Chrysler Testing Electric Version Of Fiat 500By John O'Dell October 20, 2011
Chrysler has begun testing of the upcoming Fiat 500 EV, as these spy photos attest. The battery-electric car, slated to hit the market in 2012 as a 2013 model, is being built by the Chrysler Group LLC for parent company Fiat S.p.A. The spy shots clearly show a U.S.-specification, 240-volt charger plug receptacle behind the electric Fiats fuel-filler door (below). The covers on the front and rear fascia suggest that the battery-electric version of the Fiat 500 will feature some changes Fiat doesnt want to show off just yet to visually differentiate it from the gasoline model. Chrysler hasnt said where it will build the Fiat 500 EV, but it currently assembles gasoline models of the subcompact for the U.S. market at its plant in Toluca, Mexico.
The carmakers havent released much information about the Fiat 500 electric vehicle, but in an interview earlier this year, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne suggested that it might be priced as much as three times the base gasoline 500 model. Even at a $45,000 sticker price, Fiat would likely lose about $10,000 per car. At the 2010 Detroit auto show, when production of the EV was announced, Marchionne tossed out a lower potential price tag of $32,000. Either price would be a bargain compared to the $144,000 that apparently ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi paid an Italian automotive customizer for a one-of-a-kind 2009 Fiat 500 EV convertible recently seized by rebel fighters in Libyas civil war.