The Fiat 500 has been a popular vehicle to convert to electric drive – so much so that even the recently deceased Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had one (see also here and here) – but an official 500 EV has been nothing but auto show reveals and secret tests and that's about it for the past few years. Chrysler displayed a battery-powered 500 at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show but work has continued a bit behinds the scenes since then.

As far as we know, the plan to bring a small number of 500 EVs to market sometime next year (as a 2013 model) remains in place. We've heard price suggestions from $32,000 all the way up to $45,000, and new spy shots over at AutoObserver don't shed much more light on that issue. They do show us that there's a good chance that the zero-emissions version will have a slightly different front and rear fascias; what else would the camo covers be for?

It's good to see Chrysler and Fiat continuing to test the little BEV, even though Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne once said that his company will lose $10,000 on each Fiat 500 EV sold. That's gotta hurt, but perhaps these tests are ways to reduce that number.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      yup keep testing and the price of batteries drops
      Naturenut99
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anymore, all Co's seem to say they are losing money on this vehicle or that one. Anyone else feel like they are just trying to play the "sympathy" card? More or less like green-washing, but with money.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        No, its true, companies really do loose money during smaller production runs of vehicles that are not built on 'matured' technology. However by staking their name in the market and making a positive impression it can be well worth it when producing more profitable next gen cars. No reason to have sympathy its the nature of the beast.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are always two solutions is costs. There is a low volume high unit cost solution, and a high volume low unit cost one. Everyone except Nissan/Renault and Mitsubishi have gone for the low volume one. Fine as long as petrol prices do not go through the roof. As long as there is no world-wide financial melt-down I expect supplies and hence price to be under pressure through the coming years, with supply available to the OECD nations dropping around 5% pa through 2020, so that we are only using around 66% or so as much petrol by 2020. To the extent that we can achieve that by using electric cars rather than going without we will be better off, but unfortunately I expect the primary reduction to come from less cars driving fewer miles and some increase in efficiency of ICE vehicles.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      They will lose money on very small batches. It is said that Dodge lost money on every Viper, despite a large price tag because of that. Many other examples out there. If they want to make money on EV's, at some point they will need full large scale production. Before they can go into full large scale production, they will first have to lose some money on small batches for testing. That's one of the reasons the EV business has been so hard to leap into. Like any new product, there are losses up front in the early stages of development and production.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        EVnerdGene, You could look at it that way, or you could realize that they sell a lot of other cars because they had the Viper. It's common for a company to have a car like that to draw people to the brand to buy their other cars. It is what GM is hoping for with the Volt right now as well.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        Yep, economies of scale.
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        PR said; "Dodge lost money on every Viper" So, our government's bail-outs - subsidized Viper sales - retroactively ? Most Excellent !!!
      Smurf
      • 3 Years Ago
      I rented a Fiat 500 for a business trip last week. I really liked it. I think the comparisons to the Mini Cooper are definitely justified.The car had lots of pep, great handling, and was pretty stylish, with a lot of extras installed. As an EV, this car could be even better....
      Michael Walsh
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have already walked around (and sat in) this during consumer research sessions. It's supposed to be available on the Green Car Ride-n-Drive during press days at the LA Auto Show. If that holds true, it'll be real high on my list of cars to test (actually, it'll probably be first on my list) and you can expect to see a mini-review on mynissanleaf.com.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really don't have much faith in Chrysler/Fiat on this one. I hope they don't screw it up, but I suspect they will. :-(