have been publicly stating a desire for the incoming Trump Administration to relax the rules – the automakers argue that consumer demand for EVs and hybrids isn’t strong enough and profits are being hurt by the rules.

Fiat Chrysler already offers a hybrid version of the Pacifica, but a full EV will help the automaker, which has been depending on trucks and SUVs, comply with the regulations should they remain the same or tighten.

The automaker may also unveil an electric sports car under the Maserati brand name, in addition to the electric vehicle that will be based on the Pacifica. Such a vehicle would be set to compete against Tesla.

The decision to unveil the vehicle at CES instead of NAIAS is an indication that automakers are continually paying more and more attention to that show as tech becomes more important to the automotive industry – Chevrolet debuted its Bolt EV there last year and BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have all shown off new tech at CES in the past. Fiat Chrysler will still have a presence for all of its brands at NAIAS.

Bloomberg


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