It's bad enough incurring losses in dollars. There's no need to do it in francs, lire and pounds as well.

That's the thought process behind Italian automaker Fiat and its decision to hold off on selling a battery-electric version of its 500 compact in Europe. Fiat global brand chief Olivier Francois confirmed that the company won't distribute the 500e across the pond, according to Automotive News.

As it is, Fiat has said it will lose as much as $10,000 per vehicle sold, even with a sticker price of about $35,000. Nonetheless, the 500e will be sold in California starting in mid-2013 as a so-called "compliance vehicle" designed to meet certain zero-emissions mandates enacted by certain U.S. states.

Fiat is showing off the 500e at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, and finally released details on the car yesterday, including that typical city driving will give drivers "greater than 100 miles" of range. The original concept version debuted at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

Fiat and its Chrysler affiliate have been relatively slow on the draw when it comes to developing electric-drive vehicles, choosing instead to focus on lighter, more technologically advanced internal combustion engines to meet upcoming, more stringent fuel-economy targets.


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