Chrysler Director of Electrified Propulsion Says Fiat 500e is “Just the First Step” into EVs

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JUL 19 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

Fiat 500e is Chrysler's "First Step" into EVs

Fiat 500e is Chrysler’s “First Step” into EVs

Luckily, the rather spectacular Fiat 500e is “just the first step” for Chrysler in the electric vehicle arena.

Those are the words of Mike Duhaime, global director of Chrysler’s electrified propulsion and engineering.

Duhaime Looking at EV Stuff

Duhaime Looking at EV Stuff

Duhaime’s past includes being chief engineer of powertrain for the Chevy Volt, so we think he’s capable of more stellar electrified vehicles.  Oh, he’s got 33 years of experience under his GM belt too and is 1 year into his Chrysler stint now.

Chrysler admits to being behind the time in regards to electric vehicles and knows that catching up what happen quick enough.

But Duhaime does note that “There are electric vehicles in our future.”

Duhaime says he took the spot at Chrysler under the promise of getting a chance to develop new electric vehicles, something Chrysler desperately needs.  So, let’s hope that the 500e isn’t a once and done.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Chrysler, Fiat

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10 Comments on "Chrysler Director of Electrified Propulsion Says Fiat 500e is “Just the First Step” into EVs"

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Chrysler should use start with a plug-in sports car. Something like a next-gen Viper, or at least that level of performance. It would help them develop the drive train on a low production high-price flagship car. Think 4-cylinder turbo on one axle (200 HP) and 150-200 kW motor on the other axle w/ 15 kWh of battery. Probably do 0-60 in the 4s and get 30 miles AER. Might beat a Model S in the 1/4 mile with the high end power of the turbo. They could “detune” it a bit and use it in trucks and SUVs later on.

This would fit into the Chrysler/Dodge/RAM marketing demographic as well, making it easier to sell on their showroom floors.

They did have the plug-in Evora concept, but that has long been shelved.

They had the Dodge Circuit. They wussed out and canceled it.

Thanks, I couldn’t remember the name of that concept. It was going to be built on the Lotus Evora chassis right?

That’s correct. Looked a bit like the Tesla Roadster with the corporate Dodge crosshair nose on it.

Is Chrysler changing its tune? No more bashing EVs? I think I’ll wait & see what they do before drawing any conclusions. People need to remember that the CEO’s whine about ‘losing $10K for every EV produced’ was over 2 years ago and lot has changed since then . . . namely Tesla and a growing EV market.

Had Chrysler actually built that Dodge Circuit sports car, they could have been a leader in this market. That could have been a lower-priced version of a Tesla Roadster kind of car. But they blew it.

First they need to put the 500e available to the general public and not only to just a few lucky guys in California, if they do that, then i’ll be convinced that they are really into EV’s.

It looks like the Chrysler Director of Electrified Propulsion is saying to the public “we are going to build more electric cars that lose us 10k per car”. Perhaps the Fiat 500e is “just the first step” on the road to bankruptcy. Seriously, when Chrysler’s CEO said that they would lose 10k per 500e it was for political reasons. The base 500p sells for 16k. Wholesale is about 14k, Cost of manufacture in volume is about 12k. If you subtract the ICE components, they account for 5k of the total. leaving a 7K fully amortized shell to make electric. To that you add back 7k of battery and 3.5k for the motor and inverter and EV accessories and you have a car costing about 17.5k to build including labor. Add back 4k for industry standard manufacturer and dealer mark up and you get a car they could sell for an MSRP of $21,500 for a base unit without subsidy and they would still make standard indiustry money. But they are selling it for 10k more than that or 31,800. Now add 10k more for the supposed amount they are losing and it becomes quite clear there is something fishy in… Read more »

Ooh, I hope you are right.. The fiat 500e is very cute, and I hope to try out the next generation. You have very good points.

Obviously there are R and D costs for these companies to develop electric, but they have received so much grant money and loans over the years for this tech and not one of these companies has a dedicated electric platform yet. But they are beginning to see the hand writing on the wall with Tesla walking away from them with lots of money in hand and that the subsidies will not last for ever. So they are going to do all that they can take your tax credit as cash for every lease for these cars, even while lowering the prices of the cars to generate sales/leases, as Nisan, Ford and Chevy have done with their cars recently priced to the sweet spot of between 28 and 33 k after the tax rebate. All of these companies so easily lower their prices because they know they will sell twice the cars and still make 3 times the profit of the equivalent ICE car. it is there little secret We are just starting to see the first price war in electric cars and it will only continue as they look at Tesla and try to make as much money as they… Read more »

Meanwhile, CA and OR Chevy dealers are beginning to put effort into pulling customers into their stores to buy the Spark EV –

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?59225