Auburn Hills, Michigan – Chrysler has announced it will engineer and produce a pure electric vehicle (EV) on the Fiat 500 platform. The Fiat 500EV is expected to go into production for the U.S. market in 2012, following the introduction of a conventional Fiat 500 for North America in late 2010.
Shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2010, the Fiat 500EV demonstrates the benefits of the alliance of Fiat and the Chrysler Group, as well as the speed at which the two companies can work together on advanced vehicle programs.
“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,” said Scott Kunselman, senior vice-president of engineering for Chrysler Group. “The Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric vehicle technology.”
The 500EV powertrain will consist of a high-power electric powertrain module, an advanced lithium-ion battery, and an EV control unit to manage power flow. All powertrain engineering and vehicle development will take place at Chrysler Group’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The Chrysler Group has also been selected for a U.S. Department of Energy grant of up to US$48 million for a vehicle electrification program. The company is planning to build a total of 140 Ram plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for a three-year demonstration project that includes various geographic and climate locations across the United States. The vehicles will use a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 with two-mode hybrid transmission and lithium-ion battery. A planned conventional Ram hybrid, announced in 2008 for the 2011 model year, has been cancelled due to low consumer interest in hybrid electric pickup trucks.