Chrysler Group LLC will lose more than $10,000 on every battery-powered Fiat 500e its sells, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says.
“The economics of EVs simply don’t work. On the 500 that (Chrysler) will begin selling in the U.S. next year, we will lose over $10,000 (per unit) despite the retail price being three times higher” than a version of minicar with an internal combustion engine, Marchionne said on the sidelines of Fiat S.p.A.’s general meeting on Wednesday.
When a near-production concept the Fiat 500 EV was unveiled last year, Marchionne said the production model would start at $32,000, with the batteries accounting for half of the minicar’s cost.
This is an image from Fiat that shows the location of the electric vehicle components in the 2013 Fiat 500e. Although the 500e is based on the gasoline powered Fiat 500, Fiat has tried hard to make sure the electric vehicle components do not interfere with the driving, handling, and passenger and cargo volume inside the vehicle. Notice how the battery pack is spread out under the whole passenger compartment, and how the rest of the components are tucked away in place of the internal combustion engine. Other than a different front bumper cover, from the outside one would be hard pressed to tell this is an electric version of the Fiat 500.
Price is only the first part of the equation when trying to determine if an electric vehicle will be a sales hit or not. And yes, the Fiat 500e is priced in a range that could make it very popular – $32,500 before incentives, or $199 a month for 36 months with $999 down. That makes it cheaper than many other electric vehicles out there, and the Fiat 500e isn’t an entry level vehicle, it’s a compact luxury electric vehicle.
According to almost all the ‘first drive’ reviews of the 500e, Fiat’s first electric vehicle is a joy to drive.
Total electric drive range for the Fiat 500e is 87 miles according to the EPA. However, some of those drives have already shown that 87 miles is probably on the low side. Top speed in this small EV is 88 mph. Due to it’s infancy, the Fiat 500e is still mostly undocumented. One review from FastLane Car was quoted as saying:
“Most importantly, the new 2013 Fiat 500e Electric is fun to drive.” The reviewer went on to say that it retains the charm of the Fiat 500 without any of the emissions.